I have personally owned a number of different sets of cookware throughout the years: from cheap, "just get you through" sets to nice teflon, cast-iron, and a stainless steel rice cooker.
Despite everyone's personal preferences and likes and dislikes, there are certain things to watch out for when making the decision to buy the highest-value set of cookware available based on your personal budget.
I'd like to think there are a few things I wish I would've known initially when buying cookware, but my mistakes and my lessons learned can be used to guide your smart purchasing decisions.
1: Shape of the pan and optimal pan for the cooktop
When choosing a set of cookware, make sure that you take into consideration the type of cooktop you are working with. Are you using an electric induction cooktop or are you using a gas-stove with elevated burners for more free flowing air around the heat?
If you have an electric cooktop, you'll want a set that is less flat on the bottom, such as cast-iron for better conductivity, magnetism, and all-over even cooking.
If you have a gas burner cooktop, you'll want a set, such as the 18/10 stainless steel cookware, for the highest quality as well as not needing to worry so much about the pan shape or magnetic materials.
2: Good quality materials for optimal conductivity
Also check the type of material of the set of cookware before purchasing. Preferably, choose the fully-clad stainless steel cookware as that has the highest heat efficiency.
In addition, the fully-clad pans are made out of the highest quality materials throughout so that heat conducts from the base of the pan all the way up the sides to ensure an even amount of heat transfer and most importantly, an even cooking environment!
3: Good quality build and construction
It is very important to make sure you have a well-crafted set of cookware: not only in shape and materials, but also in thickness and heat-resistance. Look for something above 350 degrees Fahrenheit in resistance and preferably up around 450 degrees.
Although I am sure that there are many other considerations to make when looking at your first (or second or third or fourth) set of cookware, these are the lessons I wish I wouldn't have had to learn the hard way through purchasing crappy cookware initially.
Different people have different preferences and different tastes, but I think it is safe to say that we can all agree that we want to get the maximum amount of quality out of the amount of budget we have to spend on a set of pans: whether that be $50 or $500!
My sets of cookware have taught me that my preferences lie in stainless steel fully-clad cookware of the highest quality because the highest quality doesn't always equate to the highest price.
Keep these rules in mind when on the hunt for your next set of high quality cookware and you'll do just fine and you'll also be happy and proud of your wonderful set of cooking dishes!
What are your preferences and cookware stories?
Comment below and let us know your thoughts; thank you!