Cookware Buying Guide: What Cookware Do I Need?

Cookware Buying Guide: What Cookware Do I Need?

It can be challenging to know how to choose the best cookware. With literally hundreds of options to choose from, it's easy to get overwhelmed. We've put together a handy guide to help you make a more informed choice - because if there's one thing that we take seriously, it's food preparation and enjoyment.

Different types of cookware

There is an extensive selection of cookware available in our range, catering to various preferences and needs. From non-stick and aluminium options to durable stainless steel, classic cast iron and ceramic ovenware, we offer a comprehensive array of cookware to suit every kitchen. Explore the pros and cons of each type to find the perfect fit for your needs. .

Our collection includes all of the essentials:

…plus more!

Some people love to have all of these things handy in the kitchen, while others may prefer to only keep it simple. But no matter your cooking preferences, roasting, baking, grilling and frying, we're going to help you choose the best cookware set for your needs. Complete your kitchen collection with our range of electric kitchen appliances, dinnerware, cutlery and bakeware.

What material is best for cookware?

We stock a variety of options to suit the needs of any home chef, but before you start, we recommend becoming familiar with the different materials and styles available.

Non-stick cookware

If you're looking for ease of use and want to cook with minimal oil, you're best choosing a non-stick frying pan. The coating means flipping pancakes and frying eggs is a breeze, and the clean-up process is quick and easy.

Stainless steel cookware

The most versatile of cookware materials, stainless steel is compatible with gas, electric and induction stovetops. It's also fine to go in the oven if it doesn't have plastic or rubber handles. Stainless steel cookware is also relatively affordable and one of the most non-toxic options available. Learn how to cook properly with stainless steel using our comprehensive guide.

Cast-iron cookware

A fan-favourite! If you're looking for durability, cast iron is generally considered the best material for pots and pans. Treated correctly, it can last for generations

Aluminium cookware

Aluminium is great if you're after a lightweight and affordable option. It's easy to clean and lasts well if cared for correctly.

Ceramic cookware

Ceramic cookware is fairly new on the market and popular for its aesthetic. It also contains great non-stick properties.

Induction cookware

For those with induction stovetops, it's essential to choose cookware specifically designed for induction cooking. These pots and pans feature a magnetic base that allows them to heat efficiently on induction cooktops, ensuring even cooking and optimal performance. You can read about everything you need to know about induction-compatible cookware on our hub.

What should I look for when buying cookware?

To understand how to choose the best cooking pans, pots and dishes, the first thing you need to do is consider what you tend to cook at home. Think about how you use your kitchen, what sort of storage you have available and what type of cookware would be most convenient for you.

When you're deciding on the best cookware, think about:

  • What sizes do you need?
  • Are you storing them up high? Do they need to be light?
  • What material do you prefer? Stainless steel? Ceramic?
  • What type of stovetop do you have?
  • Do you want to see what you're cooking? Hint: glass lids are great
  • What cuisines do you like to cook? Do you need a wok? Or a crockpot?

Keep in mind that some induction cooktops may not be compatible with all types of cookware, so we recommend checking before you buy. While cast iron pots can become heavy when full, they do last and can save you from replacing cookware over time.

If you're looking to start a collection from scratch, or your current cookware isn't in great shape, consider a matching cookware set to give your kitchen a complementary theme.

How to care for cookware

To ensure your cookware remains in good condition and cooks your food evenly, you'll need to become familiar with how to look after it. Not all cookware is dishwasher friendly, and some, like cast iron, need seasoning before use. Copper needs regular polishing and even the best ceramic cookware can get damaged if preheated while empty. Using the right utensils will help keep your pan scratch-free and protect its non-stick coating.

It's important to familiarise yourself with the care instructions for your cookware before you buy, as this may help you decide which option is best for you. Stews and soups are famously made in cast iron pots, but cast iron will require hand-washing and can get heavy. If you'd prefer a lighter option, go with our non-stick cookware or stainless steel range.

We recommend keeping a copy of your cookware's care instructions handy to get the most out of your purchase. Here are some tips on cleaning and caring for certain types of cookware material:

  • Non-Stick Cookware Care Tips: Avoid using metal utensils that can scratch the non-stick surface. Instead, opt for silicone, nylon, or wooden utensils. Hand wash with mild dish soap and a soft sponge to preserve the non-stick coating.
  • Stainless Steel Cookware Care Tips: Stainless steel is generally dishwasher safe, but hand washing with warm, soapy water is recommended to prevent water spots and maintain the shine. To remove stubborn stains or discolouration, try using a stainless steel cleaner or a paste made of baking soda and water.
  • Cast Iron Cookware Care Tips: Before using cast iron cookware for the first time, season it by coating the surface with a thin layer of oil and baking it in the oven. After each use, hand wash with warm water and a stiff brush, then dry thoroughly and lightly oil the surface to prevent rust.
  • Copper Cookware Care Tips: To keep copper cookware looking its best, polish it regularly with a copper cleaner or a paste made of vinegar, salt, and flour. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the copper surface.
  • Ceramic Cookware Care Tips: While ceramic cookware is durable, it's essential to avoid sudden temperature changes, as this can cause cracking or warping. Hand wash with mild detergent and a soft sponge, and avoid using metal utensils that can scratch the surface.
  • Aluminium Cookware Care Tips: Aluminium cookware is prone to scratching and staining, so it's best to hand wash with warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the aluminium surface.

By following these care tips and guidelines specific to each type of cookware material, you can prolong the life of your pots and pans and ensure they continue to cook your food evenly for years to come.

Cookware - FAQs

What pots can I use with an induction cooktop?

A great hack to find out if you can use your best cooking pots on an induction cooktop is to hold a magnet to their underside. If it sticks, the pot is induction-friendly. This is because induction cooktops conduct heat with electromagnetic coils. Aluminium, copper, ceramic and some stainless steel pots are not magnetic, so they won't work on an induction cooktop.

What is the safest cookware to use?

There's a lot of research on this topic out there, and we can't cover it all in this guide, unfortunately! However, staying safe in the kitchen means knowing your needs and minimising hazards. Use cookware you're comfortable with, and know how to care for it so that you can maintain it to safe standards. Always ensure you clean your cookware properly after each use. If you need guidance on the healthiest and safest materials for cookware, we have a comparative guide for healthy cookware materials on our hub.

How should I care for my non-stick pans?

The best way to care for your non-stick frying pan is by following its specific care instructions. It's also a good idea to always use silicone or soft cooking utensils as metal can damage the non-stick coating. Some people warn against putting non-stick pans in the dishwasher but it will depend on the particular design and model, as some are dishwasher-safe.

How long does cast iron cookware last?

When cared for properly, cast iron will last forever. There are a few things you can do to prolong it's lifespan:

  1. Always let it cool down naturally, rather than rinsing it immediately with cold water.
  2. Rub it with oil if it looks dry (cast iron should be glossy, not matte).
  3. Season it every couple of months.
  4. Treated well, you'll be using your cast iron for decades to come.

Get the most out of your cast-iron pots and pans with our guide on how to care for your cast-iron cookware.


Keen to learn more about essential kitchenware? Or perhaps you're seeking inspiration for your next dinner party? We cover a whole range of topics from entertaining to organising on our hub:

You can view our other buying guides online or visit us in-store today.