Buying Guide: which cookware is the best for you?
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 something that we take seriously, it’s food preparation and enjoyment.
Which cookware do I need?
Before we get into the pros and cons of non-stick versus ceramic cookware, let’s have a look at the types of cookware available in our range.
Our collection includes all your favourites:
- Frying pans
- Stock pots
- Dutch ovens
- Grill pans
- Roasting dishes
- Pressure cookers
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.
What are the various types of cookware available?
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.
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.
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.
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 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 is fairly new on the market and popular for its aesthetic. It also contains great non-stick properties.
What should I look for in 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, 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 replacing cookware over time.
If you love cookware that goes from oven to table and appreciate a pop of colour, our S&N Baker in yellow is perfect.
And 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.
Shop our full range of kitchen and dining options to find the best saucepans for you today.
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.
Cookware – unanswered 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.
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:
- Always let it cool down naturally, rather than rinsing immediately with cold water.
- Rub it with oil if it looks dry (cast iron should be glossy, not matte).
- Season it every couple of months.
- Treated well, you’ll be using your cast iron for decades to come.
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Keen to learn more about kitchen appliances?
You can view our other buying guides online or visit us in-store today.