Cookware is the next topic in the stocking series. This post provides a guide and looks at cookware for your stage on your cooking journey. I am using the same tier structure as from my Pantry Stocking post. Refer here for a reminder on how I define the different tiers. Next, we will tackle bakeware!
Many years ago, I purchased a set of pots from Fingerhut, which Cuisinart made. Those pans had a non-stick interior, which lasted a good while considering the abuse they took. In 2017, I decided it was time for a new set of cookware. Between my first purchase and this impending one, I learned quite a bit about cookware.
No matter how you slice it, I am not a cookware snob. If they hold and distribute heat evenly and have solid construction, they are helpful in my book. I knew I needed something slightly heftier than expected when lifted. Furthermore, holding and distributing heat requires a material such as aluminum. However, that metal is reactive; therefore, the cooking surface needs to be covered by stainless steel. On the bottom, inductive stainless steel will heat my cookware quickly. In other words, it is non-reactive, heats evenly, gets hot fast, and stays hot.
Of course, there are safety features to consider, such as stay-cool handles, assist handles, and pour spouts. Look at the handle fastening and the thickness of any glass lids. Regarding usage and cleaning, ensure they are oven and dishwasher-safe.
My Current Cookware
Coming from non-stick, I decided to give stainless steel cookware a shot. I wanted to caramelize and deglaze food, don’t judge me, please. Whereas when working with non-stick, the caramelization is not satisfactory since food cannot stick to the pan or pot. Once again, I purchased Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless-steel. I ordered this 17-piece set from Amazon. The only thing missing is a 6-quart pot, which I keep forgetting to buy. Of course, I remember when I require it.
Since the best pieces do not always find themselves in the collection, I do not favor cookware sets. With that in mind, I have been lucky with Cuisinart cookware. If you are thinking about getting a cookware set, head to your local kitchen store to take a comprehensive look at the individual pieces in the collection.
Cookware Favorites' Tiers
Tier 1: Casual or New Cook
- Cast-Iron Skillet 10 to 12 inches (in)
- Roasting Pan
- Stainless-Steel Skillet 10 to 12 in
- Saucepan 3 to 4 quart (qt)
- Stockpot 8 to 10 qt
- Nonstick Skillet 10 to 12 in
Tier 2: Confident Cook Expanding Food Horizons.
- 6-qt enamel cast iron Dutch oven
- Stovetop grill
- 6-qt stockpot
- 2-qt saucepot
- 12-in sauté pan
Tier 3: Well-seasoned Culinary Adventurer
- 8-in stainless-steel skillet
- Double Boiler
- Duplicates of saucepans, skillets, sauté pans, Dutch ovens, and cast iron skillets in the most used sizes.
- Ethnic cookware such as tagine, bamboo steamer, paella pan, and so on
I hope you enjoyed this cookware favorites list! What are some of your favorite pieces of cookware? Take a look at the gallery below! Drop me a line on social media if you are enjoying this stocking series. Make sure you sign up for post notifications via email so that you won’t miss a single bite!