Making meals at home requires a number of bakeware materials. Many of them—including scales, measuring spoons, and the like—are simple, but there are some considerations to be aware of. If you want to enhance your culinary skills, use the best tools for the job, not just using whatever you have around the house. Make sure you use our ultimate buyer’s guide to high-quality bakeware to ensure you have the best tools possible.
Pots and Pans
These are the most important aspects of cookware—your pots and pans will influence how you cook as well as the end results. There are many different types of premium bakeware, each made from different materials that all have their own advantages and challenges.
Easily the most common type of cookware you’ll find in just about every kitchen, stainless steel is the jack-of-all-trades. Stainless steel allows for even heating due to its conduction properties, ensuring that all the food in your pan cooks at the same rate. So whether you’re browning meat or trying your hand at a tricky hollandaise sauce, you can rest assured that the cooking and reductions will happen evenly.
There’s very little in the way of long-term maintenance you need to worry about, as stainless steel holds up well for years, even with constant use. However, stainless steel items can be hard to clean.
Cast iron is another favorite for homeowners and professional chefs alike. Great for low simmering and browning, cast-iron pans are durable and long lasting, and they distribute heat evenly, just like stainless steel. Cast iron is ideal for meats, but it may not work as well other ingredients; it’s more of a specialized tool to bust out when you’re cooking steaks.
Carbon steel cookware is more of a professional-grade culinary tool than an at-home one, but it still provides benefits to individuals who want to expand their arsenals. This unique material is as sturdy as cast iron, with a nonstick surface that heats up as quickly as stainless steel, but it also has some drawbacks that can make it impractical, such as uneven heat distribution.
When you pick up bakeware, it’ll usually mention that it’s “oven-safe” on the packaging. The heat range your bakeware can handle will vary greatly between different manufacturers, and it’s critical to know your bakeware’s limits. Always note how much punishment your cookware can take in the oven. Don’t push your culinary gear beyond its breaking point; doing that too often will eventually lead to it breaking.
Get the Cookware for Your Culinary Purposes
When you’re consulting our ultimate buyer’s guide to high-quality cookware, knowing that not everything is all purpose is essential. Stainless steel is the closest you can get to an all-purpose material, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for every situation, and it can even hold you back when you’re creating dishes at home. If you want to focus on cooking meats, then cast iron can be ideal for you, as it has a number of beneficial qualities for preparing meat. If you want to perfect some sauces for your dinners, copper can provide an easier experience and better results than general bakeware. So go into your purchases knowing what you intend to use your cookware for; that’ll make your cooking that much better in the long run.