A Guide to Selecting a Cookware Set
Do you love cooking? Are you fond of watching cooking shows simply for the pleasure of seeing how beautiful the dishes appear? Well, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that you are awed by those gorgeous cookware sets. But if you think that only expensive cookware can be appealing, we'll show you that there are affordable sets that also add to your kitchen's decor! Let's look at the offerings in the Best Reviews Guide list, to see some of the best cookware sets which are attractive and versatile, yet affordable as well.
Are Teflon-coated non-stick pans safe?
Teflon-coated pans are generally safe to use. However, if the pan is heated to a high temperature, the Teflon coating can break down and release harmful chemicals.
What types of non-stick cookware are there?
There are several types of non-stick cookware, including Teflon, ceramic, and silicone.
Types of Cookware Sets
You’ll see cookware sets in a number of different materials, each with its own advantages:
Ceramic cookware: Despite the name, this is usually not actually made from ceramics. In actuality, this type of cookware either has an aluminum or stainless steel core with several layers of non-stick silica gel coating applied to it. This coating is considered an improvement over Teflon non-stick coating, which tends to chip off and peel over time. An example of ceramic-coated cookware is the Vremi 8-Piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set. It includes 2 Dutch oven pots, 1 casserole pot, and 2 frying pans.
Vremi 8-Piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
Teflon-coated nonstick cookware: Teflon, also known by the acronym PTFE, has been used in non-stick cookware since 1954, when French engineer Marc Gregoire tried adhering Teflon to aluminum pans. Teflon molecules have strong cohesion, to stick to each other, but weak adhesion, to other molecules. This gives it the non-stick, lubricating property. Around 60% of non-stick cookware nowadays employs a Teflon coating. An example is the Amazon Basics 15-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set.
Amazon Basics 15-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set
Stainless steel cookware: You’ll see cookware made from stainless steel, without any non-stick coating. An example is the Calphalon 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set. They are made with a base with a layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, for even heat distribution and consistent results. They also have long stainless steel handles that stay cool.
Calphalon 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set
Anodized cookware: There is a growing concern about using aluminum in cookware, out of fear that aluminum may leach into food. Aluminum in our diet may affect kidneys, bone strength, and perhaps even cause cognitive decline. There is even a greater worry when the cookware is subjected to high temperatures, as during frying. However, anodized aluminum in cookware is considered safe, because the aluminum is sealed in a way that the aluminum will not seep into or react with food. An example is the T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set.
T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set
Copper cookware: There are also cookware sets with a copper exterior, also for even heat conduction. The Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Cookware Set has a hammered copper exterior, an aluminum core, and a stainless steel interior.
Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Cookware Set
What reviewers say
Here are some of the impressions of customers regarding their choice of cookware set:
Avoid burning the bottom of the cookware: One customer who bought the GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 16-Piece Cookware Set said that as long as you keep the burners clean of any food residue, the bottom of the cookware shouldn’t accumulate soot or stains.
Chemical-free: In the past, the process of Teflon-coating a set of cookware involved the use of perfluoroctnaoic acid, or PFOA. PFOA was found to be a cancer-causing agent. But since 2013, manufacturers have managed to produce Teflon-coated cookware without the use of PFOA. Manufacturers assure us that the final product of Teflon-coated cookware contains no PFOA, and is perfectly safe. Nonetheless, you’ll see many cookware sets that advertise that they’re PFOA- and PTFE-free. If you’re still concerned about exposure to such chemicals, look for a ceramic non-stick set instead.
Cookware is a broad term that includes every utensil you use to prepare your dishes. The ideal cookware sets are usually those that are long-lasting as well as visually appealing. But the wide selection makes it difficult to know what to buy. Here are some tips and pointers to help you choose:
Do a stock check: Check what you already own, and every few months, look closely to determine if you need to replace any of your existing cookware. In most cases, it is the cookware you use most regularly, such as the frying pan, which may get damaged.
Take note of your cooking style: Your style of cooking will have a major bearing on the kind of materials you should be looking for when buying your cookware. If you tend to cook only for your family, small sized pans may be sufficient. If you frequently have large get-togethers, you'll understandably need more cookware. If you do a lot of frying, you may want to purchase an extra non-stick frying pan.
Check your stove top: Finally, it is your stove top that will figure into choosing your cookware. If you have an induction stove top, you would definitely need cookware with magnetic properties and flat-bottomed dishes. Similarly, round-bottomed cookware will require a vented ring placed on the burner to support a wok.
Utensils for non-stick surfaces: Use silicone or wooden utensils with non—stick cookware. Many times, the manufacturer includes these utensils in the cookware set. Metal or ceramic utensils risk damaging the non-stick surface, and will degrade the non-stick feature over time.
We went through some of the cookware sets available nowadays, and the materials that are used most often. In short, purchase a cookware set that will suit the size of your family, as well as the utensils that you use most often. Make sure that the cookware is compatible with your type of stove, whether you use gas, electric, or induction. And besides their functionality, you’ll notice that these cookware sets also lend a decor to your kitchen!