Cooking- Choosing the Right Pots and Pans

One of the first steps in getting your kitchen ready to cook is choosing and purchasing the right cookware. One of the most important things you will need to buy are pots and pans. Having the right cookware makes cooking and clean-up a breeze and a lot more fun.

Before you buy
Before you buy, you need to determine what level of cooking you will be doing and most importantly how much you want to spend. Although you do not have to purchase the most expensive brands you can find, however, you do want to make sure you are investing in good quality pots and pans that will last. If not, you will find yourself purchasing them year after year. Plan on buying the best cookware you can afford. If needed, do a little research before buying. Read consumer review and reports.

What to buy
Here is a list of what most cooks consider to be essential pots and pans:

* Sauce Pans are one of the most versatile pots. They are used for making sauces, cooking smaller portions of food, steaming, reheating or just about anything that needs to be heated. Because they are so versatile, you may want to consider purchasing a few different sizes. Some common sizes are 2 are 3 quarts with lids.

* Saute Pans are wide and flat with straight sides to help when sauteing, searing or preparing recipes that have pan sauces and for recipes that require extended cooking times. Good saute pans are made of metals that quickly and efficiently conduct heat. Saute pans should also come with a long handle and a lid. Common sizes are 3 to 5 quarts.

* Skillet or frying pans have moderately high, slightly flared sides. It is considered your all purpose pan for frying. Ideally they should be made out of metals that help conduct heat. Non-stick surfaces are helpful when cooking omelets. Common sizes are 8, 10 and 12-inch sizes.

* Large Soup or Stock Pots are tall and narrow. They are excellent for cooking or boiling things like soups, stews, stocks, pasta or large quantities of food. Good stockpots should be made out of stainless steel with an aluminum core or anodized aluminum. Depending on how much you will be cooking, you should have a capacity of at least 8 quarts; soup pots may be 4 to 6 quarts.

What to look for
If you are buying a set, make sure it is made of sturdy materials that would not dent and warp. Handles should be comfortable and securely attached.

Pots and pans can be part of a set or bought individually. Buying sets can save a lot of money. If you do buy a set, make sure it fits your individual needs; otherwise it does not make sense to purchase pots and pans you will not use. The idea is to purchase ones that can be multifunctional.

Stainless steel is the most common and versatile material for cookware. Although stainless steel by its self is a poor conductor of heat. Stainless steel works best if it has an aluminum or copper core. It could also have a thick aluminum or copper disk bonded to the bottom of the pan. Adding a core will increase to the price, but will perform better. Anodized aluminum and no stick also make excellent choices.

Look for cookware that offers different shapes and sizes. Be picky about the pots and pans you need. If you want uniformity, buy in a set or collect individual pieces from a specific line. Hope you have found these tips useful to help you choose the right pots and pans.

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About The Author, Nurturelab
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