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What cookware should you buy?

Cast Iron

Seasoning cast iron cookware takes time and energy, but is simple to do. You can also buy pre-seasoned cast iron. Make sure that the handle is long enough so that is doesn't get too hot during stove top use, but isn't so heavy that it will cause the pan to tip over on the stove.

Lodge has been making cast iron cookware for over 100 years and sells a variety of styles. Le Creuset makes the best enamel-lined cast iron cookware.


Non-Stick

What's more important that the type of non-stick pan is the utensils used with the cookware. Always avoid metal utensils and use wood, silicone or nylon (rated for high heat-resistance). Make sure the handle of the pan is not hollow, since it will heat up too quickly for normal use. The handle should be long enough to help maneuver the pan but not so heavy that it causes the pan to tip on the stove top. An ergonomically shaped handle will help you flip and toss contents easily, and the overall weight of the cookware should be heavy enough to retain heat but light enough to use with one hand.

Calphalon makes reliable non-stick pans. Avoid non-anodized aluminum pans that claim to be non-stick, as they are merely stick resistant and are more reactive to foods.

Stainless Steel

Avoid stainless steel cookware with hollow handles, which heat up quickly on the stove. The most durable styles use rivets to hold the handle onto the pan. Make sure that the handle is long enough for stove top use without causing the pan to top. Plastic or rubber coated handles help keep handles cool on the stove top, but can't be transferred to the oven.

All-Clad makes the absolute best stainless steel cookware. They use both aluminum and copper cores and come with different finishes. The copper core models are the best, but the aluminum core models are more economic. Cookware with a polished finish looks nice on the shelf, but doesn't stay polished for long. The brushed finish will always look the same. Cookware with a copper finish must be polished and is unnecessarily expensive.