CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE BUYING COOKWARE©

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Just because new cookware LOOKS good,
doesn’t mean it IS good.

A proven recipe made with first-rate ingredients can fail
— if cooked in an inferior pan.

It’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of cookware fabrications as well as the value of essential production techniques that convey the inherent complexity of quality mass-production.  Discover potential uses for a variety of pot sizes and shapes, then buy what YOU need.

Plan what you can spend before going to a retail store. Use the Internet to view what your local retail stores carry by brand and fabrication.  

This will prepare you for similar products with inexplicable price differences, multiple brands of duplicate wares each extolling superiority, inadequate labeling, misinformation from untrained salespersons and brand-biased advertising.

Do higher prices guarantee good cookware quality?
No.  Higher prices may be attributable to:
Country of origin.
Availability and cost of raw materials.
Skilled labor vs. non-skilled labor.

Design costs.
Excessive mark-ups.
Promotional costs.

Mass-produced cookware of any material requires technical craftsmanship resulting in a broad range of quality and price depending upon the variables we’ve discussed in previous posts.ridged cast iron fry pan

e.g. Iron is plentiful and inexpensive.
Casting methods for iron do not require capital intensive technology making cast-iron cookware affordable as well as excellent for cooking many foods.

Choose easy to wash materials that are good conductors of heat so foods cook uniformly. Innovations in alloys and finishes of materials do not alter the cooking principles of the materials listed. Your answers to the following questions should guide your cookware  purchases.

What foods do YOU like to cook?
Specific pots for specific dishes exist in every national cuisine.  If couscous is a favorite food, by all means, invest in a couscousiere.  

Of course you need basic sauce pans, sauté pans, casseroles and a stock pot. Base the sizes upon your cooking needs, dinner for two, eight or more?   

In addition to the basics, there are griddles, terrines, tagines, soufflé dishes, marmites, gratin pans and pans for paella, et cetera.  Classifications seem endless.

Do you like to serve oven-to-table foods?
Heavy porcelain or enameled cast-iron oven-to-table casseroles are a well-used and well-loved investment.

Have you assessed your storage space?
Cooking inserts for stock pots turn them into perfect pots for cooking corn on the cob and pasta and they save space.

How important is ‘ease’ of maintenance to you?
If you don’t want to polish copper, pans of sandwiched layers of aluminum lined with stainless steel  are excellent and require little care.

INFORMATION IS POWER.

After we were made aware of the benefits of organic food,

U.S. sales of organic food were $ 1 billion in 1990 and $34 billion in 2014.  Consumers will become architects of change when they are able to judge the quality of cookware themselves. 

I have no commercial ties and neither promote nor negate brand names.

 

Pat Breen: EYEWITNESS TO QUALITY

MY NEXT POST: HOW TO JUDGE THE QUALITY OF COOKWARE