Cookware Buying Guide

There’s more to cooking than recipes, ingredients and the cook’s talent, the quality and type cookware plays a significant part. The success of a dish, including the speed and thoroughness with which it is cooked can depend to a great extent on the choice of cookware. Furthermore, in today’s society, there is an ever increasing choice of cookware on the market which not only gives you an excellent choice, but also allows you to choose according to the design and feel of your kitchen.

With this in mind, below is a concise guide to the strengths and disadvantages of materials used in the pots and pans available in today’s market.

Cast-Iron Cookware

Cast-iron cookware will last you a lifetime, probably remaining in good condition for your next generation too. It is an ideal heat conductor, and the saucepans and casseroles are coated with an enamel primer to seal rims. It can be used both on the hob and in the oven making it extremely versatile. The woks, grills and frying pans facilitate virtually fat-free cooking and are excellent for healthy low fat cooking, something we all need today. Food glides over it. It doesn’t warp and cleaning it is effortless and is dishwasher safe. For the frying pans etc to achieve optimum performance you may have to season it. Cast iron cookware has an excellent, heavy feel to it and with two of the leading brands, Le Creuset and Chasseur you have an range of colours to choose from to suit your kitchen. Whilst viewed as a more traditional product to fit traditional kitchens, a wider range of colours, including pink and kiwi, have recently been released.

Copper Cookware

Copper has been a favoured metal for cookware over the centuries. A remarkable heat conductor, copper utensils perform excellently, distributing heat evenly. They are durable, resisting denting and warping. However, they tend to react with acidic food if the coating is too thin. They may also get scratched or discoloured and it is not recommended that that they used in the dishwasher. But most of all, copper ensures quick cooking, and in comparison to cast-iron they are lighter to handle and are attractive to have hanging in the kitchen.

Stainless Steel

Extremely durable, good looking and easy to maintain, stainless steel cookware is dent and scratch resistant, and is safe to cook any kind of food. It is popular because it has an attractive smooth finish which comes in many styles including mirror finished and is easy to clean (most stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe and many on the Blueshoots website has been approved by Finish) making it a favourite in many households. Although it might lose colour or become prone to pitting resulting from salt or brine exposure, it still holds water due to its non-porous quality. When looking to buy stainless steel cookware look for it to be manufactured with high quality heavy gauge stainless steel and to have hot forged bases with a good thickness between 5.5mm to 6.5mm which provide more even heat distribution. Any heavier and it can make the saucepan and frying pans too heavy. Key players within the stainless steel market are Stellar, Judge Vista and Meyer.


Soft metals such as copper and aluminium are, in some cases, susceptible to tarnishing. To combat this, tri-ply cookware has recently come onto the market, making a significant impact. To put it simply, the whole pan is made with a sandwich of materials, with stainless steel on the inside and outside and either copper or aluminium sandwiched in the middle. This helps increase the durability of soft metals whist retaining their quality as superb heat conductor. In short, Tri-ply cookware heats the pan more quickly and retains the heat longer, so much so that in some instances the performance is so energy efficient that the heat source can be turned off before cooking is completed, making it very economic on the hob. In some instances, they are priced higher because of their superior functionality and appearance. Some of the key brands in this market are Le Creuset, Stellar Lamina and In-range.


Non-stick interior, long lasting durability, ability to evenly spread heat across the base and safe to cook any kind of food, the advantages of hard-anodised cookware are plenty. Twice as strong as stainless steel, hard-anodisation process hardens the cookware structure, making it highly abrasion resistant. It is good looking; often oven safe and many ranges are suitable for induction cookers. Brands include Jamie Oliver, Analon, Stellar and In-range. Hard anodised cookware is one of the fastest growing cookware products today

Each cookware type has its own set of benefits, ranging from heat retention, heat distribution to weight and their look and feel. Ultimately, good quality cookware will cost more than you standard day-to-day cookware, it will enhance the meal you are cooking will be a pleasure to cook with and most likely easier to clean. Furthermore, with the increasing choice of cookware available, you now have a greater choice to buy the type of cookware that not only reflects your needs but also the style of your kitchen and what type of statement you wish to make.

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About The Author, Jonathan Piggins
This article has been provided courtesy of Blue Shoots Ltd, Blue Shoots is an independent, family owned online cook shop provides an excellent selection of high quality cookware and kitchen appliances at affordable prices from a wide range of the leading cookware brands.