Cookware buying guide
There are many different types of cookware to choose from and we understand that it helps to have a bit of background information before you commit to a purchase. We have put together this buyers guide to give you the benefit of our experience in buying the best cookware for you.
Is the cookware you need suitable for your hob or cooker?
Not all cookware will perform to the same level, depending on the type of hob or cooker you are using at home. We recommend you always check your hob’s manufacturer’s instructions.
Gas hobs and ceramic hobs can safely take all types of pots and saucepans. If you own an Induction hob, you should always use cookware such as cast iron, or any other magnetisable metal. Please note that copper or aluminium saucepans are not compatible with induction hobs and would not work at all.
Halogen hobs or solid fuel cookers (such as Aga) can generate intense heat, therefore we recommend you use thick based cookware.
What type of cookware?
Stainless Steel: extremely popular due to its durability and timeless style, its hard polished surface will not peel, chip or break and does not react with food. Most Stainless steel products are suitable for all heat sources including induction. All our stainless steel pans are 18/10 which is the highest grade available. Most ranges will include a selection of non-stick items such as milk pans or fry pans. Most Stainless steel saucepans are dishwasher safe.
Stainless steel cookware brands currently available online: Stellar, Meyer, Prestige, Tefal, Jamie Oliver
Hard Anodised pan’s are very durable and were originally developed for use in restaurants. An aluminium core means the pans deliver superior heat distribution. A non-stick coating is normally applied to such cookware allowing easy cooking and cleaning. Most hard anodised pans will last for several years if used with the correct utensils. Hard Anodised Cookware is not suitable for induction hobs.
Hard anodised cookware currently available online: Circulon, Meyer Anolon, Jamie Oliver
Cast iron is renowned for excellent heat distribution and retention properties, because it absorbs heat steadily and spreads it evenly.
Slower to heat up than steel or aluminium, once cast iron reaches temperature it retains heat well, requiring low to medium heat which makes it ideal for slow, steady cooking. Cast Iron pans are hard wearing, dishwasher safe and come in a range of colours. Suitable for use on all types of hobs including induction.
Cast Iron Cookware currently available to purchase online: Le Creuset
Aluminium is most common in fry pans as it is an excellent conductor of heat. A strong outer coating of enamel and non-stick interior make the pans easy to clean. A good quality non-stick surface will last provided you use the correct utensils and do not over heat the pan. Suitable for most types of hob including induction.
Caring for your Cookware
- Do not heat an empty pan or allow a pan to boil dry. Either will cause permanent damage to the pan
- Match the pan base to the heat zone to maximise efficiency and prevent overheating of pan sides or damage to the handle.
- After use always cool a pan for a few minutes before washing in hot soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly before storing.
- Do not fill a hot pan with cold water or plunge into cold water as this may cause the base to warp and damage non-stick linings.
- Do not use metal utensils, metallic pads or abrasives when using or cleaning enamelled cast iron or non-stick saucepans.
- Always soak your pan in warm soapy water to remove stubborn food stains and residue.
- Avoid using high heats for prolonged periods of time as medium to low heats will provide the best results for the majority of cooking. Allow the pan to heat gradually and thoroughly as this will give the most even and effective cooking results.
- Electric hand held mixers or beaters should not be used in any cookware. Permanent damage to all surfaces will be caused.