Matching sets of cookware are almost as much a sign of good taste and
a well-equipped home as matching dinnerware or flatware. Cookware sets
can be purchased all at once, as full sets, or in a smaller “starter”
set. They may also be purchased in individual pieces, often given as
Christmas or anniversary gifts.
Just a few of the more common types of cookware are: Dutch ovens, frying
pans, roasting pans and sauce pans. Some slightly more unusual items
include: au gratin dishes, grills, griddles, braisers and stockpots.
Any of these items can be made out of materials such as stainless steel,
aluminum or iron and may be lined with special non-stick linings or
with copper. Some brands are made of a heavy cast aluminum core with
stainless steel on the outside. Most items lined with non-stick materials
are sold with advice about not using harsh chemicals or dishwashers
to clean them. Some gourmet cooks believe that non-stick surfaces on
cookware are better for cooking, except perhaps for frying eggs or making
Reviews of various brands of cookware are easily found online. Many
of the reviews are for one type of utensil, such as a frying pan. There
are simply too many cookware items to review a whole brand and some
brands do better with one item than another. A fussy cook may insist
on one particular brand for a sauce pan and another for a griddle. The
Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, after so many years, is still a
guideline for many people as to the quality of a line of cookware although
there is also The Association of Cookware and Bakeware which offers
standards and guidelines for selecting brands and products to meet any
A high-end “beginner” set of cookware may cost as much
as $600 for a ten piece set. If you are buying bargain cookware or an
unknown brand it is wise to do a little research on standards and safety.
For instance, if something is made of pottery or ceramic it is important
to be sure that there is no lead in it. It is unwise to store foods
high in acid in aluminum cookware. The Food and Drug Administration
cautions against using unlined copper for cooking.
There are so many choices in cookware that it can be confusing but
a little research will help you make a good choice for your health and