Whether you're a world-class chef or someone who could burn water, finding the right kitchenware can be tough. For a beginner, a few pots and skillets may be sufficient, while more experienced cooks might be on the hunt for ramekins, a pressure cooker or the ultimate paella pan. As you look into cookware and bakeware, reflect on how you spend your time in the kitchen and what tools will enhance your culinary experience!
Consider the best cookware and bakeware materials.
Before you purchase any kitchenware, be sure to do your research on what materials work best for your needs and budget. Glass baking dishes are common and fairly inexpensive, while metal bakeware conduct heat well and are often used for broiling. Ceramic dishes are great because when they're glazed, they provide a non-stick surface. Stoneware and stainless steel might be more expensive, but they're both really durable and ensure even heating. In the end, all materials are safe to use (otherwise they wouldn't be on the market), so consider your needs and what you can afford above all.
Invest in a pots and pans set.
For those just starting out, it's best to splurge on a multiple-piece set instead of buying each item individually. Cookware sets usually come with eight to 14 pieces, and often include several saucepans and lids, a saute pan, a stockpot and one or two omelette or frying pans. It's the easiest, most inexpensive way to stock a new kitchen, and because they are all the same brand, color and design, it ensures that your supplies look put together instead of disjointed. Be sure to get a baking dish set as well to ensure that you have multiple sizes.
Think about what cookware and bakeware you'll actually use.
Once you have the basics out of the way, it's time to consider what specialty cooking and baking items you need. The options are endless, so think about what you usually enjoy making and eating, and accommodate those favorite dishes. Cast iron dutch ovens and crockpots are great for slow cooking, while skillets and woks are used for sautéing food. Cookie sheets, pie pans and ramekins work well for baking pies and cupcakes, and many cooks enjoy having a roasting pan, griddle and several casserole dishes.