If you’re ready to get started on your journey as a home cook, you’ll need to start exploring the different types of cookware available. From the types of pots and pans to the materials used, your choices do matter.
What are the different types of cookware that can help you on your cooking journey? We’ve covered all the most important ones.
The Pots and Pans You Need in Your Kitchen
When exploring the different types of cookware, it’s best to start with the pots and pans that you can buy today. Most people choose sets that include a combination of the items that we’ll list below.
If you simply want to get started right away with reliable cookware that has all the pots and pans you need, you could consider this Cuisinart 12-Piece GreenGourmet Anodized Cookware.
If you want to learn more about individual elements in a set, read on to discover the most common types of pots and pans found in the average kitchen:
- Saucepans – Small with a single handle, saucepans are made for cooking or reheating soups and sauces. You need at least one in your kitchen.
- Sauté Pan – A sauté pan is great for braising, stir-frying, and cooking a range of vegetable and meat dishes.
- Frying Pan – This is the workhorse of the kitchen. A frying pan is like a sauté pan but may be smaller and more rounded up the sides. If you had to choose only one, a frying pan will be more versatile and more commonly used than a large sauté pan.
- Dutch Oven – The modern Dutch oven design is perfect for frying, poaching, blanching, and cooking casseroles and stews. Most Dutch ovens are suited to use on the stovetop and in the oven.
- Stock Pot – This is a large type of pot typically used for cooking soups and stews. The large capacity is ideal for boiling and simmering. Most cookware sets include a large stockpot.
- Grill Pan – Not as common as the others on this list, but a worthy addition if you love to grill meat. A grill pan is often square with grooves on the surface to create sear marks. Cast iron is the best material for a grill pan thanks to superior heat retention. You won’t often find this piece in a cookware set. Consider this standalone Whatever Pan from Jean Patrique.
Beyond the types of pots and pans that you can use in your kitchen; you’ll also need to choose a material that suits your preference and your budget.
The Best Materials for Your Cookware
Now you can answer the question, what are the different types of cookware. You’ll also need to choose a material for your next set. Material influences usability and price.
Nonstick Cookware – Nonstick cookware is made from aluminum and coated with materials like thermoplastic, stone, or ceramic to ensure that food glides across the surface. The coating also prevents the leaching of toxins. Nonstick cookware is great for beginners but won’t last as long as stainless steel because the coating will eventually wear down. For nontoxic and nonstick cooking, you can look at the GreenPan Rio Healthy Nonstick Cookware Set.
Hard-Anodized Aluminum Cookware – This is a special type of nonstick cookware that has been treated with an anodizing process to make it last longer. Improved durability comes at a cost, but many buyers are happy to spend extra for quality. Consider this popular Rachael Ray Cucina Cookware Set for hard-anodized pots and pans that are relatively affordable.
Stainless Steel Cookware – Stainless steel is the premium cookware of choice for home cooks. It costs more than other materials but also lasts longer thanks to its resistance to rust and warping. The best stainless steel cookware uses multi-ply construction with an aluminum core to improve heat consistency. This Cuisinart Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set is perfect for home cooks just getting started.
Cast Iron Cookware – Cast iron can last a lifetime but requires regular seasoning with oil and heat to prevent rust. It has excellent heat retentive properties and is great for grilling and frying. Cast iron is most commonly used for skillets, like this classic Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Set.
Start With Great Cookware for the Best Results
By understanding the different types of cookware and materials you’ll be able to find the perfect set for your needs. Quality cookware will inspire you to begin a lifetime of home cooking that is as rewarding as it is fun.