How to Choose Cookware and Bakeware

It will always be a matter of argument as to what is necessary and what is not necessary in a kitchen. You could probably get away with not buying some of the equipment we have listed here as being essential. But these are all useful, multipurpose, labour-saving devices that do not cost a fortune.

Cookware

Cookware includes all of your saucepans and frying pans, as well as oven dishes. If you are going to spend money on cookware, then really you need to buy the best that you can afford. The heavier the better, you want smooth bases and tight-fitting lids because this will mean that food will cook more evenly and more quickly than when using the cheaper cookware. You want tough and durable handles and, ideally, all your cookware should be capable of being put into the oven. This means it is even more multipurpose.

 How to Choose Cookware and Bakeware

Saucepans

A basic saucepan set should ideally consist of a small, medium and large saucepan, plus a lidless saucepan that you can use to make gravies and soups. A medium-sized pan is great for vegetables and rice and a small pan for heating up milk and boiling eggs. Your saucepans should last you for years. Try to go for nonstick coatings. Start off with a small collection of these four pans and add over time. Stainless steel handles are ideal because they are more durable and you can put them into the oven. Also try to find yourself a large casserole for soups, cooking pasta and making stews.

Frying Pans

A great multipurpose frying pan that can be used for sauteing, stir-fries, pancakes and omelettes is a standard medium size. Opt for a frying pan that has a lid as this will enable you to stop food from bubbling or spitting over your oven top and it speeds up the cooking time too.

Bakeware

You are going to want to be able to make cakes, roast things and bake pies and biscuits. So this means you will need a range of ovenproof tins and trays. You will get an enormous amount of use out of them. Once again, try to go for the best ones you can afford because the thinner, cheaper versions will tend to warp in the heat of the oven. If you can get tins with hardened nonstick surfaces, then these will be invaluable and should last for years. They are also much easier to clean.

Tins and Trays

You will need to buy yourself a large roasting tin. If you can get one with a lid, then all the better. You will be able to use this to cook joints of meat and poultry. You could also use it to bake vegetables and to poach fish. A large baking tray is also essential if you want to make biscuits, cook fish or oven-roast chips or fries. If you are intending to make your own bread, then a large baking tray would do, but you might want to have a loaf tin. Always make sure that your roasting tin in particular is not too wide for your oven. Check, too, that you can move the shelves to accommodate it once it has meat or poultry inside.


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