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Cookware - So Many Choices, So Little Time

Jul 23, 2008
She told me that people keep asking what kind of cookware she'd like as gifts and her reply has been "I have no idea" because she didn't even realize there ARE different kinds on the market. She thinks a pan is a pan is a pan. She looked mildly panicked as I told her there are saucepans, skillets, dutch ovens, sauciers, casserole dishes, griddles, grill pans, non-stick, cast iron, aluminum, anodized, and so forth.

I think one problem is the emphasis on having an entire "set" of cookware that contains every conceivable type of cooking vessel and of course every piece has to match in color. I personally think that is ridiculous although it took me a few years of kitchen experience to realize that. I have not bought an entire set in years because I buy open stock pieces as I see one I like or need to replace an old one with. I own non-stick, cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum and ceramic.

If anyone else is facing the same situation as my friend, I would suggest this: Don't list any type of cookware in your gift registry. Listing small appliances such as a coffee maker or toaster or toaster oven will give you more useful gifts. If you need pots and pans, take an experienced friend along and go shopping. Pick up a few saucepans in various sizes and brands. Get some non-stick and some not. Get some skillets in different sizes and brands; I would recommend non-stick for skillets.

After you've used all these pieces for a while, you'll realize that you like some a lot for different reasons. That gives you a clue as to what brand and what style cookware would work best for you. If you can afford it, then you can get more varied pieces of that particular brand and you'll feel better knowing something about it already. Some brands may have handles that feel more comfortable in your hand. Some may be easier to clean than others although any non-stick pan is quite simple to clean.

Be careful with cast iron cookware. A large pan or skillet is heavy enough when it's empty and when filled with food can be unbelievably heavy so you need to be aware of that and be realistic. Don't rely on always having someone around to help lift it!

Most of all, have fun furnishing your kitchen and ask for help if necessary. No one will make fun of you for not knowing something.
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing Expert & Author of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and reviews visit Jetfly Food & Good Times Blog now. Also, for the Best up-to-date related Online Products, check out Jetfly Cookware Shop for Todays Current Online Deals.
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