The Cookware Guide

Whether you’re just getting comfortable in the kitchen or have already mastered more recipes than you can count, behind every great meal is an amazing cookware set. From choosing the best materials for your culinary skill level to selecting the perfect pieces for preparing a full range of courses, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to get cooking.

Tasty tip:

The Top 10

If you’re still not sure which cookware is right for you even after going through our guide, opt for one of our best-selling, 10-piece stainless steel sets that include everything you need to find your culinary footing.

How to Pick the Perfect Cookware Material

  • Nonstick


    These easy-to-use pieces are ideal for eggs and any other cuisine that cooks at cooler temperatures. Since they don’t require as much oil as other types of cookware, they’re also perfect for low-fat dining. Metal utensils will scratch the special coating on these styles, so stick with nylon-coated or wooden spoons and spatulas. Nonstick cookware can go in the dishwasher, but if you want to prolong its life span, it’s best to hand-wash.
  • Stainless Steel

    Stainless Steel

    Both expert and novice chefs love this material for its durable versatility. The sturdy, multi-ply construction of these pieces makes them excellent for both medium and high temperatures. They’re also dishwasher-safe and can be used with any type of utensils.
  • Copper


    The high conductivity of this handsome metal ensures perfect, even cooking for even the most complex and delicate dishes. This energy efficiency means that it’s also effective at lower heat settings than other types of cookware. Because copper is reactive to certain foods, most pieces are lined with another metal like stainless steel and require handwashing with mild detergents and nonabrasive brushes or pads.
  • Cast Iron

    Cast Iron

    Once these hefty heirlooms-in-the-making have been properly treated with oil, they can make everything from cutlets on the stove top to cornbread in the oven. Their extra heavy-duty construction works at low simmering temperatures, high-intensity heat and everything in between. To avoid rust and erosion, cast iron should never be soaked, but rather cleaned with mildly soapy or plain water and then dried immediately.

Tasty Tip:

Eating Green

With all the ease and practicality of typical nonstick styles but made from natural materials, ceramic nonstick cookware is a healthy and eco-friendly addition to any kitchen.

How to select the right cookware styles

Even the simplest dishes usually call for more than one pot or pan, so when stocking your kitchen, start with the essentials you’ll be using meal after meal. Appetizers, mains or dessert, these are the pieces that will help you ace every course.
Get both large and small styles since these multitasking marvels will be doing everything from frying individual fillets to searing big batches of veggies at high temperatures.
Soups, stews or spaghetti… anything that cooks with lots of liquid is best left to these pans with high walls and a flat bottom.
Sauté Pan
The wide, flat cooking surface and tall sides make it a must-have for anything that requires shaking, tossing or stirring.
Stock Pot
Whether or not you’re actually simmering stock (or taking the responsibility for hosting Thanksgiving), this is what you need when there’s a big batch of cooking to be done.
Saucier & Chef Pan
Keep high-maintenance meals like risotto in constant movement with these styles that feature a rounded base and flared sides.
Dutch Oven
Best for one-pot meals, thanks to its deep shape and thick walls that allow for slow cooking at a steady, even heat.