Cookware 101

March 17, 2009  •  Tools

I am frequently asked about what types of cookware to purchase. The reality is there are quality products out there from the reasonably priced to the incredibly expensive. The one rule of thumb I do have is that you should NOT buy nonstick cookware for most cooking. The nonstick surface prevents foods from browning the way we want it to and it’s that caramelization (the “fond”) that adds so much flavor to dishes.

The only exception to this rule is the nonstick saute pan, used mostly for eggs, but occasionally for fish or something else very delicate. No matter what brand of nonstick cookware you purchase, it’s not going to last a lifetime. So my recommendation is to purchase something that feels like a quality product but is cheap, and replace it every year or two as it wears out. As luck would have it, this weekend my oldest was complaining that he didn’t have any cookware at his apartment, so I jumped on the opportunity to donate my slightly used set of 3 pans to him and purchase a new set for myself. This Bialetti set is on $20 at Costco, and is also sold at other retailers.

So if your nonstick pans are flaking, recycle them today and pick up a new set. Just remember to use them for the right application!

Add a Comment