As I look forward to **fingers-crossed** moving out of my apartment I’ve lived in with my room-mates since I was 23 into what I’m calling my “30’s apartment” I’ve been slowly taking inventory of what I have vs what I need and WOW is this going to be expensive.
I was raised, as my mom would put it as a “Mala Probre” (for non-spanish speakers – bad poor person) and by that I mean I was raised on the idea of buying (usually expensive) quality that would last FOREVER. I swear my mom’s cookware is all from before I was born. I 1000% agree with this concept in theory but when you are moving and are starting from scratch with alot of things, idea of buying expensive just isn’t feasible so let’s see if we can find some dupes!
Though I would love some fun colored cookware (looking at you Always Pan), with this idea of a “timeless” aesthetic I have opted for more of a black/gold cookware which will stand the test of time and hopefully won’t get too scratched up after multiple washes and inevitably burned chicken. Before diving into cookware, let’s do a quick lesson on the different type of materials.
|Material||Pros||Cons||Who is it good for?||The good||The Bad|
|Stainless Steel||Oven/Grill save up to 1050F and Cleans easily||$$$$$||People who cook with high heat, aren’t afraid of oil and don’t mind the annoying cleaning/preservice process||Reaching high temperature, quicker cooking methods, durable||Conducting heat on it’s own. Cleanup|
|Aluminum||Value and comfortable handles||Non-stick coating wares over time||Affordable, lightweight.||Quick and even heat distribution||Holding high temp. Not compatible with induction stoves|
|Copper||Aesthetic. Color deepens over time||Handle and lid get hot when cooking||Advanced cooks||Heating quickly, responding to temperature and nonstick?||Care and learning curve. Not compatible with induction stoves|
|Cast Iron||Get’s hot. Retains heat well||Requires seasoning. Heavy||Cooking meat/chicken. Searing. Camping||Reaches high temperatuve. Low and slow cooking. durable. Affordable||Heavy and can rust if not seasoned correctly|
|Enamel Cast Iron||Get’s hot. Easier to clean then cast iron||Heavy||All the good of a cast-iron without the work. The enamel coating also creates non-stick properties||High quality and versatile cookware. Reaches high temp and holds it. Stove to oven||Heavy, expensive. Like cast iron it shouldn’t be dishwashed|
|Carbon Steel||lightweight. heats fast||Rust if not cared for||Lighter version of a cast iron and easier to clean.||Holding high temperatures.||Get’s hot quick and can burn food if not careful|
|Non-stick||Offer great release and durable||Can’t be used with induction. Chemicals in coating. Coating goes away over time||Beginner friendly with minimal scrubbing||Non-stick (no duh sherlock) and easy to clean||Doesn’t work great in high temperatures. Doesn’t last long.|
With all this research complete, budget allowed I’d probably go with a classic Staub or Le Crueset Enamel Cast Iron but we will see what the purchase is. In the mean time. I put together a list of Ultra-high, high, medium and low price options to consider.
Caraway Non-Stick Pan
Material: Non-stick Ceramic
Overall I do find this set of pans absolutely beautiful but I am unsure about the durability and “timeless” aspect of it.
Staub Stackable 4-in-1 Set
Material: Enamel Cast Iron
We all know this would be my winner. There is a timelessness (description perfectly describes it as made to pass down from for generations) and I absolutely love that it has the ability to stack on top of each other for space saving. Though this is less “pieces” then all the other sets, I truly think with this, then going lower budget on a smaller pot and non-stick pan from a discount store I can cover most of my cooking needs.
Blue Diamond 10pc Set
Material: Non-stick Ceramic
This is the definition of a utilitarian cookware set. The gold adds a little fun but looks like the pots and pan you see sold everywhere. Overall for the price it looks like a great set to get everything you need.
Paris Hilton Non-Stick Pot and Pan Set
Material: Aluminum and stainless steel
Over 400 reviews with 4.5 stars for $70 (Amazon Prime), I don’t think it can get better then this. This Paris Hilton set looks like an incredible dupe for the Caraway for a fraction of the price. Though I would LOVE the cast-iron, I’m realistically thinking this can be a great starter piece to meet more of an immediate need.