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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.

MaterialProsConsWho is it good for?The goodThe Bad
Stainless SteelOven/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 processReaching high temperature, quicker cooking methods, durableConducting heat on it’s own. Cleanup
AluminumValue and comfortable handlesNon-stick coating wares over timeAffordable, lightweight.Quick and even heat distributionHolding high temp. Not compatible with induction stoves
CopperAesthetic. Color deepens over time Handle and lid get hot when cookingAdvanced cooksHeating quickly, responding to temperature and nonstick?Care and learning curve. Not compatible with induction stoves
Cast IronGet’s hot. Retains heat wellRequires seasoning. HeavyCooking meat/chicken. Searing. CampingReaches high temperatuve. Low and slow cooking. durable. AffordableHeavy and can rust if not seasoned correctly
Enamel Cast IronGet’s hot. Easier to clean then cast ironHeavyAll the good of a cast-iron without the work. The enamel coating also creates non-stick propertiesHigh quality and versatile cookware. Reaches high temp and holds it. Stove to ovenHeavy, expensive. Like cast iron it shouldn’t be dishwashed
Carbon Steellightweight. heats fastRust if not cared forLighter version of a cast iron and easier to clean. Holding high temperatures.Get’s hot quick and can burn food if not careful
Non-stickOffer great release and durableCan’t be used with induction. Chemicals in coating. Coating goes away over timeBeginner friendly with minimal scrubbingNon-stick (no duh sherlock) and easy to cleanDoesn’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

Price: $600

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

Price: $500

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

Price: $120

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

Price: $70

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.

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