When it comes to purchasing new cookware, you have two main options – purchase a complete set of cookware or buy individual pots and pans. There are pros and cons to both sides and the option that works best for one person might not be right for another. Before you make any assumptions, take the time to learn the benefits and disadvantages of each side of the issue. In taking the time to truly think about your needs and to evaluate the different options available to you, you can determine which option is the right choice for you.
Pros and Cons of Cookware Sets
If you are starting your first kitchen or replacing old cookware, a cookware set is a great way to go because you can get all the staples at once. The beauty of cookware sets is that there are an endless number to choose from. If you have a preference for a particular material, you can save some money by purchasing your cookware as a set instead of buying individual pieces. Many cookware sets come complete with lids as well so you have everything you need to get started. Another benefit of purchasing a cookware set is that you know all of your pieces will go well together. The downside of purchasing your cookware as a set is that it can be a very significant investment if you buy high-quality materials. Even a single item made from a top-quality material could cost $50 or more, so an entire set of cookware made from that material could cost you several hundred dollars.
Recommended Cookware Sets
- T-Fal Initiatives Nonstick 10-Piece Set – This set is perfect for starting your first kitchen on a budget because it comes with 10 pieces but only costs $50. The material is nonstick aluminum with vented glass lids.
- Rachael Ray 14-Piece Hard Enamel Nonstick Cookware – This set comes with 14 different pieces, including a baking sheet and nylon utensils. This set is made from aluminum for even heat distribution with an attractive two-tone exterior for just under $100.
- Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel 7-Piece Cookware Set – This set is perfect if you are looking to start out with the basics. At just $85 you receive four high-quality stainless steel pieces, each with a fitted stainless steel lid.
Pros and Cons of Individual Pieces
If you are just looking to supplement the cookware you already have, purchasing individual pots and pans might be the better way to go. This is a great idea if you already have a set of cookware you like to use but you need one or two extra pots or pans. You can also save a lot of money by purchasing individual pots and pans over a longer period of time rather than making a large investment all at once. The downside of purchasing individual pieces is that the design you like could go out of production – if you are planning to buy a whole set over time, this could be a problem. There is also the possibility that the cookware you purchase individually might not look good all together – this will only really be an issue, however, if you keep your cookware on display (like in a pot rack).
Recommended Brands for Individual Pieces
- Calphalon – Calphalon is an excellent brand if you want to buy individual pots and pans because there are so many options to choose from. Prices vary, but you can expect to pay between $20 and $50 per piece.
- CuisinArt – If you are looking for individual stainless steel pieces, the Chef’s Classic line from Cuisinart is a great choice. These pieces are made from 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum core for more efficient distribution of heat.
- Farberware – If you want a classic look and high-quality performance, Farberware is a great brand to go with. Choose from a variety of stainless steel pieces priced between $20 and $50.
Which Option is Better?
In the end, it is really just a matter of preference which option you choose. Take the time to think about what you are looking for in terms of your cookware. Do you need a starter set or are you looking to add to an existing collection? Do you need multiple sizes of pots and pans or will a smaller number of items work for you? Think about how much you are willing to spend as well – if you have limited funds you might want to buy a smaller number of high-quality items than spend a small fortune on a large cookware set. Keep in mind, however, that you can find a cookware set for a limited budget – you just might have to make a compromise in terms of the materials and construction.
Whether you buy a cookware set or individual pieces, take your time in making your selection. There are dozens of brands for cookware out there and it can be made from all kinds of materials, so think about what your needs are and then shop accordingly.