Pots and Pans Buying Guide

Dark grey kitchen

Materials

Different materials will offer different benefits, so take time to decide what material will best suit your needs. It’s important to choose the right materials, not only will your cooking improve but you’ll find rustling up dishes easier and more pleasurable.

Copper

  • An excellent heat conductor and extremely quick to heat
  • Fantastic heat distribution properties which aid cooking as there are no hot spots
  • Whilst it is an excellent choice, copper tends to be more expensive than aluminium and stainless steel and requires a certain amount of care
  • We recommend you invest in a high quality copper cleaner to keep copper cookware at its best

Aluminium

  • Fantastically lightweight, perfect if you struggle to manoeuvre heavier pans
  • Economical to buy and excellent heat conductor
  • Easy to clean and resistant to chips, cracks, scratches and peeling
  • Whilst not as durable as copper or stainless steel, many aluminium pans have an enamel coating on the outside and non-stick coating on the inside

Stainless Steel

  • Ideal for use on induction hobs
  • Higher quality stainless steel will be listed as 18/10 which means it contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel
  • Hard surface that’s resistant to chips, cracks, scratches and peeling
  • Although durable and easy to care for, it does not conduct heat as well as other materials and is sometimes bonded with other metals at the base
  • Make sure to thoroughly check each item's product page for the type of hob each pan can be used on; if a stainless steel pan has a copper base it will not be suitable to use with induction hobs

Cast Iron

  • Requires seasoning when new
  • Rub oil into the pan and cook in the oven at a low heat for an hour
  • Wipe out any excess oil and your seasoned pan is ready to be used
  • Non-abraded surface does not have a non-stick coating, once season food slides right out of the pan and can be hand washed easily
  • Can be used with any heat source
Stainless steel cookware
Alessi

Types of Cookware

When it comes to choosing what pots & pans you need think about what you’ll be using them for. Whether you’re a rookie chef or savvy professional, there’s pans to suit your needs.

Saucepan

A deep pan with a flat base and lid. A staple for any kitchen, it arrives in a range of sizes and is suitable for cooking liquids, rice, pasta or other food in high volume.

Frying Pan

Large, flat-bottomed with low sides. The shape has been designed to encourage air circulation and ensure that flipping or turning food is easy. Best for frying, searing or browning.

Saute Pan

A close relative to the humble frying pan, this pan has higher sides and is more suitable for holding liquid. Ideal for sweating vegetables and cooking food that needs to be stirred & turned.

copper pots and pans
Ruffoni

Grill Pan

Also similar to a frying pan, this pan has a series of parallel ridges that grills food and where meat juices accumulate and blacken. These ridges are what provide real flavour. Perfect for grilling meat, vegetables or fish.

Tagine

These tall and conical vessels are certainly eye-catching. Similar to cooking with a dutch oven or slow cooker, as the food cooks steam rises into the cone, condenses and then trickles back into the dish. Perfect for stews or even cooking rice, couscous and pasta.

Woks

Broad with sloping sides that allow food to be tossed and stirred with ease (without spilling all over your hob) woks are ideal for quick frying.

Stock Pots & Casserole Dishes

Arriving in a variety of sizes, stock pots tend to be tall and wide. They’re perfect for gentle simmering soups, stocks & stews.