Kitchen Cookware

Written by Charles Peacock
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Kitchen cookware could almost be classified as a collectible item--like an adult version of Barbies or baseball cards. If you like to cook, you probably know what it's like to obsess over a certain set of knives or pots or copper frying pans. You want to collect as many of them as possible, and the only thing stopping you is usually cabinet space or a disappointingly small budget.

Why We Love Good Kitchen Cookware

There's something inherently optimistic about good kitchen cookware. It's almost as if the cookware itself promises to make something delicious if you just help it out. Buy some fresh ingredients, grab a good recipe off the Internet, and let those beautiful cast iron pots do the work for you. Ah, if it was only that easy.

While even the best kitchen cookware won't do all the work by itself (at least at the time I'm writing this), it's still important to invest in quality items. Aside from being inspirational (who would dare to fry measly hot dogs in that $300 copper pan?), they can help you turn good recipes into great meals. Cheap, low-quality cookware will seldom allow you to reproduce that outstanding meal you had at the local bistro-even if you're a world-class chef.

Put simply, good quality kitchen cookware makes your job easier. An even-heating pan, for example, can allow you to simmer something without having to worry about "hot spots" where one area is cooking faster than another. And don't even get me started with chef's knives-I go crazy every time I see someone laboring over a piece of garlic because their knife is barely sharp enough to cut butter.

What to Look for in Kitchen Cookware

If you're in the market for high-quality kitchen cookware, the good news is that it's usually easy to find. The bad news is, it's not always as affordable as you'd like it to be. If you like to eat, however, and you want to make an investment in your kitchen, paying a little more for cookware now can save you money and headaches in the long run-not to mention the delicious soufflés you'll be able to wow your friends with.

Typically, good cookware is easy to spot--and I'm not just talking about the heavy price tag. Look for solid construction, heavy, high-quality materials, and a good warranty. Familiar names are also a great way to judge what you're getting; in the cookware industry, companies truly gain their reputation by consistently producing the best products. If a great chef recommends it, it's probably pretty good.

Style is also something you'll want to think about when choosing kitchen cookware. Some people prefer classic designs like cast iron pots and copper frying pans. Others prefer more stylized, modern pieces. Whatever your preference, you'll be happy to learn that great products are available in any style-and choosing a classic look doesn't always mean eschewing the best modern technologies.

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