Best Cookware & Fryware Products
Suitable for all cooktops
Non-stick function works well
Handle stays cool
Can’t use spray oils on this product
- Build Quality4.7 (14)
- Value for Money4.9 (14)
- Ease of Use4.8 (14)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.8 (14)
- Hot Handles While Cooking Yes (0) · No (15)
- Even Heat DistributionYes (15) · No (0)
- Non-Stick Quality 4.4 (7)
No peeling shells
Easy and quick to use
Great value for money
Handles can be hot after use in microwave
- Build Quality4.3 (47)
- Value for Money4.2 (49)
- Ease of Use4.3 (50)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 4.4 (49)
- Hot Handles While Cooking Yes (9) · No (36)
- Even Heat DistributionYes (45) · No (4)
- Non-Stick Quality 4.6 (15)
Half the weight of cast iron pots
Handles don’t get too hot
Suitable for induction cooktops
Must be seasoned before use
Medium price range
Concave base that doesn’t always transfer heat well
- Build Quality4.3 (46)
- Value for Money3.9 (46)
- Ease of Use3.8 (46)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 3.8 (46)
- Hot Handles While Cooking Yes (7) · No (37)
- Even Heat DistributionYes (36) · No (5)
- Non-Stick Quality 4.2 (32)
- Main Body MaterialCarbon Steel
- Country of ManufactureAustralia
- Induction Compatible Yes
Distributes heat evenly
Easy to clean
Non-stick tends to stop working after 6 months
- Build Quality2.0 (2)
- Value for Money1.0 (2)
- Ease of Use1.0 (1)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 1.5 (2)
- Hot Handles While Cooking Yes (0) · No (2)
- Even Heat DistributionYes (0) · No (2)
Dishwasher and oven safe
Good customer service
Doesn’t transfer heat well
- Build Quality2.8 (13)
- Value for Money2.8 (13)
- Ease of Use3.3 (12)
- Cleaning & Maintenance 3.3 (12)
- Hot Handles While Cooking Yes (1) · No (10)
- Even Heat DistributionYes (7) · No (4)
- Non-Stick Quality 2.2 (5)
Cookware sets - are they worth it?
New to cooking and need to know what to buy? Or are you an experienced cook looking for an upgrade? Don't fret, this buying guide lays down the law to find the best saucepans and cookware for you.
Cookware sets are sold by all brands as a way of introducing newbies to the wonders of home cooking and as a great gift to give to foodies and newlyweds. They are advertised as an affordable and hassle-free alternative to buying individual pieces of cookware. But are they? And will you need every item on their list?
For the most part, no. You won't need whiskey stones and 3 types of baking pots. You also can't get an essential non-stick pan in a stainless steel 10-piece set. While sets can be a cheaper alternative to buying personalised pieces, it may be more beneficial, should you want to take your cooking seriously, to tailor your cookware pieces to your needs. It'll also save you precious cabinet space.
What cookware do I actually need?
The basic essentials for a very new cook would include these three items:
|Cost||What it can be used for|
|A non-stick 26-28cm frying pan with lid||$30 to $300||Shallow frying, crumbed foods, sautéing, fried eggs, omelettes, pancakes.|
|A large saucepan or stock pot with a lid (18-20cm)||$20 to $320||Boiling pasta, rice, steaming vegetables, making large quantities of soup, stock, or stews.|
|A small saucepan (14-16cm)||$10 to $180||Reheat soup, make risotto, oatmeal, boil eggs, heat up pasta sauce, melt butter, chocolate, custard, heat milk.|
Those who require more flexibility with their cooking and who cook more often may find it useful to purchase a:
- Cast-Iron skillet: for searing, sautéing, baking and roasting.
- Cast-Iron grill pan: grilling meats, vegetables, seafoods and fruit.
- Enameled Dutch oven: searing meat at high heat for a long time.
- Wok: stir frying, steaming, pan frying, deep frying, boiling, braising and roasting.
While there are many more cookware and fryware products on the market, these will cover your basic needs and are very versatile tools to have equipped in the kitchen.
Which is better, a deep fryer or air fryer?
When it comes to fryware, one of the main pulls of the air fryer is the fact that it can fry your food with minimal oil or absolutely no oil at all! A magical instrument, right? So what's the catch? Although they can produce food with a nice, crispy exterior, they can't compare to deep fryers in terms of their full flavour and consistency. If you're in it for the taste, stick to the deep fryer. If you're in it for health conscious reasons, then an air fryer could be the holy grail for you.
What's the best cookware material?
Each material conducts heat differently and will give a slightly different finish to your food. For those with an induction cooktop, which uses electromagnetic energy instead of direct heat, it's important to make sure the cookware you buy is with it.
Often the cheapest, these pots and pans are lightweight and conduct heat extremely well. They don't rust and are easy to maintain. However, they are not suitable for most induction cooktops, they can leach into food and anodized aluminium pans tend to be more expensive than those with other non-stick coatings.
Slow to heat up and cool down, these pans may not heat evenly all over, however they are very durable and resistant to denting. They will rust unless a manual polymerised oil coat is added often to prevent this or you can buy one with an enamel coat (these can get very expensive). They are very versatile and can be used on stovetops as well as in ovens and grills.
Affordable, non-corrosive, non-reactive, durable and dishwasher-friendly. Steel, however, is a bad heat conductor and therefore, these pans usually have aluminium or copper added to the base and can have "hot spots" which stop the food from cooking as evenly.
A mix of cast iron and stainless steel, they also need to be seasoned with an oil to protect the material. They tend to be cheaper than stainless steel, but more expensive than cast iron. They can withstand high temperatures and are excellent heat conductors but are not dishwasher safe.
Ceramic: Usually nonstick and considered to be safe and eco-friendly, however, they are usually not as long lasting as PTFE. Very high heats can affect the nonstick elements of these dishes which can break more easily than other materials. They can be high maintenance as you must wash off all oil residue after use which can affect the nonstick properties of the material.
Clay and Stoneware: Durable and old-school, these are mainly for oven use - they are dishwasher and freezer safe. They hold heat well and heat evenly. They are prone to cracking so take care to never put them on a cold surface while hot.
Copper: Not only do they look aesthetic beyond belief, they are the best conductors of heat, allowing your food to cook quickly and evenly - one reason for the hefty cost. However, because it's a reactive material, it is often lined with steel or tin to prevent it from mixing with your food. The drawbacks are that it's not suitable for extremely high heats and is prone to denting and rusting, they may also not work on induction burners.
PTFE Cookware: Otherwise known as Teflon and made famous by , it is a non-stick coating which prevents food from sticking to it and also conducts heat well. The drawback is that when overheated, they release harmful gasses - but only over temperatures at 260 ºC. It's best to avoid using them in ovens, but they are generally safe for stove use. There have been environmental and health concerns facing these pans as some use PFOA which may be dangerous.
Is expensive cookware worth it?
You've probably noticed that the price range for many pots and pans normally start as low as $10 but the zeros quickly stack up with each fancy material or function, but what exactly are these and are they worth paying for?
Those zeros are largely tied to durability. Since many pans are advertised to last you a lifetime, they cost a hefty price which will ultimately be saving you money in the long-run.
Another premium feature is reactivity - you don't want your food changing flavour based on the pots you use so this drives up the price of non-reactive materials such as ceramics and stainless steel.
Finally, we need to look at heat conductivity: it's important that your food is cooked evenly and the pan reacts quickly to the differences in temperatures - therefore copper is a valuable material.
At the end of the day, it's up to you how much you want to invest in high-quality cooking gear - if you only wander into the kitchen to make mac and cheese once a week, it's probably not going to matter to you how heat-sensitive your tools are. However, if you're keen to host dinner parties every weekend and impress everyone with your top-tier stews, it's going to matter a lot which tools you use to make them.
Everything you need to look for before buying cookware
Build Quality: Investing in a long-lasting pan is a good idea to get more bang for your buck rather than shelling out on cheaper pans which you'll need to throw out every couple of months. Check reviews to see how the product fared with others.
Value for Money: Similar to the previous point, you should only be paying a premium for premium features, not for marketing ploys. Read what others say about the product and its value for money.
Ease of Use: A cookware item needs to be usable above all else, keep in mind that if the pot is heavy before using, it's going to be even heavier when you're cooking and need to transport your food from the stove to the sink. Useful features like a shaped lip or spout will make pouring an easier task.
Cleaning & Maintenance: Many dishes can be difficult to clean or maintain in a good condition. Copper, in particular, tends to rust and needs polishing. Non-stick pans cannot be used with metal applicators and need to be cleaned gently.
Hot Handles While Cooking: Pots with metal handles will conduct heat and be hot to touch - if this is an issue, invest in a moulded, comfortable handle to counteract this and provide extra support for when you are lifting heavy foods.
Even Heat Distribution: How responsive is the material you've decided to use? A heavy base often helps with heat distribution and aluminium and copper are the best for this.
Non-Stick Quality: Many people find this feature to be essential, especially if they often cook eggs or other messy foods which may ruin a pan that doesn't have a non-stick feature.
Cooktop compatibility: Most materials will conduct well with gas and electric stoves, but not all align with induction cooktops which use a metal base. Similarly, check that the size of your saucepan matches the space on your cooktop.
Check out what our reviewers have to say about the best cookware products on the market today!