COOKWARE BUYING GUIDE
Looking for help? Start here.
Being particular about your cookware is just one of the perks that comes with being a great home chef. But between pan shapes, sizes, and materials, the options can feel limitless. To make it easy, we've done a bit of the heavy lifting below.
Learn which pans are best for different cooking methods and why
Also known as a skillet, the frying pan is designed with a flat bottom and low, sloped sides for air circulation and easy food flipping. It is best for fast cooking methods like frying, searing, and browning.
Also known as a 'saucier' or 'saucepot' (two helper handles instead of a long handle), the saucepan is designed with tall sides for capacity and a heavy bottom and flat base so liquids do not burn. It is best for simmering, boiling, and poaching using liquids.
Also known as a sauteuse (technically has sloped sides and the sauté has straight sides), the sauté pan is designed with flat, wide bottom and high sides to contain food while sautéing. It's best for fast cooking methods such as shaking, tossing, and stirring.
Also known as a 'cocotte' or 'French oven', the dutch oven is designed with a heavy base with high sides which keeps food from burning and allows liquid to circulate. It is best for slow cooking foods such as stews, braises, roasts, and casseroles.
The braiser is designed with low-sides, a wide, flat surface, and a heavy, domed lid to accommodate larger roasts. It is best used for braising, slow cooking, pan roasting foods.
The roasting pan is designed with larger, low sides to allow the oven heat to reach as much of the food as possible. It is best for slow oven cooking and roasting large pieces of meat.
The grill pan is designed with large, low sides, grated surface that separates grease from food and allows for air circulation. It is best for high-temperature cooking methods such as grilling and searing.
The griddle is designed to be large and rectangular with minimal sides to allow for easy food flipping and large quantities. It is best for fast cooking certain foods like pancakes, bacon, steaks, eggs.
Wok or Stir Fry Pan
The wok, also know as the stir fry pan is designed with a rounded bottom and high sloping sides. It is best for stir-frying – rapidly tossing and stirring small pieces of food over high heat.
The stockpot is designed to minimize evaporation with its tall sides and flat base. It is best for simmering soups and stocks, as well as boiling large shellfish, pasta & more
Learn which materials make for the best cooking surfaces and why
- Requires little to no oil – great for healthy cooking
- Quick release, easy clean-up, some pieces dishwasher-safe
- The nonstick finish can be over aluminum or hard anodized over aluminum, or ceramic (enameled) which is ideal for slow, even cooking
- Used for a variety of cooking tasks
- Non-reactive, durable, dishwasher-safe
- Steel is more of a protective cladding material and is usually constructed with aluminum or copper for heat conductivity
- Excellent temperature control – heats rapidly and evenly and cools down quickly
- Aesthetically pleasing – can also use as serving piece
- Most copper pans are paired with another material such as stainless steel – copper on the outside, steel on the inside – to ensure
- Copper can also exist as an inside layer within a stainless steel or nonstick pan
- Can be used on stovetop, oven or grill
- Ideal for slow, low temperature cooking
- Exceptionally durable; heavy weight
- Heats slowly and evenly, retains heat well
- Excels at high-heat tasks like searing, sautéing, browning and frying
COOKWARE COLLECTION COMPARISON
Learn which Anolon cookware collection is right for you
How do these sets stack up? Have a look here.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
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