"Cookware manufacturers try to sell you sets of pots of pans in all different sizes. But you really only need a few basics. Here's a guide to the pots and pans you will actually use."
Skip the Big Cookware Sets and Pick Up a Few Good Pieces
Cookware manufacturers try to sell you sets of pots of pans in all different sizes. But you really only need a few basics, a frying pan or two, a saucepan or soup pot, and a bigger stock pot or pasta pot. Here's a guide to the pots and pans you will actually use.
1) Look for thick heavy-gauge pans that will hold heat even if you throw in a couple of cold steaks.
2) Look for pans that heat evenly with minimal hotspots.
2) You want something that will last without warping, denting, or pitting when you cook with acids or salts.
3) You don't want a handle that can melt if you stick the pan on the grill or in the oven.
4) Easy to clean.
5) Rust resistant.
Stainless steel is a good all-around choice because it's durable, easy to maintain, and not too expensive. For better heat conduction, look for clad pans, which have a stainless steel exterior sandwiched around inner layers of either copper or aluminum, both of which conduct heat faster than steel.