Americans will continue to spend more evenings cooking at home. While the restaurant industry had hoped to see patrons return in droves after the pandemic, one survey found that 7 in 10 Americans plan to continue cooking in rather than eating out. Inflation and rising prices will only help to encourage Americans to be more frugal with limited food budgets.
But we’re particular about what we eat, even if we’re preparing it ourselves. And for the home chef, that means using the top cookware brands to produce restaurant-quality meals.
So to up your home-cooking game, let’s look at where to buy cookware and how to ensure you’re getting the best quality tools for every mealtime.
How to Determine the Top Cookware Brands
When you’re looking at a cookware set, a new chef’s knife, or any other addition to your kitchen, the first thing you might ask is how can you determine the quality of your options. Whether you’re looking at stainless steel versus ceramic, cast-iron cookware versus some fancy new alloy, they all tend to boast the same back-of-the-box features.
Now the only sure way to know how well a piece of cookware performs is to spend some hands-on time with it. But for most people, that’s simply not feasible. Spending thousands on knives just to find a handful of good ones isn’t viable for the average home cook.
That’s why cooking Test Kitchens are an excellent resource. These are teams that specialize in putting cookware through its paces to see how well it lives up to the manufacturer’s promises. If you have to option, looking up a piece of kitchenware on one of these resources is a quick and easy way to see if it’s worth the investment.
Some of the Best Cookware Options for Cooking at Home
While it’s always good for you to do your own research, or at least defer to one of those Test Kitchens we mentioned, we’ve cherry-picked a few strong brands to get you started.
Made In is a good brand for the frugal shopper to start with.
Family-owned with a respectable history in the business, they’ve built a loyal following over the years. Their equipment offers comparable quality to high-end brands like All-Clad for a fraction of the price. You can even find their cookware in the kitchens of Michelin-star restaurants like Le Bernardin in New York City and Alinea in Chicago.
Speaking of All-Clad, as far as stainless steel cookware goes, it’s still considered the gold standard. Founded in 1967 in Pennsylvania by a metallurgist, they pride themselves on their innovation.
Not all stainless steel is created equal. That’s why All-Clad prides itself on producing the best mix of durability, clean-ability, and even heat distribution.
But if you prefer old-fashioned cast iron to steel, Lodge is the best beginner’s choice. Aficionados might talk up the value of antique pieces or niche brands. But for the everyday home cook, a solid slab of seasoned iron is all you need.
Cooking at Home Like a Pro
For many, opting for home-cooked meals is a way to put a dent in the increasing cost of living. So you might worry that investing in the top cookware brands would eat into whatever savings you made by eating at home.
But that need not be the case. The best cookware pays for itself over time, and quality options are always available for bargain prices if you know how to spot them. So to keep appraised of all the latest deals and new kitchen gadgets, be sure to follow our latest gourmet news and guides.