Consider how your new cookware will pair with your cooktop. For example, flat-bottomed pans are essential for a smoothtop range, and if you have an induction cooktop, cookware with magnetic properties is a must.
Dutch ovens are versatile, moving from stovetop to oven to your table. A Dutch oven can brown, braise, boil, and bake bread. It has high sides, and when made of enameled cast iron, it holds heat well, making it a good choice for deep frying.
The allure of owning top-shelf cookware is enticing. But faced with a smorgasbord of cookware styles, materials, and prices—from cast iron and stainless steel to nonstick enamel and copper—it’s wise to be well-informed. Use this guide to sharpen your shopping skills before buying.