We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Should I Consider When Buying New Pots and Pans?

Michael Pollick
Updated Jan 22, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Buying new pots and pans can seem like a straightforward process, but that's often only true for people who haven't been to a local kitchen supply store since they bought their previous set. Modern cookware offered by kitchen supply and department stores varies widely in terms of materials, styles, durability and storability. Before investing a significant amount of money in a set of new pots and pans, it pays to do some comparative shopping at different types of outlets.

One major consideration when buying new pots and pans is the materials used in their manufacture. High-end cookware often uses a noticeably thicker form of anodized aluminum or stainless steel than less expensive sets available at discount stores. You may not need to invest in the heaviest gauge aluminum for average cooking needs, but you'll want to avoid the thinnest options. If it can be dented easily, it can also be penetrated. Thicker cookware, especially bottom-heavy pots and pans, can resist the occasional kitchen accident much better than their thin metal equivalents.

Sometimes size does matter when it comes to selecting new pots and pans. If you are looking to invest in quality cookware, you may need to buy one or two pieces at a time. If you need a new non-stick frying pan, for example, consider your personal cooking habits and invest in the pan size that matches them best. You may be happier with a 10-inch (25.4-cm) skillet for general cooking than an 8- or 12-inch (20.32- or 30.48-cm) alternative, for instance.

Sauce pans may also be judged according to size and personal need. While every cook may need a large pot for cooking pasta or steaming vegetables, not everyone needs a 2 quart (1.89 liter) sauce pan when cooking a limited amount of spaghetti sauce. Some cookware is sold in complete sets, which means you might be paying for extra pots that you don't really need but you still must store and clean.

Look for special features when shopping for new pots and pans. Some sets are engineered for maximum stackability, which is good for kitchens with limited storage space. Some lids lock into place during cooking, which can provide additional safety. If finding the right lid for the right pot is a problem, look for sets that use interchangeable lids for each of their components.

Storing pots and pans is almost always an issue, so you may want to invest in an overhead storage system compatible with your new purchase. The cookware should have handles that allow them to be hung on hooks or pegs over a kitchen island or above the stove itself. High-end cookware also has decorative value for a well-stocked kitchen, so you may want to display it prominently.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By letshearit — On May 19, 2011

Can anyone tell me how many pieces and what sizes I should consider buying when getting my first set of pots and pans?

I don't cook a lot, maybe a few times a week, but find a lot of the premade sets available in store have a lot of pieces. There are even things in the sets that I can't identify.

For someone with my cooking habits, do you think it is better to stick with a premade set just in case, or to purchase pieces individually?

I don't want to spend a fortune and would like to know what the less expensive option is.

By Sara007 — On May 17, 2011

If you are on a tight budget when you start to consider buying new pots and pans I would head over to your local consignment shop or a large thrift store.

Pots and pans can be very expensive, with a good, basic set running into the hundreds of dollars. If you take a look at your bargain stores, you can often fine high quality older pieces at low prices.

I recommend picking up some cast iron cookware when you go. These pieces are very durable and top chefs recommend them.

We still have my great-grandmothers cast iron pans and they are still good as new. This is after being in the family for almost one hundred years!

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.