Yes… I am really writing a post on the aesthetics of pots, pans and cookware generally. Why? Good question…
Let’s be honest – most cookware is more functional than beautiful and we’d rather not think about it. Plus, depending on the quality and usage, they don’t always last that long. So that once prised wedding registry item might be looking tired after just a few years.
As such, there are storage, design and decoration industry segments dedicated to keeping all our cookware hidden and out of sight. Keeping kitchens sleek, minimal and as the designer intended.
However, that doesn’t need to be the case as there’s a ton of traditional and modern cookware that can complement, if not enhance, most kitchens. So, if, like me, you’re changing up the cookware in your home, here are a few things to consider.
For me, this choice was largely health benefits led, but speaking broadly cookware can be made of many materials, and your usage should dictate what you choose.
Stainless steel is the most common material. It’s affordable, durable, rust resistant, and modern designs often look amazing. As does copper, although these are usually lined with stainless steel to stop acidic foods reacting. Both look great and are often left on display in a home, but can be difficult to use, clean and maintain.
Cast-iron cookware is becoming increasingly popular with traditional brands like Lodge, Le Creuset and Chasseur in the top three. In my opinion, these look the best but can be a little more expensive, and need a bit of TLC to keep them in good shape. You can also find a variety of colours to match your kitchen décor, which for a designer is brilliant.
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I put a lot of stock in health and wellbeing. And it’s my option, based on what I’ve read and researched, that non-stick coatings are all pretty nasty. I don’t want to turn anyone off, so I won’t go in depth about them, but if you want to know more…check out this article.
Other types include ceramics, stoneware, Glass and Corningware.
How you use your pans (heat, gas, induction, oven transfers etc) will impact what’s really suitable.
So first think about what you need. What do you cook, how do you cook, type of foods, heat, level of competence and care, weight, storage etc.
Then think about what you want. Colours, size, aesthetics, different sizes, etc, and a price point. Price can seem excessive in some cases, especially in Australia with well-established brands costing hundreds of dollars. But remember quality, and if you treat them well they’ll last a lifetime…or more! Plus, they’ll only enhance your kitchen.
You also really need to understand your cook top. Most modern cookware can be used on various cook tops, but if you have an induction cooktop, ensure that the cookware is compatible. Induction works by creating a magnetic field, so as a rule of thumb if a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan…you’re good to go. But talk to the sales assistant before you part with any cash.
This comes down to usage, but trust me, there are lot of handles available and they might restrict usage. Steel and iron handles give you maximum flexibility but do get slightly warm to the touch, so you’ll need a sheath or gloves to handle safely.
Some cookware uses silicone on the handle, which allows ease of use and offers additional comfort. Wooden handles can look nice and are comfortable, but can’t be placed in the oven and need to be looked after so they don’t deteriorate. And there are brands where the handle clicks on and off easily for placing in the oven.
Understand what you need (and want), talk to good instore sales people to get their view and check out reviews. And if you’re not a minimalist, really think about the aesthetics of your cookware and how they add to your home. I was blown away with the Staub brand. I thought the quality was excellent, and the designs are beautiful, with many colours to choose from but also the shapes and designs of the cookware were something a little bit different. They specialise in case iron which is now my material of choice to cook with. Check out their collection here: https://www.staub-online.com/uk/en/home.html
To find out more, contact SmartSpace Interiors here.
NOTE: Images used under Fair Use, and were sourced from a variety of online sources and personal archives. The above commentary is a personal view and not commercial in nature.