5 essential questions to ask yourself when shopping for cookware

5 essential questions to ask yourself when shopping for cookware

17 December 2023

If you are asking yourself the question, “which pans are the best?” then you may be asking the wrong question. The correct one, of course, is: “which pans are the best for me?”.
  • Guides
  • News

We want to take some of the hassle out of choosing your cookware, so you can confidently buy the pans that will actually work for you and your kitchen. We’ve compiled these five questions to ask yourself before you buy your new pots and pans. So before you embark on your next shopping trip, take some time to consider the following...

You stand on the department store shop floor and are confronted with walls upon walls of gleaming cookware displays. Bright colours may catch the eye, copper tones may appeal to your style and the latest gadgets may draw your excitement, but the sheer abundance of choices can be the antithesis of a decent shopping trip: overwhelming.

5 questions to help you choose the best pans for you

1. What do you cook?

We’re an ambitious sort, us food fans. We want the latest and greatest tools & gadgets to make the newest trendy recipe and it’s easy to be swayed by fashions and trends when confronted with all of the splendour of a cookware department.

Circulon pans will last you a lifetime, therefore when purchasing new pans, it’s important to consider what your bread and butter (no pun intended) dishes really are.

Consider: Do you roast or steam your veggies? Are you a tray food chef, serving up lasagnas and cottage pies every week, or perhaps you favour stews? Put your cooking preferences at the core of your purchasing decision will mean that you get the most out of your cookware.

Choose your hero piece:

If you're a tray-bake hero, look for a good quality roasting tin or a sauté pan that can go into the oven - making it easy to pull together those one-pan meals!

If you like to batch-cook soups and stews, build your cookware collection around a sturdy casserole or stockpot. These are great for holding large quantities and slow-braising.

Prefer to fry up the perfect steak? A good quality frying pan with excellent heat distribution like our SteelShield hybrid stainless steel frying pan is going to be your go-to.

Frying meat in a SteelShield frying pan


If you lean more towards the stir-fry or curry, then a wok or stir-fry pan is an incredibly versatile addition to your kitchen.  

2. What cookware do you use at the moment?

You’re updating your cookware so it’s highly likely that you have a good idea of what you like and dislike about the pans you currently have. Perhaps your pans have wobbly handles, or the non-stick doesn’t live up to its name. Perhaps you actually really like your pans, but you want to upgrade to a set that matches your kitchen and you’re looking for something that performs just as well.

Knowing what you already have will help you to make choices about what you want. Our quality cookware guide can give you an idea of what to look for to ensure that you are purchasing a superior, hard wearing product. 

We can strongly recommend our new ScratchDefense range if you're looking for non-stick pans that will last.

Person cooking with a metal spoon in a non-stick pan 

3. How many people do you usually cook for?

It is so easy to overlook this point when being swept up in the excitement of buying your new cookware set. Do you mostly cook for yourself or are you trying to regularly feed a family of five?

This is an important consideration when it comes to potentially ordering a stockpot when you only cook for 2 and have little freezer space to store left overs.

One pot pasta meal in non-stick chef pan

4. What sort of cooker do you use?

This vital question, so often forgotten, is one of the most important points to bear in mind when purchasing your new cookware.

While people often opt for pans that are suitable for all hobs in order to future proof their purchase, if you have invested in an Aga or Rayburn, it might be better to prioritise base thickness above all to ensure pan bases do not warp.

Alternatively, if you do not have an induction hob and have no intention of swapping to induction cooking, there is little point in making induction suitability a significant specification. If, however, you have just upgraded to an induction hob then induction-suitable cookware is an absolute must, lest you run the risk of your pans actually not working at all on your new hob.

Check our guide on what pans you can use on an induction cooker.

Stir fry being cooked on an induction hob

5. What type of kitchen do you have?

The final question is actually often our first thought when shopping: style. We can be very exacting in the culinary circle when it comes to technical specifications; but Circulon products are also created with an elegance and panache in mind and you must consider the kitchen in which these pans will sit.

Do you have an old fashioned country kitchen, or do you perhaps favour a minimalistic look? Beautiful pans can accessorise your kitchen décor as well as serve their useful purpose.

Circulon SteelShield pans in a modern kitchen

There we have it, the 5 most important questions to ask yourself before buying your new pans. If you have further questions, you can always come to us on facebook or instagram for advice and we will be happy to help.