Cookware Buying Guide

As the seasons change and spring arrives, it's time to refresh and renew our living spaces - and that includes the heart of our homes, the kitchen! If you're looking to update your kitchen this Spring, there's no better place to start than with the scratched old cookware that's been collecting dust in your cupboards.
20 Apr 2024 · Buying Guide
A set of Circulon Pots and Pans

Out with the old, in with the new! Replacing your worn-out pots and pans with shiny new ones can make a world of difference in your cooking experience, from improved performance to a fresh aesthetic. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a culinary newbie, this guide is designed to help you navigate the world of cookware and find the perfect pieces to upgrade your kitchen for the new season. Here we cover some of the most popular styles & what you will use them for.

When it comes to cooking on the hob, having the right pan for the job can make all the difference. While most pan bodies are designed with a basic round silhouette, there are a variety of styles and designs to choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Do you know the difference between a stockpot and a saucepot, or a sauté pan vs a chef's pan?

In this post, we'll cover some of the most popular pan styles and what they're best used for, so you can choose the right pan for your next cooking project. Whether you're looking for a sauté pan for searing meat, a saucepan for making sauces and soups, or a skillet for frying eggs and pancakes, we've got you covered.

So, the next time you're wondering which pan to use for a certain recipe, check out this guide for some helpful tips and recommendations. With the right pan and a little bit of culinary know-how, you'll be cooking like a pro in no time.

A saucepan with green beans

Saucepan

Saucepans are one of the most versatile and essential tools in any kitchen. They are the workhorse of the stovetop, used for everything from simmering soups and stews to boiling pasta and vegetables. Additionally, saucepans are perfect for melting butter or chocolate, heating milk, and creating sauces of all kinds.

Saucepans come in a variety of sizes, from small 14cm (0.9L) milk pans, which often come with indented lips for easy pouring, to large 20cm (3.8L) pans that can hold enough food for a family. The size of the saucepan you need will depend on your family size and cooking style.

If you're cooking for a large family or like to entertain guests, it's a good idea to have a few different sizes of saucepans on hand. This will give you the flexibility to cook a variety of dishes and prepare different amounts of food.

When choosing a saucepan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid. This will help ensure even heating and prevent liquids from evaporating too quickly. 

 

Our ScratchDefence saucepans come with straining lids and an extreme non-stick surface that can stand up to a lifetime of daily use.

Alternatively, our SteelShield sauepans have a brilliant mirror-finish stainless steel exterior, which will look fantastic on display in your kitchen. 

 

Circulon Saucepot

Saucepot

If you're looking for a versatile and functional alternative to the classic saucepan, a saucepot might be just what you need. These pots have the same body shape as a saucepan, but with two handles close to the pot instead of one long handle. This makes them easier to lift when full and heavy, as you can grip them with both hands.

Saucepots can be used in the same way as saucepans, for simmering, boiling, melting, and creating sauces. However, their two-handle design offers some unique benefits. For example, when making large batches of soup or stew, a saucepot can be easier to lift and pour than a traditional saucepan. The two handles also make it easier to move the pot from the stovetop to the oven, as you can hold onto both handles securely.

Saucepots come in a variety of sizes, from small pots suitable for heating up a can of soup to large ones that can hold enough food for a crowd.

This Total Non-Stick Saucepot has a 5.7L capacity and a tough glass lid. Designed to last 15x longer than our closest competitor, it's also got an extra thick induction-optimised base!

Or, for true hob-to-oven functionality, the beautifully designed Style 5.7L saucepot can withstand oven temperatures of up to 260c, thanks to stylish stay-cool metal handles.

 

Frying Pan

Frying Pan

The frying pan, also known as a frypan or a French skillet, is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware in any kitchen. With their curved sides and flat bottom, frying pans are perfect for sautéing, frying, and searing a wide variety of foods.

Frying pans come in a range of sizes, from small 20cm frying pans suitable for cooking a single egg to large 30cm frying pans that can handle a family-sized stir-fry. They are also available in a range of materials, such as stainless steel, non-stick coatings, and cast iron.

One of the great things about frying pans is their versatility. They can be used for almost anything, from braising meat to frying off an omelette. Frying pans are perfect for cooking delicate foods like fish and eggs, as well as heartier dishes like stir-fries and fajitas.

When choosing a frying pan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a comfortable handle. A heavy bottom will help distribute heat evenly, while a comfortable handle will make it easier to maneuver the pan on the stovetop. Additionally, consider investing in a set of high-quality frying pans in different sizes, so you have the flexibility to cook a variety of dishes.

Overall, a good frying pan is an essential tool for any home cook. With its versatility and range of sizes, it's the perfect pan for a wide variety of cooking tasks.

If you love to cook steak, the SteelShield frying pan has a unique stainless steel hybrid technology to help you create the perfect sear. 

Or, if you're all about your fried eggs and fish, the ScratchDefence frying pans will become your easy-to-use and easy-to-clean go-to pan. 

Stockpot with soup

Stockpot

A stockpot is a pan with a large capacity and sides that are at least as tall as their diameter. The tall sides of a stockpot are perfect for simmering stocks and broths for extended periods without reducing too much. This makes them ideal for making soups and stews.

In addition to making stocks and broths, a stockpot's large size makes it great for boiling spaghetti pasta and preparing large quantities of food. Whether you're cooking for a big family or entertaining guests, a stockpot can help you prepare delicious and satisfying meals with ease.

When choosing a stockpot, look for one with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid. This will help ensure even heating and prevent liquids from evaporating too quickly. 

Overall, a stockpot is a versatile and essential tool for any home cook. Its large size and tall sides make it perfect for simmering stocks and preparing large quantities of food, making it a must-have in any kitchen.

At 7.6 litres, the ScratchDefence Stockpot is a must for batch-cooking or feeding bigger families. With extreme non-stick technology this stockpot will last you a lifetime.

Stir Fry Pan

Stir Fry or Wok

A stir-fry pan is a versatile piece of cookware that's perfect for creating quick and healthy meals. A stir-fry pan has deep, curved sides that allow you to easily stir and turn your food during cooking. This makes it ideal for stir-frying vegetables, meats, and other ingredients.

A traditional wok has a curved base and must be used with a separate supporting frame. However, a stir-fry pan, or flat-bottomed wok, has a flat base that can be used on conventional hobs. This makes it more versatile and easier to use than a wok, as it can be used on any stovetop.

When choosing a stir-fry pan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a non-stick coating. This will help ensure even heating and prevent your food from sticking to the pan. 

Our best-selling Infinite Wok is perfect for creating family sized meals. With a stainless steel lid, this is a multi-purpose piece of cookware for your kitchen - create stir-fries, ramen soups, paella, and even casseroles! 

For a small stir-fry pan you can't go wrong with our Total stir-fry pans. Available in multiple sizes and in both a non-stick and stainless steel finish, these are perfect for adding in quick weeknight stir-fries to your menu.

SteelShield Sauté Pan

Saute Pan

A sauté pan, also called a sauteuse, is a deep frying pan with upright sides that's perfect for quick frying and sautéing. The French verb "sauter" means "to jump", which describes the cooking technique used with this pan. The low sides of a sauté pan allow steam to escape while the food cooks, and also permit the chef to toss the food easily.

One of the great things about a sauté pan is its versatility. It's perfect for cooking a wide range of ingredients, from vegetables and meats to fish and poultry. The upright sides of the pan make it ideal for sautéing foods that require a bit more liquid, such as onions or mushrooms.

For truly versatile cooking, the SteelShield sauteuse is an incredible pan to add to your kitchen. Fry, stew, braise, sauté and much more with this deep pan with unique stainless steel hybrid non-stick technology.

Or, for an everyday pan you'll turn to again-and-again, the ScratchDefence sauté pan features an incredibly durable non-stick that's easy to clean and can stand up to the toughest cooking challenge. You'll never have to worry about scratched non-stick again!   

Circulon Chef's Pan

Chef's Pan

A chef's pan is a versatile piece of cookware that combines elements of a frying pan, sauté pan, and saucepan. The pan is similar to a sauté pan, with the exception that the sides are curved instead of straight. This makes the pan more versatile and allows for greater flexibility in cooking a wider range of dishes.

A chef's pan is an excellent choice for anyone with limited kitchen space or who cooks regularly for one or two people. It's perfect for making risotto, cooking grains and rice, and reducing sauces. The curved sides make it easy to stir and toss ingredients, while the flat bottom ensures even heating and cooking.

One of the great things about a chef's pan is its versatility. It can be used for a variety of cooking tasks, from searing meats and sautéing vegetables to making soups and stews. Its combination of a wide base and curved sides makes it ideal for cooking dishes that require frequent stirring or tossing, such as stir-fries and pasta dishes.

When choosing a chef's pan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a comfortable handle. A heavy bottom will help distribute heat evenly, while a comfortable handle will make it easier to maneuver the pan on the stovetop. Additionally, consider investing in a high-quality chef's pan with a lid, which can help trap heat and steam to cook your food more quickly and evenly.

Overall, a chef's pan is a versatile and essential tool for any home cook. Its combination of a wide base and curved sides makes it perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks, and it's an excellent addition to any cookware collection.

We recommend the SteelShield Chef's Pan which is oven safe and features a hybrid stainless steel and non-stick interior that gives you all the benefits of cooking with stainless steel with the easy clean-up of non-stick.

If you're interested in learning more about specialty pans and bakeware, stay tuned for our upcoming guides. We'll cover everything from griddles and roasting pans to cake pans and muffin tins, giving you the tools you need to create delicious meals and treats at home.

 

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