The Sizzle Guide to
Pots & Pans
Knowing which pots and pans to buy can sometimes be a bit of a minefield, especially when it comes to knowing what material is best and which type of pot or pan is suited to your hob, cooking style or even the recipe you're creating. Here at Sizzle we've put together a handy guide to decode the complicated world of pots and pans. We'll give you a rundown of everything from those kitchen essentials to the more specialist products which wow at dinner parties or help create unique dishes.
If you have a gas, radiant spiral or ceramic hob then you're in luck as they can be used with almost any type of saucepan.
Watch out for the flame on gas cookers. As obvious as it may sound, if the flame is extending beyond the base of the pan then not only is it wasting gas but there is the potential for the heat to damage the handle too.
From experience we've found that it's best to lift pans off a ceramic hob. Sliding them can cause damage to the ceramic surface. With this in mind make sure you're strong enough (or have someone to hand who is) to lift any cookware you're considering buying. Our range of Sophie Conran casserole dishes are perfect for those in need of lightweight cookware.
If you have a solid hotplate hob then make sure you're using pans with a flat base. They will heat more evenly and also reduce energy waste compared to using a round bottomed pan such as a wok.
Halogen hobs heat up super–fast so it's best to use pans with a thick base that can withstand short bursts of intense heat. Pans with a shiny base are a big no–no as they can reflect the light from the hob and cause the lamps to switch off. Not ideal mid–cooking.
Induction hobs are made from ceramic glass and heat pans using magnetic conduction. This means heat is transferred directly to the pan and not the surface. In order to heat, the pan must be made from magnetisable metal such as cast iron or steel. So unfortunately your pure aluminium or copper pans just won't work, but we have lots of super-stylish ones that will.
If you've got a lovely solid fuel cooker such as an Aga then make sure you're using pans with a thick base that can withstand the high temperatures this type of cooker produces.