Updated: June 8, 2015
Best Cookware - Pots and Pans:Cookware comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and cost levels. If you are just starting out and looking for cheap cookware and kitchen supplies, you are probably well served by a Target or Walmart type store, with low prices and good functional products. You can easily by a cookware set (10 pieces) for $150 or so (KitchenAid and Farberware both offer complete sets at Target). Basic cookware components include a large and small frying pan (think pancakes, sausages, stir fry veggies, shrimp), 2 and 4 quart saucepans (think soup, pasta), 8 quart stockpot, skillet, and some lids to fit these pots and pans (the lids count as part of the "10" piece description you will find). For a starter set, you'll want to find cookware that is dishwasher safe, has non-stick surfaces, and is inexpensive. Below we will cover the best online sites for buying your cookware, as well as look at more brands and options for equipping your kitchen.
As you expand your kitchen collection, you will likely branch into silverware and cutlery (no problem with cheap silverware, but consider spending a little extra on a good knife set - good steak knives can last a decade or more, as can a butcher block full of quality kitchen knives). Throw in some kitchen utensils like tongs, spatulas, wooden and plastic spoons, measuring cups, mixing bowls, tupperware containers. Pickup a few small appliance along the way - a wafflemaker, coffee machine, blender, toaster, microwave - before you know it, you have a completey outfitted kitchen, complemented by your old college-days $150 cookware set, usually mismatched at this point with a few replacement frying pans and sauce pots. So the time comes to upgrade your cookware to something a little nicer. That's where these cookware sites can help out. Amazon also has a huge selection of low-priced cookware - check out their best-seller list.
Best Cookware, Cooking, and Kitchen Supply Sites
One of our favorite cooking and cookware sites is -- Cooking.com. They stock items in all the main kitchen supply categories: bakeware, barware, cookbooks, cookware, cook's tools, cutlery, kitchen appliances, kitchen storage and organization, table ware, dinnerware, vacuums. Your favorite brands are there as well - Calphalon, Kitchenaid, All-Clad, Cuisinart, Henckels, Wusthof, Le Creuset, Starbucks..When it comes to Calphalon non-stick cookware, the selection covers everything. They carry over 20 Calphalon sauce pans, A nice-sized 4.5q sauce pan with one infused anodized surface is $184. Or a simpler contemporary non-stick 4.5q goes for $79. How about a skillet, frying pan, saute pan? It's all there. They carry Calphalon cutlery, chef knives, and cooking sheets, muffin pans, spatulas, spoons, etc. If you are a Calphalon fan, browse to your hearts content. Apart from kitchen shopping, they also have a nice recipe section - appetizers, kids recipes, breakfast, desserts, soups, etc. Check out the Chinese Potsticker recipe - learn how to make the wrappers, filling, and dipping sauce. Tasty! If you are looking for something with a little more color, check out the Le Creuset collection, with rich French color schemes. Check out the round dutch ovens, in colors like blue, dune, kiwi, red, satin black, flame - $199 for a 5.5qt pot. We liked the Creuset Griddle and Grill pans - they have a nice 2 piece panini press grill pan, perfect for light sandwich making. Another surprise site for a good selection and low prices - Amazon.com. They have a huge housewares section with everything you could need. Its a great place to both get ideas and to buy.
Another great site for cookware and pots and pans and kitchen accessories is SurLaTable.com. The gourmet retail store carries all the same products on its website, and then some. In addition to the categories covered at Cooking.com above, they also carry linens, glassware, copperware, and specialty foods. In cookware, Sur La Table carries all the leading cookware manufacturers and all the most popular cookware brands: Aerogarden, All-Clad, Anolon, Bialetti, Bodum, Bonjour, Breville, Caldrea, Caroliva, Chantal, Krups, Kyocera, OXO, and much more. If you are a gourmet chef and money is no objects, feast your eyes on their Mauviel Copper Roaster, made of imported hammered copper, this $1200 pan is more like a work of art. You can also get a normal aluminum roasting pan and rack for just $39. They also offer a nice collection of baking dishes (bakers) and lasagna pans. We liked the Emile Henry Artisinale Honey Baking Dishes ($35) with their rich rust coloring. Their dishware section is also extensive, with exciting styles of bowls, chargers, mugs and cups. If you like their stores, definitely visit their website. A little hands on shopping never hurts when it comes to personal kitchen items. Walk around a home store, Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond and see what brands and styles you like the best. A lot of people have their own personal taste and style when it comes to their pot and pan collection - some like shiny stainless steel, some like cast iron, some like modern aluminum with special non-stick surfaces, some like traditional copper designs.
To be honest, a lot of these high end kitchen products are built around style and marketing - is a pot really worth $400 when another sells for only $75? Probably not, but if they convince you that you cannot live without that particular design and color, some people will indeed part with their $400. So shop intelligently, and buy what you need, not what THEY want you to buy.
Camping CookwareAt the bottom end of the cookware world is camping cookware. These are pots and pans and plates that need to stand up to the abuse of open-fire cooking, barely-there washing attempts, and often being left out in the elements. BassPro.com caters to the outdoor enthusiast, with solid cast iron pots and pans and cooking tools. DicksSportingGoods.com is a leading sporting good retailer that also carries a large camping and camping cookware section. A nice GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Extreme 5 Piece Cook Set will set you back $55. A cheaper alternative is to do what we do - the replaced kitchen cookware becomes the camping cookware every few years - sure it may be old and beat up by then, but that makes it perfect for camping as you no longer have to worry about a few scratches, dents, or dings.
Get detailed information on specific brands - Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews - Copper Cookware Reviews - Calphalon Cookware Reviews - All-Clad Cookware Reviews