Cookware Buying Guide

Whether you are seeking perfect porcelain for special occasion or elegant earthenware for everyday use, it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to choosing the correct tableware. But we at Leekes are here to help with our guide on the important things to consider.

What pan is right for you?

There are a few things you should bare in mind to ensure your pans are right for you and your home:
Material – is this type of pan suitable for your hob type? Learn more about this below.
Your cooking – it is also important to consider the type of cooking you do. Do you need larger pans for family sizes portions? What pans do you use most often?
Your cleaning – How you clean your pans is also something that you should take into consideration. Do your pans need to be dishwasher safe?

Material

The material of your cookware matters more than you think. Read our run down of pans below to ensure you chose one to suit you:

Aluminium

Our Aluminium pans are scratch resistant and some offer non-stick properties. Aluminium pans are affordable and suitable for use with most hobs, therefore make a great option for beginners, however are not suitable for induction hobs.

Stainless Steel

Our stainless steel pans are all anti-rust, easy to clean and are oven safe up to 180 degrees, making them perfect for one pan recipes. Stainless steel pans are scratch resistant, durable and non-reactive and will work on most hobs.

Cast Iron

Cast iron pans are slow to heat but retain heat well so are ideal for slow cooking and oven to table use. Our cast iron pans are scratch resistant are suitable for use with all hobs including induction.

Copper

Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, and heats up quickly and evenly. Copper is an expensive material and not suitable for all hobs. It is not magnetic and therefore cannot be used with an induction hob.

Which style of Cookware?

With more continental and fusion style cooking, the number of pans on offer has greatly increased. At Leekes we offer a wide selection of cookware to ensure you always have the right pan for the job in hand.

Saucepans

Saucepans – The essential piece to any kitchen or culinary delight. Available in various sizes, from a 14cm milkpan to large stockpots you will be sure to find the saucepan you need at Leekes. A number of our saucepans have unique features such as draining lids and riveted handles making them cooler to the touch.

Frying Pans

Frying Pans – Frying pans by their nature are shallow with a wide and flat base. The upturned edges mean that you are safe from any spitting liquids and they are easy to pour out from. Many frying pans have a nonstick coating which means your dishes can still be healthy with a reduced requirement for oils. Non stick frying pans are best used with silicone or nylon utensils as stainless steel can damage the non stick coating.

Casserole Dishes

Casserole – Casserole dishes are usually oval or round in shape and available in varying sizes. Cast Iron casserole dishes are a favourite of ours as they maintain the heat of your dish for prolonged periods of time. Casserole dishes are also ideal as servewear meaning you can take your culinary masterpiece from oven to table.

Skillet Pans

Skillet Pans – Usually round or square in shape and flat or ribbed at the base. These pans are great for searing meats and chargrilling vegetables or fish. Cooking with intense dry heat means that you are sure to keep the flavours within your food.

Saute Pan

Saute Pan – A saute pan is a wide pan with straight or slightly curved sides. The sides are generally higher than those found on a frying pan. Saute pans allow you to cook food quickly in a small amount of fat. The method of sautéing is very similar to frying but allows you to achieve faster cooking whilst using less fat.

Crepe Pan

Crepe Pan – A crepe pan offers a smooth, flat, rounded surface which allows the batter to be spread thinly across evenly distributed heat. A crepe pan is also an ideal alternative to a frying pan when frying things such as eggs.

Wok

Wok – Similar to a frying pan, but the curved shape changes the way the food is cooked. Wok’s offer high heat retention and there is very little need for any oils to be added to your food. A wok offers a healthier way of cooking, and also allows for a number of ingredients to be cooked at the same time. A wok should be seasoned before use and should be cleaned without the use of detergents.

Paella Pan

Paella Pan – Traditionally used to serve the Spanish dish, a paella pan helps to ensure that the rice is cooked as a thin layer (usually ½ inch thick) Due to this paella pans grow in diameter rather than depth. The pan is also ideal for serving so you can save on the washing up.

Your Hob

The type of hob that you have may determine what are suitable for your home:

Gas Hob
Gas

Gas offers immediate and even heat distribution through four or five burners that are featured on a standard design. All pans are suitable for cooking on a gas surface. Gas hobs give you precise temperature control with easy to turn knobs which makes them a traditional choice, as it’s the only cooking fuel in which many people will use with full confidence.

Induction Hob
Induction

Induction hobs do not get hot and instead heat pans directly via a magnetic induction hob. For induction hobs you should choose pans made from magnetisable metals such as cast iron or steel, as pans made from aluminium or copper will not work on this type of hob.Test if your pan is suitable for induction by placing a fridge magnet on the base.

Ceramic Hob
Ceramic

Ceramic hobs are electric hobs made from ceramic glass with a heating element. For these hobs opt for plans with flat, heavy bases such as cast iron. Ceramic hobs were the go-to alternative to gas before induction was introduced, as they’re attractive, sleeker and considerably easier to clean than a gas model.

Halogen Hob
Halogen

Halogen is similar to ceramic,the difference is that the heat comes from halogen lamps under the glass. For halogen hobs use pans with a thick base which can withstand short bursts of intense heat and avoid plans with shiny bases as these can reflect the light, causing damage to the lamps.

Agas
Aga

Agas often generate hot water and heat for the house, as well as being used for cooking, so these hobs require heavy pans with thick bases to withstand constant high temperatures. You’ll find cast iron beneath an aga which makes these cookers efficient as they transfer heat to ovens and hotplates, so an aga is always ready to cook and low maintenance as there are no switches and dials.

Caring for your Cookware

Caring for Cookware

When you have made a decided what pans will work best for you, you will want to make sure they stand the test of time. A good pan set should last for years to come and will be a worth while investment if you look after them correctly:

At Leekes we offer hand wash only and dishwasher safe pans so ensure you check the cleaning instructions and follow them to prevent damage.

Leave pans to cool down before cleaning and never put a hot pan into cold water as this can cause the base of the pan to warp.

For stubborn food reside leave the pans to soak in warm water before cleaning.

Avoid using metal utensils and don’t scrub with scouring pads or steel wool as this can damage the non-stick coating.

Don’t over heat your pans and ensure that the pan is the same size or larger than the heating area. If the pan is too small heat will be wasted and the pan may overheat, causing damage to the non-stick and the handle.

Warranty on our cookware can differ depending on brand. Read the individual item descriptions to find out more.

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