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Cookware guide

Discover which pots and pans are best for you, what hobs they suit and how to make them last longer.

Shop all cookware at Argos
Cookware guide.

How to pick the best pots and pans for your kitchen

Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or an accomplished cook, it’s essential to have the right cookware at hand. But with so many pans out there, from woks to griddles, how do you know which is right for you? Think about the types of meals you like to cook and what pots and pans will best fit those dishes.

Get to know your cookware

Don't know your sauté pan from your skillet? We're here to help you choose the right pan for the job.



Saucepans are typically deeper and taller than other pans, and have one long handle. They can be used for everything from heating sauces and soups to cooking rice and vegetables.

Best for - boiling and heating

Frying pan and skillet.

Frying pan and skillet

These shallow pans have sloping sides and a wide, flat cooking surface. Unlike saucepans, they are mainly used for cooking foods quickly over a high heat.

Best for - cooking at higher heats

Sauté pan.

Sauté pan

Similar to a frying pan but deeper and with straight sides instead of sloping ones. They are specifically designed for searing meat and sautéing foods like vegetables.

Best for - cooking multiple ingredients together



A wok is a pan with a round bottom and high, slanted sides. It is commonly used in Asian cooking for braising, deep-frying, searing, steaming and stir-frying foods.

Best for - quickly searing and stir-frying

Griddle pan.

Griddle pan

Round or square in shape, these pans have raised ridges to keep food above the juices that are released during the cooking process. They are mostly used for grilling and searing meat.

Best for - healthier frying

Stock pot.

Stock pot

Stock pots allow you to cook dishes like soups, stews and casseroles in large quantities. They traditionally come with a covering lid and two side handles for lifting.

Best for - stews, stocks and soups

Hob to oven pans

Some metal and ceramic pans are oven safe. This means you can start off a meal on the hob and then pop it in the oven to either finish cooking or keep it warm. So, before you buy your pans, check if they're oven safe and what’s the maximum temperature they can handle.

Types of cookware materials

Different materials have different benefits, so make sure you choose one which suits your needs.

Aluminium cookware

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent heat conductor - heats quickly, cooks evenly
  • Easy to clean

Stainless steel cookware

  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Non-reactive with foods
  • Resistant to scratching, chipping, flaking and peeling

Hard-anodised cookware

  • Electrochemically treated to give a hard surface
  • Highly durable
  • Cooks food quickly and evenly
  • Very non-stick

Copper-bottom cookware

  • Superb heat distribution
  • Heats quickly and evenly
  • High-shine, good looks
  • Scratch resistant
  • Great investment

Copper tri-ply cookware

  • Combines the benefits of 3 materials
  • Excellent heat retention - food still cooks even after heat is switched off
  • Durable and long lasting

Cast iron cookware

  • Heavily weighted
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Highly durable
  • Ideal for slow cooking

Best pans for your hob type

Make sure to match your new pots and pans to the hobs you have.

Gas or electric hobs

Most households have a gas or electric hob. All metal pans are suitable for these hob types.

Ceramic hobs

It's best to use pans with a thick, flat bottom to sit steadily on the smooth surface.

Solid hotplates

Use pans with a flat bottom to ensure they are heated evenly and reduce energy waste.

What pans work on induction hobs?

Induction hobs use electromagnets to heat pots and pans. They require cookware with a magnetic material in the base, such as cast iron. Some other pans have a base bonded with a magnetic metal to make them suitable.

Shop induction hob pans

Caring for your cookware

Keep your cookware in top condition with these useful tips.

Pan care

Take care not to overheat your pans, as this can damage their non-stick coating. Leave your pans to cool before washing in hot water. It's best not to use metal utensils, scouring pans or steel wool on non-stick pans.

Cleaning pans

To keep your pans looking like new, use a gentle dishwashing detergent and non-abrasive scrubber. Many non-stick pans are not dishwasher friendly, so unless the manufacturer states otherwise, do not clean any cookware items in a dishwasher.

Pan storage.

Pan storage

Instead of taking up precious cabinet space, why not put your cookware on display? A pan stand or hanging rack keeps pots and pans organised and close to hand. It also adds a decorative touch to an otherwise unused space.

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More help and inspiration

Go get baking

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Kids' baking ideas.

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Easy recipe ideas for budding bakers.

Kitchen ideas

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Kitchen knives guide.

Kitchen knives guide

How to choose the best knives for your kitchen.

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