Discover which pots and pans are best for you, what hobs they suit and how to make them last longer.Shop all cookware
What pots and pans do I need?
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.
Types of pans
Don't know your sauté pan from your skillet? Our pan guide can help.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stockpots 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.
Oven safe 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.
- Excellent heat conductor - heats quickly, cooks evenly
- Easy to clean
Stainless steel cookware
- Non-reactive with foods
- Resistant to scratching, chipping, flaking and peeling
- Electrochemically treated to give a hard surface
- Highly durable
- Cooks food quickly and evenly
- Very non-stick
- 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.
It's best to use pans with a thick, flat bottom to sit steadily on the smooth surface.
Use pans with a flat bottom to ensure they are heated evenly and reduce energy waste.
What pans can be used 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.
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.
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.
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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