The Essentials of Kitchen Ware

Kitchen ware is an umbrella term for the tools, utensils, appliances and dishes you use to prepare and cook food. It can also refer to the specialized items that make certain cooking tasks faster, easier and more precise — think mandolines and spiralizers or pressure cookers. No matter how you define it, though, a well-rounded collection of kitchen ware is essential for any home.

When it comes to buying kitchen ware, it’s important to consider your specific cooking needs, as this will guide what type of pots and pans, bakeware, utensils and other items you’ll need to have on hand. For example, a family of five will likely want to have a mix of saucepans, skillets and stockpots, while a single person might simply need a few basic pieces to get by. Then there’s the question of material, as some materials are more durable and long-lasting than others. Stainless steel, for instance, is an ideal choice for saucepans and other pots that see heavy use. Other types of materials that are popular for pots and pans include ceramic, cast iron and nonstick cookware.

If you’re shopping for a new set of kitchen ware, it’s helpful to keep in mind that form and function are equally important. For example, the bestselling All-Clad pots and pans feature a bonded stainless steel construction that’s both sturdy and lightweight. Other high-quality options include the Smithey cast iron and Cuisinart hard anodized cookware.

Another option is Sardel cookware, which combines Italian design with advanced manufacturing techniques to create high-performance cookware. Some of its models are made with five-ply construction, which is supposed to be more conductive than tri-ply or even a typical three-ply model. However, most testers have found that there’s no real difference in performance between models with five layers and those with just three.

Once you’ve curated a core group of kitchen ware, it’s time to fill in the rest of your inventory with items that make meal prep and serving a breeze. A good place to start is with a good-quality cutting board and a versatile knife that can handle everything from chopping veggies to mincing garlic. Next, add in smart utensils that will help you save time and effort when prepping ingredients — think peelers, vegetable strainers and whisks.

Finally, finish your collection with a few essential serving dishes that will make your meals look great and your table more inviting. From pitchers and bowls to vases and serving platters, IKEA has a wide selection of versatile and affordable kitchen and dining ware that will suit any style. So whether you’re outfitting a brand-new kitchen, refreshing your existing inventory or stocking up on basics for a college student, you’ll find all the cookware, serveware and tableware you need here. Just don’t forget to keep your kitchen ware organized, so you can easily locate what you need when you’re ready to start cooking.

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