If you are ready to ditch your old and damaged non-stick pots and pans, here are the basic items you’ll need:
A Cast Iron Pan
Lodge is the most popular inexpensive brand, but can be heavy and prone to rusting. I personally prefer Cuisinart’s cast iron pan with an exterior enamel surface, because the outside will not rust if left on a wet surface. Cast iron is perfect for pan frying meat, chicken, and vegetables.
Stainless steel pots and pans
For everyday cooking, a basic set of stainless steel pots and pans in various sizes is the best way to prepare soups, sauces, grains, and vegetables. Good brands include cuisinart, T-fal, and . I like this good-value 7 piece set from Cusinart.
Stainless steel baking trays
Most baking trays/ sheet pans are either coated with non-stick chemicals, or made from aluminum. Aluminum is probably a better choice than non-stick, but stainless steel is even better. I have various sizes of stainless steel sheet pans made by TeamFar and after near-daily use for six months, they still look brand new. I typically use sheet pans for oven-roasting vegetables or chicken, because the shallow sides allow air to circulate to prevent steaming.
Pyrex Glass Casserole/ Baking Dish
Glass bakeware is perfect for dishes such as casseroles, lasagne, or roasting a whole chicken. I like Pyrex brand, because it can withstand sudden temperature changes without breaking.
Optional: A Greener Non-Stick Pan
There is a great deal of controversy over whether newer forms of non-stick pans (made without traditional chemicals such as Teflon) are truly safe enough. Some people recommend avoiding these pans altogether and only using stainless steel or cast iron. My personal view of the available evidence is that ceramic non-stick cookware is safe, especially if it is not old and scratched, and is not used with extremely high heat. I really like GreenPan’s Ceramic Non-stick Valencia Pans. After a year of use, my pans are still just as non-stick as when I bought them. They are my go-to pans for making fish, eggs, and pancakes for my little boys.
Glass Food Storage Containers
If you haven’t already switched over from plastic food storage containers to glass, the sooner the better. I like Ikea’s glass containers, and those by Anchor Hocking. Both are made from strong and durable glass that can survive rapid temperature changes. Anchor Hocking containers have a slight edge because the lids that are easier to use and keep and clean.