Cookware refers to cooking pieces, pans and pots, and appliances that are used specifically to cook your food in; whereas bakeware refers to baking dishes, tins, and other molds that are used to bake inside the oven.
This is the most basic difference between the two, but more often than not people will also use their cookware for baking purposes. A good example of this is the dutch oven which can be used to prepare stews on the cooktop and it can also be used to prepare bread loaves, pasta bakes, etc., inside the oven.
Cookware and bakeware may come in similar design and construction but may also differ significantly. All bakeware is 100% oven friendly but the heat threshold may differ for each brand and type. Not all cookware is oven-safe, which means that you will have to check the manufacturer’s guideline to see if you can transfer it from the stove to the oven safely.
We have previously discussed what cookware is and also the best cookware sets in the market. In this article, we will look at the key differences between cookware and bakeware, which brands are the best for each, and the various factors you should consider when purchasing cookware or bakeware. Read more about the different types of cookware here as well. If you are interested to know more, let’s dive in!
What is the main difference between cookware and bakeware?
The most clear and evident difference between the two is stated in their respective names. Cookware is specifically used to cook food on a stove top. Some cookware brands may offer varieties that are also oven-safe and may be used to bake items. On the other hand, bakeware solely refers to items and pans that are used to bake different recipes inside the oven.
Both are of crucial importance in your kitchen and serve unique purposes. Nowadays, you may find multi-purpose cookware that can be used on a stovetop and also transferred easily into the oven.
What are the advantages of cookware over bakeware?
Cookware is uniquely fashioned to be used on a stove and comes with ample space for you to use your utensils and stir, fold, or saute your food.
Cookware is also more versatile as many modern varieties and sets can be used to also bake breads, cakes, pasta bakes, etc.
What are the advantages of bakeware over cookware?
Bakeware is designed for the purpose of baking, which means it provides the space and depth required for food like cakes and breads to rise. You can also prepare cupcakes, muffins, scones, croissants, etc., on bakeware, which is otherwise not possible in pots and pans used for stove cooking.
Which of the two is more useful in the kitchen?
Cookware is undoubtedly more useful in the kitchen. You may not bake bread or cakes every day but you will need to cook your meals every so often and for that reason, you will need stockpots, saucepans, saute pans, frying pans, rondeau, dutch oven, etc. You can’t make curry in a Pyrex.
Cookware can be used to make sauces, soups, steaks, curries, stir fry, pastas, stews, etc. These cannot be prepared in an oven, which is why pots and pans are far more useful than muffin and cupcake trays.
What are some instances when cookware and bakeware can be used together?
There are several recipes that require cooking and then baking in the oven for that final, lovely crisp. A good example of this are pasta bakes or lasagnas.
You will need cookware to prepare the meats and simmer the red or white sauce for your pasta or lasagna. You will also need a stockpot or a large saucepan to boil your pasta or lasagna sheets in. Once all of the ingredients are combined, you can transfer the contents to the oven to cook the cheese on top and form a crispy, delicious layer.
Types of Cookware
There are different types of cookware that are suited for a variety of cooking techniques.
These are the most commonly used cookware in all households, thanks to their versatility. They are flat on the bottom, shallow with curved side walls that help in stirring and keep your food from sliding out. Frying pans are used for frying, sauteing, searing, and scrambling.
A saute pan resembles a skillet and a larger frying pan. It features a wide bottom for excellent heat conduction and retention. It is ideal for braising, browning, sauteing, searing, poaching, stir frying, deglazing, etc. Its straight, tall sides keep your food from spilling.
Woks come with round or flat bottoms and offer maximum heat concentration. These are multi-purpose but are widely used for stir frying, sauteing, and deep frying. Their deep curved sides allow for easy food movement and make it convenient to toss your ingredients.
Tapered Sauce Pan
A tapered saucepan comes with a small bottom for less heat exposure and effective sauce making and simmering. This pan is ideal for thickening and preparing sauces. Its flared sides allow for easy stirring acting and it is ideal for cooking at low temperatures for a longer time.
A rondeau makes it convenient to cook meats and vegetables with very little liquid. It is also ideal for long, slow cooking to ensure that all juices from your foods are perfectly blended and combined with your ingredients. These are also ideal for blanching vegetables.
These are deep pots with a wide bottom to allow for maximum, effective heat conduction. They are perfect to prepare stews, sauves, casseroles, and slow roasts in.
A stock pot is the perfect choice for making meat or vegetable stocks thanks to its thick base that allows for a good slow simmer. It can also be used to make soups, boil pasta, bulk vegetables, etc. These preserve liquid for longer and maximize flavor. These can also be used with steam baskets to cook your food with steam.
These are usually made with cast iron or cast aluminum and are praised for even and consistent heat. They also retain heat far better than most pots and pans. They are excellent at cooking food without any cold spots and there is also less chance of scorching. Dutch ovens can be used to prepare stews and even bake food.
Types of Bakeware
The different types of bakeware include:
Bread Loaf Pan
Bread loaf pans or just bread pans are used to prepare fresh loaves of bread. They are deep and often rectangular. The depth allows the bread to rise and the construction of the pan ensures good heat conduction to allow low temperature baking. These pans can also be used to prepare cakes and pudding.
Angel Food Cake Pan
These pans come in a tubular design with a deep, hollow base for even heating. These cake pans can be used to prepare bundt or marble cakes as well. Their straight sides and ideally a nonstick surface help the cake to rise evenly.
Sheet pans are the most common bakeware found in homes and professional kitchens. These can be used to bake a range of recipes including cookies, scones, biscuits, rolls, pastries, breads, etc. They resemble a flat tray and are also extremely easy to clean.
These are also another common bakeware found in most homes. Cake pans are ideally used to make plain cakes of any kind. Their straight sidewalls are also easy to clean and help release the cake within seconds.
As the name suggests, these are perfect for preparing muffins of your choice. Most of these pans come with 6-48 cups to accommodate all household sizes of professional kitchen requirements.
A pie pan can be used to prepare sweet or savory pies. Their angled sides prevent the pie crust from crumbling or slumping. They also come with a wide rim that allows for fluting.
Springform Cake Pan
This modern, two-piece cake pan makes sliding cakes out a lot easier than traditional cake pans. Their sides can be loosened or ‘opened’ using the clips. The cake pan is mostly used to prepare tortes, quiche, delicate cheese cakes, and other recipes that are hard to get out of a standard pan.
Tart pans come with fluted sides that enable your crust to cook to perfection. The removable bottom helps in peeling the crust out without breaking or crumbling it.
What are the best brands for cookware?
- Made In
- Gotham Steel
What are the best brands for bakeware?
- USA PAN.
- Le Creuset.
- Nordic Ware.
- Rachael Ray.