Q: I'm a college student living in my own place and I am a pretty avid hobby cook. I'm trying to find an inexpensive but good quality cookware set that will have the basics I need but won't take up too much room in my home or burn through my bank account.
My preference is for copper, although that's mostly just an aesthetic preference so I'm open to other materials. Do you guys have any resources or suggestions for my problem?
Sent by Kirsten
Editor: Kirsten, we have had several posts in the past where we talked about essential cookware pieces for the kitchen. Overall, we almost always recommend skipping full sets of cookware in favor of slowly building a set of pans that work with your cooking style. Full sets usually have extra pieces that jack up the price and aren't as helpful.
Here are some posts that talk about essential pieces — although of course your own cooking style might mandate other pieces. Some cooks love their woks, for instance, while others would never use one. Some cooks use their cast iron skillets constantly, while others prefer a stainless steel saute pan instead.
• Essential Kitchen Tools: A Roundup of Basics
• Good Question: Stocking a New Kitchen
• Good Question: What Kind of Cookware Should I Buy?
• Good Question: Investing in New Cookware
As far as finding good deals goes, look on Amazon and Overstock. Also, your local discount store (TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross) is one of your best bets for finding really high quality cookware for low prices.
Readers, do you have good ideas or suggestions for Kirsten?
Related: What Every Kitchen Needs: According to Ina Garten
(Image: Copper Brass Traditions)