Stainless steel cookware is light and versatile. The most important consideration with stainless steel is to use heavy-gauge pots, or at least pots with a heavy bottom. Because they conduct heat more slowly, you’re less likely to burn foods when using them. Although they’re more expensive, they’ll last a lifetime.
Cast-iron griddles, pots and pans cook slowly and evenly. They also release small amounts of iron into the food, making it more nutritional. I use my cast iron skillet daily; it is my favorite pan. You can use a cast-iron skillet to cook grains, as long as you have a tight-fitting lid. Cast-iron saucepans are also available; some are enameled inside. These can be quite expensive, but again, they’ll last a lifetime. And the enamel has the benefit of providing more of a nonstick surface without toxic chemicals.
Ceramic cookware is very attractive for cooking and serving. It conducts heat slowly, evenly and keeps foods warm for hours. However, some ceramic cookware produced in foreign countries may contain lead and other toxic chemicals. To be sure ceramic cookware is safe, make sure it’s made in the United States or Canada.
Glass cookware is excellent. It retains heat for a long time, and also offers the advantage of allowing you to watch foods cook and bake inside.