Cookware Cavalcade. (What's New?)
* At one time, the only choices when buying pots and pans were the sizes to fit specific tasks. If you had to fry an egg or two, you needed a small pan; if you were going to boil a large chicken or corned beef, you needed a big pot. Today, as cookware has become increasingly sophisticated, the choice is more likely to depend on the material it is made of and its advantages over other types, rather than the capacity.
Consider the 14" round griddle ($39.99) from Circulon, a division of the Meyer Corporation, Vallejo, Calif., for instance. Nonstick surfaces are now a given in such implements, but Circulon has gone far beyond this with its Total Ti Titanium-Composite Hi-Low Food Release System. Basically, two 18/10 stainless steel layers surround a thick aluminum core to distribute heat evenly, while the ridged concentric circles on the cooking surface help prevent food from sticking. Pancakes and bacon cook uniformly and almost glide off the griddle, after which cleaning up is a snap. Meanwhile, an entire range of Circulon 2 saucepans, skillets, and stockpots, made of hard-anodized aluminum, use the same nonstick technology, have arched nonslip handles that stay cool during cooking, and are oven-safe up to 350[degrees]F A two-quart covered saucepan, for example, runs about $39.99.
With numerous chefs achieving celebrity status thanks to television cooking shows, it seemed inevitable that they would be lending their names to cookware. …