Choosing the right cookware can be a daunting task. From cast iron to copper, aluminium to ceramic, the endless options can make it seem almost impossible to decide. But choosing the right cookware can significantly impact your performance in the kitchen.
Tips For Choosing A Good Cookware Set
The first step before making any purchase is to narrow down your top priorities. Do you need something that won’t break the bank? Or perhaps you need something dishwasher-safe to simplify your already busy work schedule?
There are 4 main points to consider when choosing new cookware:
The most expensive options are not necessarily the best choice for the average home chef.
If your budget is tight but your current pots and pans are just not cutting it, aluminium stainless steel is an affordable option. It may not conduct heat very well, but it is easy to clean, safe for both the stovetop and the oven, and is great for searing and sautéing.
Cast iron can also be an affordable option with great heat conductivity, is incredibly versatile, and long-lasting.
Different materials conduct heat and react to food in different ways.
Copper is known to have the best heat conductivity, although it is incredibly expensive and requires maintenance to retain its shine.
The non-reactive coating on enamelled cast iron (like these at https://unocasa.com) makes it safe for cooking all varieties of food while retaining heat throughout the cooking process.
Depending on how often you want to be buying new cookware, investing in a durable set may save you replacement costs later.
While most cookware has been made to withstand extensive use, anything with coating, such as nonstick or enamelled, runs the risk of scratching over time.
Types Of Cookware
Knowing what you like to cook will help you stock the right pots and pans for your favourite meals. Keeping a variety of cookware on hand will allow you to pair your cookware with your food to optimise the outcome.
Possible uses for cookware materials:
- Cast iron – stove-to-oven dishes
- Stainless steel- sauces
- Aluminium- sautéing
Which Cookware Is The Most Popular?
According to Consumer Reports, this is a ranked list of the most commonly used type of cookware:
- Stainless steel
- Enamelled cast iron
- Uncoated cast iron
While the average person may find the durability and uniform heating appealing with stainless steel, or love that the nonstick pans are easy to clean, most professional chefs prefer cast iron and carbon steel.
What Has The Best Quality?
The durability of the cast iron is unmatched. If well taken care of, a cast iron skillet can last generations.
Not only is it long-lasting, cast iron is naturally non-stick and has excellent heat retention, although you should be aware that it takes a bit longer to initially heat up. And as an added bonus, cast iron transfers small amounts of the essential mineral iron into your foods.
What Is The Best Pan Set To Buy?
Pots and pans vary in price from as low as $20 to as high as $500. A good quality set can be on the expensive side that is why it is important that you do your research and choose materials that fit your needs.
Here are a few points to remember for each type of cookware:
- Cast iron – Very durable and long-lasting (this could be a life-time purchase), but need constant care.
- Enamelled Cast iron – Durable, but is prone to chipping and may need to be replaced every few years.
- Stainless steel – Doesn’t react with acid food, but can be confusing to understand what alloy you are buying and cheaper alloys are corrosive.
- Non-stick – Easy to clean, but the plastic can start leeching into your food quickly and they are easily scratched.
- Carbon-steel – Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, but don’t hold heat well.
- Copper – Great at distributing heat, but heavy and expensive.
- Aluminium – Affordable, but easily dented/scratched and doesn’t distribute heat well.
Choose What Works For You!
One-size does not fit all when it comes to food preparation. There are strengths and weaknesses to all cookware and each must be carefully chosen to pair best with the food at hand.
The right cookware not only can enhance any given meal, but it has the unique ability to transform even the most novice cook into a chef within his or her own home.