Cookware Material

Here we will look at the various type ofcookware materials, its advantages and disadvantages with our recommendations. We look at the following cookware material

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Cast-Iron-cookware

Cast Iron

Cast Iron can withheld high heating that makes it not only great for stove top cooking but also oven baking too. Cast Iron cookware are slow to heat up but once it hot, it holds its heat for longer period and great for even cooking. Cast Iron pans are great for searing and outdoor cooking as it holds heat better even if outside temperature fluctuates. If you season your cast iron pan, it can work almost like non-stick pan without chemical coating. It is not easy to maintain cookware though, as it can rust or create acidic food reaction if food is kept in cast iron pan for long time.

Advantages:

  • Good heat conductor
  • Great for outdoor cooking as it retains heat well
  • Easy transfer from stove top to oven
  • Can work like non-stick if seasoned properly
  • Long lasting, durable

Disadvantages:

  • Not easy to maintain
  • Can rust if not properly maintained
  • Reacts to Acidic food taste and color change
  • Can be quite heavy to handle

Our recommendation:

Cast iron pan with both side handle are great for holding as pan can be heavy and will need more support. Bare cast iron have many benefits, if one can season and maintain it properly. There are also cast iron skillets and griddles with an enamel coating that makes for easier cleaning and maintenance and does not need to be seasoned periodically. We like enamel coated cast iron cookware, as they are easy to maintain, easy to clean and very forgiving cooking pans with all benefits of cast iron without the work of seasoning and maintain it. Enamel cookware tend to be expensive compare to bare cast iron so pick a few pieces set that fits your budget and style.

Our top picks for Cast Iron cookware:

Le Creuset 6-pc. Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, Flame

Le Creuset 5-pc. Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, Dune

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Copper Cookware

Copper cookware looks great to cook and put display on your potrack. Copper and is very good heat conductor meaning you food will cook evenly and cook will have better control over food being cooked in it. Lot of professional chefs tend to use copper cookware because of its heat conductive property but it can be expensive however it can last life time, if properly taken care of it.

Advantages:

  • Very good heat conductor
  • Cooks food evenly
  • Better control over cooking
  • Can last life time

Disadvantages:

  • Can be expensive
  • Can react with some food (meaning color and taste can change)
  • Most require hand washing and frequent polishing.

Our recommendation:

If you buy copper cookware, remember to polish often to preserve its beauty. It can be displayed beautifully in your pot rack to show off its great looks when not in use. Copper cookware can last generation., looks great and cooks great! If you think copper is expensive, look for copper bottom, or copper core cookware which seems to be at reasonable price.

Our top picks for the copper cookware set:

Calphalon 10-pc. Tri-ply Copper Cookware Set

All-Clad 14-pc. Copper Core Cookware Set

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 Non-Stick Cookware

Until 1940′s there was not a non-stick cookware, around that time the new substance was found to be polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, or other fluoropolymers found to be exceptionally slippery substance that is used to make non-stick cookware. When steel or aluminum cookware are coated with these PTFE, in order to make non-stick cookware where food just comes off easily and without the need for using excessive oil or butter in a pot or pan making it more healthier ways to eat.

Many people love using non-stick for making omelet, crape etc as they are easy to flip, cook and clean. Regardless of what other may say, you will not need every cookware to be non-stick. Non-stick cookware are great for Sauteing, shallow frying, Omelet, crepe, stir frying etc, so buy at least saute pan, shallow frying pan and skillet for your kitchen.

Advantages:

  • Healthier food, using less oil or butter
  • No sticky food
  • Easier clean up

Disadvantages:

  • Can’t use metal utensils
  • Maintaining non-stick coating

Our recommendation

:
Having a non-stick pan in your kitchen is very handy as food will not stick, healthier and great for making omelets. Some non-stick pans dishwasher safe, and some non-stick pans are not, check your manufacture’s guide to make sure. If non-stick pans are not dishwasher soap, you can easily clean with mild soap and warm water.

Our top products pick for Non-stick cookware set:


Circulon Elite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set

Cuisinart 66-17 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 17-Piece Cookware Set



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Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel is one of common type of cookware found in most home. Stainless steel is actually an alloy of metals including steel, carbon, nickel and chromium. Its gets its name because it does not stain and is because of its ability to resist dents and scratches. It does not react with acidic or alkaline food type. It is relatively cheaper but poor heat conductor. In order to overcome this quality choose stainless steel cookware that has copper or an aluminum core, so that food can be cooked evenly.

Advantages:

  • Durability
  • Ease of cleaning, most dishwasher safe
  • Cheap to reasonable pricing
  • Looks good
  • Scratch and dent resistance
  • Does not react with acidic food
  • Will not rust

Disadvantages:

  • Not a good heat conductor
  • Some food will stick at bottom of pan

Our recommendation:

Because Stainless steel is not good heat conductor, if you buy stainless steel cookware, buy with copper core or aluminum core. Food will cook better and evenly with it. Buy 18/10 quality Stainless steel cookware, as those are much more durable and will last longer.

Our Top choices for Stainless Steel Cookware Set:

Cuisinart MCP-12 MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

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Hard Anodized Cookware

What is hard-anodized cookware? Hard anodized is basically, metal pots and pans made from electrochemically process to make aluminum harder. Anodized material is significantly longer lasting than most non-stick cookware. It works and feels like non stick with out the coating that can peel, and it is stronger than stainless steel and durable. It is also highly resistant to scratches and rusts. It is used for not only stove top cooking but also electronic cookware such as griddle, woks and waffle maker. Also, one can use metal spatula without worrying about losing its non-stick surface and it is non reactive to acidic food.

Advantages:

  • Good heat conductor
  • Non stick surface without chemical coating
  • Strong and long lasting
  • Can use metal spoons, spatula without worrying about peeling
  • Will not rust or scratches
  • Non reactive to acidic food

Disadvantages:

  • Electronic cookware not dishwasher safe
  • Need to maintain and season
  • Can be expensive

Our recommendations:

Most hard anodized cookware or electronic cookware must be hand washed, however many benefits outweighs this small discomfort of not being dishwasher safe.

Our top picks for Hard Anodized cookware:

Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set, Orange

KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials Hard Anodized Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set

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Multi-ply or Clad

Multi-ply or Clad cookware combines several metals in one cookware. Multi-ply cookware usually has a copper or aluminum core, with a stainless steel or nonstick interior. The exterior could be a aluminum or copper making stainless steel cookware to be better heat conductor. This combination of strengths makes multi-ply cookware cook friendly and desirable.

Advantages:

  • Mixes various metal in to one making it beneficial to cooking
  • Copper core cookware benefit without polishing work
  • Versatile and user friendly
  • Many (without non-stick) are dish washer safe
  • Will not react with acidic food

Disadvantages:

  • Can be expensive

Our recommendations:

We recommend buying a hand polished 18/10 stainless steel with inner core of pure aluminum or copper, not just at the bottom, but all the way up the sides. All three layers are bonded together for optimum heat retaining for even cooking. All-clad brand cookware pieces and quality cookware, hence tend to be on pricier, look for non All-clad brands for reasonable priced clad quality sets.

Our top picks for the Multi-Ply or Clad Cookware:

Cuisinart MCP-12 MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set

Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

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In addition to stainless steel, non-stick, cast-iron, copper, hard anodized, multi-ply or all-clad cookware, there are a few other types of cookware and bakeware material that some of you might be interested in. Let’s look at those materials in details.
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Carbon Steel

Carbon steel cookware is usually rolled or hammered into tiny thin sheets of material. Material supposed to be strong and holds heat well enough. This type of material is best suited for knives, woks, crepe frying pan and paella pots, where curved shapes holds heating where required during stirring. One of the issue with carbon steel is that it need to be seasoned with oil before using and needs to be repeated as needed. Over time, the surface will be black and non-stick like cast-iron material.

Top Carbon Steel Kitchenware

Joyce Chen Pro Chef 14-Inch Flat Bottom Wok uncoated Carbon Steel

Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen 14-inch Carbon Steel Flat Bottom Lidded Wok Set

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Enamel Coated Cast Iron

Enameled cast iron cooking pans are made of cast iron covered or coated with a porcelain surface. This creates a win-win situation for heat conducting of cast iron without the acidic food reactivity and almost works a non-stick surface.

Top Enamel Coated Cast Iron Kitchenware

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry Red

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet with Iron Handle, Red
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Enamel Over Steel

Enamel over stainless steel has heat conducting of carbon steel with non-reactive surface from acidic food.
They are usually cheaper compared to stainless steel pot and are much lighter in weight. They do not get rusted but not as strong. Because of the lighter weight and cheap price, it is very popular cookware for camp outing.

Top Enamel over Steel Kitchenware

Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel 6-Quart Covered Stockpot, Cobalt

Paula Deen 2 Piece 1.5 Quart and 3 Quart Enamel on Steel Mixing Bowl Set, Blue

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