Choosing the right cooking equipment – pots and pans – can be a costly and difficult task. There are a number of different materials that may or may not be suitable for the different cooking methods and heat sources used in your kitchen.
In a well-equipped kitchen, there should be at least one large saucepan for boiling pasta, blanching vegetables, or the like, and two straight-sided saucepans with lids. In addition, a higher pan for cooking sauces and other similar products and a wider one with lower sides suitable for risottos, braised vegetables or for stewing small quantities of food.
The different materials and metals used in your pans react differently to the various types of heat sources used in the modern kitchen. Some conduct heat more or less quickly and evenly than others. Below are some pros and cons, along with some suggestions that can help you choose the right material for your cookware.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensils: Advantages and Disadvantages.
Benefits : Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials used to make pots or pans. It does not absorb odors or corrode, and since it is a very hard material, it does not easily deform or dent. Stainless steel is suitable for all heat sources – induction, gas, electricity or radiation. Choose double-bottomed pans because they are less likely to warp over time. Double-bottomed pans often feature copper or aluminum inlays which allow for faster and more even heat distribution.
Disadvantages : on the negative side, stainless steel is very heavy and therefore not always easy to handle and it is a slow conductor of heat. Stainless steel pans are also quite expensive, but if properly cared for, they will last a lifetime. Stainless steel comes in a variety of different alloys where the main component is steel.
Copper Cookware: Advantages and Disadvantages.
Copper is a metal that transmits heat quickly and is also very aesthetic. Indeed, untreated copper is always the best for cooking sugar or fruit jams, purees or preservatives. Copper can be fantastic for baking, as copper’s rapid heat conduction aids the caramelization process of baked goods. It is also acceptable to use copper pots or pans to serve directly on the table.
Copper reacts (oxidizes) with acidic foods and should be coated with tin, nickel, stainless steel or silver on the inside. This coating usually does not last very long and needs to be replaced over the years. Maintenance through the constant polishing and replacement of the interior lining, as well as the initial purchase of copper pots and pans, are quite expensive and should be considered before spending on a set of copper pots and pans .
Aluminum Cookware: Advantages and Disadvantages.
Aluminum is a softer, lighter metal and a very good conductor of heat. The price of aluminum is quite reasonable. However, acidic foods can corrode the porous surface of aluminum pans and foods can sometimes taste metallic. Also, white sauces can take on an off-white or gray color when cooked or stored for an extended period of time in an aluminum pan. Nowadays, aluminum is less and less the first choice when buying pots and pans.
Cast iron pots and pans.
Cast iron pots and pans are not only excellent conductors of heat but, like iron skillets, when properly seasoned, they are a pleasure to cook with. They are reasonably prized and nearly indestructible. Buy a cast iron skillet today, and more often than not, your kids will inherit it in perfect working order. Cast iron is suitable for almost all cooking methods and can easily be used for baking or flame cooking.
Glass and ceramic kitchen utensils.
Cooking with glass or ceramic utensils can be a pleasant experience. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each type of utensil before making a purchase. Glass is extremely heat resistant, but can shatter when exposed to sudden temperature changes. It also retains heat better than ceramic. On the other hand, the glass can remain aesthetic in case of prolonged use and it is easy to clean.
Ceramic is heavier and prone to chipping, but there are lighter options thanks to modern technological advancements. In addition, its reception capacities are well known: it distributes heat evenly without absorbing flavors, which allows you to obtain well-cooked dishes without scorching or burning.