Are you finding it difficult to choose perfect cookware for your kitchen? Yes, it is a difficult task because there are numerous brands in the market making cookware of different materials. You must be thinking which material cookware is better?
How to choose perfect cookware? and many more. Why are you getting worried about all this? Let us help you to choose the perfect cookware for your kitchen.
You will get every answer to your question in this article, so grab a cup of coffee and read this full article.
We can better know about the pros and cons of cookware when we use it. So, our team of researchers works hard to test the cookware of different materials to select the best one. You are better aware of the usage of your cookware. Go for the cookware that perfectly fulfills your needs.
How to choose perfect cookware
I will be not wrong if I tell you that, providing you a complete guide on how to choose the best cookware for your kitchen is not an easy task for us because we don’t know what perfect cookware towards you look like, does perfect means perfect for space-saving? perfect for high heating? perfect for a small kitchen? or perfect for a large family? etc.
But we know about the questions which a customer asks before going to buy cookware and we have tried out best to provide you a complete detail in this article.
Certain factors should be kept in mind when deciding to buy new cookware. Some of them are
1- Your cooking requirement
Every company makes cookware set according to their desire and ideology but you’ll buy according to your need. If you are using skillets for making breakfast everyday then skillets should be your top priority in cookware. You enjoy making soup, stew, sauces then must look for a Dutch oven in cookware.
You know better that for how many people you’ll cook in the new cookware? so choose accordingly. If you have a big family and you bought cookware made for personal use then it’s useless. Mostly you cook on high flames or low to medium heat is enough for your cooking, this will also determine your choice. If buying nonstick cookware and would use it for searing and sautéing all the time, that’s not a good decision. Nonstick cookware is not perfect cookware for high heat cooking. (If you want to know what type of cookware is perfect for high heat, click read this: Best cookware for high heat cooking.)
2- Buy cookware that’s compatible with your cooktop
At the time of selecting cookware, must remember the type of stovetop you have. Those who have electric and induction cooktops should be very careful when buying new cookware. The reason is that all the cookware are not suitable for induction stovetops. Cookware with magnetic properties is compatible with induction. If you bring a magnet near to the bottom of a pan and it sticks there, that pan is compatible with induction.
Don’t think that expensive cookware will give phenomenal results and less expensive cookware will spoil your food. What really matters is the brand and material you choose within your price range. Cast iron, copper, and enameled cast iron are a bit pricy cookware so, if your budget is low then go for other materials. But if having an average price range between 200-300$ then you can easily choose cookware of any material. Thus, in your affordable price range, choose the perfect cookware for your kitchen.
If your focus is on a budget then read these articles, will help you a lot.
Best cookware under 300$
Best cookware under 50$.
We can’t imagine cookware without handles as completed. Consider always two things in a handle, firstly it should be sturdy and strongly riveted to bear the weight of a pot or pan when filled with food. Secondly, it must be comfortable to grip and never slip off during maneuvering. If it remains cool on the stovetop, it would be its additional quality. Silicon and wooden handles mostly stay cool on the stovetop.
5- Perfect cookware must have lids
Lids are also counted as pieces along with pots and pans when brand describe their cookware. Lids are actually very essential in softening the food because they seal in the required moisture and heat. The on stovetop cool knobs save your hands from burning and you can lift off the lid easily without any mishap.
Most of the cookware in recent times are having glass lids but glass lids have both pros and cons. The glass lids with vents make the visibility possible without lifting the lid. The glass lids are delicate and can break or crack when accidentally slipped off. The aluminum lids are light and can warp easily. The cast iron lids are heavier and can be cracked if dropped for many times. But if we talk about stainless steel lids, they don’t provide visibility like aluminum and cast iron lids but are long-lasting and durable.
6- Suitable for the oven
Most of the time when we are running with the short of time, we prefer the oven for heating up the food. An oven is best for providing properly heated up food in no time. We don’t need an oven only for heating the food but for baking also. So, don’t make a mistake to buy a cookware that is not oven-safe. Even check up to how much degrees F the cookware can withstand temperature.
It is a fact that some metal cookware are more durable and sturdy than others. They even last for decades if maintained and cared for properly. Stainless steel is a material to be considered more sturdy and durable. To buy perfect stainless steel cookware, check its weight. If it is light-weighted then it must be missing aluminum or copper layer that is necessary for two reasons. One reason is that aluminum or copper layer improves its heat conductivity because stainless steel is not a good heat conductor itself. The other reason is that its base becomes strengthened so, can’t be warp or dent easily. But that’s a fact no matter which material cookware you choose but select a durable one.
8- Heat conductivity
Heat conductivity is a matter to be much concentrated about when buying perfect cookware for your kitchen. Some metals are better than others to conduct heat and also react quickly to the changes in temperature. When cookware is good at conducting heat, it will lessen your cooking time and fatigue. Moreover, cooking results would be perfect because evenly distributed heat would not burn your recipe.
9- Heavy gauge
Heavy-gauge material is better than thin-gauge for supplying even heat. The bottoms of heavy-gauge pots and pans are less likely to dent or warp. The flat bottom and heavy-gauge cookware are the requirement of induction or electric cooktops. Whenever you buy cookware, pick it in your hands and check out its weight. The heavy-gauge cookware’s inner surface is distant from the cooktop so, heat flows evenly throughout the pan.
It is such an essential thing to look at in cookware that I have discussed this topic in-depth in the below section. Let’s jump into the next section to know about different materials of cookware.
Now when we have briefly discussed the things you should see in cookware before buying, let’s have a look at different materials.
1- Stainless steel
The chromium and nickel are added to stainless steel to make it non-corrosive. Stainless steel is considered as the most durable and long-lasting cookware material. The stamped 18/10 is the type of stainless steel used in most cookware nowadays. Stainless steel’s specialty is that it is non-reactive to alkaline or acidic foods. It provides the real taste of food by not discoloring or adding any metallic flavors in your dishes. Stainless steel can withstand high heats that’s why safe to use in oven, broiler, or dishwasher. So, you can buy the best stainless steel cookware for your kitchen.
Stainless steel itself is not a good conductor of heat. So, the cookware manufacturers introduced a new technique to increase its heat conductivity. The aluminum or copper layers are added to the stainless steel cookware by permanent bonding. The copper and aluminum are good conductors of heat and gets heated instantly. When aluminum or copper is added to stainless steel, they make a good combination.
The impact bonding is another way to increase the heat conductivity of stainless steel. A heavy-gauge aluminum disk is applied at the bottom of stainless steel cookware. This method is not much productive as the disk can detach over time but is effective if moderately used.
Nonstick cookware are preferred by several best cookware brands in recent times. The reason for its popularity is that it is healthy to use because a little amount of oil or butter is needed for cooking. Even some brands recommend not to use any oil that attracts health-conscious people towards nonstick cookware. The food releases easily so, cleaning is not an issue. The downside of the nonstick surface is that if it is scratched once then it may release toxic fumes. For keeping the nonstick surface intact, never use abrasive sponges. Gently wash it by soupy water or soft sponge.
Try to use an appropriate utensil to keep the surface safe from any damage. Use nylon, wooden or silicone spatulas or spoons for safe and healthy cooking.
Nonstick surfaces can’t withstand high heat so, use low to moderate temperature for cooking. The nonstick cookware can last long if you use it with full care. Don’t stack nonstick cookware with other metal pots and pans because it can damage the nonstick surface.
3- Cast iron
Cast iron is a sturdy material and less likely to warp, chip or dent. Cast iron naturally develops a nonstick coating after seasoning. After every use, when you are done with its washing, don’t forget to season it with oil. Seasoning prevents its surface from rusting.
Cast iron heats up and cools down slowly and that attribute makes it a preferred material for griddles, fry pans, dutch ovens, and grill pans. One of its negative points is that it weighs a lot as compared to other cookware materials. Many brands produce pre-seasoned cast iron cookware for flawless performance. Cast iron is always the choice of professional chefs.
4- Enameled cast iron
Enameled cast iron is the advanced version of cast iron. A vitreous enamel glaze is applied to the cast iron cookware to avoid rusting. Unlike cast iron, it doesn’t need any seasoning and can be easily cleaned. The enamel cast iron is expensive than cast iron. It is considered perfect for slow cooking and produces flavorful taste.
The enamel cast iron is better than cast iron because it never mixes iron in your food. It doesn’t have a nonstick surface because it is not seasoned like cast iron. Enamel cast iron has a downside that the enamel coating can be damaged if you put cold water on a hot pan or it drops or overheated.
5- Carbon steel
Carbon steel is made up of carbon and iron. It is an inexpensive and durable cookware material. It is mostly used to make pans or skillets. Carbon steel requires seasoning after every use for longer life. The seasoning transforms its surface into a nonstick surface. It resembles cast iron in some attributes but is less heavy than cast iron.
Carbon steel heats up slowly but is good at conducting heat than other materials. It does not easily break as the cast iron. You can call it the choice of professionals for its versatility so, select the best professional cookware for your kitchen. Carbon steel cookware is compatible with all cooktops including induction.
It is not dishwasher safe and it should be washed by hand with mild soapy water.
Copper is a good conductor of heat yet an expensive cookware material. One interesting fact is that it quickly heats up on the stovetop and when removed from there, then cools down in no time. Most people around the world prefer it for its high responsiveness.
Copper can’t be used alone as cookware because it reacts with acids and minerals of various foods. To avoid the metallic taste in foods, copper is lined with tin or stainless steel because they are non-reactive materials. By adding tin or stainless steel we create a gap between copper and the food. The tin lining deteriorates over time but stainless steel lining is durable and lasting. The only issue with stainless steel coating is that it may lessen the responsiveness of copper. If stainless steel is lined to the thick gauge copper then, the performance of copper remains exceptional.
Aluminum like copper is a good conductor of heat but less expensive than copper. Most manufacturers add other metals like copper or magnesium with aluminum to make light-weighted and responsive cookware.
Aluminum is also reactive to acidic foods like copper. To overcome this issue, aluminum is coated with nonstick material or stainless steel. Anodization is another procedure to control its responsiveness which makes its surface hard and gives it a dark grey look. The aluminum cookware without steel exteriors can’t be used with induction cooktops. Thus, aluminum cookware is light-weighted and durable cookware material.
These are the basis concepts which you have to go through before selecting a perfect cookware. After this guide you can narrow down your requirement in order to final your decision.