For people who are fond of preparing delicious dishes in the kitchen, the battle between stainless steel vs. copper cookware sounds familiar. In fact, so many people talk about this topic in forums and discussion threads. But what is the big deal about these choices?
Here’s a roundup of the two types of cookware that have been favorites of millions of cooks and hobbyists, followed by tips for help choosing stainless steel vs copper for your home kitchen.
Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel cookware is perhaps the more popular cookware choice, as you can find this in any department store. They are also quite cheaper than copper ones. If you are a newbie in the kitchen and don’t quite know what to do with how much oil you need for your fried dish, or your dishes get stuck to the pan, then stainless steel cookware is better for you.
Stainless steel is made of strong material that is almost scratch-proof, unless you use a highly abrasive cleaner. Other than merely scratching the surface, stainless steel cookware can withstand almost anything. Utensils and cooking equipment made of stainless steel is not so much susceptible to bending, chipping, or cracking. As with any type of cookware, you need to be extra careful when handling and washing your utensils and cookware.
Stainless steel stays shiny even after decades of use. It can withstand repeated washings, though a major drawback is that food cooked in stainless steel can pick up residual flavors from the other meals you previously cooked. This happens especially when you cook dishes with cheese or tomato.
Stainless steel cookware is also durable although it is a great conductor of heat and electricity. Thus, you have to be careful not to touch some parts of the cookware. Another plus for stainless steel cookware is that it’s dishwasher-safe.
When cooking dishes like stir-fried vegetables in stainless steel cookware, you have to keep on stirring the ingredients or they will burn. This mostly happens in stainless steel pots and pans. Such cookware isn’t attractive (they’re not fancy to look at), so if you are looking for cookware that is good for display on the kitchen counter, skip stainless steel.
You also have to scrub the pots and pans properly as leftover grease can stay even after washing. Stainless steel cookware is likewise prone to rusting.
Such setbacks in using stainless steel cookware make people switch to copper cookware, which is undoubtedly more expensive, but has become a staple in restaurant cooking. Even kitchen and culinary experts trust copper cookware.
This type of cookware has a tin interior so your food is safe from reacting to the bottom of the pot or pan. Stainless steel lines the exterior to make them more durable and convenient to clean.
You can also cook your food faster using copper cookware, but it will not burn as easily because copper distributes heat evenly throughout its surface. You don’t have to worry about overcooking your vegetables or toasting your meats.
Copper cookware is also great for making candies and other recipes that are sensitive to heat. Copper materials make cooking generally easier. You can even maintain the heat and temperature in soups and sauces. Thus, you have more control in the kitchen. Another advantage is that copper has natural anti-microbial properties, so you can be sure that all the food you cook are safe.
However, copper cookware is not without disadvantages. For one thing, copper cookware is a lot more expensive than stainless steel. It can also react to acid as pure copper pans and pots can also react with the food and leave a certain taste (as that of metal).
It is also quite difficult to maintain copper cookware. You can polish your copper cookware but you have to do it gently because they are really soft and prone to dents and scratches. Moreover, you cannot use copper cookware on a stove with a ceramic glass top, as it will leave marks on the surface of the stove.
Still, copper cookware can be a great investment for anyone who wants to build their kitchen or use quality equipment for their dishes. You can also count on copper cookware as many chefs and professional cooks use them. Copper cookware is as heavy as stainless steel and they won’t shift or topple while you stir.
Stainless Steel vs Copper Cookware: Which One to Choose?
In this stainless steel vs. copper cookware battle, the factors narrow down to what you need now and what you can afford. If will not be cooking any fancy dishes anytime soon, and you don’t have that large of a budget for pots and pans, then stainless steel cookware is the more appropriate choice.
However, if you have the means to buy copper cookware and you are more concerned about your health and safety, then copper cookware is the better choice. If you want to be practical, you can buy more stainless steel cookware for now and just save up for copper cookware later. Both are indispensable allies in the kitchen.