There are certain things that you need to take into consideration when choosing cookware pieces. At this point, you now have an idea of the cookware items that you need. On the other hand, aside from which pieces you need to have, another thing that also needs attention is deciding on material. What is the best cookware material, then?
Let’s take into consideration some of the most common type of materials that are available in the market these days, looking at the features, advantages and disadvantages of each:
Different Types of Materials Used for Cookware
Copper provides great thermal conductivity. As a result, it can cook food evenly. However, they are also reactive with acidic or alkaline foods, which may result in a metallic taste right after cooking in a copper pot. Also, light colored food items, such as eggs, may also form some grey streaks as they pick up the compounds of copper. This means the possibility of ingesting small amounts of copper is possible.
This is not really a big deal if it happens occasionally, but not good for daily use. At the same time, copper needs constant polishing and regular maintenance. They are expensive, as a result.
If you really want to use copper pots as your cookware material, it is recommended to search for copper pots that come with tin or stainless steel lining so that you can still enjoy the best of both materials, that is, high quality thermal conductivity, coupled with the versatility and safety which is readily available with nonreactive lining.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is great for its excellent thermal conductivity. It is also known to be affordable and lightweight. On the other hand, just like copper, aluminum in its raw form is also highly reactive to acidic or alkaline foods. It also tends to warm in high heat and very soft, scratching easily.
When used for long term, this may eventually lead to some health concerns. A good option, however, if you want to use aluminum, is using an anodized option which has been treated using an electro-chemical process which works in hardening it, thus providing solution to most problems that are present using raw aluminum.
Keep in mind however, that such an option is more expensive as compared to raw aluminum, but comes with a superior cookware material. Even though anodized aluminum may take a longer time in order to heat up as compared to other materials, it is a great heat conductor, scratch-resistant, very strong, and lightweight.
Cast Iron is another cookware material that you can take into consideration. It is inexpensive, durable, as well as naturally non-stick as long as it is rightfully seasoned. It can also distribute heat evenly while retaining heat well while imparting iron to foods.
This serves to be perfect for slow, low simmering, as well as browning. On the other hand, this material is also reactive, not taking well on acidic foods. It is also relatively heavier, and may take longer to heat up. It also takes more effort for cleaning and maintaining.
For a better option, while you prefer raw cast irons on skillets, opting for enameled cast iron, or those that are coated in porcelain enamel, has all of the benefits that you can get out of cast iron, minus the extra hassle.
Therefore, it becomes a great material to use on Dutch ovens. Unlike raw cast irons, it is non-reactive, beautiful and easy to clean.
Another material that is quite popular among cookware enthusiasts is stainless steel.
For one, it is non-reactive, which means that you can easily cook any type of food in it. It is also durable, heavy, dishwasher safe, and mostly inexpensive, especially when using basic models. The only drawback to using stainless steel is that it has poor heat transfer, as well as distribution.
However, this problem can easily be solved by purchasing a better quality stainless steel cookware set. True, it may come with a higher price, but you have all the benefits that come along with the investment.
These more expensive, yet better quality options come with an added inner core which is typically made of aluminum or copper, which enhances the overall heat conductivity. While it may be expensive, it can last a long time – a lifetime even.
What is the Best Cookware Material: Bottom Line
Taking into consideration all types of materials possible in manufacturing cookware sets, it is easy to tell that stainless steel is the best cookware material. It has a lot of advantages and features. While there are certain drawbacks, you can easily make up for it by getting a better quality set.
There are a lot of options that you can find online these days. Therefore, you can compare among the different options and get the best one that fits your preferences.