Do Your Cookware Materials Matter: Four Things to Know | Blog
When exploring your kitchen utensil options, it’s also helpful to keep your budget and intended use in mind. The camping kitchen, for example, will be very different from the home kitchen or even the magnetic induction kitchen.
Cooking with cast iron
Cast iron, like all cookware, has its pros and cons. First, it is one of the most versatile kitchen utensil materials. Cast iron cookware almost undoubtedly wins the durability contest if properly cared for and maintained. Additionally, cast iron offers versatility, as it can be used on a stovetop, in the oven, on a grill, or even with direct flames. This gives the cast iron chef a wide range of options for meal planning. Plus, direct flame compatibility makes cast iron cookware a great option for the camp kitchen.
Beyond the versatility of cooking techniques and environments, the main drawback of cast iron is the maintenance required. Keeping cast iron in pristine condition takes work. Before each use, cast iron cookware must go through a process called seasoning. Seasoning is the repeated heating and cooling of oil on the cast iron cooking surface. This creates a barrier between the metal of the cookware and the meal itself while providing a smooth, semi-nonstick cooking surface. Failure to season a piece of cast iron cookware before each use results in meals that have off-flavors and early spoilage of the cookware itself.
Differences in stainless steel
Stainless steel is an extremely popular choice among most consumers because it offers a wide range of options when it comes to cooking features and price. Additionally, stainless steel cookware is generally much easier to maintain.
Although stainless steel products are not suitable for fireplaces, they are ideal for stovetops or ovens. Some stainless steel cookware will have temperature limits, but most modern sets are safe to use up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, stainless steel is easy to clean with warm, soapy water or even in the dishwasher. However, some industry experts still recommend hand washing and drying over using a dishwasher when it comes to extending the life of stainless steel cookware. The main thing to understand about stainless steel cookware is that stainless steel does not cook.
Stainless steel, by itself, is an unimpressive heating element. Also, it makes cooking equipment look ugly when insulated. Stainless steel cookware manufacturers solve this problem by adding an inner layer in the design of cookware. This inner central layer is made of a conductive metal, aluminum or copper, responsible for the conduction, retention and distribution of heat.
Aluminum-based stainless steel cookware is the most popular option due to its attractive price. In contrast, copper-based cookware offers more precision in the cooking process due to its higher conductivity levels.
What’s even non-stick?
Non-stick cookware is another standard option in the home kitchen world. It offers the chef an easy cooking experience and a simpler cleaning process. While nonstick technology used to be PFOA-based and has been criticized as a potential health hazard, modern nonstick technology is PFOA-free.
Innovations in nonstick technology to remove PFOA (or Teflon) from cookware have made it possible to combine and use it in concert with other cookware technologies.
In the modern market, there are endless options for kitchen utensils. However, finding a pots and pans set that meets your individual cooking needs while providing an enjoyable cooking experience and an easy cleaning process may differ from the time you spend in your kitchen.
With next-generation options on the market that aim to combine the best aspects of various cooking materials, consumers can find the perfect cookware with just a little information. Whether it’s looking at a pot and pan set that combines the ease of maintenance and aesthetics of stainless steel with innovative PFOA-free nonstick technology and magnetic aluminum; or looking at ceramic-based pots and pans that offer a unique design suitable for a modern kitchen, the right cookware exists for every home chef’s wish.