6 Key Factors To Consider When Buying Cookware

Looking for new cookware? With so many different types of cookware out there on the market, it can be daunting and confusing as well.  Which type should you buy?  What is the difference between the many types of cookware? What is the best cookware?  Here are 6 key factors to consider when buying cookware. Heat conductivity: the better the heat conductivity, the better and more evenly your food will cook.  Price: this will most likely determine what you end up buying.  Durability: How long the cookware will last.  Reactivity: Some metals will react to certain foods.  Maintenance: How much work and time to keep your cookware looking good. Type of stove you have: Some types of cookware are not appropriate to certain types of stoves.

 

Heat Conductivity

There are some metals that are better heat conductors than others. This means the better the heat conductivity the better and more evenly your food will cook. You want cookware that will react quickly to the temperature change when turning the heat up or down. For example, copper cookware will react more quickly to the temperature change than stainless steel cookware.

 

Price

The price of the cookware is most likely the determining factor in what cookware you end up buying.  When buying cookware the rule of thumb is to buy the best that you can afford. Also, think about what pieces of cookware you need.  Buying piece by piece is more expensive than buying a cookware set, but then there is no reason to buy the whole set if you wind up using only a few of them.

 

Durability

Some cookware types maintain their good looks and last longer than others. Nothing more disappointing than buying cookware that will bend, warp, or chip easily.

 

Reactivity

There are some metals that will react with certain foods. These metals have a tendency to react with tomato and other acidic foods, meaning that your food actually absorbs some of the metal. You need to be aware of this when considering your cookware choices.

 

Maintenance

You need to consider the amount of maintenance that is required to keep your cookware looking good. Copper cookware needs polishing and cast iron needs seasoning so these types need a bit of work to keep them looking good.  What cookware is dishwasher safe and what ones require hand washing only?

 

Type Of Stove You Will Be Cooking On

Not all types of cookware are appropriate for all stove types. Induction cooktops will need cookware with a magnetic base.  Glass stovetops need cookware with a smooth bottom and are more lightweight.  If not, you must remember not to slide cookware across the top but need to lift up when moving the cookware.

Many people have no understanding of the makeup of cookware or why some cookware material is better than others. So let’s take a look at some different types and the pros and cons of each one.

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Types Of Cookware

Stainless Steel

The most common type of cookware and you will most likely find it in most households. It is an excellent choice for cookware with one exception: its inability to conduct heat well.  You will find that it is prone to hot spots on the cooking surface and food will not cook evenly. So it is important that you choose stainless steel cookware with a copper or aluminum core. Stainless steel cookware will last a lifetime.

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Keeps it a shiny look
  • Doesn’t react with foods
  • Warp resistant

Cons

  • Poor conductor of heat

 

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware has been around for generations. Many that use cast iron swears by it for its excellent cooking ability. But one needs to be aware that cast iron is not easy to maintain.  Cast iron needs some effort to keep it working as it should.  Cast iron is extremely durable and cookware that has been handed down from one generation to the next. Read this article for more information on cast iron

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Extremely durable
  • Good heat retention

Cons

  • Reacts with food unless it is seasoned
  • High maintenance; requires regular seasoning
  • Heavy
  • Prone to rust if not cared for correctly

Aluminum Cookware

50% of aluminum is used in cookware made today due to its excellent heat conduction. Aluminum is a soft metal and can dent and scratch easily. It can also react with certain foods. Aluminum cookware is often finished with a nonstick coating to ensure foods do not stick or burn.

Pros

  • Excellent heat conduction

Cons

  • Reacts with acidic foods
  • Scratches and dents easily

Copper Cookware

Copper cookware is commonly used by chefs because it conducts heat extremely well, in that it heats quickly and adjusts to changes in temperature as well, allowing greater control over your cooking.  This cookware is expensive and not seen often in home kitchens.

Pros

  • Excellent heat conductivity

Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Reacts to acidic foods
  • Needs regular polishing

Final Thoughts

Making the final decision on what type of cookware you want, whether it is stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, or copper really comes down to a personal decision based on how much time you spend cooking, how experienced you are in the kitchen, and your budget.  Remember, buy the best you can buy for your money.

For all-around flexibility, usability and price, stainless steel cookware is at the top of the list. Considering the pros, it beats the other types of cookware hands down but with one drawback; it does not conduct heat very well.  So if you are worried about having evenly cooked food then heat conduction is important.

The solution: clad cookware!  It is cookware that is made up of several layers of different metals.  Such as Stainless steel cookware with a layer of copper or aluminum.

Stainless steel with a copper base will be more expensive than an aluminum base, but it will have better heat conduction.

Take time choosing your cookware, buy the best you can afford, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the care of your cookware and you will be satisfied with many years of use and a pleasant cooking experience.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful in your journey into buying new cookware. 

And as always

Have A Wonderful Day!

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