There’s more to cooking than recipes, ingredients and the cook’s talent, the quality and type cookware plays a significant part. The success of a dish, including the speed and thoroughness with which it is cooked can depend to a great extent on the choice of cookware. Furthermore, in today’s society, there is an ever increasing choice of cookware on the market which not only gives you an excellent choice, but also allows you to choose according to the design and feel of your kitchen.
With this in mind, below is a concise guide to the strengths and disadvantages of materials used in the pots and pans available in today’s market.
Cast-iron cookware will last you a lifetime, probably remaining in good condition for your next generation too. It is an ideal heat conductor, and the saucepans and casseroles are coated with an enamel primer to seal rims. It can be used both on the hob and in the oven making it extremely versatile. The woks, grills and frying pans facilitate virtually fat-free cooking and are excellent for healthy low fat cooking, something we all need today. Food glides over it. It doesn’t warp and cleaning it is effortless and is dishwasher safe. For the frying pans etc to achieve optimum performance you may have to season it. Cast iron cookware has an excellent, heavy feel to it and with two of the leading brands, Le Creuset and Chasseur you have an range of colours to choose from to suit your kitchen. Whilst viewed as a more traditional product to fit traditional kitchens, a wider range of colours, including pink and kiwi, have recently been released.
Copper has been a favoured metal for cookware over the centuries. A remarkable heat conductor, copper utensils perform excellently, distributing heat evenly. They are durable, resisting denting and warping. However, they tend to react with acidic food if the coating is too thin. They may also get scratched or discoloured and it is not recommended that that they used in the dishwasher. But most of all, copper ensures quick cooking, and in comparison to cast-iron they are lighter to handle and are attractive to have hanging in the kitchen.
Extremely durable, good looking and easy to maintain, stainless steel cookware is dent and scratch resistant, and is safe to cook any kind of food. It is popular because it has an attractive smooth finish which comes in many styles including mirror finished and is easy to clean (most stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe and many on the Blueshoots website has been approved by Finish) making it a favourite in many households. Although it might lose colour or become prone to pitting resulting from salt or brine exposure, it still holds water due to its non-porous quality. When looking to buy stainless steel cookware look for it to be manufactured with high quality heavy gauge stainless steel and to have hot forged bases with a good thickness between 5.5mm to 6.5mm which provide more even heat distribution. Any heavier and it can make the saucepan and frying pans too heavy. Key players within the stainless steel market are Stellar, Judge Vista and Meyer.
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