Cookware is used to refer to the vessels used in cooking food on a cooktop or stove. Cookware usually consists of a wide range of pans and pots which are made of materials from aluminum and stainless steel to ceramic and cast iron. Despite all the great innovations in the modern cookware including the anodized aluminum and non-stick surfaces, the greatest and healthiest types of cookware are the ones with classic materials such as cast iron and stainless steel. One of the factors you will always consider when evaluating the healthfulness of a cookware is whether it has been made from materials with toxic risk and the likelihood of the materials to leach into food during cooking.
Listed are the cookware materials, the advantages and disadvantages of each and some of the top brands to consider when purchasing for a cookware:
1. The Aluminum Cookware
The aluminum is an excellent heat conductor hence heats quickly. They are usually available with or without the nonstick coating and have a wide price range.
However, the uncoated aluminum cookware cooking surface may react with foods such as citrus and tomatoes. If the bottom is lightweight, it might react if overheated. They are not recommended for the induction cooktops.
Some of the top aluminum cookware brands include; Nordic Ware and Tramontina.
2. The Hard- Anodized Aluminum Cookware
Since aluminum is an excellent heat conductor, the hard anodized aluminum cookware usually heats up quickly. They are known to be extremely durable by being resistant to corrosion and having a non-reactive cooking surface. They are available with or without the non-stick coating. One main disadvantage of the hard anodized aluminum cookware is that most of them are hand wash only and its dark exterior finish may not be appealing to some of the cooks.
The top brands of the hard anodized cookware include; Le Creuset, Caphalon and Mauviel.
3. Cast Aluminum Cookware
The Cast aluminum cookware usually heats quickly since aluminum is an excellent heat conductor. This cookware is known to be stronger, thicker and heavier compared to the regular aluminum cookware. However, they are more expensive than the aluminum cookware and their uncoated cooking surface can easily react with the acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes.
Some of the Cast aluminum cookware top brands include; Swiss Diamond, Scan pan, Nordic Ware and Tramontina.
4. Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel is known to be a non-reactive cooking surface. Hence, the stainless steel cookware are known to be durable. They are widely available and have a wide price range. This cookware has an encapsulated bottom which helps in panning heat evenly. It is capable of resisting corrosion, rust and stains. However, when the stainless steel cookware is exposed to higher heat, it may develop hot spots around the pan edges, and it is usually discolored when overheated.
Some of the top, stainless steel cookware brands include; Fagor, Cuisinart, Joyce Chen, Chefs Essentials and Demeyere.
5. Cast Iron Cookware
The cast iron cookware has the capability of lasting for generations if well taken care of. This cookware heats evenly but slowly hence retaining heat exceptionally well. It is ideal for deep frying and high heat cooking. However, the cast iron cookware is very heavy and their cooking surface normally reacts with the acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes. They are also not dishwater safe and might rust if they are not thoroughly dried before being stored.
The top cast iron cookware brand is Lodge.
6. Carbon Steel Cookware
The carbon steel cookware is great for high heat cooking like searing and stir frying. Most people prefer this cookware since it heats and cools down quickly. It is suitable for induction cooktops.
Some of the top carbon steel cookware brands include; Joyce Che, de Buyer, Mauviel and Lodge.
7. Copper Cookware
Copper is known to be the most efficient heat conductor; hence the cooper cookware usually heats quickly and evenly. It also has a non-reactive cooking surface. However, they are very expensive and the unlined copper pans usually have a reactive surface.
The top copper cookware brand is Mauviel.
8. Ceramic Cookware
The Ceramic cookware heats and cooks evenly. It also retains heat very well and is known for making a beautiful tabletop presentation. One of the major disadvantages of the ceramic cookware is its high price and doesn’t come in every type of pan or pot.
Some of its top brands include; Revola and Emile Henry.
The most favorite cookware is those made from cast iron and stainless steel. The cookware’s that features copper or aluminum as cooking surfaces are not largely recommended though the stainless steel cookware having cores made from these materials are normally acceptable.