A Detailed Guide for Choosing Cookware Materials

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Selecting Cookware Material - What Type is the Healthiest?

Are you planning on getting new cookware? Whatever the occasion, cookware is always available with various unique designs, sizes, and shapes. This make them a very important and fundamental tool in every home.

You must therefore understand the metals used for making cookware in order to make an informed decision while making your purchase. 

We will do a quick review of the types of cookware materials, their pros, cons, maintenance tips, and factors to consider before choosing one. 

Types of Cookware Materials

There are different types of cookware and some of them include:

  1. Aluminum
  2. Glass
  3. Cast Iron
  4. Stainless Steel
  5. Titanium
  6. Copper
  7. Non-stick or Teflon

These cookware materials are significantly different from each other. This can be observed in terms of cooking time, the rate at which they conduct heat, durability, quality, and price. We will explain in detail as you read on. 

Aluminum 

Aluminum is one of the most popular metals used in making cookware. It is a lightweight metal that conducts heat quickly. When using aluminum cookware, your food would be evenly cooked. This is because aluminum is a steady and stable heat conductor.

Pros 

  1. Even distribution of heat
  2. High heat conductivity
  3. Less cooking time 

Cons

  1. High reactivity to food
  2. Release of metallic components into food if left for a long period
  3. Leads to Alzheimer if the metallic components released into the food are consumed in large amounts. 

You can choose hard-anodized aluminum cookware that has gone through oxidation to produce hard surface that is non-reactive. This will prevent reactions between your food and the aluminum cookware.

Glass

It is the oldest cookware material that does not have any side effects. It is always safe and easy to use. 

In recent times, glass can now be used for baking, microwave cooking, and even stovetop cooking.

Pros

  1. You can use it as a food serving and storage ware as well as a cookware
  2. It is readily available and inexpensive
  3. There are no pores that food can stick to
  4. You can use it to cook any kind of food
  5. It is a heat retainer
  6. It is not difficult to maintain

Cons 

  1. It is a poor heat conductor
  2. It can break easily if handled without care
  3. It has hot-spots that cause food to burn easily. 

When you are using a glass cookware, do not overcook your food. Make use of the after heat to complete your cooking. This is because glass is an excellent heat retainer.  

Cast Iron 

How to Properly Season Your Cast Iron Cookware | Foodal

Cast iron is a great option for achieving a searing and browning effect on your food. It is durable and always healthy to use. However, its quality has been tampered with if it is coated with ceramic or enamel. 

Pros

  1. It is safe and healthy to use. This is because it can introduce iron to the food cooked.
  2. It is a good heat retainer and can distribute heat evenly.
  3. It can be used for deep frying.

Cons

  1. It is heavyweight.
  2. It is reactive to acidic foods like tomatoes, wines, and citruses; it may also burn easily. 
  3. It requires special care and maintenance.

When selecting a cookware that is made of cast iron, go for one with good quality. Also, you can choose one with a metal handle, which will enable you to use it in your oven and on a stovetop.

Stainless Steel

This is a very popular cookware material that is readily available nowadays. It appears shiny and professional without much stress of maintenance. It also comes in different types depending on the type of metal used for making the cookware. The types include surgical grade stainless steel, ply stainless steel, bottom class stainless steel, and waterless stainless steel. 

Pros

  1. It is easy and safe to use
  2. It is durable
  3. It is non-reactive and non-porous
  4. It occupies less storage space. It can be packed together to create more space, and you won’t need to worry about damage.

Cons 

  1. It conducts heat poorly
  2. It is expensive

Getting stainless-steel cookware is a worthwhile venture. This is because it can stay for a longer time without wearing out. You need to always keep it clean and avoid soaking in salty water for long.

Titanium

Titanium is the newest cookware material on the market now. It is safe and healthy cookware, designed to aid dieting and fat minimization. It is lightweight and very strong. 

Pros

  1. It is easy to use
  2. It reduces fat consumption
  3. It is durable
  4. It is aids quick cooking of food

Cons

  1. It has hot-spots, which may cause food to burn
  2. It doesn’t conduct heat

Using titanium cookware is interesting. However, you need to master the trick of flipping and tossing it to avoid burning your food. You can watch this video to learn how to flip food like a pro.

Copper

Copper cookware is best for heat conductivity. It is the most preferred choice for home and professional use. It disperses heat and distributes it evenly. 

Pros

  1. It is durable
  2. It is best for cooking at a controlled temperature
  3. It is a good heat conductor
  4. It is environmentally friendly

Cons 

  1. It is expensive
  2. It can be affected by oxygen and moisture. As a result, it can tarnish and change color easily
  3. It can become poisonous if your food is salty
  4. It requires extra care and maintenance. 

Copper cookware cannot be handled with levity. You need to use mild soaps while washing them so as not to damage your cookware. Ensure you don’t have oil on the side where there is copper, as it may not be easy to remove when it becomes heated.

Non-stick

Non-stick cookware is one of the favorite choices of homemakers. It is also easy for novice cooks to use.

Pros

  1. Food does not stick on it
  2. It reduces cooking fat
  3. It is easy to maintain and clean
  4. It is readily available
  5. It comes in different colors

Cons

  1. It is not durable
  2. It scratches easily
  3. It cannot be used in deep frying
  4. It is unsafe

However, non-stick cookware needs to be used with caution. At high temperatures, they can emit toxic substances into the food that is being cooked. 

Conclusion

We have discussed the different types of cookware materials. So, before you choose, ensure that you read the pros and cons of every material. Also, do not forget to use the tips we have shared in this article.