At present, Different Types of Cookware Materials are available in the market. While you have so many options for cookware, choosing one of them might be confusing. So it is difficult to find out the best cookware material for healthy cooking. However, the truth is every kind of cookware materials has the pros and cons. This post is for those people who want to buy cookware but confuse to select the right one. In this post, you will get almost everything in details with the pros and cons of various types of cookware materials. Let’s check it out to get more useful information.
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Different Types of Cookware Materials
There is a short list of various cookware materials for you. Hopefully, these information will help you to choose the right one for yourself.
Stainless steel is extremely durable cookware material. It is non-reactive, non-porous, dishwasher safe, and resistant to rust, corrosion, denting, and scratching. Stainless steel has an attractive silvery outlook and it doesn’t be outdated. However, stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat by itself. To increase the heat conductivity, an aluminium or copper core is been used as an interior layer of the stainless steel cookware.
Pros of Stainless Steel
- Safe for the oven.
- Compatible to use with metal utensils.
- Suitable for versatile use.
- Inexpensive than other usual cooking material such as copper.
- Recyclable and Eco-friendly.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
Cons of Stainless Steel
- Poor heat conductivity.
- Sometimes it can be expensive when it comes with a copper core.
- It is heavy to handle while it combined with other metals.
- If it scratched or damaged it could leach metallic flavour to food.
Raw aluminium is extremely soft and reactive to food so that it must be treated in certain ways before it’s used as cookware. Hard anodized aluminium is an alternative to stainless steel. It is durable, inexpensive, and great heat conductor. This material is also popular for bakeware. Moreover, aluminium is always paired with another material to increase durability. Hard anodized aluminium cookware is easy to handle and clean and safe for the dishwasher.
Pros of Aluminium
- Excellent heat conductivity, transfer heat evenly and properly.
- Sturdy, lightweight, and resistant to scratch.
- Can be used on stovetop or oven.
- Most of the hard anodized cookware is safe for the dishwasher.
- Easy to clean and maintain, doesn’t need extra effort for cleaning.
Cons of Aluminium
- Aluminium is difficult to repair if it damaged once.
- It reacts to acidic food such as tomato or any food with vinegar.
- Not safe for the induction cooktop.
- Not actually safe for high heat temperature.
- It may not be the best for sweet baked foods.
Cast iron is one of the most durable and versatile cookware materials. You can cook food anywhere with cast iron cookware from oven to broiler. However, cast iron requires extra care for cleaning and storing. It also needs seasoning to protect it from rust. Besides protecting rust, seasoning creates a wonderfully natural non-stick surface. Even though cast iron is reactive to acidic food, if you season it properly you can prevent this issue.
Pros of Cast Iron
- Once it gets hot, it will stay hot for a long time.
- Resistant for warping, rust, and scratching.
- Stable to use with metal utensils.
- Extremely durable and less expensive.
- Naturally non-stick.
- It is safe for the oven, stovetop, broiler, grill, even direct fire.
Cons of Cast Iron
- Cast iron doesn’t get hot evenly. It requires pre-heat before starting to cook with it.
- It needs extra care. Otherwise, it could rust or crack easily.
- Cast iron is a reactive material. It doesn’t take well to acidic food.
- Heavy to handle and takes extra effort to clean.
Copper is an excellent heat conductor. It heats evenly and rapidly and cools down as soon as it’s removed from the heat. Compared to other cookware materials, copper is very expensive. However, copper reacts with natural minerals and acidic foods so that it cannot be used alone for most cookware applications. It can add metallic flavour or taste with many foods. Because of that, copper cookware must be lined with non-reactive materials like tin or stainless steel.
Pros of Copper
- Great heat conductor of any material used to make cookware.
- No need to pre-heat as it heats evenly.
- Cooks food evenly and adjusts to temperature changes quickly.
- Safe for the oven, stovetop, and broiler.
- It can be used for boiling, sautéing, steaming, and braising.
Cons of Copper
- More expensive than other usual material.
- Reactive to acidic foods.
- Not capable to use on induction cooktops.
- Needs regular polishing to keep its shine and brightness.
Compared to other non-lined cooking materials non-stick allows cooking with less fat and much easier to clean. But it is not compatible for doing all kind of job that means it’s not for versatile use. Non-stick pans can be made from the same kind of materials as other cookware like aluminium, stainless steel, and copper. The main and the only difference is that the cooking surface is coated with a non-stick compound. PTFE is the most commonly found non-stick coating, even though other more Eco-friendly options have gained popularity in the last few years.
Pros of Non-Stick Materials
- Allow cooking with less oil or butter.
- Many Eco-friendly options allow for non-stick coatings that are safer and withstand at high heat temperature.
- Lightweight, strong, rust and heat resistant.
- Very easy to maintain and clean.
- Won’t stick the foods to the surface.
- Release food easily.
- Non-reactive and also non-porous.
Cons of Non-Stick Materials
- Not safe for metal utensils, use wooden or plastic utensils with it.
- Not safe for super high heat temperature, it would be better to use at medium to low heat.
- Non-stick comes with a short lifetime.
- It is not dishwasher safe.
Ceramic is the new addition in the world of non-stick cookware. It is widely considered to be the safest and most Eco-friendly option as it’s free of PTOA and PTFE. It is available in various designs and attractive colors. It doesn’t leach any metallic flavour to food. However, ceramic is ideal for dishes that need slow cooking because it heats up gradually. Although ceramic cookware is sturdy, still it could chip or crack easily so that it requires extra care and attention.
Pros of Ceramic
- Needs less oil or butter to cook and reduce cholesterol from food.
- The safest option for healthy cooking as it is free from any chemical and toxic.
- Comes with a smooth surface that releases food easily.
- Easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
- Non-reactive and also nonporous to any foods.
- Can store food in the refrigerator with it.
Cons of Ceramic
- Can resist high heat, recommended for only medium to low heat.
- Cannot use metal utensils with it.
- Could break easily than other usual cookware materials.
- Requires extra attention during cleaning and storing.
- Sometimes it could be more expensive than other cooking metals.
In conclusion, which cookware you will buy for your kitchen is totally up to you. But remember one thing, healthy cookware is the most important part of a healthy life. So, whenever you want to buy any cookware ensure that you know everything about it. All of the information I’ve added above the post for Different Types of Cookware Materials will give you a clear cut concept about them.