Cooking presents many great opportunities to try new meals, while living healthy. Although, when learning how to cook we don't really pay much attention to the cookware we use, once we start to live on our own we have to deal with a serious problem - how to choose suitable cookware for our lifestyle and needs. To help solve this problem for you, I have put up this ultimate guide for choosing cookware, supported with great infographic at the bottom!
Where to start?
With such wide selection of cookware available, you probably already feel overwhelmed by the choices you have. To make things much easier, simply think about how often do you cook - do you prepare 3 meals every day or just cook once every few days, so you have something to eat. For example, if you do cook a lot and love to experiment in the kitchen, it totally makes sense to invest a bit more in cookware since you will be using it every day.
Different types of cookware, are contain different metals and some of them react with food ingredients. If you are serious about cooking and try wide range of recipes in your kitchen, this is definitely something to consider.
What features to look for in cookware?
As mentioned earlier, your lifestyle and cooking habits heavily influence your buying decision when it comes to cookware. Let's look at the most important features to look for when choosing such items:
- Heat Conductivity - cooking great meals from any recipe, requires cookware that is made from metal with great heat conductivity properties. For example, cookware made of copper tends of heat up faster than stainless steel one, but it also tends to cool down a lot faster, so there is the risk of damaging the metal.
- Cost - most of the time, the cost is the decisive factor, influencing cookware buying decisions. Since this is probably the case with you as well, the main rule to remember here is to buy the best cookware you can afford.
- Durability - depending on the materials used for creation of the cookware, it may last for years with only maintenance care. Cookware made of stainless steel is considered the most durable among all.
- Maintenance - cookware made of copper tends to require a lot of maintenance to keep it shine and safe for use, while stainless steel cookware almost doesn't require any maintenance at all. To make the choice much easier - simply consider how often you will use your cookware.
What are the most common types of cookware?
Often cookware is categorized based on the materials used for their manufacturing. The most common types available are stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium and copper cookware. To help with your buying decision, let's do a quick a review on the pros and cons of each one of these:
- Stainless Steel Cookware - this is without doubt the most common material used to manufacture cookware. It's durable, resistant to scratches and also doesn't react to any foods. On the downside, stainless steel doesn't have really good heat conducting properties, so some foods could cook unevenly.
- Cookware made from Cast Iron - many people choose cast iron cookware, because of its extreme durability and heat retention properties. However, such cookware can react with unseasoned foods, it's heavy and also requires a lot of maintenance, as the iron could easily rust.
- Aluminium Cookware - aluminium has incredible heat conductivity properties, so cookware manufactured from that metal can help you do miracles in the kitchen. However, such cookware scratches really easily and also reacts with some foods, which are rich in acids.
- Copper Cookware - cookware made from copper is typical for high-end restaurants and passionate chefs. It has incredibly high heat conducting properties, but all this comes at reasonably high price, so these are not something you see in every household. The downside of copper cookware is that it tends to react with foods rich in acids and also requires extra maintenance such as daily polishing.