- What should you look for when shopping for cookware?
- When to discard your pan?
- What are some of the common cookware?
- Why do the specific features matter in a cookware range?
- Simple tips to maintain cookware
1. What should you look for when shopping for cookware?
Heat conductivity : Metals vary in their heat conductivity. Aluminium, for example, is a highly efficient heat conductor, whereas stainless steel is not. This implies that the greater your cookware's heat conductivity, the better and more evenly your meals will cook.
Price : The cost of your cookware will almost certainly influence which pans you choose. The rule of thumb when it comes to cookware is to invest what you can afford in the best quality available.
Durability : The durability of different types of cookware varies. Stainless steel is regarded as one of the best when it comes to staying looking new and lasting a long time.
Reactivity : Certain foods react with different metals. Cast iron, for example, reacts with tomato and other acidic meals. This implies that the food you're cooking may absorb some of the metal, so choose your cookware carefully and be informed about the reactivity of each product. Non-Stick does not react with nothing at all in a regular kitchen environment
Maintenance : Nobody wants to spend their evening scrubbing pots and pans. But if you want your cookware to stay in good condition, then you need to be aware of the amount of upkeep it requires. Rust and discoloration are the most common issues with iron cookware, while stainless steel is easier to maintain. Non-Stick does not require any maintenance but avoid harsh scrubbers.
2. When to discard your Pan?
Warping or Pan loses shape : Even if it's non-stick, stainless steel or carbon steel, dents and dings on the bottom can be a problem. Pans with dents on the bottoms will cook your meal unevenly. The part that comes into touch with the heating element gets hotter than the other which is dented. Your pot or pan's bottom should be level to ensure good contact with the heating element, it is good for saving fuel and money.
Non-Stick Coating Damage : When the coating flakes off, pans aren't non-stick anymore. No one wants to remove food from scorched pans, so you'll need a new one. This could happen due to high heat, burning food or using sharp spatula. To avoid ingesting flecks in your scrambled eggs, throw any non-stick pan as soon as it starts flaking.
Lose Handles : Don't worry about rivets becoming loose in a kitchen; it's not going to happen unless the factory made a mistake, or they weren't installed correctly. Screwed-on handles on pans can become loose over time, which is both a hassle and unsafe. To avoid this, make sure to either discard pans with loose handles or buy ones that have sturdy riveted handles.
3. What are some of the common cookware?
Stainless Steel : It would be the most popular cookware material. It is quite easy to come by, and it is found in virtually every household. The definition of stainless steel is an alloy composed of metals including steel, carbon, and chromium. This type of metal is given the name 'stainless' because it does not rust or corrode easily. While stainless steel is a great material for cookware, its lack of heat conductivity can be an issue. For that reason, it's best to choose stainless steel cookware that has an aluminium or copper core. If you don't have one, then cooking will be more difficult as hotspots will form on the surface, and food won't cook evenly.
Cast Iron : For centuries, people have used cast iron to make cookware because of its impressive cooking performance. If you ask anyone who uses cast iron pots and pans, they'll tell you it's the best material for cooking. Cast iron, though requiring slightly more care than other materials, is an investment worth your while. Not only is it extremely durable-it's common to find cast iron cookware that lasts for generations, but of course with a little work of seasoning and maintaining it for years.
Non-Stick (Aluminium) : Aluminium is a popular material for cookware because of its excellent heat conduction. It may be used in approximately 50% of all current cookware due to this. Aluminium is a soft metal that scratches and dents easily.
Anodization : Anodization is another popular method of making aluminium scratch resistant. This procedure deposits a layer of aluminium oxide on the surface, making it scratch resistant while also preventing food from reacting with it. To ensure that food is not burned when utilising aluminium cookware, it is usually coated with a non-stick.
|Stainless Steel||• Inexpensive
• Scratch resistant
• No reaction with food
• Can resist warping at high temperature
|• Not a good conductor of heat.
• Cleaning can be a concern
• Requires more oil
|Cast Iron||• Relatively inexpensive
• Extremely durable
• Great heat retention
• Warp resistant
• Can be put on heat for long
|• Reacts with foods unless seasoned
• Requires regular seasoning to avoid rust.
• Is heavier than most other types of cookware
|Non-Stick (Aluminium)||• Excellent heat conduction
• No oil or less oil cooking
• Excellent food release
• Easy to clean
• Available in many colours
|• Scratches and dents easily
• Constant high heat can cause flaking
• Careful with sharp spatula
• Can warp quickly if not heavy gauge.
4. Why do the specific features matter in a cookware range?
Consider what signature feature makes your cookware special. For instance, some cookware with textures surface, circle in another circle with same centre(epicentre) or dimple or square dots that helps in excellent browning and superior food release; while others might have a colander lid to directly strain from the pot. Different brands come up with signature designs to offer not just special functionalities but styled finish. For example, some brands like Circulon and Merlot have been celebrated for decades in the market for their amazing design and superior functionality that last a lifetime.
How much should it cost?
Lastly, let’s talk about money. The price can make a major difference between buying a cookware that lasts a lifetime and buying a cookware whose handles break within a month of usage. A minimum basic that is must for any kitchen- a good quality saucepan, fry-pan and grill pan will cost you easily around Rs.6500-8000 in total. Though there are certainly many economic options available, the quality, durability, heat conductivity and longevity that they offer will definitely not be the same as expensive ones.
5. Simple tips to maintain cookware
- In order to avoid scratching your cookware, it is best to use BPA free silicone or nylon spatulas instead of metal utensils.
- Avoid cooking acidic foods in cast-iron cookware as the acidity can damage the seasoning; however, this is not a concern with enamel cast iron.
- Stacking your coated pots and pans on top of each other can result in scratches and chips. To avoid this, store them in another way (hanging on hooks or use cloth sheet as a separator)
- If you add salt to cold water, it may cause stainless steel products to pit. If the salt isn't completely dissolved and/or the pan isn't stirred, this could result in fast corrosion. It can also slow down the boiling process because salt lowers the water's boiling point.
- Do not put the handle with silicone or plastic over mould in direct contact with heat or flame as it can become damaged.
Check out Meyer Cookware Range here
Never buy cheap cookware. great article on it.
Its a good question to ask. I made a mistake once when I bought a cheap pan. It did not evn last a week. the first thing to break was the handle. will never make such mistake
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