June 23, 2024

Pots and pans are the basic essentials for the average kitchen, but before you buy, you might want to consider all of the choices you have to choose the best ones for you and your kitchen. Pots and pans come in different materials like aluminum, anodized aluminum, cast iron, copper, non-stick, and stainless steel.

Aluminum

Aluminum pots and pans are usually cheaper than most other kinds of cookware. Aluminum is lightweight but fairly durable and can withstand high temperatures. One drawback is that it reacts with acidic and alkaline foods altering the taste, you can still use aluminum and avoid this problem by using anodized aluminum.

Anodized Aluminum

This type of aluminum cookware has a special coating to prevent the aluminum from reacting with certain foods. It is a great choice to cook with, but the coating can be sensitive. To avoid damaging the coating, do not cook highly acidic and alkaline foods in them, also, hand wash these pots in warm, soapy water instead of putting them in a dishwasher with harsh soaps.

Cast Iron

Cast iron pans are also fairly inexpensive, but can be a little more than aluminum. This type of cookware takes longer to heat up, but once heated, holds the heat well. This makes it ideal for slow cooking and frying. The drawbacks are that it’s very sensitive and rusts, stains, and becomes pitted easily. To best care for your cast iron, do not wash it with soap, but run a damp paper towel over it after cooking to clean any excess food off.

Lined Copper

Copper pans are more expensive than most, but conduct heat extremely well. They heat up fast when on the burner and cool down fast when taken away from the heat. Copper pans must be lined with another material, otherwise the copper reacts badly with food making it poisonous and altering the taste. For this reason, copper should be delicately hand washed and relined every few years.

Non-Stick

These pots and pans simple have a special coating that keeps foods from sticking to it. These should not be washed in the dishwasher or with abrasive scrubbers, but gently washed in warm soap and water.

Stainless Steel

This moderately priced material is very durable, but alone, does not conduct heat well at all. For this reason, when shopping for stainless steel, look for pots and pans with a thick layer of copper or aluminum on the bottom for better heat conduction. It is best to wash these in warm soap and water, and these can withstand nylon scrubbers.

These are the main materials that pots and pans come in. And for the adventurous cook, there are other wonderful and exciting types of pots to choose from like crock-pots, stockpots, saucepans, and crab pots to name a few.