When buying cookware, consider the materials used. It affects cooking quality.
Cookware sold in the market these days are incomparable to cookware used ages ago. It goes hand in hand with the forgotten days of using firewood or charcoal when cooking your every day meals.
Today, facing the difficulties of the present economy, the name of the game is buying durable items that will last long, and hopefully be passed on to future generations also. These items may be more expensive but will definitely be more worth your money in the long run.
This principle also works in buying cookware for your kitchen. Cookwares now are made of varying materials. Aluminum is the most common. It is estimated that no less than 52% of cookware sold these days are made from aluminum. However, most of the aluminum pans and pots are either coated with “non-stick” finish or treated with a metal alteration and hardening process.
Exercise caution with aluminum cookwares though. Avoid storing highly salty and acidic foods. High level of aluminum can go inside the stored food. Aside from this, it can cause pitting on the pot’s surface.
Anodized aluminum became popular because of its ability to conduct heat easily. Pans and pots of this material are easy to clean. Food does not stick on the smooth, hard surface. Compared to bare aluminum, this type does not react even to highly acidic foods, making it a great choice when cooking with sauces and fruits.
Cookware with non-stick coatings can be easily scratched with rough-edged or sharp kitchen tools. It is advisable to use wooden or plastic utensils with these. When cleaning them, never use scouring cleansers or pads because non-stick pans abrade easily with heavy usage, causing its particles to chip-off. However, if these particles are accidentally ingested, they pass through your body unchanged, posing no known health hazard.
Stainless Steel is deemed exceptionally durable. The striking finish will not tarnish or corrode permanently. Its non-porous, tough and hard surface can resist wearing. Stainless steel alone cannot evenly conduct heat. Most are combined with an aluminum or copper bottom.
On the other hand, copper is an excellent conductor of heat, especially deigned for cooking delicate sauces as well as food cooked in a precise and controlled temperature. The FDA however issued a warning against using unlined copper cookware because this element is very corrosive. It can easily contaminate food and cause sickness when accidentally taken in. Thus, if you will get copper based cookware, make sure it is lined with stainless steel. It may be more expensive but safer to use.
Cast Iron is inexpensive, strong and poses as a very good heat conductor. It is convenient for frying, baking and browning food. In fact, it is also believed to be a good source of iron.
Cast iron utensils should be coated with unsalted cooking oil and washed with mild detergents only. This is to prevent rust formation. Scouring is also discouraged. Thus, after rinsing, you need to wipe your cookware or utensils immediately.
Enameled and ceramic both appear colorful and safe for cooking. It is highly durable as well as scratch and stain resistant.
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