Cookware 101

What do you look for when you purchase a set of cookware? Are you looking for the best value, best quality, or whatever is in style? I never really thought too much about it. If I needed a fry pan, pot, or baking dish I just bought one not even thinking about how well it would cook my food. In fact I thought most cookware was about the same. Much to my surprise I was very wrong. The different types of materials that are used in cookware will determine how well a piece of cookware will function. I found it interesting and thought I would pass the information on. Lets take a look at the different material used in cookware today. Aluminum: This material is an excellent heat conductor and it is light in weight. The downside is it is porous, it dents easily, it is not very easy to clean, it reacts to food, it oxidizes, and it warps easily, and requires a nonstick coating. Stainless Steel: Is very durable, non porous, hard surface, easy to clean, does not dent or scratch easily, does not react to food, and it has a beautiful mirror finish that is easy to maintain. The downside is it is a poor heat conductor.Enameled Steel: Comes in beautiful colors and is stylish, but is a very poor heat conductor, chips easily, and it will rust when chipped. Copper: Is an excellent heat conductor. The downside is it is usually expensive, it dents and scratches easily, difficult to keep clean, oxidizes, reacts to food, and must be lined with stainless steel, nickel, or tin. Carbon Steel: Is inexpensive but is a poor heat conductor. Cast Iron: Usually inexpensive and is an excellent heat conductor, but it is very heavy, could rust easily if not enameled or seasoned properly, and it reacts to food. Glass: Can be decorative or plain but it is a poor heat conductor and is only heat resistant if tempered. With all these different materials how does a person choose? What I found is with some of these materials combined, you will get a great piece of cookware. My personal favorite is the Tri-Ply construction. It is the layered metal technology, which combines stainless steel, pure aluminum, & stainless steel. The stainless steel interior and exterior provide durability, smooth surface, scratch and dent resistance, and has a beautiful mirrored finish. The pure aluminum core provides excellent heat conductivity for even cooking. This information changed the way I look at cookware forever. I will no longer just pick up any piece of cookware because now I know they are not all created equal. The next time I shop for cookware, I will look for value, quality, and style! A great set of cookware is like a great meal. You need to combine the best ingredients to get a satisfied consumer!

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About The Author, Tamra
Please visit Tamra's Kitchen Corner where you will find many different types of quality cookware.