So, you’re looking for some new pots and pans. Before you stick with nonstick or invest in something different (silicone perhaps?), let’s go through the advantages and disadvantages of all cookware materials.
There are many types of cookware materials, it can be a little overwhelming because of so many choices. You might think which one is the best? Which material lasts longer? Which is more versatile?
You can read also read this helpful guide about choosing the best cookware for your kitchen.
Now let’s come to the topic…
Depending on your requirements, you may choose from different pans to cook your dinner in. They all have their own set of advantages and drawbacks, so it’s just a question of selecting the one that works best for your cooking style.
Hopefully, this short & quick guide on what makes each cookware material great and its drawbacks will be useful for you and help you to select which material would be perfect for you.
Types Of Cookware:
- Cast Iron
- Enameled Cast Iron
- Stainless Steel
- Carbon Steel
Cast iron is a vintage cooking material that is porous. This means it releases a lot of tastes when it is properly taken care of. It is also very durable, which makes it a good choice for more serious kitchens.
👍 Pros: This material is both affordable and durable. It is also versatile and can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. This material heats up quickly and evenly, so your food will cook more evenly.
👎 Cons: Cast iron cookware is a type of cookware that needs a little extra care to clean and maintain it. It’s not ideal for cooking acidic foods, as it can strip the seasoning. If it’s not maintained properly, it can rust.
Do you know What is Seasoning? If Not, Don’t worry read a quick detail about what is seasoning below:
➡️ What is Seasoning?
Seasoning is what truly makes a dish what it is. Without seasoning, food is often boring and bland, but with it, you can create some of the most delicious things ever! It adds such flavor to food and seasons what you’re cooking. However, there’s more than just salt as your main source of seasonings (not saying that salt isn’t one). Seasoning can be anything from what you’re cooking with, to what you’re cooking what!
For example, If you’re making pasta, you could put parsley as a seasoning. It gives it extra flavor and makes it more savory. If you go to any restaurant or even cookbooks for seasoning, they always tell you what should go with what. It’s what makes cooking easy and what makes food delicious. Seasoning is what truly brings the flavors out in food, without it, well you’re basically eating cardboard, to be honest.
“Seasoning is what truly makes a dish what it is. Without seasoning, food is often boring and bland!”
Let’s continue the topic where we stopped… “Next Type of Cookware Material is Enameled Cast Iron”
Enameled Cast Iron
Enameled Cast iron with a porcelain coating doesn’t rust and is easy to clean. It can transition from being on the stovetop to in the oven.
👍 Pros: This enameled cast iron material has the benefits of cast iron but it is easier to clean. You don’t have to season it and you can use it to cook acidic foods.
👎 Cons: It is a bit expensive. The nonstick quality of this pan isn’t always as good as that of a well-seasoned regular cast iron pan. It is also heavy, which can make it hard to store.
Now the third type of cookware material is Stainless Steel.
Stainless steel is a common and popular material for cookware and it is better for cooking and the most recommended cookware material. More expensive stainless steel cookware usually cooks better than cheaper versions.
👍 Pros: The material of this pan is non-reactive which means that it will not affect the taste of your food when you cook with acidic or alkaline ingredients. It heats up quickly. It is also dishwasher safe and oven safe as long as the handles are all stainless steel.
👎 Cons: Steel doesn’t heat as evenly as some other materials. However, some higher-end lines add an aluminum or copper core to help with this. It’s also tougher to clean, as burnt-on foods can really latch on if you don’t purchase a higher grade of steel.
Let’s come to the fourth type of cookware material which is Carbon Steel.
Carbon steel pans are made with mostly iron and some carbon. It’s as strong as cast iron but much thinner.
👍 Pros: It’s a wonderful alternative to cast iron because it retains heat well and cooks foods evenly. Searing is easier with this. It also delivers a delicious grilled taste. However, it is lighter than cast iron. It will stay naturally nonstick as long as it is properly seasoned.
👎 Cons: It requires seasoning and cleaning isn’t always the most simple thing. It’s not dishwasher safe, and when you use carbon steel pans, avoid using acidic foods.
There are still some more types of cookware materials available… Continue reading the next material which is Copper.
Copper pots are ideal for cooking because the material is a good heat conductor. Copper is also durable, hygienic, and resistant to corrosion. The heat distributes more evenly in copper cookware than in traditional pots and pans.
👍 Pros: It has excellent heat retention abilities and cooks food evenly. That’s why some producers include it in the stainless steel pans’ cores, which are generally deficient in that category.
👎 Cons: It is not cheap. It also requires polishing with lemon or vinegar and salt to keep it looking nice. It’s reactive with acidic and alkaline foods in the same way that cast iron is, therefore those meals can acquire a metallic flavor and in some cases, discolor or damage the pan.
Wait! ✋ Before moving towards other types of material…
Let me tell you more about Reactive or Non-Reactive Cookware here:
Quick answer related to reactive vs non-reactive is below:
The terms “reactive” and “nonreactive” are referring to the type of metal from which your pot or bowl is constructed.
➡️ Reactive: Reactive cookware includes metals aluminum, cast iron, and copper are all “reactive.”
➡️ Non-Reactive: Nonreactive cookware includes stainless steel, glass, ceramic, and metal cookware with enamel coating.
Now let’s move to the sixth type of cookware material which is Aluminum.
You’ll find two different varieties of aluminum: conventional aluminum and anodized aluminum. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
👍 Pros: Normal Aluminum is lightweight and inexpensive. It also maintains heat well. Anodized aluminum is more durable, scratch-resistant, and scratch-proof compared to regular aluminum.
👎 Cons: Regular Aluminum reacts with different foods in the same way as copper does, it is not considered to be the best. However, Anodized aluminum is ideal for cooking and more preferable than regular aluminum cookware, but it is more expensive.
The seventh type of material is Non-Stick.
It’s a go-to cooking material, but it has had its share of debate during the years. There are still benefits to cooking with nonstick pans and pots as long as you keep a few tips in mind.
👍 Pros: The most apparent advantage is that they are nonstick. Because of the smooth finish, the material is simple to clean and requires less oil when cooking.
👎 Cons: When coating chips, It’s believed that the high heat usage may expose food to toxic chemicals that are commonly found in nonstick cookware (PFOA and PTFE, also known as Teflon). When buying nonstick pans you should keep in mind that the pans should be free from these hazardous compounds. They generally cost more, though.
Here I suggest you one most crucial tip when using nonstick cookware…
Tip: You usually get what you pay for, and this is especially true for nonstick pans. Avoid cooking without oil and don’t use too high of heat, and your nonstick pan will last longer.
Now let’s go forward to the next type of material “Glass”
It’s usually used for casseroles dishes. However, glass pots and pans are not as popular as they used to be. They aren’t produced in the same quantities, but they are accessible.
👍 Pros: The biggest pro is that you can see the food as it cooks, keeping a closer eye on progress. They also double nicely as serving dishes, so you don’t have to change dishes before serving.
👎 Cons: It’s not-so-nonstick, and your food is more prone to burning. Compared to other materials, its heat distribution isn’t great.
Wait here! ✋ Before moving forward let me clear some confusion related to casserole here…
➡️ What are casserole dishes called?
Because most people would think of a casserole dish as having two meanings, the pan may be called a “casserole dish” or “casserole pan,” but the food is just “a casserole.” The same pan is often used for both cooking and serving.
➡️ What is a casserole?
- A serving dish or pan in which meals can be baked and served.
- A casserole is a food that is cooked and served in one dish.
- In the laboratory, a deep, circular dish with a handle is generally used to heat chemicals or different substances.
➡️ What are casseroles used for?
Casseroles are a very useful type of dish/pan. You can use them to make soup, pot roasts, sauces, and stews – the list goes on. For the home cook, the right one is essential. A casserole that can be cooked in the oven and on the hob while still looking attractive enough to serve at the table ensures efficiency and minimizes washing-up.
Now let’s move to the last cookware material type “Ceramic”
Ceramic nonstick cookware is typically aluminum with a silicone finish that has a ceramic-like texture.
👍 Pros: This type of cookware is nonstick, but it’s not as nonstick as regular nonstick pans. It doesn’t have chemicals like PTFE and PFOA which can scare people away from traditional nonstick pans. And it is thought to be more environmentally friendly.
👎 Cons: Over time, the nonstick quality may deteriorate. It’s not dishwasher safe because it might damage the nonstick coating.
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