Kitchen Appliance Advice

Cookware Buying Advice

Cookware are items or food containers commonly found in the kitchen and are used for food preparation and cooking. Cookware comprises cooking vessels, such as saucepans and frying pans, intended for use on a stove or range cook top. Although many utensils can have several uses, some are specifically better than others for certain tasks. The quality of cookware generally refers to the type of materials and their gauge or weight. These factors can make a substantial difference in your cooking manner and results. Therefore, it becomes important to understand their individual characteristics.

Cookware
Aluminum cookware is fairly inexpensive but still very reliable. Aluminum is lightweight but fairly strong. It is a good conductor of heat and does not easily distort when exposed to extremely high temperatures. Aluminum works well for sautéing and frying foods because if its heat responsiveness. The drawback of aluminum is that it reacts to acidic and alkaline foods, causing it to corrode and affect the taste of the food being cooked. Aluminum is generally used as a core heat conductor, or coated with stainless steel or an anodized coating to protect the food from being contaminated.

Cast iron cookware is inexpensive and fairly heavy and it conducts heat evenly. It heats slowly but once it is hot it reserves the heat well. This makes it perfect option for deep frying and slow-cooking. It can be used on top of the stove or in the oven. The bad thing to cast iron is that it rusts, stains and becomes pitted when exposed to air, moisture and certain foods. But you can fix it by burning fat in the cookware and thus make a coating to all the perforations before use it.

Copper is one of the more expensive materials used to make pots and pans. It conducts heat evenly and is very responsive to heat. It heats up quickly and will also cool down quickly when removed from the heat, preventing sautés and delicate foods from burning and becoming overdone. Because copper distributes heat so evenly and efficiently, it is the best choice for frying and sautéing, but it is also a good choice for many other cooking methods. One problem with copper is that it interacts with everything it comes in contact with. Moisture in the air causes it to form a film on it that is poisonous and salty food causes a chemical reaction that can make food have a metallic taste. To make the copper pots and pans safe to use, they are lined with tin, silver or stainless steel to protect any surface that would come in contact with any food. Because copper reacts to everything it touches, it needs to be polished regularly to keep its bright copper shine.

Stainless steel cookware is moderately priced. It is the most versatile material to use because it keeps its bright shine and has good tensile strength, preventing it from denting easily. Stainless steel is a good material for any type of pan because it does not corrode and does not react with alkaline or acidic materials. The one problem with stainless steel is that it does not conduct heat well. To combat this problem, pots and pans made from stainless steel have should have a thick aluminum or copper core in the bottom of the pan to help conduct heat more evenly and make the pan more responsive to heat. In the better quality pans, the aluminum or copper core also runs up the sides. You may find a stainless steel pan with an aluminum or copper plate on the bottom but if the plate is not thick enough, it will not do an efficient job of conducting heat evenly.

Buying Tips:
When selecting the cookware for your kitchen, it is important to take the following points into consideration: How much can you afford to spend on the pots and pans you are planning to purchase? Best quality cookware should be your target because these utensils last a long time. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing them in a short time. How much will you be cooking? Do you eat out a lot and buy convenience food or do you like to prepare meals from scratch? Will you be entertaining a lot? Will you be making a lot of pasta, soups, or stir-fries? There are special pots and pans that assist in preparing these types of food. Will you be cooking for just one meal or several? Having the right size cookware will be important when preparing your food.



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