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12.10.2013 admin
Throughout my courses and your correspondences, I have repeatedly been asked about cookware. Whether you are starting out in the kitchen, buying new cookware, preparing your professional kitchen, want to achieve perfection in your creations or simply want to understand the differences among the various cookware, you are going to love this post. The 2 main things to consider when it comes to selecting the material out of which cookware is made are: Thermal Properties and Reactivity. Some material can actually oxidize and tarnish, forming a layer of poisonous material that are hazardous when consumed! Glass is non-reactive, so you can use it in cooking any type of food, without worrying about acidity or other reactive properties of different foods. On the less appealing side: Glass is a poor heat conductor, and has hot-spots which can cause food to stick and at times burn in specific places. Versatile, as they can be used for storage, for serving as well as baking and some for stove tops. Ceramic Cookware are somewhat heavy, therefore not ideal for stir frying, sauteeing or any cooking that requires lots of movement. Earthware- otherwise known as Silsal or Fukhar - is made out of a special type of ceramic or clay, that is then glazed with a special glaze to isolate clay and food. The actual clay used to make earthware can have traces of lead and cadmium, which are unsafe to consume.
Good quality earthware is stylish and produces a wonderful mesh of delicious flavours and delicate soft meats. Metal Enameled with Ceramic- The ceramic finish can be applied to steel, cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel or even titanium.
If you like the cooking results established by cast iron coockware, though its even heat distribution properties, but dread the required pre-seasoning and re-seasoning process, then ceramic enameled cast iron is the solution for you.
With ceramic cookware it is important to know that you should never place an empty dry pot on heat.
Another note worth mentioning, Do not use metal utensils with ceramic wear as it discolours the surface and might scratch it. Copper reacts with the moisture and oxygen in the air, which causes stains, tarnish and discolouration. For new copper cookware, before first use, fill with water and add aromatic herbs or green vegetables and bring to a boil. Don't use copper cookware to store food, and don't cook acidic foods in unlined copper cookware. Never rinse the sponge used for polishing copper, this interferes with the chemical reaction required to shine and polish your copper.
For heavy dark marks, it has been mentioned that spreading ketchup and leaving it for a few minutes then rinsing with hot soapy water works. If you purchase copper cookware that's been coated with tarnish-proof lacquer, you must remove it before using, by dissolving it with lacquer thinner which you can buy from hardware stores. Stainless steel lined copper cookware is best for homecooks as they are easier to care for and are very durable.
Note: Do Not get the oil on the copper side, as it will be very difficult to remove once heated.
For the cooking properties of copper but without the required extra work, use copper bottomed cookware, which offers excellent conductivity, less work, and is less heavy. Another option would be a copper core cookware, that is cookware that has a cn aluminum core with internal layers of copper on the bottom and sides, and all surfaces are lined with stainless steel.
Copper is the best choice for cooking certain foods, especially for those recipes that require controlled temperature. Iron heats slower than other metals, but it distributes the heat more evenly and maintains that surface heat more steadily than the other metals. Unless you continuously use your cast iron, you will have to wash it after use, and reseason when ready to use again.
To check if your cast iron pan is preheated and ready to use, drop a couple of drops of water on the hot surface, they should boil quickly and dance or jump on the pan surface.
Stainless steel is dishwasher safe and does not scratch easy, which is very convenient, as this means you can use metal utensils with it, without worrying about scratching. Since stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat, it is usually bonded with other more conductive metals to produce ideal cooking properties. To make stainless steel yet more appealing and durable, surgical grade stainless was developed.
When it comes to choosing stainless steel cookware, and as with all other cookware, quality is very important and makes a huge difference to the cooking results. 2 ply Stainless Steel  means there are other metals on the outside and stainless steel only on the inside (cooking surface). 3 ply Stainless Steel means there is stainless steel on the outside and inside with other metal as core. 5 ply Stainless steel  means there is stainless steel on the outside and inside with 3 layers of aluminum as core.
Bottom Clad Stainless Steel  means solid stainless steel with 3 layers of conductive metal applied only at the bottom. Waterless Stainless Steel cookware is the highest grade stainless steel cookware in the market and the most expensive type too. The choice of most households, and the easiest cookware for the novice cook, yet probably the most debated cookware on the planet! If you own non-stick cookware, make sure to use wooden or rubber utensils to avoid scratching which will remove the coating and expose other metals and chemicals.
The need for non-stick is still covered by ceramic enameled or a properly seasoned cast iron pan, and many other cookware options covered here.
When using Silicon bakeware and because silicon is moldable, you will have to place it on a sturdier base like a cookie sheet to avoid apillage and for ease of taking in and out of the oven. On the more challenging side, there are some debates about the health concerns when it comes to silicon, as it is new and not much is known about it.
In the process of how to pack pots and pans there are a few easy steps to make it a fairly smooth project.
Your pots, pans, and other heavy metal cooking gadgets should be wrapped in paper and loaded at the bottom of any box. Once you have a layer of stuff in the box, put some paper on top before you start packing other items.
Once your box is finished you should label it with the room, contents and any special notes. Wondering how many boxes, rolls of tape, packing peanuts, another other packing materials you will need? The special Cuisinart Ceramica nonstick surface in the GreenGourmet pans utilizes a petroleum-free hard alloy that allows for higher heat absorption and more even cooking. SilverStone Ceramic CXi offers a thick ceramic inner layer surrounded by an outer layer of steel, making the pans safe to use on everything from a gas burner to an induction stove.
The Cook N Home NC-00358 ceramic cookware set features an aluminum design with a chemical-free ceramic coating.
A thick exterior layer of porcelain ceramic makes the Paula Deen Collection easy to clean and excellent for heat absorption. The Flamekiss cookware set features an environmentally friendly design with an aluminum frame coated in nano ceramic material. Oven- and dishwasher-safe, the Initiatives ceramic pans from T-fal offer a lightweight design that is chemical free. Ceramic cookware from Bialetti has a heavy-gauge aluminum core coated with high-temperature resistant silicone and a layer of ceramic.
Emma is a former editor for The Kitchn and a graduate of the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts. You will be surprised to find that your cookware is in fact helping you achieve your desired results, or the very reason hindering your progress!
They heat up fast, and cool down just as fast, which is a property that is very important when preparing delicate sauces, working with sugar and especially when working with chocolate.
It is free of chemicals and therefore there is no risk of chemicals migrating into your food from your glass pots and pans.
It is dishwasher safe, does not require pre-seasoning or any special maintenance routine.
These conditions are ideal for slow cooking: a method that produces very tender and flavoursome food. These are commonly used in the preparation of Idreh, a succulent Palastinian dish from Hebron that is mainly a rice, meat and chickpea slow bake. So go for "lead free" labeled products that are of good quality and originating from countries where the regulations are strict. Before placing it on the heat, it must contain an ingredient, fat or liquid to prevent damage. Added to that, the fact that the longer the food is cooked or stored in aluminum the more of the metal is released into that food. Because it is beautiful and due to its properties, copper cookware is the preffered choice of home-cooks and professional chefs alike. Failing to do so will result in permanent spotting which affects the look and cooking quality of your copper cookware.
Cast iron is also reactive to food acidity, and it can increase blood iron levels (which is a good thing and can also be too much for some people with specific conditions).


Just bear in mind that the addition of the non-stick interior and the porcelainised exterior make cast iron easier to care for, but take away the browning ability, which is cast iron's most desirable quality. I personally prefer metal handles, this way it can move from stove top to oven, as plastic handles can't be placed in oven. For long storage, it is best to be washed properly, completely towel dried, then seasoned, cooled and wrapped with nylon or plastic, then put away. Therefore before starting to cook, preheat it in an oven before placing it on a red hot eye of the stove top. Fairly; it is a low-maintenance easy to use cookware that is both very durable and very safe. It also means that storage becomes more convenient, especially for those lacking storage space; as you can pack them inside each other without worrying about damage.
It is also used as a coating for other metals due to its non-reactive nature, and this way it acts as an insulator. Surgical grade stainless steel is a combination of metals like iron, chromium, nickel, and can have aluminum, copper or both at the bottoms and sides. There are also ones that have a metal disk attached at the bottom, but these do not perform as well as the former 3 ply stainless. Secretion of metals, and Teflon into foods and the resulting side effects are always a concern and a source of conflict. It comes in many vibrant colours, and is very versitile, as it can be used in the freezer, fridge, oven and is dishwasher safe.
Different cookware is good for different uses, so the main question is "What are you going to use it for?". The open flame that the bottom of the pan heat could cause the bottom surface of a lower-quality pan to bend. You may want to double tape the bottom of the box as it will be heavier than your average box after loading it with pots and pans. As we discussed in our article on how to pack a kitchen, wrapping these heavy items will decrease the risk of damage to other items within the same box.
An Oregon native, he enjoys finding new creative ways to move boxes, exploring new ways to enhance his team, along with playing piano and visiting Bend with his friends and dog Riley.
All free of PTFE, PFOA, and lead, the pans feature an aluminum base that allows them to heat quickly and retain heat for a longer period of time. Stainless steel handles remain cool while on the stove and the pan's energy-saving design requires less heat for cooking. Cadmium, PTFE, and PFOA free, the bright yellow pans feature riveted rubber handles for comfort and durability. Featuring a scratch-resistant surface and anti-slip coating on the handle, the bright green pans also bring a touch of color to the kitchen.
Henckels Spirit Thermolon pans have an aluminum core and a Themolon ceramic nonstick surface.
Heavy-gauge construction heats evenly with no hot spots, and glass lids make it easy to see food while it cooks without sacrificing heat or moisture. Special Antimicrobial silver-ion technology prohibits the growth of mold and mildew while the tough inner coating stands up to metal utensils. The cooking surface withstands high temperatures, making the pans ideal for searing and frying, and they can withstand oven temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The white interior contrasts with the colored exterior and the special coating process is chemical free. Aluminum is better than stainless steel for conducting heat and baking foods evenly, but be careful of storing foods in aluminum pans; the aluminum will react with acids in the food and give them a metallic flavor. Recipes with a lot of sugar (like pound cakes and cookie bars) might start to burn before being cooked all the way through, but glass is fantastic for making casseroles, bread pudding, and other dishes where browning is less important. However, silicone is a poor heat-conductor and baked goods tend to brown very little, if at all, when baked in these pans. It affects the outcome of food, the consistency, the flavour, the nutritional content and health factor of your food, as well as your pocket.
There are food preparations that require specific temperatures, without which you can never achieve the desired results. This can also effect your storage requirements, as it means you do not have to purchase kitchenware dedicated only for storing food.
Some glazes were found to be non-food-safe, and have been graded as not to be used for food production, which means they are not made for cooking or use with food, but rather for decorative purposes. It is also used in preparation of Makmoorah, another Palestinian dish that is mainly a slow-cooked cauliflower stew in yoghurt sauce sealed in the clay pot with pastry to enclose flavours and steam. Copper is by far the most superior metal in heat dispersion, ensuring fast and even heat distribution. Although not necessary, but it helps you achieve perfect results: Before first use, season stainless steel lining by applying a thin layer of peanut oil with a kitchen towel, heat until just before the oil smokes.
These pots and pans can literally be passed on from generation to generation and have a life time warranty! Iron will hold the heat and will produce a smoking sear and carmelisation like no other metal. With that said enameled cast iron is dishwasher safe, and is versatile, as you can use it for food storage, on stove tops and ovens.
Just be careful as you need your mittens close by and do not attempt to hold the metal handle without mittens! But please note, it is more hygenic and safe to clean your cast iron and reseason, than follow the self seasoning no wash technique, to avoid the oils on it from going bad and becoming hazardous! In the same way, never place a hot pan in cold water to cool it off, this will break your pan! After hand washing, dry it thoroughly with a towel and never leave to air-dry or it will rust. The inclusion of those metals ensures even cooking without hot spots, and since Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat, these metals help in rapid response to heat changes, making this grade of stainless steel the best quality of its kind.
I know, I take "healthy" into consideration, and prefer healthier, echo friendlier products over their unsafe, unknown, and environmentally challenging counterparts.
They need to be hand washed with warm soapy water without vigorous scrubbing to stay in good condition.
Non-stick is not durable anyway, so although cheap, end up costing you the same as the expensive cookware as you will have to keep buying new ones.
Titanium is super light in weight, incredibly strong, dishwasher safe, healthy due to absence of PFOA, extremely non stick therefore facilitates healthy cooking without the hazards of non stick coatings, which again allows for the reduction of fat and the added calories required with other cookware. If you keep tossing, turning and stirring your food, this will not allow scorching and therefore reduces the effect of hot spots. The best thing about silicon is that it is wonderful with limited storage space as it can be rolled and tucked away requiring minimum space. Another thing to consider is care and maintenance, as some cookware will require a bit of work.
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You can pack other lighter items into the box to fill space without adding too much weight.
If the box is heavier than ~35lbs you may want to label it heavy to prevent any injury during the moving process.
Available in red or champagne, the nonstick surface is safe to use with metal utensils and the cookware can withstand temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pans are oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and all of the packaging is environmentally safe. Oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the shatter-resistant lids help the pans retain heat and moisture. Tempered-glass lids allow cooks to see food while it is cooking and the exterior features special coating that easily wipes clean. The core heats up quickly and evenly and the exclusive flared rim on the edge allows for non-drip pouring. Dual-riveted handles include copper-plated rings for easy storage and the plans are oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bottom of the pan includes a heat-distributing design that keeps the pans level on the cooktop and they come with vented glass lids.
Scan through the inventory that comes up until you see the pans you want, and then place your order. This quick guide to using glass, metal, ceramic, and silicone pans will help set you straight. Glass also has the advantage of being non-reactive, so you can store recipes right in the baking dish without worry that the food will pick up metallic flavors. An educated decision is therefore very important and makes a whole difference to the quality of food you produce, as well as affects your wellbeing! Therefore heat is a very important factor to consider when choosing the material of pots and pans.
For those heat-specific recipes, using a poor heat conductor can prevent you from getting the results you are after. This reactivity can produce chemicals that are toxin, and when not so severe can lead food to taste metallic! Retaining heat means, you will have to cook food for less time, and allow for residual heat to finish up the cooking.


You need to be careful here and make sure that the earthware you buy is labeled "lead-free" and graded as food-safe.
Besides, these are very durable and long lasting, so you can consider this an investment worth making. That means that there aren't hot-spots to worry about in Aluminum, and that when cooking in Aluminum Cookware, you are sure to get the food evenly cooked, at steady temperatures.
Since copper is such a good conductor of heat, always cook on medium high instead of high, and always cook with less heat than required. These cleaners act as anti-oxidants and remove spots without the need for harsh scrubbing.
The quick heating and cooling of copper prevent delicate foods from overcooking, and require less energy consumption, which makes it an environmentally friendly option. This heat retention is also good for low, slow cooking required for producing fabulous stews, which are best cooked in Cast Iron Dutch Oven. However, The most challenging part to many people is the fact that Cast Iron cookware has to be seasoned before use. Stainless steel contains small amounts nickel and chromium, which are non-hazardous in these significantly small amounts. It is not advisable to use spray oils with non-stick cookware as it forms a film that is hard to remove. Not all your pans and pots need to be non-stick anyway, and for those preparations calling for non-stick other options can cover that need. There are in the market titanium cookware designed for those dieting or trying to minimise fat intake, which clearly state no need for oil anymore! Titanium is therefore excellent material for woks and sautee pans, as stir frying and sauteeing involve techniques that keep food moving inside the pan. Silicon facilitates food release, as it is non stick, which comes handy when making cakes and especially when used as chocolate molds. The altered form of the bottom surface will make it a bit more difficult to bake products evenly, but it’s definitely not impossible to cook with.
In addition you run the risk of burning your hand on the handles, what you would surely want to avoid. The lids can be wrapped together but be careful if you have glass lids to protect them properly. If you want to make a very heavy box it will be important to use a dish pack box instead of a medium box to add structural integrity.
The following list sums up the materials used in making Cookware available in the market today.
Stove top flame heats up real quick and such severe temperature changes can cause damage, breakage and at times pot explosions that can harm the cook.
Opt for good quality earthware from big manufacturers, preferably made in countries where the regulations are strict, rather than the cheaper products, that were recklessly produced and are health hazardous. Besides Tarnish is a poisonous byproduct, and you do not want it to get in contact with food.
Resedual heat will also continue cooking the food, and makes this type good for deep frying too.
Cast Iron requires different care than other cookware, and for some, the time and patience required to season cast iron is a deal breaker. Furthermore; the fact that it is stainless steel, means it does not need polishing, or any extra care to keep it in mint condition. Therefore make sure to wash them thoroughly, this way they will last for a very very long time.
Titanium is also the solution for allergic people as it does not include nickel or any other allergy causing materials, and is non reactive which keeps food safe. It is also less efficient because a relatively large amount of heat is lost through the open flame. Some material can withstand the short period of cooking without causing the byproducts of reactivity, but cannot withstand the longer subjection to acidity caused by storage! Exposure to aluminum is impossible to avoid as it is a very abundant element in nature (found in water, cosmetics and food dyes), however it can be substantially reduced.
However, copper lasts literally a life time, and can even be passed on through the generations if maintained properly- and has been for years.
Added to that, salty foods cause a reaction with copper that gives the food a metallic flavour.
You won't need to re-season stainless steel lining, unless you use abrasive detergents, which will remove the seasoning. A good way for the body to take its dietary need; as the content of iron is doubled when food is cooked in cast iron (this quality is lost when the cast iron is enameled with ceramic or any other coating). If stored for a long time, don't forget to wrap with plastic and sealing it, to avoid rusting. Nickel allergic people, should go for "Nickel Free" stainless steel cookware, which is also available in the market. Don't pick pots that have less than 10% nickel, as that makes it harder and more temperature resistant . Non-stick cookware had been exhaustively debated over the years, due to the fact that Teflon coating is the most commonly used in non-stick cookware, and non-stick cookware includes many chemicals that are considered dangerous. Titanium is also easy to clean (no need to scrub), it does not dent, scratch, tarnish or anything of that sort. Besides being non-stick and therefore requiring no grease, they give the base of your baked goods a professional patterned look.
But this fact also means that the overall cooking time is shortened as opposed to that with metal cookware. Therefore get rid of any old Aluminum cookware, and if you are looking for its cooking results go for the modern alternative. For these reasons, the cooking side of copper cookware is usually coated with tin, silver or stainless steel coating. A well seasoned cast iron cookware offers a perfect surface for even cooking, browning, creating concentrated flavours and is beneficial for your health! Nickel free stainless is less shiny than its counterpart stainless steel cookware, as nickel is responsible for the signature shine of stainless steel. Not to make this part too technical and not to dwell on all the chemical compositions, in short these hazardous chemicals are released into the food we consume, and when heated to certain degrees produce toxic gases that are fatal to pets especially bird pets and cause flu-like symptoms in humans. These will help you retain the heat you have just achieved, without quickly dropping or overheating. This isolates the food from the copper as unlined copper results in unsafe amounts of copper in the food, and this is warned against by FDA. However, there are reports that say it is completely safe if used on medium-low heat, and should never be used in high heat as they become dangerous!
Ceramics are wonderful, colourful and in my opinion the best for gratin dishes, and stacked pasta dishes such as lasagne.
Hard Anodized Aluminum had gone through an oxidization process to create a non-reactive, hard surface which prevents any reaction between aluminum and the food. Don't use copper cookware if the lining is significantly damaged, as it will lead to metal being released into the food. Unlike cast iron though, you do not have to season and heat 3 times, it is enough to do it once. This option is healthier than non-anodized aluminum, yet retains the same cooking properties of aluminum cookware.
Stainless steel cookware can have plastic handles and plastic lid parts, or it can be all stainless steel. This is in fact very important for adventurous people who like to cook for fun, travel and cook or are into life on the move! When that happens you can send your pots and pans to a retinner to get retinned, it will then look and function as new.
It is best you go for the all metal option, this way you can move from stove to oven without having to change pots.
Therefore, even if it is safe at "specific temperatures" why do you want to risk the leaching chemicals migrating into your food?
This is why titanium cookware is very famous amongst extreme sportspeople, campers and the wilder ones.
Whatever your choice, make sure you buy good quality and do take health concerns into consideration. With that said, there are specific food preparations such as chocolate and candy making that are done on unlined copper to withstand very high heat (but that's limited to specific foods). With that said, if you have bought ones with plastic parts, and since they cannot go in the oven, you can still carry out the seasoning process on stove top. Please take the time to research why non-stick and Teflon are dangerous, as it is a very big and highly debated subject which is hard for me to cover here without going into the mundane and scientific facts.
I strongly recommend you do so at your own convenient time, and educate yourself as this is vital to your family's well being.



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