These days there is a broad range of cookware to choose from and when you go shopping, they all make similar claims. The costs vary based on the different materials they are made of, but does cost make a real difference? When you are cooking for the holidays, you need to know how to pick the best cookware to make your family’s holiday favorites.
Here is a list of the different types of popular cookware and their qualities. Use this guide to select the one that best fits your needs for the holidays.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is one of the oldest still in existence. The reason it has stayed in use is because it has a durability that the others cannot match. The more you use the cookware, the better it gets and you can use it on the stovetop and in the oven and for any temperature of cooking heat.
Its limitations are that they are not the most efficient at conducting heat and they are porous. This means that when you purchase the cookware you should rub the cooking surface with a vegetable oil and heat it in an over at 300°F for an hour. The oil will seal the pores and add a semi-nonstick surface.
Iron can rust but once the cookware develops a coating on it, rust is not usually a problem, but there are simple ways to remove rust listed all over the internet.
Glass cookware is used by many people who like the fact that it heat quickly and evenly. This type of cookware is used for baking and has names like Pyrex or Corning Ware. It is relatively easy to clean but can shatter if temperatures change to rapidly
Enameled cookware features either a cast iron or thin steel interior completely covered with fused powered glass. Heating is even throughout the cookware but because the outside is glass, it can be chipped by utensils used to turn or stir food inside the cookware. This cookware is used for baking.
Perhaps the largest amount of cookware sold in the US is made of aluminum. This is mostly because of its lightweight, toughness and ability to conduct heat efficiently and distribute it evenly. Aluminum is also cheap and abundant. The downsides to these pans is that because aluminum is a soft metal, some of the metal can leach into food if you scrape the pans too much when cooking. Also the cookware can warp under rapid temperature changes.
Non-stick cookware is cookware made from aluminum that has been coated with a non-stick surface. This cookware allows cooking without the use of oils and clean-up is a breeze because whatever is cooked in the pan will not stick to it. In fact you should never use oils on non-stick cookware because some might break down the non-stick surface. You should never use metals utensils because they will scratch the non-stick surface. This cookware should never be used for high heat cooking like broiling, but can be used on regular oven temperatures.
Copper is the preference of professional chefs because they transfer the heat very well from you stove to your food. Make sure however that the copper cookware you choose has a tin or steel liner to prevent food leaching.
This cookware has the most uses, being great for any type of cooking, but it is also by far the most expensive. Stay away from cheap of thin copper cookware because it will not perform as well or last long.
Thanksgiving has passed, but Christmas is coming. Pick the right cookware to get you through the last holiday of the year. You can also use it for your 2018 holidays and beyond.