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Styling Your Kitchen With Well Placed Cookware

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 8 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Cookware Pots Pans Copper Stainless

Cookware consists of different types of pots and pans that you use for a range of different purposes. Pots and pans are available in different sizes and are made of different types of material. Some materials are better than others when used for specific cooking methods. When you are selecting the cookware for your kitchen, you should take the following points into consideration:

  • Budget - You will need to bear in mind how much you can afford to spend on the pots and pans you purchase. You should purchase the best quality that you can afford. It will be well worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing them in a short time.
  • Cooking Habits - Also consider how much will you be cooking. If you eat out a lot and buy convenience food then you will not be using your cookware as often as if you do a lot of entertaining.
  • Cuisine - Will you be making a lot of pasta, soups, or stir-fries? There are special pots and pans that you will need to prepare these types of food.
  • Quantity - Will you be cooking for one, two or a large family? Having the right size cookware will be important when preparing your food.

Cookware Materials

Cookware is made from many different materials. Understanding the differences will assist you in making the best choice for your needs. Here are some popular choices of cookware:

Aluminium

Aluminium cookware is fairly inexpensive in comparison to cookware made from other materials. Aluminium is lightweight but fairly strong. It is a good conductor of heat and does not easily distort when exposed to high temperatures. Aluminium works well for sautéing and frying foods because if its heat responsiveness. The drawback of aluminium is that it reacts to acidic and alkaline foods, causing it to corrode and affect the taste of the food being cooked.

Anodized Aluminium

This is aluminium that has been given a special finish to protect it from corrosion. It is a good conductor of heat and the special finish makes it non-stick. It is a good choice of material to look for in pots and pans for almost any type of cooking. Pots and pans made from anodized aluminium are not dishwasher safe and can be dark in colour, making it hard to see slight colour changes in the food being cooked.

Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware is inexpensive to moderately priced. It is fairly heavy and conducts heat evenly. It heats slowly but once it is hot it holds the heat well. This makes it good for deep frying and slow-cooking. It can be used on top of the stove and in the oven. Drawbacks to cast iron are that it rusts, stains and becomes pitted when exposed to air, moisture and certain foods.

Copper Pots and Pans

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. Because copper distributes heat so evenly and efficiently, it is the best choice for frying and sautéing. One problem with copper is that it interacts with everything it comes in contact with.

Non-stick

These pots and pans have had a coating applied to them that prevents food from sticking and makes cleaning them easier. The non-stick surface is really an advantage when cooking some foods, such as omelettes, and when reheating sticky foods. It also reduces the amount of fat that is normally required when cooking.

Stainless Steel

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 should have a thick aluminium 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 aluminium or copper core also runs up the sides. You may find a stainless steel pan with an aluminium 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.

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