If you are considering outfitting your kitchen with some new pans, you want to choose the right cooking equipment that will allow you to perfect your recipes and elevate your cuisine to the highest levels. To do this you are going to need a pan or set of pans that affords you this capacity. Here is what you need to know about the most common materials used for pans as well as some important information you should know about each one.
1. Ceramic Pans
Ceramic pans are one of the hottest items on the market. Not only will these pans look beautiful in your kitchen, but they also have even heat distribution and that lovely non-stick quality that makes them perfect for cooking all types of light meals. If you like grilled sandwiches, soups and eggs in all their grandiose variety
But a ceramic pan can be flimsy and ill-suited to heavy duty cooking. The pretty enamel glazing on the pan can be easily destroyed with the slightest impacts and scratching, so if long-term high-temperature cooking is what you will be doing, this may not be the option for you.
Here is another material commonly used in the manufacturing of affordable cooking ware. Aluminium is durable and long-lasting and especially lightweight, which can be a benefit for those without exceptional strength. Aluminium is just about the best option for taking care of light cooking demands and heating up leftovers. One of the best pans made with this material is from the Salter brand.
But aluminum is not the strongest material and will begin to react poorly if used for high-temperature cooking. Aluminium heats up very quickly, but doesn’t maintain an even heat, although some designs may offer special heat plates that compensate for this issue. Furthermore, you will want to get a coated aluminum pan as untreated aluminium can react poorly to foods like tomatoes and lemons.
3. Cast Iron
If you are looking to perfect your cooking and need one pan that can do it all, you want the cast iron pan. The finest chefs in the finest kitchens extol cast iron pans for their great versatility. They heat up a bit slowly but very evenly and provide an intuitive introduction to low- and high-temperature cooking. Cast iron pans, can even be used as baking pans in the oven, if you are planning to bake a cake or roast a chicken.
Cast iron pans are also every bit as non-stick as a non-stick Teflon pan, but they will require a proper seasoning to accomplish this small miracle. While they are among the more costly pans on the market, a cast iron pan is also the last pan you will need to buy.
On the downside, cast iron pans are heavy and take a long time to heat up. While not especially difficult, cast-iron pans also need to be properly seasoned and have their seasoning maintained if they are to retain their non-stick features.
4. Stainless Steel
Somewhere in between the aluminium frying pan and the cast iron option are the steel pans. This is stylish and versatile cooking at an affordable price. Capable of high temperature cooking and still light enough to be wielded without exceptional strength of arms. It will be best to purchase the type without any cooking as most steel pans will outlast the coatings applied. Anyway, they function and look better without them anyway. These are also very easy to clean and maintain.
On the downside, stainless steel is not for the novice cook and can be especially frustrating because it does retain heat well and has no non-stick properties. This may mean that stainless steel cookware will require a bit more oil and be a little hard to clean if things get burned.
5. Carbon Steel
For an especially advanced material for cooking, carbon steel offers the same looks as cast iron at a slightly elevated cost and half the weight. They also heat up much faster than cast iron and have their own non-stick properties making them great for low fat healthy cooking.
In addition to being slightly more costly than most of the other options, carbon steel is also much harder to clean and maintain.
Finally, one of the most attractive options for displaying in your kitchen is a bright copper pan set. This is what you will find in the homes of the most accomplished chefs from around the globe. Typically, you will need to get copper pans lined with some other metal as copper is highly reactive. But the heat distribution from a copper pan is remarkable. Copper pans are also especially impervious to any sort of flavor transfer.
Copper pans are also one of the costliest items on the market. Furthermore, they require extra special care to keep them looking bright and beautiful and for this reason many times are kept simply as an ornament. They can also be especially heavy and are not safe for use in a washer.