Quick Recipes and Easy

Which Cookware Is Best?

That’s the question we all question ourselves every time we buy a pot, a pan or kettle. With so many types and brands on the market, it all seems to confusing. Truth be known, cookware has not changed much in the last hundred years. Oh sure it’s added new materials and a bit of polish here and there and some color. It’s now stamped out rather than being hammered out by hand or cast in a mold. It has cleaner, smoother lines to it. It comes with a verity of non-stick coatings or without any coating. It comes in a rainbow of colors to fit into any décor or color scheme. So how do we know which is best? Each has its strong points and its weaknesses. Cast iron is very excellent at maintaining even heat distribution and if seasoned and maintained properly, has a much better non-stick coating than coated cookware. Also, it will last a lifetime and is low cost. But many people don’t want to keep up the care that it takes, (although it is not all that much) and it is heavy. Copper is fantastic at distributing heat also, but needs a lot of attention to keep up that lovely polished gleaming look.

Copper tends to tarnish with use so you will have to stay on top of the maintenance if you want it to always shine. Also some foods with high acidity content will dull the end, (such as tomato products). Aluminum is a excellent low cost investment, but it too has it drawbacks. Here again foods with high acidity will darken the pots to a grayish blue look inside. My sauce pot looks like that now. Stainless steel is excellent in the over all usability and still maintaining its looks. Stainless steel cookware is really composed of several different materials. Stainless steel cookware is composed primarily of Steel, but better-quality products include Nickel, and all products also include chromium, and either copper or aluminum. While it is the chromium that prevents the rusting, Nickel adds to the brightness of your cookware, and produces a more durable and rust-resistant pot or pan. Stainless Steel cookware is rated by the following terms: 18/0, 18/8 or 18/10. This describes the Chromium/Nickel ratio. All acceptable Stainless Steel Cookware is 18% Chromium. You will also see this rating in your flatware. Those with an 18/0 will be dull in brightness, while an 18/10 would be shinny and much brighter. Also, stainless steel does not conduct heat well and has disks added to the bottom of the pot or pan. You see this as copper bottomed cookware or some with aluminum discs. These tend to distribute the heat better.

So let’s cut to the chase. Which cookware is best? Well that, in my estimation, it is up to the buyer. What is the item that best fit your needs, your décor and your lifestyle and how much work are you willing to place into maintenance. Add all these factors together and you will come to a choice on what to buy. The next factor is price. How much do you want to invest in cookware? Let me say this, “You get what you pay for”. But just remember, there is a difference between “cheap” and “low-cost” or “discounted” cookware. And what pieces do you buy? Here’s a pointer or two to help you with that. Cookware sets offer fantastic savings over purchasing your sauce pans, soup and stock pots and frying pans individually. You want to find a set that has the right sizes of pots and pans for your kitchen and cooking needs. When deciding on cookware, reckon about owning it for life. So you will want to buy quality pots and pans that last, and that will be pleased with. Buy sets that are durable and also fit your décor. With cheap cookware, whether it’s copper, aluminum or even stainless steel, your pots and pans may warp over time, or have lids that don’t quite fit, and will end up costing you more in the long run when you toss them out to buy more. Does brand name mean anything? Not to me. I can’t sauté a steak any better with a Calphalon pan than I can in the same size Lincoln Ware pan, (Lincoln Ware is used in most restaurant and professional kitchens across America).

There is another area that I want to address. “Specialty cookware”. What do we mean? These are core pieces that do not come in a normal cookware set, (i.e. roasters, stock pots or other utility pieces. When considering a roaster, step up to the plate and buy a excellent one. Make sure it’s solidly constructed and will last you forever. Buy quality, don’t skimp here. And stop using those flimsy aluminum foil roasters that buckle every time when you take it from the oven and it burns you. Get one with a solid lid and solid handles to grip and lift with safely. Reckon about your stock pot needs. What is the most you cook up at any one time? If you say a nine or ten quart will do me, opt for a sixteen or more. It’s not that much more and down the road you will be glad you did. I have a sixteen and also a twenty four quart. Over the years both have come into play more than I ever expected either to. Everything from pasta party’s to shrimp boils.

OK, so maybe I didn’t answer the question directly. Maybe there is no right or incorrect answer here. At least I now have you thinking in the right direction. But remember these factors: 1. Quality 2. Fits the need 3. Fits the décor 4. Maintenance 5. Safety and 6. Price . If you take the time to evaluate all of these factors, I know you will make a more informed buy and be much more pleased with your buys. You now have the power to choose. Delight in your choices.

Clyde Sloan has lived in the Houston, Texas area for nearly thirty five years. He has seized many opportunities to learn and experience cultural foods the East Texas region has to offer. With over 30 years experience in the food industry, Clyde certainly understands the importance of food preparation and most certainly presentation.

Clyde started his entrepreneurial endeavors ten years ago. He founded a in-home dinning service business simply called “Dinning in with Clyde.” This service consisted of a full five course dinner prepared right in your own kitchen and served directly from the stove to you and your guests.
He also introduced his “E-STORE” which offers a variety of kitchen products such as: quality appliances, flatware, dinnerware, cookware, cutlery and much more. In addition, his website provides kitchen hints and tips that are helpful when cooking or baking. Visit kitchenappliancesnmore www.kitchenappliancesnmore and learn the twenty ways to fold a napkin, how to set a formal table, and how to remove twenty five different stains from cloth napkins and table covers.

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