With so many pots and pans out there, how is one to know which type to buy? Depending on the type of cooking you do, and the performance that you need, this can strongly dictate what you’re in the market for. With materials varying from stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium and copper, then adding to the confusion even more, is the clad style cookware range that is a combination of metals, it’s a lot to take in!
There are however certain things that you need to consider when choosing cookware, such as:
Heat Conductivity- Some metals are better heat conductors than others. Copper for instance is a particularly good heat conductor, and means that your food is likely to cook more evenly as you turn your heat up or down as the copper reacts quickly to the change.
Price- You really do get what you pay for, so go for the best one you can afford.
Durability– Certain types of cookware will look good and perform better for a longer period of time- stainless steel and cast iron is one of the best in this respect, while teflon pans can have their surface compromised if scratched or heated to high temperatures.
Reactivity- Did you know some metals react with certain foods, so the type of cookware you use can really affect the flavour of your dish? For instance, aluminum has a tendency to react with tomato and other acidic dishes, which means that your food can actually absorb some of the metal.
My personal favourites are stainless steel and cast iron pots. Cast iron especially, while absolutely kills if you drop it on your foot (trust me!) is a material that has been used to create cookware for hundreds of years, and I just can’t go past it in the kitchen! There are a number of health benefits attributed to cooking with cast iron, making it the perfect match for your healthy recipes! Some of these benefits include:
1. All natural, no synthetics: The toxicity of synthetic coated nonstick pans (particularly when heated to a high temperature) has always been a concern with research authorities. Avoid the risk with cast iron pans, making sure that they come from a reputable brand, and you will have a pan that eliminates the risk of harmful metals and toxins in your foods.
2. Cook with less oil: A well-seasoned iron pan has an incredible nonstick coating, which means you can cook with less oil without your ingredients sticking. Additionally, meats can be seared at higher temperatures than with synthetic-coated pans.
3. Forever nonstick: The seasoning built up on iron pans is a natural synthetic-free nonstick coating that is also forever renewable. The easy maintenance of cast iron pan seasoning means it never wears out: cooking just makes the seasoning stronger, more corrosion resistant, and more nonstick over time, not less.
4. A pan for the generations: If ever a cooking pan was going to last the ages, it is one of these! There are no upper heat limits as there are no toxic coatings or plastic handles; and if you have a disaster and damage the seasoning, or the pan somehow rusts, no worries: just re-season and continue on regardless….indefinitely! This is something you can hand down the generations, along with your recipes.
5. Superior cooking: Whether you are browning, crusting, deep-frying, stewing, roasting, baking, frying, and the list goes on, a cast iron cooks just about anything! It is definitely something that stands in as an all rounder, and any heat source is fine- from outdoor fires to BBQs.
As you all know, I am a HUGE fan of Australian made products and produce, which is why I am so excited at the launch of the first stay-cool handle in cast iron and the beautiful Clean Australian iron from AUSfonte- be sure to check out their range, and support SOLIDTEKNICS.
Enjoy my pan-friendly recipes below x