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Which material is best for my cookware?

Here at W & H Supplies we sell a range of cookware that can enhance your kitchen. The right type of cookware can have a huge impact on your cooking but with so much choice it can be difficult to make a decision about what is best. One key choice you will need to make is which material you would like your new cookware to be made from. Will you go for the popular stainless steel options for cleaning ease, the traditional warm glow that comes with copper cookware or the sturdiness of cast iron?

In order to come to an informed decision you need to have a good grasp of all the available options and their particular benefits, which we will look at in this article. Commonly, stainless steel, cast iron, copper and aluminium are all used for cookware, and they all have their own pros and cons.

Stainlessraymond-blanc-stainless-steel-20cm-steamer-insert steel

Stainless steel is among one of the most popular forms of cookware and is given the name stainless as it can easily avoid corrosion and stains that other materials might pick up. Stainless steel can be less reactive to temperature than other materials, however, many modern stainless steel pots and pans have a heat spot at their core which is made from a high conducting material such as steel or aluminium which will handle the heat better, allowing for a more thorough cook.

Cast iron

Cast iron is well known for retaining heat very well and for thoroughly cooking food with ease. It tends to be fairly inexpensive and very durable, hard to scratch and is often passed down through generations because it lasts so long. However, despite its durability, iron cookware does require some maintenance as it can rust without the proper care. At a minimum you should always hand wash, keep it dry and rub with vegetable oil afterwards to lock in moisture.

Copper

Copper also conducts heat very well and is a great choice for cooking when you need to have precise control over the temperature, such as when melting chocolate. Where many homeowners will usually hide away their pots and pans, copper pans are incredibly attractive and many people will hang them up on display in their kitchen. Copper pans do require maintenance; however, many today will come with sophisticated brushed finishing which makes them easier to look after.

Aluminium

If you like your food to taste good but tend to be short on time then aluminium might be a good choice for you. Aluminium heats and cools quickly which makes short work of meals and it is also light in weight. On the downside, aluminium cookware is more sensitive to acidic foods which can break down the material.

Choosing suitable cookware for your hobs

The cookware that you use works hand in hand with your cooker, so when choosing cookware it is very important to select a material that is both suitable and safe.

Ceramic hobs are popular for their easy controls and quick heating times. They feature a glass surface and their elements are underneath the glass. When using a ceramic hob you should use heavy aluminium or stainless steel pans with thick bases. You can also use enamel based steel pans or cast iron pans but these are more likely to scratch and copper pans may leave residue on the hob.

Induction cooking is great if you are after fast precision heat cooking, however you should be sure to use saucepans which contain steel or another metal in order to provide conductivity for the induction cookers magnetic field.

Similarly, if you have a heat store cooker you will need to use solid cast iron cookware or special AGA pans as they provide a much more even surface for your cooking. You should avoid using aluminium as it can leave a metallic marking on your pan supports.

What else to consider

Each type of cookware material has its own pros and cons, and the final decision you make will very much depend on your needs. For example, whether you need high amounts of control over temperature for those delicate recipes, have very little time for maintenance or require something that has a high visual impact. Either way, the massive amounts of choice available in cookware mean that you are likely to find something that suits your needs.

Here at W & H Supplies we stock a large selection of cookware, including top brands such as Circulon, Raymond Blanc, Prestige and Aga. To find out more call us on 01903 885566 and request your free colour brochure.

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