Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What to Look for When Buying Cookware

  Today we're going to look at what qualities to look for when buying cookware.

 Heat Conductivity

The better the heat conductivity of your cookware, the more evenly and quickly your food will cook.  Some metals conduct heat better than others.  Since no one material is perfect, multi-ply cookware is ideal.  Multi-ply cookware combines several metals in one pot or pan.  Multi-ply cookware usually has a copper or aluminum core (great heat conductors) with a stainless steel or nonstick interior (for cooking style).  The exterior can be a number of different materials.  This combination of strengths makes multi-ply cookware the most versatile and user-friendly.


Your budget will most likely determine what you end up buying.  Keep in mind that your cookware purchase is an investment.  The general rule of thumb with cookware is to buy the best you can afford.  Saving and investing in one piece at a time is better than a "great deal" on a cheap set that does not perform well.


Durability in cookware varies.  Some types last longer and some look better longer.  Stainless steel is often thought to be one of the best.  Cast-iron is also known for its durability and, if well maintained, is often handed down within families.

Gauge is the thickness of metal used in cookware.  The lower the gauge number, the thicker the metal.  For example 18 gauge is thicker than 22 gauge.  Range-top cookware is generally 10-18 gauge.  Cookware any thinner than 20 gauge is too thin for use over direct heat and can result in anything from burnt food to a warped pan. 


Some metals react to some foods.  For example, aluminum tends to react to acidic foods, such as tomatoes.  Your food can absorb some of the metal and your metal can become discolored.  Make sure


Do you enjoy and have time for shining your cookware every night?  Neither do I.  Therefore, you need to consider the amount of maintenance needed to keep your cookware in good shape.  Copper and cast-iron cookware can require a lot of work to keep it looking great.  Stainless steel is pretty easy to maintain, while non-stick is even easier.

Coming up:
Thursday - Type of Cookware

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