Criteria for the Best Cookware Set
Even if you are not a cook and spend just several minutes a day in your kitchen, you cannot do without cookware. The simple scrambled eggs and the pasta with cheese require at least one pan and skillet to be prepared. Needless to say that a person who is involved in cooking process and admire this activity, being an amateur or professional, should be equipped at all points to be ready to bring any recipe to life. All the above is a brief grounding of the fact that a cookware set should be in every kitchen. Is it easy to choose one? It depends on your budget and expectations.
First of all, you are recommended to think how often you cook for a crowd. Perhaps you have a large family, the members of which get used to eat at home during the whole day. Usually you prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner with the first and second courses, desserts and anything else. In this case you will need the pans of various size – several ones of each type. If you prefer to experiment with new cuisines and cooking techniques, you should have various special appliances like a wok, particular saucepans, skillets for crepes and other items. It is important to have lids for various pots.
On the contrary, if you are a modern active person spending minimum time for cooking but still you prefer to have everything that can be of help in your kitchen within reach, you can choose the non-stick set consisting of 5 or 8 items which will be enough for reheating the dinner, boiling the eggs, stewing the vegies.
The material, the vessels are made from, is of vital importance as far as it has a direct impact on the result. The producers use aluminum, stainless steel, copper and ceramics. For non-stick properties the above metals are covered with Teflon layer which prevents the foods from burning and sticking. There are a lot of researches and opinions as to safety of this covering. Today the formula of a non-stick material is approved but still there are some restrictions relating to use of such cookware. You are expected to know them not only because it will last the service life of a pan but also because these rules provide safety. If you want to forget about safe concerns but still want a pan to cope with sticking, then you should consider the ceramics which is not durable also but does not contain any chemicals still offering easy release of the foods.
As to the stainless steel it is neutral and durable. It can serve for many years keeping its properties as in the very beginning but there is one serious drawback – the stainless steel is a bad heat conductor. It means that it is heated for a long time and the temperature is distributed not evenly. That is why you can hardly keep cooking under control. And it does not provide the non-stick feature so you have cook with oil to prevent burning. Though if you are skilled enough, you’ll manage to succeed. This kind of cookware is the most popular among the professional chefs.
Aluminum and copper conduct the heat in a perfect way. You can forget about waiting for a quarter of hour until your pan gets warm enough you could start cooking. But along with this benefit you get a range of undesired properties. The aluminum is not completely safe. It reacts with some foods and can change its flavor and even color. Being light and cheap it is usually used for the multi-layer constructions being surrounded by stainless still from inside and outside. Thus it improves the conductivity staying isolated. The copper is expensive metal that is difficult in maintenance and are not recommended to be in contact with food. The new technologies allow to corporate a copper disk into the bottom of a steel pan which is able to distribute the heat evenly and quickly.
There are also other materials like anodized aluminum, cast iron and others which are used for particular cooking methods.