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Types Of Cookware

Jan 31, 2008
With all the hustle and bustle that goes on in our lives each and everyday it easy to understand why so many people overlook the simple little things that can improve their day and enhance relationships they have with those that they care about. I am referring to preparing meals for yourself and your family. While meals through the week may consist of whatever is easiest to throw together, the weekend at least offers us a time where we can dazzle our family with our culinary talents.

The foundation of preparing a gourmet meal is the cookware that we use. Before you start to say that the cookware doesn't affect the quality of the food you are preparing I would like you to stop and think for a moment. Would you rather eat food that is burnt or undercooked because the heat was not distributed evenly or food that was cooked properly and evenly so that the taste of the herbs and spices came through the food?

Keep in mind, that cookware that has hot spots will cook your entire meal at a different rate. The type of cookware you prefer, whether it is stainless steel, copper, aluminum or cast iron is not as important as the quality of the cookware you are using. Quality cookware will help make sure that the heat is distributed evenly for proper cooking, and the lids to the cookware will fit appropriately to help avoid splashes and help seal in the heat.

The main concern among most people though when it comes to purchasing quality cookware has more to do with their budget then it does with the way your food will taste when you cook with it. While quality cookware does not have to cost a fortune, it also doesn't have to be a matching set. Each type of cookware has a specific enough purpose that buying individual pieces can help complete the essential quality cookware needs.

For example, copper pots and pans are the most expensive and they distribute heat the best. However they are not ideal for preparing all types of foods, they scratch and depending on what you are cooking in them, they may transfer a metallic taste you to your feast. If there is one piece of copper cookware you must have it is a copper mixing bowl. The copper mixing bowl is essential in beating egg whites; the copper lets you beat the white to their maximum volume.

Aluminum is less expensive, does not distribute heat as well as the copper and can also transfer a metallic taste to you food. If you are going to purchase aluminum then make sure that you are getting anodized pans. This will help make them last longer and decrease the reactivity with your food. Cast iron skillets are wonderful for specialized cooking and searing the best steak you will ever have. They are slightly more expensive then aluminum and they need to be kept seasoned to prevent sticking.

Stainless steel pots and pans are what I like to call the middle ground. They are in the mid price range and distribute heat better then aluminum but not as well as copper and it doesn't give you food a metallic taste. It is easy to clean and is good for everyday cooking.
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