What is the best cookware material? If you’ve ever been struck with indecision while shopping for cookwares, not knowing whether to go with the anodized or the stainless steel pots and pans? Or trying to figure out the differences of aluminum vs nonstick vs stainless steel cookware? This cookware material guide will show you the pros and cons of the materials, functions, cooking methods and how they should be maintained.
Different types of cookware materials:
- Copper Pots & Pans
- Aluminum Pans
- Cast-Iron Pans
- Stainless Steel Pots & Pans
- Glass Ceramic Pans
According to the table, you can find that copper is the best material, it heats up quickly and evenly. The con is that it is costly. Want to find more detail? Keep reading.
|Material||Specific Heat (J/kg*C)||Thermal Conductivity (W/m*k)||Thermal Diffusivity(mm2/s)|
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Copper Pots & Pans
For best Copper Pots & Pans, Editor's Pick:
Cuisinart Tri-Ply Copper Cookware Set
Copper exterior will let this set heats and cools quickly for precise temperature control, and it is 3-Ply Stainless Steel-Clad Construction, can oven Safe to 500° F. It's a so beautiful Copper Cookware Set, and easily outstanding in your kitchen.
The copper surface will acquire a dark patina with use, it's not a defect, you can follow the maintenance to clean the surface. Finally, it's a very good set of pans for the money and will serve you well for decades.
For best Aluminum Pans, Editor's Pick:
Rachael Ray 10 Piece Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware Set
This is a fantastic set of Aluminum Cookware. It is light, good thermal conductivity, and interiors Coated in long-lasting nonstick for beautiful food release. Its handles are double riveted for strength and rubberized for grip and Comfort. It also oven safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, conveniently dishwasher safe and Lifetime Limited warranty.
Safe for: Direct Fire, stovetop, grill, oven and broiler.
Good for: Frying, searing, roasting, stove-to-oven recipes, and baking.
Cast iron is one of the most versatile cooking materials and a great alternative to Nonstick cooking surfaces. Many professional chefs think the cast iron pan is a indispensable kitchenware. Cast iron is extremely durable and can be preheated to temperatures that will brown meat, with good maintenance, it can be used for several decades. Cast-Iron pans are all-around players in the kitchen, suitable for frying, cooking and baking.
Cast iron pans need to be seasoned before use. For home use, it is better to buy the seasoned Cast-Iron Pans. It should be noted that, after use, please do not immediately cool it down, to prevent the deformation of the vessel. Carefully protect the surface when you clean up, it is better not to use dishwasher. After clean, please put the pans over a burner on high to dry. Then wipe the interior and exterior of the Pan with a small amount of vegetable oil to protect the cookware surface.
Lodge is one of best Cast iron brands. America’s oldest family-owned cookware manufacturer, and its cookware are "natural nonstick."
For best Cast-Iron Pans, Editor's Pick:
Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle
Cast iron cookware is the original nonstick cookware. And this Cast Iron cookware is able to cover all your bases. Another reason for this set is that they are all well seasoned already. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning will get. Some reason for Lodge, it has been making cast iron cookware since 1896. With over 120 years of experience, their cast iron is well known as high quality design, lifetime durability, and cooking versatility.
Stainless Steel Pots & Pans
For best Stainless Steel Pots & Pans, Editor's Pick:
Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
The Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro has 3 layers, it is the best stainless steal cookware set. The outer layer base stainless, middle layer aluminum core and the interior layer stainless for cooking surface. And the interior cooking surface is 18/10 graded and it is durable and great for corrosion resistance. The Cuisinart MCP-12N is the best pots and pans set for stainless steel. It has superior performance in terms of heat distribution technology.
This cookware set and All-Clad D5 have similar traits in this area and they are on par. Both models are constructed with tri-ply with the middle made up of aluminum core. This center layer greatly offers superior heat conductivity. It allows even heat distribution on the bottom and on the side walls. But Cuisinart MCP-12N is much cheaper. This set of cookware has great versatility as you can use it on most of the cooktops such as induction, gas, glass etc. Unlike some other brands lids which can’t support beyond 350 degree F, Cuisinart MCP-12N lids are constructed with great heat resistance that are oven safe up to 550 degree F.
Glass Ceramic Pans
For best Glass Ceramic Pans, Editor's Pick:
T-fal C996SE Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Coating PTFE PFOA and Cadmium Free Scratch Resistant Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Cookware Set
Ceramic is one of the best material as containers. This Ceramic Cookware interior is PTFE-Free, PFOA-Free and Cadmium-Free safer than traditional nonstick pots. It is limited lifetime warranty, safe for all cooking methods except induction, and it also nonstick.
Tips: we don't recommend to use dishwasher and metal kitchen utensils, they will scratch the surface of the cookware.
The List Below is What We mentioned Above.
The difference among Aluminum vs Cast-Iron vs Nonstick Pans
After reading the introduction of different types of cookware materials, pots and pans recommendations, do you know what you would choose? If not, that is fine, let me give you some more advise.
Cooking Rookie / Occasionally Cook
A set of stainless steel pots and pans are the best choice. They are affordable, durable, fast heating, easy maintenance, can be used as a good basic cookware, enough to meet your basic needs. E.g. Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set.
Fitness / Nutrition Experts
As a healthy diet person, you may be more concerned about eating healthy food, non-stick pots and pans will be a good choice. Nonstick can greatly reduce the chances of sticking food on the pot (or pan), you will use less oil which make the cooking healthier. Needless to say nonstick is the best cookware material for health. E.g. Calphalon Unison Nonstick.
For those who likes to cook and enjoy the process from ingredients to dishes, you may need a variety of cookware. I recommend stainless steel and Cast Iron material. E.g. Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set.
For a professional chef, because of better thermal conductivity, copper pots and pans are better choice, however, they are more expensive and less well maintained. E.g. Lagostina Stainless Steel Copper Oven Safe Cookware Set.
By now you should know clearly what kind of material pots and pans you need for your kitchen.
Best Cookware Brands
In order to better help you making the decision, here are some of the best pots and pans brands.
- Cuisinart: Chef's Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set is one of the most Classic product
- All-Clad: d5 Brushed Stainless Steel, do not have to explain more, one of the best stainless steel cookware
- Calphalon: There non-stick pans is one of the best choice, e.g. Unison Nonstick, All cookware is dishwasher-safe and carries Calphalon's full lifetime warranty.
- Le Creuset: They not only make cast iron enamel pot colorful, at the same time has a good thermal insulation and good sealing.Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round French (Dutch) Oven and Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round Braiser are their most popular products
- Staub: Staub Round Cocotte is one of the most classic product. Undermeath the lid of each La Cocotte French oven is their beakthrough innovation
- Lodge: Its Cast Iron Cookware are “natural nonstick.”
You should have some basic understanding of the different materials by now. If you have any questions, please contact us.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.