pots and pans for gas

What is the best cookware material? We compare cookware materials to see which is the safest and best. In this cookware material comparison we decide on the best type of cookware material.

What is the best cookware material?

A comprehensive guide

Food has always been a pivotal part of our survival journey. It feeds the body and mind to keep us well tuned and that is how we strive for better and bigger things in life.

But now food has evolved from ‘keep us going’ to one of the finer pleasures in life. Not just eating it but also the process of cooking itself has turned into a beautiful art, an art which needs both the crafty hands of the person behind the stove, as well as sturdy and efficient cookware to bring out the true flavors of food. And this write up is all about that last bit.

In this comprehensive guide, we look at some of the different materials used for cookware.

First up is ...

Copper cookware

Overview

Having stood the test of time for centuries, Copper has been a star performer when it comes to cooking food with finesse. People cooking with Copper cookware finds it references all the way back to around 10,000 years in the Middle East. Since then copper cookware have grown in leaps and bounds- be it Indian Kadhais, Mexican cazos or something more on a refined and luxurious side from reputed brands. A kitchen without copper cookware is nothing less than a cardinal sin.

Copper offers incredible conductivity, ensuring that when you cook food, the heats spreads out evenly and swiftly all the way to the edges of the pan. Thanks to this commendable performance, copper is an ideal pick for people looking to try their hands from anything ranging from searing, sautéing, or even for making delectable sauces and jams.

**Check out more reviews and the discounted price on Amazon**

Pros

  • Superior Heat Conductivity
    The headings says it all- copper cookware offers superior heat conductivity ensuring that heat is quickly distributed (nearing ten times more than ordinary cookware). This means it can heat up very rapidly when the stove is on and cool down equally fast when its stove is turned off.
  • Rust sidelined
    Copper cookware, though not as effectively coated as tin or stainless steel, still offers resistance to rust making sure your cookware remains free from defects and your food remains unsoiled.
  • A health boost
    Food cooked in copper pots and pans helps in boosting collagen – great for healthy skin. Plus, it helps in detoxifying the body and keeps a check on digestion making it a blessing for your body and one of the healthiest cookware materials to have in your kitchen.
  • Easy to Clean
    No one likes to spend hours scrubbing cookware after a meal. Copper cookware is pretty easy to clean and minimizes the effort after you are done dining. Plus good copper cookware is nothing short of an heirloom set that can last generations.
  • Appealing Appearance
    Quite an eye-catcher to have in your kitchen, good copper cookware glistens and is attractive to the point that people like to boast by hanging them over the kitchen walls rather than snubbing then away in racks.

Cons

  • Quite expensive 
    Despite the fact that copper cookware can last for decades, the price tag on them can seriously dent one’s wallet. So it’s better to have your requirements clear in your mind and invest in quality copperware rather than experimenting with them.
  • Tricky for everyday situations
    The boon of superior conductivity of copper can easily turn into a bane when one is cooking on the fly and not attentive enough towards the temperature of the food.

Copper cookware is best for gas cook tops while induction cook tops should not be your go-to option when cooking with copper. Lastly, copper cookware offers, despite the relatively high price tag, premium bang for your buck making them a great contender when looking for a good quality cooking material.

 

Next one on our list to compare cookware materials is...

Stainless Steel + Copper

Overview

Taking the best of both cookware offerings- stainless steel with a copper core offers superior conductivity, better rust resistance, and a more affordable price tag.

**Check out more reviews and the discounted price on Amazon**

Pros

  • Superior Heat Conductivity
    Just like a pure copper cookware, stainless steel cookware with a copper core offers a quick distribution of heat letting you cook food in the best and shortest possible way.
  • Price curtailed
    Thanks to use of a Copper core with steel outer lining, the price of steel+copper cookware is relatively less without denting the performance.
  • Cleaning is a breeze
    Thanks to the outer layer of steel, steel with copper core cookware is dishwasher safe – making cleaning quite a breeze.
  • Steel+copper cookware is one of the best combinations for the best pots and pans for gas stove and also the best induction cookware.

Cons

  • Cheaper models aplenty- Due to “shrouding” of copper base, it is easier to get fooled with a cheaper option when it comes to buying steel+copper cookware resulting it sub-par cooking experience.
  • Low on virtual appeal- Unlike pure copper cookware which is quite eye-pleasing, steel+copper cookware as appealing to the eyes and has a pretty basic appearance.

Stainless Steel + Aluminum

Overview

Blending the long lasting Stainless Steel with ultra-conductive Aluminum, this particular style of cookware offers reliability, completeness and adequacy. This layering of two different metals ensures that you get lightweight cookware without curtailing on the good properties of a pots and pans set.

Pros

  • Just the right weight
    This type of cookware has just the right amount of weight to them to give your cooking confidence. Robust quality, yet they are also light enough to let you maneuver around the kitchen without much ado.
  • Oven Safe
    This blend of materials is usually oven safe up to a certain temperature.
  • Dishwasher Safe
    No need to spend time scrubbing your pots and pans after you’re done eating, simply put them into the dishwasher and be assured that your cookware will come out as good as new.

Cons

  • Copper is still the KING
    Though this type of layered cookware can perform fairly well in the kitchen, they are still not as robust as copper making them susceptible to frequent replacement.
  • Susceptible to acidic food
    Aluminum has a major downside of being degraded by acidic foods resulting into potential health hazard. Not a huge problem as long as the core is aluminum and then outer layers are stainless.

Stainless Steel + Aluminum cookware can work on both gas cook tops as well as induction cook tops. Additionally, it is dishwasher safe! Though not suitable for any and every kind of food, this cookware range surely can perform fairly well in kitchen and get things done without much fuss.

Hard Anodized

Overview

When aluminum cookware is treated to a chemical bath and thereafter exposed to a strong electrical current, it is known as hard anodized aluminum cookware. What this does is to reduce oxide which is the main culprit for corrosion. This chemical treatment results in a cookware which is resilient and resistant to weathering caused by time and cooking conditions.

Pros

  • Better Durability
    Anodized aluminum cookware offers longevity as well low maintenance thanks to the chemical process which ensures that the cookware can stand the test of time.
  • Doesn’t Leach Metals
    With a protective layer present to protect the cookware from oxidation and acidic reaction with food, anodized aluminum cookware makes for one of the healthiest cookware materials on the market.
  • Versatile
    This cookware option makes for an excellent all purpose set to have in the kitchen allowing you to do whatever takes your fancy when it comes to some culinary adventures.

Cons

  • Expensive
    Anodized aluminum cookware can be tad bit expensive compared to its counterparts due to an additional step involved during manufacturing.
  • Heavy
    Hard-anodized aluminum is on the heavier and thicker side when pitted against standard aluminum (approximately two milligrams per square centimeter). A tad bit more cumbersome to handle.
  • Not Dishwasher-Safe
    Anodized aluminum cookware needs care while cleaning as one can’t simply chuck it in the dishwasher. You will need to hand wash the cookware with a non- abrasive sponges or with mild cleaner only.
  • Not Induction Compatible
    Anodized aluminum cookware can’t really be used on an induction cook-top.

Cast Iron

Overview

Nothing less than an undefeated workhorse in the kitchen, cast iron pots and pans are as versatile as cookware can get. Cast iron cookware is highly reliable and can last for decades with little maintenance. This stuff is built to last.

Pros

  • Seasoned and safe
    A seasoned piece of cast iron cookware is easier to clean than stainless steel cookware.

  • Health is Key
    Just like pure copper cookware, cast iron cookware is not just one of the best cookware materials on the market but also one of the healthiest materials as it can naturally add iron to your meal.
  • Long lasting and versatile
    Cast iron cookware can handle all your cooking needs while lasting for years to come with minimal to virtually zero care.

Cons

  • Cast iron is heavy
    Cast iron cookware surely will work your muscles thanks to its raw weight which can be off-putting for some.
  • Re-seasoning can be a task
    Though the cast iron pans and pots can last with virtually zero care, occasionally they might need re-seasoning to ensure their longevity.
  • Cast iron takes longer to heat up
    Compared to other offerings on the market, cast iron cookware can take a little more time to heat and attain a cooking temperature which in turn results in extended cooking sessions – it also takes longer to cool down.

Final Thoughts 

Cast iron cookware can work wonders on both gas as well as induction cook tops, though one might be careful not to scratch the induction surface due to bottom of the cast iron cookware being grainy and rough. Additionally, an above average set of cast iron pots and pans can set you back a pretty little penny or two – but this stuff does last for ages.

About the author

A chef and a food writer - Pete Ross (aka Peter Pans) brings you the best of the best. The Best pots and Pans available online - as well as in depth articles looking at gas, induction and a whole lot more.

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