Cooking is such an integral part of our lives. For most families, the kitchen is the heart and soul of their home and usually the most frequented room in the house. So much of our time is spent there preparing meals, coming together to enjoy them and connecting with each other over a hearty meal.
Like any important task, it’s critical to have the right tools at your disposal. Choosing the right cookware for your kitchen is a crucial decision that can make a palpable difference to the ease and efficiency of your culinary efforts. Here’s a quick guide to what’s out there to help you select the style that suits you best:
Which Type of Cookware is Right for You?
Pros: The coating on non-stick pots and pans allows for food to slide off with ease. This makes cooking simpler, helps to keep delicate foods intact during the cooking process and importantly, use far less oil. Also, as the food won’t stick or burn onto the surface, cleaning is quick and painless.
Cons: You need to be very careful what utensils you use when cooking with non-stick. The coating surface can easily scratch if you’re using metal implements. Once compromised in this way, you might need to discard your item. There is also some concern that once compromised; the coating can give off toxic fumes. However, it’s debatable whether any hard evidence exists to support this claim. Non-stick surfaces are not ideal for browning or searing, which can affect the look, flavour and texture of the food.
Pros: Extremely versatile, you can use stainless for pretty much any type of cooking and seamlessly switch between stovetop, oven and induction cooker. The surface is non-reactive and perfect for braising and browning, so you will be able to bring out the pure, natural flavours of the foods like meats and fish.
Cons: There’s very little negative to say about stainless, other than that it can sometimes be somewhat difficult to clean. You might need to use more oil than you would for non-stick to minimize this hassle.
Pros: Aside from looking magnificent, copper cookware gives outstanding performance for any cooking function. Being an exceptional conductor, copper heats and cools very quickly, providing you with unparalleled control over the cooking process at any temperature. Copper cookware also transfers beautifully to the oven.
Cons: Copper is pricey and out of the budget of many families. From a functional perspective, it is a reactive material, so acidic or alkaline foods may become bitter after contact with the heated surface. Many brands apply a tin or stainless steel layer to get around this, though. Copper is a relatively soft metal and can dent easily, as well as developing a patina over time that needs removal by hand using a copper cleaner.
Pros: Can’t be matched for browning and searing and transfers easily from stove to oven at far higher temperatures than other materials. Iron has natural non-stick properties, which adds to the appeal and is perfect for slower cooking, as it retains heat very well. This allows cast iron to keep food warm for long periods of time, which is why Dutch ovens are made of this material.
Cons: Cast iron needs to be seasoned before use, and requires ongoing maintenance to prevent rust. It’s very heavy and hard to clean, which can be a pain to deal with on an everyday basis. Many items will cook unevenly.
Each of these options certainly has its place in any kitchen. Do your research and think carefully about which is right for you and you’ll enjoy years of wonderful cooking!
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
That not all will enjoy my writing.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I appreciate my ability to be creative.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Proud to have the writing skill.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
Ha, Many! I embrace them all.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my family.