Cookware materials come in a variety of shapes and sizes which makes it difficult to find the right material for your needs.
In this article, we'll have a look at some different types of cookware materials available in the market now. If you have an electric, be sure to read about the best pots and pans for electric stove so you can make a well-informed decision on cookware based on your cooking range. You can also check out our guide for the best hard anodized cookware for convenience!
Without further ado, let's look at the best cookware material for you!
What is the Best Cookware Material?
Stainless steel, nonstick coating, cast iron, copper, or aluminum are all good choices for cookware materials. The best choice depends on how each person uses their kitchen and what they enjoy cooking. For example, if you like to make scrambled eggs then you would want a pan with a non-stick coating whereas if you plan on cooking meat – that requires high heat – then copper may be your best option.
Glass or ceramic is not an ideal choice as it can chip easily and could scratch other pots and pans when stacked together while cooking which reduces its lifespan considerably.
Let’s go into a bit more detail when it comes to each cookware material.
Best Cookware Materials by Type
Stainless steel is the best cookware material. It's durable, conducts heat well, and distributes it evenly. A stainless-steel pan is a good choice if you like making eggs or delicate sauces such as bechamel. You can also use stainless steel for deep frying if you are careful because its high conductivity may make life difficult when it comes to judging how hot your oil is.
You can choose between two types of stainless steel – regular or stay-cool handles:
- Regular stainless steel handles become very hot in the oven and on the stovetop, so potholders are required for handling food after cooking. In addition, boiling water may cause burns from drops of steam that condense on the cool handles.
- Stay-cool handles are made of a different material than regular stainless steel, usually plastic, silicone, or rubberized metal. The handle does not heat up as much because it has better heat insulation properties. However, this type of handle can break if dropped or knocked against another object. This means that you should always be careful with the pan when handling it, particularly if you have young children.
Nonstick coatings are made from perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), also known as poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals. These substances are widely used to make nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpet, water-repellent fabric, and firefighting foam. Although PFCs provide many benefits for humans and the environment, they pose a threat when released into the environment because they don't break down easily.
Aluminum is a soft metal and offers scratch-resistant cookware. Using hard anodizing in aluminum cookware prevents “hot spots” which are produced when heating plain aluminum, by depositing electrically insulating alumina on the surface layer of the aluminum.
Hard-anodized aluminum pots and pans are almost non-stick compared to other types of materials and this means you save on butter or oil costs. It's also very durable – tough enough for knife marks. There's usually no need to season them.
Copper is the most popular metal used in cookware because its thermal conductivity allows it to heat up and cool down very quickly. In addition, copper transfers heat well and evenly throughout the pan which is great for cooking eggs or delicate sauces such as bechamel.
Titanium is not a good heat conductor but it can be used as an alternative to aluminum. Titanium cookware heats up very quickly and has high thermal conductivity. When it comes to heat distribution, Titanium is even better than aluminum.
Glass, ceramic, or porcelain
Glass, ceramic, or porcelain is made by baking clay at high temperatures. It's non-reactive so it doesn't alter the flavor of your food, nor does it react with acidic foods such as tomatoes. Glass-lined pans usually have tin, chrome, or borosilicate lining which all have low toxicity and are safe for humans to use. But never place a hot glass pan directly on a cold surface because this will cause it to crack suddenly without warning. Another drawback of glass cookware is that they are heavy and not suitable for vigorous stirring techniques since the cookware is easily moved around.
When it comes to glass, porcelain, and ceramic cookware, you get what you pay for and a very cheap option is not the best idea. It may be tempting to buy very inexpensive glass cookware but they can often crack or shatter, even when used under normal conditions. This is why you should always choose quality over price when buying glass, ceramic, or porcelain pans.
Enameled Cast Iron Griddle
Made from tough enamel-coated cast iron, this material allows you to cook pancakes, omelets, steaks, and fish without worrying about the pan sticking or burning your meal. The enamel coating allows easy cooking with minimal fat as well.
Video: FAQs about the Best Cookware Material
What materials can be used to make pots, pans, and kettles?
To make pots, pans, and kettles, you can use aluminum, stainless steel, and enameled cast iron. Of course, there are also other materials you can find in this product category, but these three mentioned above are the most common ones.
What is the best cookware material?
The most durable and longest-lasting kind of cookware material out there is stainless steel with a copper or aluminum base. It has excellent heat conductivity and can be used for ovens as well. Stainless steel cookware also has an amazing non-stick quality which makes it easier to work with when cooking food that could otherwise stick to the bottom of your pan.
Why do I need a good cookware set?
If you wish to make delicious meals at home, you will need a good cookware set. Pots and pans are no longer just used to boil water or fry an egg. They can be used for lots of different things now, such as frying, baking, and grilling.
What is the best cheap cookware set?
A good cheap cookware set that contains decent pots and pans should start at around 150 dollars. You can find cheaper sets on sale from time to time, but it's usually better to spend a little bit more money so you don't have to replace your cookware every couple of months. This is especially true if you are new in the cooking business and still lack some basic knowledge about how heat works etc.
How do I choose the best cookware set?
There are several things you should consider when choosing a good cookware set. First of all, you should think about how much cooking space you will need in your kitchen. If you live alone and just want to make yourself a quick meal before going out again, then one or two pots/pans will be enough. But if you like to host family dinners regularly or want to have all the space available for preparing more complicated dishes, then it is best to invest in 3-4 decent pans and 2-3 lids.
How does anodized aluminum compare with stainless steel?
Stainless steel has great heat conductivity which means it can absorb and distribute heat evenly over the whole surface. Anodized aluminum also has good heat conductivity, but it works best as a quick-heating tool when you do not need to retain the heat for long periods.
What is the difference between nonstick and anodized material?
The best non-stick pan surfaces are usually made from aluminum or steel that have been treated with PTFE chemicals (polytetrafluoroethylene). This treatment process gives the metal a slippery quality which makes it easy to work with, especially when frying foods that could otherwise stick to your pan's bottom. Anodized aluminum is only used for lightweight cookware because of its low durability. It can easily be scratched by sharp knives and sometimes even chipped by metal forks.
What is the safest cooking pot material?
Stainless steel is the safest cookware for your health as it does not corrode or rust no matter how often you use it and what kinds of food you cook. Pots made from cast iron are also pretty good when it comes to durability, but the problem with these two is that they can make your kitchen rather hot during summer days if there's no fan in place.
How do I maintain my cookware?
To maintain your cookware just wash it regularly. The best way to do that is by using hot water and soap, but if you're not sure about the dishwasher safety of your pots and pans then try wiping them down with a wet cloth and some detergent instead.
Final thoughts on Best Cookware Material
In the end, it boils down to personal opinion. Some people prefer stainless steel because they like the look better, others prefer aluminum because of weight and cost factors. Most people will be happy with stainless steel or copper cooking vessels as everything else is a compromise between price, performance, and aesthetics. You can't go wrong with any type of metal (stainless steel, aluminum, copper) so choose based on how fancy you want your kitchen to look.