The Different Types of Cookware

Cookware is an important part of anyone’s kitchen. Without the right cookware it really makes it difficult to cook quality meals at home.

There are a variety of different materials to choose from when buying cookware. The first is stainless steel. This is the most popular and for good reason. Stainless steel cookware is strong, durable and is easy to clean. If it contains a layer of aluminum or copper in the base then it is even better as it provides even cooking and prevents hotspots.

The second type of cookware is cast iron cookware. Cast iron cookware is a favorite for many people. It is strong and almost indestructible. It also cooks foods extremely well but it does have its drawbacks. It’s heavy so takes a bit of muscle to remove from the stove particularly if there is a lot of food in it to begin with.

Cast iron also requires seasoning so there is a little bit of maintenance involved to keep it working as it should. A popular alternative to bare cast iron is enamelled cast iron. This type of cast iron cookware has the best of both worlds. It has all the attributes of bare cast iron, however you don’t need to season it and clean up is a lot easier.

A third material commonly used in the manufacturer of cookware is hard anodized aluminum. This is a very popular choice as this type of cookware is non-stick making for easy cooking and even better – easy clean up! Hard anodized cookware is also quite strong.

Copper is another material used to manufacturer cookware. Copper is the choice for chefs who understand the benefits of copper. Copper is quick to react to temperature changes making it ideal for delicate sauces and gravies. It also cooks evenly preventing hotspots. The disadvantages of copper are that it can be expensive to buy and also difficult to maintain. That beautiful shiny copper needs to be cleaned regularly in order to keep it looking as good as the day it was bought.

Engineering Meets Cooking to Create a Masterpiece

Cuisinart Chef's Classic non stick

Engineering doesn’t belong in cooking! Well, engineering created the cooking equipment we use, so it would be silly to ignore its role in cooking. A large part of designing anything is material selection. Materials have certain properties that make them good for some purposes and bad for others. There is no super material that is good at everything: light, strong, heat transfer, cheap, holds an edge, etc. When choosing cooking tools, consider both the material and the purpose of the piece. This will instantly tell you if it can perform the intended function. Of course, how the tool “feels” cannot be explained with numbers. That’s where testing comes in.

To demonstrate we’ll compare a cast iron frying pan to an aluminum one. Cast iron is a poor conductor of heat compared to aluminum. Why would you use cast iron as a material to make a frying pan? You want heat to move into the food you are cooking, right? The fact that it’s a poor conductor of heat, compared to aluminum, means it will slowly release heat at an even rate into what you are cooking. Searing is one of the cooking methods that surprisingly takes advantage of this cast iron property. For example with tuna, cast iron will sear the fish, but because of its low heat release rate, it will not over-cook the outside layer. The aluminum pan, which excels at conducting heat, will transfer heat so rapidly it causes the outside layer to actually over-cook.

“I am sold,” cast iron sounds perfect. There is the flip side. A side effect of cast iron’s poor heat conductivity is hot spots. If you are an experienced cook these can be managed, if not, you will learn how burnt food tastes. Other properties of cast iron as compared to aluminum are that it takes twice as long to reach cooking temperature and it’s super heavy. You can see there are reasons to use either type of material. What becomes more important is fitting the pan to the person’s skill level and cooking style.

all-clad-stainless-steel-14-piece-cookware-set-reviewWhat this points out, is that cooking tools don’t just happen. There are reasons why certain cooking tools are made out of certain materials. We noticed that all the currently available cooking sets do not consider these factors and deliver mediocre results. They might have an attractive price tag, but you will soon find yourself throwing most of it away or wondering why you have three frying pans that can’t fry properly.

Engineering principles are used to research and test all the items needed for everyday cooking and then crossed referenced it against real life cooking knowledge. The results determined the right items with the right features. The value of a cooking set is not achieved by sacrificing quality, but rather by eliminating redundancy and making correct design choices. The result is high quality cooking sets that let you cook right out of the box.



REVIEW: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron 6 Quart Dutch Oven

lodge-enameled-cast-iron-dutch-ovenLodge have been making cast iron cookware in Tennessee for well over 100 years so they know a thing or two about it. Even so, this Lodge Enameled Cast-Iron 6-Quart Dutch Oven is not one they manufacture in the USA. This pot is actually made in China and imported into North America.

Although this may deter some from purchasing this item due to ethical reasons it shouldn’t deter those whose only objection is quality. This dutch oven is extremely well made and  has received good reviews from both Good Housekeeping and Fine Cooking magazines. It has also been rated extremely well by consumers on Amazon with just about all giving this dutch oven a 4 or 5 star rating.

Price wise this is a great value for money dutch oven. Compare it with a Le Creuset equivalent and you are looking at a saving of at least $150.

What We Like

  • The enameled surface means that you don’t need to season this like you would with regular bare cast iron.
  • Lodge have used two layers of porcelain on this dutch oven making it chip resistant.
  • The lid fits tightly to keep in the moisture.
  • This is a very versatile pot – use it to marinade foods, sear foods on the stove top, store foods in the fridge or freezer or cook foods in the oven.
  • The pot lid is oven safe to 400F.
  • This Lodge dutch oven can be used on gas, electric, induction and ceramic stove tops.
  • It’s dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended.

What We Don’t Like

  • Being made from cast iron this is one heavy pot.

Want to Read More Reviews?

You can read reviews for the Lodge 6qt Enamel Dutch Oven at Amazon


We found the best price at Amazon

REVIEW: Emerilware by All Clad Cast Iron 4 in 1 Smoker

Emerilare Cast Iron 4-in-1 SmokerThere is nothing like smoking your own foods. Not only can it serve to preserve foods but it also provides a wonderful smoky flavor that is enjoyed by many.

The Emerilware Cast Iron 4 in 1 Smoker not only smokes but also grills, roasts and broils. It very versatile and great value for money. It’s no surprise therefore that it is rated extremely well by consumers with  a 4.5 star rating on both Amazon and

The fact that this can be used both indoors or outdoors makes this a great piece of cookware.

What We Like

  • It’s solid and durable and should easily last a lifetime
  • The lid can be turned upside down to use as a grill.

What We Don’t Like

  • Being cast iron this is heavy so you will need good muscles for this one.
  • The drip pan is easy to clean but if you follow some of the reviewers who recommend using foil then clean up should be easy.

Want to Read More Reviews?

You can read more reviews for the Emerilware by All Clad Cast Iron 4 in 1 Smoker at Amazon


We found the best price at Amazon

Staub Enameled Honeycomb Two Handle Frying Pan With Removable Silicone Pan Holders

staub-enameled-honeycomb-two-handle-fry-panLooking for high performance cookware! Then that is just what you will get with the Staub 12.5-in. Enameled Two Handle Frying Pan.

Instead of the typical single long handle, this pan has 2 smaller handles on each side which means you can lift the pan easily and it also stores neatly in the kitchen cupboard. There are also 2 pouring lips on each side which is handy for pouring of excess fat and for pouring out gravy.

Included are  2 removable silicone handle covers  for the handles which means you don’t have to use  oven mitts when carrying the pan from the stove to the table when you are ready to  serve.

This sturdy 12.5 inch cast iron pan from Staub will meet most of your cooking requirements such as searing steaks and other meats.

The interior has a new honeycomb surface which gives you excellent food release and helps reduce food sticking to the bottom of the pan.

As Staub products are enameled on both the interior and the exterior, including the black matte finish which will not discolor, rust or chip,  there is no need for you to season the pan and it will not react with acidic food.

Enameled cast iron is durable and  gives you excellent heat retention and  durability.  And the beauty of eEnameled cast iron is that it doesn’t require seasoning, in fact the more you use it, the better it gets as the oils used when cooking penetrate right  into the pores of the matte enamel to create a smooth non-stick surface.

This is just another great product from Staub that will give you years of use.

Where Can I Buy the Staub Enameled Honeycomb Two Handle Frying Pan With Removable Silicone Pan Holders?