What Are The Top Rated Pots And Pans For 2014
Good quality pots and pans are essential if you want to make it easy to create great tasting food quickly and without a lot of fuss. Of course as with most products today you have to choose between low and high cost and low and high quality. But if you are serious about your cooking yet at the same time on a tight budget, you need to be careful what you buy to ensure you arent wasting money.
For instance non stick cookware is an inexpensive option especially when you are starting out. If you are moving into your first home then often this is what people opt for to get them up and running quickly. Non stick sets are the most popular as they are relatively cheap to purchase and easy to clean up. The downside to that low price though is that non stick cookware just is not as durable as other types of cookware. You will find that although it makes it easy to clean up, its not diswasher safe as the non stick coating will be scratch away by the action of the dishwasher.
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Also over time the non stick coating will wear away anyway, and generally come away and into your food and diet. Not a good thing at all. Most people end up replacing their non stick cookware with something a bit more durable. Stainless steel cookware is what is generally used commercially. This seems strange as stainless steel doesnt conduct heat as well or as evenly as aluminium. But the advantage of stainless steel is that it is so tough and durable that it lasts for years even with heavy use.
These days you will find that most stainless steel pans are a composite of materials to improve the heat conduction properties too. Such as a stainless steel out layer, but then the core of the sides and bottom of the pans are made using copper or aluminium to allow overal much better heat distribution to allow for move even cooking properties.
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Copper is the best conductor of heat so why dont we all use copper pans. Well for 2 reasons. Copper is very expensive to buy, and also it reacts the acid in many foods. This will result in a discoloring of the pans and also a tainting of the flavours of your food. Thats why most people tend to avoid copper pans, and many copper pans use some other material on the inside to avoide the food reacting with the copper.
Anodizing aluminium is a way of creating a special coating or surface on the top of aluminium, that provides the benefits of non stick without a non stick layers. The anodized layer is very tough and hard to scratch so gives the best of both worlds in many cases, so makes a good alternative to a teflon coated aluminium pan, but of course the cost for anodized or hard anodized pans will be more than the price of a straight non stick aluminium pan.
Another material that is great for pots and paninis cast iron. Cast iron has great heat distribution and heat retention properties too. This is why you often see cast iron used for the plates of panini and sandwich makers. The downside to cast iron is that it has to be seasoned to maintain the surface and stop it from rusting. But also cast iron is heavy. A cast iron cooking pot is quite a weighty beast to be moving around.
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