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COOKWARE CATEGORIES AND BRANDS

 

 

WHAT IS THE BEST COOKWARE?

 

The answer is simple: There is no best cookware – there is only right cookware. The right cookware depends on cooking technique, lifestyle, preference in design, colour, and fabrication, and, of course, on the type of cooker used. Heat distribution and retention is an important consideration when choosing cookware, which is the reason we recommend all users to learn how a new pan responds to the changes in heat levels, and how to adjust the heat source accordingly.

 

 

SEVEN COOKWARE CATEGORIES

 

There are seven categories of cookware. The table below outlines these categories and gives examples of corresponding cookware brands.

 

 

CATEGORIES COOKWARE BRAND EXAMPLES
1. Aluminium c
Uncoated c
Non-stick Meyer Cook ‘N Look, Meyer Cook ‘N Look Induction, Meyer Radiance, Farberware, Tefal, Berndes, Silver Star, Buffalo, SuperB
2. Stainless Steel c
Uncoated Meyer Contempri, Meyer Centennial, Raco Cuisine, Gabriel Gaté Bella Cuisine, Farberware Millennium, Kinox, Thermos, WMF, Henckels, Kern
Non-stick Raco Gallery, Raco Gabriel Gaté Select, Gabriel Gaté Grande Cuisine, Farberware Aluminart
Clad Anolon® Advanced Clad
3. Hard-Anodized c
Uncoated Meyer ProForge, Kern, SuperB, Thermos
Non-stick Anolon Advanced®, Anolon Allure®, Circulon® 2, Infinite Circulon®, Circulon® Premier Professional
Clad c
4. Glass Visions
5. Enamel on Steel Chantal
6. Cast Iron Le Creuset
7. Copper Lagostina
Uncoated c
Clad c

 

 

 

THREE CATEGORIES = 85% OF COOKWARE SALES

 

The three categories listed below represent 85% of the world's cookware business and 90% of department store cookware business:

  • Aluminium
  • Stainless steel
  • Hard-anodized


Aluminium : Uncoated, Non-Stick.

Aluminium is the most common material for cookware because it is an excellent conductor of heat. Thickness is the key to a good quality aluminium pan, so steer clear of lightweight aluminium pans. Like all metals, aluminium expands when heated, so look for cookware that has a concave base, as this allows the base to remain flat even at high temperatures. Aluminium cookware can be either coated (interior and exterior surfaces) or uncoated, so take this into consideration when making your choice.

Stainless Steel : Uncoated, Non-Stick, Clad.

This type of cookware looks extremely stylish and is popular both with domestic and professional chefs due to its durability and versatility. Nickel content is one of the factors to consider when looking for a quality stainless steel pan (more nickel is usually better). Also important is the thickness of the base: the thicker it is, the better it distributes heat, but also the heavier it is.

Hard-Anodized : Uncoated, Non-stick, Clad.

Hard-anodized cookware is twice as hard as stainless steel, and because it is made entirely of aluminium, it has excellent heat distribution. The non-stick ranges are by far the most popular, as they offer greatly improved non-stick surface durability compared to their stainless steel and aluminium equivalents. The main disadvantage of most hard-anodized cookware is that it is not recommended for dishwasher use.


 

FOUR CATEGORIES = 15% OF COOKWARE SALES

 

The four categories listed below represent only 15% of the world's cookware business:

  • Glass
  • Enamel on steel
  • Cast iron
  • Copper


Glass :

Glass cookware was popular in the 1960's and 70's. It enables you to see what is happening inside the pan, but it gives very poor heat dispersion, which means that food burns easily. The integral moulded handles can also get very hot.

Enamel on steel :

Also called ‘stove enamel’ or ‘baked enamel’. A plastic coating is applied to the exterior of the cookware. This coating is available in a variety of finishes and colours, making the cookware decorative and allowing manufacturers to follow cookware fashion trends. Heat distribution tends to be poor since steel is a poor conductor of heat.

Cast Iron :

Cast iron cookware is slow to respond to changes in heat level, but it has excellent heat retention properties. It requires regular seasoning, but once a patina has formed, the cooking surface becomes virtually non-stick. The downside of cast iron cookware is that it is heavy and can be difficult to handle.

Copper : Uncoated, Clad.

Copper conducts heat quickly and distributes it evenly across the cooking surface: It has twice the thermal conductivity of aluminium and ten times the conductivity of steel. However, it can contaminate the flavour of the food cooked in it; for that reason, all copper cookware must have an interior coating. Modern copper pans usually have stainless steel interiors.

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