- Types of pots
- Dimensions and properties
- Non-stick coating
- Top Producers
- How to clean a burnt aluminum pan
Types of pots
Stainless steel pans
Stainless steel products are often used in professional kitchens. They do not rust and withstand the effects of alkaline and acidic environments well. Stainless steel pots do not react chemically with food even when food is stored for a long time.
When buying, pay attention to the bottom of the product. It is desirable that it be thick and multi-layered (encapsulated). Copper and aluminum layers can be used as an interlayer. Thanks to this, the container warms up more evenly, retains heat better, and food does not stick to it.
- Do not oxidize;
- Long service life – tens of years;
- They can store food;
- Do not require special care, can be washed in a dishwasher;
- Beautiful appearance;
- Resistant to mechanical stress;
- Suitable for all types of hob, including induction;
- Corrosion resistant;
- High price;
- When overheated, stains and stains appear on the walls of the product;
- In pans with a thin bottom and walls, food is heated unevenly and often burns.
Cast iron pans
Cast iron products have low thermal conductivity, due to which they heat up slowly and evenly and cool down just as slowly. Therefore, they are often used for stewing and languishing foods. In cast iron pans, pilaf, stewed potatoes, cabbage and other dishes are excellent. In addition, cast iron cookware can be placed in the oven, as well as used on all types of stoves.
- Reliability and resistance to mechanical stress;
- Keeps warm for a long time;
- Durability – cast iron cookware can “work” for decades, retaining its original appearance and functionality;
- Large weight (3–7 kg);
- Tendency to corrosion – after washing, the product must be wiped dry and lubricated with oil. It is also recommended to ignite cast-iron utensils with oil;
- Cannot be washed in a dishwasher;
- Increased fragility – when dropped, it can crack;
- High price (on average, 2,000–4,000 rubles);
Enamelled metal products have a beautiful appearance. They are great for storing food and preparing soups, cabbage soup, compote, jam or marinade. Such products can withstand the effects of acidic and alkaline environments well.
The enamel protects the metal from corrosion, and the products from dangerous toxic substances that can migrate into the metal products. But the enamel coating is not durable. It is quickly damaged, and chips form on the inner surface of the pan. In this case, the dishes must be thrown away, because. continued use may be harmful to health.
- Low price, on average, 400–1,000 rubles. But enameled cast iron pans are more expensive – about 3,000–6,000 rubles;
- Corrosion resistant;
- They can store food for a long time;
- Food often burns
- fragility. The enamel quickly chipped, and after that the product can not be used.
Heat-resistant glass pans
Glass products make it easier to control cooking. Contrary to popular belief, they can withstand high temperatures and are great for cooking on gas and electric stoves. In addition, they can be used in the oven and microwave.
- Products in glassware do not burn;
- Glass has a very low thermal conductivity, so it cools slowly;
- Does not emit substances hazardous to health upon contact with food;
- It can store products;
- Easy to wash;
- Glass pans are afraid of temperature changes. Therefore, they cannot be placed on hot stoves and in very hot ovens. Also, do not wash hot dishes under cold water;
- When cooking on gas, a flame spreader must be used;
- Glass products are characterized by increased fragility – when dropped or hit, they can break;
Aluminum cookware has high thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. It is light weight and low cost. Upon contact with oxygen, an oxide film appears on the surface of aluminum, which protects food from the “migration” of metal ions released during heating. However, this film is destroyed when exposed to acids, salt, and when food is stored. To minimize the negative impact of aluminum, pans often have an additional protective coating made of another material.
- Little weight;
- Does not rust;
- It has a high coefficient of thermal conductivity, which means that the dish is cooked faster;
- Affordable price;
- Aluminum pans cannot be used to store food;
- Pans made of extruded rather than cast aluminum, and products with thin walls and bottoms, quickly deform and become unusable.
- Food often burns to the aluminum surface;
- Products without a protective coating may be hazardous to health;
- Can change the taste and aroma of food;
Ceramic cookware does not emit any hazardous substances into food and does not change the taste of food during storage, unlike aluminum. You can store ready-made dishes in it and are not afraid that they will lose their original taste and aroma. It heats up for a long time and keeps the dish warm.
- Affordable price (600–1,500 rubles);
- Ceramics are easy to clean (with a sponge and warm water);
- Ideal for food storage. They retain the original taste and aroma of the dish, as well as the beneficial substances that make up its composition;
- Can be used in the oven and microwave oven;
- Ceramic pots are easy to clean;
- Great weight;
- Ceramic pots are afraid of temperature changes;
- Increased fragility – ceramic dishes are easy to break;
Copper pans are often used in professional kitchens. Since copper has a high thermal conductivity, it heats up quickly, and this allows you to better control the cooking process. However, when oxidized, copper changes the taste of food and releases hazardous substances into foods, so it is not recommended to cook sour dishes in copper containers. To negate these negative properties, manufacturers cover the inner surface of copper products with a special protective coating.
- Can be used in the oven;
- Durability (with proper care);
- Great for making jams and stewing meat dishes;
- Improves the control of cooking, which significantly increases their palatability;
- Copper products require special care – they should be rubbed with special cleaners and washed by hand. In this case, you can not use metal washcloths, so as not to break the protective layer;
- In copper utensils without an internal protective coating, sour foods, fruits and many vegetables cannot be cooked;
- In case of a strong fall or impact, the surface may be deformed;
Dimensions and properties
The volume of most pans varies from two to six liters, but there may be small liter and large ten-liter products. Two- and three-liter dishes are great for cooking stews, and four- and five-liter dishes are great for cooking first courses and side dishes for the whole family. A suitable volume of a pot for soup or borscht can be calculated by the number of family members (at the rate of one liter per person).
Dishes, the volume of which is 0.5–2 liters, are suitable for preparing porridge for children, boiling eggs and sauces.
When buying, you should also pay attention to the thickness of the bottom and walls. If the walls are very thin (less than 0.5 mm), the pan will heat up unevenly and quickly deform. The optimal thickness is 0.8 mm for stainless steel and aluminum cookware. The walls of cast iron and enamel pans should be five times thicker (more than 4.5 mm).
The bottom of the pan should be thick or multi-layered (especially in stainless steel products). This makes the cookware more durable, provides uniform heating of the product and prevents food from burning.
The lids preserve the taste and aroma of the dish, prevent the food from “ventilating” and facilitate cooking. For example, glass lids allow you to control the cooking process, while lids with a funnel (a small “hole” in the center) allow you to pour liquid seasoning into the dish.
- Pot lids can be equipped with a temperature sensor that shows how hot the pan is and when to reduce the heat. Some temperature sensors beep when they overheat or reach a specified temperature. This makes the cooking process easier and helps retain more of the nutrients in the food. Before washing in the dishwasher and using in the oven, the temperature sensor must be removed.
- When buying a glass cover, pay attention to the material of the rim. It can be made from silicone and stainless steel. A lid with a silicone rim can be used in microwave ovens, unlike steel rims, but the latter provide better protection of the glass from mechanical damage and a better fit of the lid to the dishes.
- It is desirable that the lid of the pan has a valve to relieve excess pressure and remove steam. Some products are equipped with an automatic valve, which itself “regulates” the cooking process.
Pot handles can be made from the same material as the body of the product, as well as Bakelite (durable and heat-resistant plastic). The handles, made from a single sheet of metal along with the body, get very hot, so be prepared to use an oven mitt while cooking. If they are welded using spot welding, their heating is less intense. Pans with metal handles can be used in the oven, unlike those with bakelite handles.
Bakelite handles do not heat up, do not slip and lie comfortably in the hand. They withstand temperatures up to 180C, but when this value is exceeded, they become charred and deformed. Such handles are often attached to the body of the cookware with bolts or rivets, but this method of attachment is considered less reliable than spot welding.
Products made of aluminum, cast iron and steel often have an internal non-stick coating. It prevents burning of products and oxidation of the metal.
The non-stick Teflon coating is chemically neutral to acidic and alkaline environments. But it is quite difficult to take care of it – at the slightest damage, Teflon begins to release substances hazardous to health in food, associated with the development of cancer, diabetes and infertility. Therefore, pots with a Teflon coating should not be washed with brushes and abrasive cleaners, as well as stir the food with metal spatulas and cutlery.
The Teflon coating is also damaged by overheating. It can withstand temperatures no higher than 200-250 degrees, and when this value is exceeded, it cracks and releases harmful compounds.
In addition, Teflon-coated cookware is not very durable. The maximum she can live is 3-4 years. At the same time, after a year of the most “reverent” use, Teflon begins to wear out.
Ceramic coating is much more reliable and safer than Teflon. Products with ceramics are great for cooking cereals, meat, boiling milk, etc. They are easy to clean under running warm water, and are not as afraid of metal objects as products with Teflon. But it’s still not worth it to “abuse” metal objects. When cooking, it is recommended to use silicone and wooden spatulas. Also, you can not expose the dishes to “temperature shock” – a sharp change in temperature, otherwise the ceramics may crack, and the pan will have to be thrown away.
Titanium and marble coatings
Some products have a titanium or marble coating. Titanium coating (for example, TriTitan) is considered one of the most reliable and safe. It has good wear resistance, is not damaged when used while cooking metal objects, and is easy to clean. In addition, it does not chip or bubble.
Marble flooring is less durable and versatile. It is afraid of metal spatulas and forks, but it is not as easy to damage it as Teflon. In addition, the marble coating does not like temperature extremes and overheating.
When buying a pan, it is important to pay attention to the manufacturer. You do not want to buy dishes that will become unusable after a few months of operation, do you? Many unscrupulous companies use low-quality materials in production, save on the thickness of the walls, bottom and non-stick coating. As a result, kitchen utensils are deformed, coatings quickly chip off and wear off, and food burns.
The best pot manufacturers are:
- Berlinger House;
How to clean a burnt aluminum pot
Most often, aluminum dishes are washed with silicate glue, laundry soap and soda. The decoction is filled with water, laundry soap (about 20 g) is rubbed into it and soda ash and silicate glue are added at the rate of one tablespoon per three liters of water. After that, dirty dishes are placed in the boil and this mixture is boiled for about 30 minutes.
To wash a slight soot from the inner surface, you should fill the product with water, add soda or citric acid (one tablespoon of the product per three liters of water) and boil for about 20 minutes. You can also pour apple peel into the dishes, pour water and boil. The larger the surface of the product you need to clean, the more peel you need to clean.
Aluminum utensils are not recommended to be cleaned with metal washcloths and hard brushes. They may scratch the surface.
In the following articles, our experts tell you which pan is better – enameled or stainless steel and the secrets of choosing a grill for your home.