There are lots of choices of cookware types. Here are a few of them.
Carbon steel is a favorite among chefs for searing fish, chicken and steak and many cooks love their carbon steel pans for omelettes and crepes. Because carbon steel can easily withstand intense heat, woks and baking pans are often made from this material. With carbon steel’s ability to handle diverse dishes, this could be a wise choice for your kitchen.
Carbon steel is heavy enough to retain heat and, because it is thinner, heats up quickly. It is also less brittle than cast iron and is relatively smooth so it’s easier to season. Like cast iron, once well seasoned, carbon steel pans are essentially non-stick and get better with age. It can be heated to higher temperatures than stainless steel.
Carbon steel is suitable for stovetop, oven, and broiler. Cook omelettes, crepes, vegetables, sear fish and meats, bake layer cakes, breads, and cakes.
Care and Cleaning
Wash carbon steel gently with soap and water and scrub any stuck-on spots with a plastic scrub brush or sponge. Do not leave in the water to avoid rust. Dry completely, and re-season according to manufacturer directions.
- Naturally somewhat non-stick
- Reacts quickly to temperature changes and can withstand high heat
- Lighter than cast iron (but slightly heavier than aluminum, stainless steel, and copper)
- Excellent heat conductor
- Durable and affordable
- Requires regular seasoning and can develop rust if not properly seasoned and maintained
- Can be reactive with acidic and alkaline foods, unless seasoned
- Retains less heat than cast iron.
Copper is the best heat conductor of any material used to make cookware and is prized highly by many chefs because it is so responsive. It heats rapidly and evenly and cools down as soon as it’s removed from the heat. This gives you maximum control. Because it is so efficient with heat, it generally needs no preheating, and works best with a moderate heat.
In this way it is the opposite of a material like cast iron, which conducts heat poorly, but once it heats up, retains heat very well and makes it ideal for slow cooking foods like stews and braises.
Avid cooks and perfectionists will find that there is no better cookware than copper for sautéing or making fine sauces. Copper yields uniformly browned meats and crisp textures.
The best-quality copper pans are made of a heavy gauge 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.
Copper cookware works on stovetop, oven or broiler. Try sautéing, boiling, steaming and braising. It’s ability to gently cook protein makes it ideal for fish and seafood, also for delicate sauces and risotto.
Care and Cleaning
You should always use wooden or silicone utensils with copper cookware. Copper cookware should never be placed in the dishwasher. Hand wash your pieces with a gentle soap in warm water and towel dry.
You can buff tarnished spots with a very mild abrasive. Mix equal parts salt and non-iodized cornstarch with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub on a copper pot with a soft cloth, rinse with warm water. You can polish your copper cookware with white vinegar. Simply soak a cloth in white vinegar and rub the surface of your pot, periodically changing to a new area of your cloth.
Is Copper Safe?
Copper on its own is toxic and will add a yellow tint and an unpleasant metallic taste to foods. This is why most copper pots and pans are lined with a non-reactive metal such as tin or stainless steel to create a safe barrier between the copper and its contents. Stainless steel clad linings will last a lifetime if care is taken.
- Safe for oven use
- The most responsive cookware
- Heats evenly, no hot or cold spots
- Gives the cook the most control
- Beautiful appearance
- Foods cook quickly to retain flavor and nutrients
- Copper is not magnetic and therefore cannot be used on induction ranges.
- Very expensive
Stoneware is a type of clay that has been fired at a very high temperature for many hours, to produce safe, chip-resistant dishes and cookware.
Stoneware is known for its strength and durability. It is safe to use at any temperature in the oven.
It can be decorated with a colored or clear glaze or can be left unglazed.
Most stoneware cookware is suitable for the oven and microwave, but never under a broiler or directly over a heat source, such as a range-top burner or grill. You can bake pizza, pot roast, muffins, and cakes, slow bake meat stews and bean dishes.
Always preheat stoneware with the food already in it as preheating empty stoneware cookware can cause it to crack. Thaw frozen meats first to eliminate the possibility of thermal shock.
Care and Cleaning
Always use wooden or silicone utensils with stoneware.
Sudden temperature changes can cause stoneware to crack. Allow the pan to cool down before it goes into the freezer, refrigerator, or under cold water. After taking the pan out of the freezer, wait until it gets to room temperature before placing it in the oven or microwave.
Season your stoneware pots and pans with oil for the first few times. This will ensure it becomes nonstick.
Avoid soaking your stoneware dishes and plates in water for any extended period of time as this can break down the materials and make your dishes more susceptible to breakage or chipping.
Although most stoneware is dishwasher safe, many sources suggest gentle hand cleansing with a cloth and a minimum amount of soap in warm water. To remove tough stains or some stuck-on foods from stoneware, make a paste out of baking soda and gently rub along the surface with a damp cloth. Avoid using heavy-duty metal scrubbers.
To remove grease from stoneware, use a damp cloth to rub lemon juice in and around the affected areas. The acidity from a lemon helps to cut through the grease.
Is Stoneware Safe?
Stoneware is a hard, chemically stable cookware which makes it safe for cooking food but some inexpensive brands may contain trace amounts of lead, cadmium, and other substances. These can release toxins into food. Stoneware made in the USA is tested for safety and must comply with stringent regulations.
Purchase stoneware only from a reputable manufacturer and check the specifications for assurance that the brand you choose is lead-free.
Stoneware pieces should never be used for preparing or storing food if the label indicates that the product is intended for decorative purposes only.
- Stoneware bakes food evenly
- If properly taken care of will last a lifetime
- Aesthetically pleasing; no two pieces are quite the same
- Can go from refrigerator to oven and vice versa (but take care to avoid sudden temperature changes)
- Stoneware is heavy and can break if dropped on a hard surface
- Stoneware can scratch countertops, so you need some kind of protective mat to place underneath
- Stoneware requires a bit of extra care to maintain its integrity
- Stoneware can crack under extreme temperature changes
Enjoy all the options for cooking and baking and remember, for all your appliance repair and maintenance needs, call C&W Appliance Service at (214) 358-1496 or (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form.