A Practical Guide to Selecting the Best Cookware Material

You may be sure that you want cookware to match your other kitchen appliances. If so, factors such as price, maintenance, heat conductivity, and durability are the significant elements determining the material you go for. Different cookware materials have different properties in these elements.

Therefore, you should choose a material with most of what you are looking for and has acceptable levels of the other elements. That said, here is a guide on different cookware materials.

Stainless steel

This classic pick is widely available and relatively affordable, making it a suitable option, especially for beginners. However, all stainless steel cookware items are not created equal, and the top-shelf ones have better results. Stainless steel does not react; therefore, it does not affect the flavors of your acidic or alkaline foods. It is a good conductor of heat and is dishwasher safe.

Additionally, you can use stainless steel pots in the oven, as long as the handles are stainless steel. However, stainless steel does not have even heat distribution; thus, foods might burn more easily. It is also harder to clean, especially if the steel is of low quality.



Copper is a perfect conductor of heat, easy to clean, and not to mention aesthetics as it is gorgeous to look at. Copper heats up quickly and evenly and cools down quickly, making it perfect for your fried or sautéed meals. It is considered highly durable but only if you follow the care instructions to the letter.

For your copper cookware to remain in excellent condition, avoid using metallic utensils on the pan and pots, polish it after a period, and always dry them up after washing or after contact with water. Occasionally polish with lemon, salt, and vinegar for it to remain in good condition. Copper reacts with alkaline and acidic foods; thus, it can alter the taste of foods. It is also expensive to purchase.

Cast Iron

Most chefs will agree that one needs at least one cast-iron skillet in their kitchen. The heavy material is an excellent selection for cooking meats such as steaks and burgers. They heat evenly and withstand high temperatures making them suitable for oven use. Since it is the strongest metal of all, it is highly durable and can be revived to life even after years of neglect. Maintenance depends on whether the pot is coated. If uncoated, ensure to season it often. Cast iron is moderately affordable compared to other metal types.


Despite having a fair share of controversy for the past few years, nonstick is still a go-to option for a majority. It is excellent in cooking various dishes, as long as you follow the rules. The major advantage of these pots is that they are nonstick. You require minimal oil since they have a smooth coating.

Additionally, they are easy to clean as they do not hold on to grease. However, if the nonstick coating chips off, your food might be exposed to harmful elements such as Teflon. With nonstick pots, you get what you pay for. Go for safer high-quality options.


You will hardly come across people cooking with glassware, and even if they do, the glasses are reserved for casserole dishes. They are not readily available, but they are available. The best thing about this dish is that you can see your food as it cooks. Moreover, the pots can serve as dishes, so you will not have to transfer the meals to serving dishes. However, it does not have a good heat distribution, and your food is prone to burning.


While most people refer to it as ceramic nonstick cookware, it is made of aluminum and a silicon finish with a ceramic-like texture. You can even choose those with colors like a yellow set of pots or blue pans. It is nonstick, though not on the same grade as the original nonstick pots. It is free of Teflon chemicals that tend to make people shy away from using nonstick pots.

However, the nonstick feature in ceramic pots fades away over time. It is also not safe for use in the dishwasher, as the nonstick feature can be stripped off. So take extra precautions with this option.

Food is an important part of any home, and so is the cookware used. Before settling on the fanciest color available, be sure that the material can serve the purpose. Since all metals are not made equal, it is important that you get different materials suitable for different uses in your kitchen.

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