These might work in the over too but they are normally not used as bakeware. There are a different set of pans that are specially designed for the oven. They will not work well on the cooktop.
The reason for this is in the design of these pots and pans. Cookware is designed to be used when the source of heat is delivered directly to the bottom of the pot or pan.
They have a specifically designed base that is typically thicker than the wall of the cookware, allowing the heat to be absorbed and radiated up into the food.
Bakeware differs because the nature of the heat is different. Instead of a single source that radiates from below the pan, bakeware is surrounded by heat. These pans are designed to allow the food to heat evenly, rather than worrying about hot the pan heats and radiates that heat into the food.
- Gotham Steel – Read Buyers Guide, Review, and Comparison
How To Choose Cookware
There is an incredible range of options when choosing for cookware, starting with sizes and then to the many materials and coating used to create them. Some are non-stick, while others are natural. Those that are non-stick employ a wide range of coating that have different performance characteristics and even the natural pots and pans have a wide range of material options.
We’ll give you some insights into the variations so you’ll be able to make a good decision as you begin replacing your hodgepodge of pots and pans with something far better and much more organized.
Each material used to make cookware performs a bit differently, will require different types of care, and could even influence the décor of your kitchen. Let’s talk a bit about some of the most common options.
This is the most common material used to create cookware. It is lightweight so it’s easy to work with and can be very durable, depending on the weight of the material.
It heats quickly so reheating food is quick and easy and food cooked in this type of cookware cool down quicker so foods don’t wind up over-cooking after you take them off the stove and remover the from the pan.
Aluminum will stain and it isn’t a non-stick material. You will need to use oils, fats, or butter to avoid sticking.
Compared to aluminum, this is a heavier material. That also means it will hold up better and last longer.
This cookware isn’t non-stick so you’ll have to take good care while cooking but it’s also fairly easy to clean so even if you get a bit of sticking the mess won’t be too tough to deal with.
Of all of the steel options, this cookware is the least common and among chefs, the most respected, especially when preparing food under high heat. Also, when you season them properly, they have very effective non-stick properties.
Carbon steel is primarily used to create pans, griddles, and woks. This is not a material commonly used to make kettles and pots. Part of the reason for that may be the increased weight of this material. It isn’t so bad when working with pans, especially when frying or preparing sauces and gravies. However, add a full pot of stew to a carbon steel pot and the weight may get a bit too much to deal with safely.
For classically trained chefs, copper pans are their go-to solution. They heat evenly and cool quickly but unlike aluminum, they won’t dent, bend and warp as easily. Plus, they look spectacular, especially when they are well cared for.
They do tend to darken and discolor over time, even with the most diligent of care and they are not naturally non-stick but note that no cookware is made entirely of copper. They are most commonly lined with stainless steel to prevent food from discoloring.
For the vast majority of home cooks, real copper cookware is unnecessary and likely to cause more headaches than they are worth.
This is the last type of material on our list of primary cookware materials. This is a classic and historically, it was the only cookware available. It is heavy, it requires a lot of care and it definitely isn’t non-stick, even when using copious amounts of oil and butter, unless it is very well seasoned. Still, for things like searing meats, cast iron is hard to beat. In fact, for any dish that’s prepared under high heat, cast iron the weapon of choice for most chefs.
If well cared for, these pans are indestructible. Families have been known to hand them down through generations. Just note that they are not dishwasher safe and you can’t prepare acidic foods in these pans.
Today, the most popular cookware has some type of non-stick coating that makes it far easier to cook with and much easier to clean up. It also requires the least amount of care. You just need to take care not to use metal utensils or to clean the cookware with abrasives and caustic detergents.
There is a wide range of compounds used to create these surfaces, the most common being silicone. There is some concern though that this eventually wears off and leeches into food and this leeching could create some health risks.
A newer, and increasingly more trusted solution, is a non-stick surface created with ceramics. These also require care, but they are much tougher, they last longer. Also, they do no harm.
They also allow manufacturers to bring a great deal of style into the kitchen since the ceramic can be colored and many different ways.
You should expect maintenance requirements to vary based on the material that was used. Aluminum and stainless steel will require very little care, and unless you are constantly tossing them around, they last. Cast iron is virtually indestructible but requires constant care, even when they aren’t being used.
Sitting in the middle of the pack are the various types of non-stick cookware. When used carefully, they last a good long time without any additional care. You just have to be very careful about the utensils you use with them and the way you clean them. Just note that even with the best of care, they will eventually lose some of their non-stick abilities.
It is generally accepted that cookware made from some type of steel and coated with ceramic is the most durable while requiring the least amount of maintenance. It’s also a material that is commonly available across the entire range to cookware rather than just pans, as is the case with carbon steel.
However, the hands-down winner for durability is still the common cast iron skillet. With the right care, these pots and pans will last for generations. They are also perfect if you like cooking over open flames and using cookware that transitions easily from the cooktop to the oven.
While cookware sets can offer some very good deals, don’t be afraid to choose separate pieces if the set includes more than you need. You don’t need pieces of your cookware collecting dust in the cabinet.
Some Final Tips
I am not a professional chef but I do love to cook and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen perusing my passion for great food. Over the years, I have used everything from cast iron to stainless still but I’ve put all of those aside.
I recently started using a set of non-stick ceramic cookware that is incredible. They heat fast and evenly. They work equally as well whether I use the gas range of my new induction cooktop. They clean up with a quick wipe, and they require zero maintenance.
I do have to be careful to use my silicone and wooden utensils, and I do season the pans on occasion, but based on their performance, I can’t imagine ever going back.
The better the set, the easier the job. No matter the type of cookware you choose, take good care of these tools and they will serve you well for a long time to come.