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5 Things to Consider in Choosing the Right Pans & Pots for Improved Cooking

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Last Updated on August 8, 2021

Getting better pans and pots will not only make cooking easier but also enable you to make better dishes faster.

Getting better pans and pots will not only make cooking easier but also enable you to make better dishes faster.

You use pots either to boil or cook something by letting it heat up over a long time. On the other hand, pans are used either to heat something quick, usually when something needs to be fried or saute’. 

But since there are different kinds of pots and pans, they can be used for different purposes, and each can have a different impact on the dish you are cooking. The materials used to manufacture these pots and pans can also impact their usability and longevity.

 So, let us take a look at different types of pots and pans and how they impact our cooking.

The Qualities You Should Look For

There are potentially thousands of popular brands of pans & pots. While you might be wondering which one is better in all-clad vs calphalon cookware, there are several qualities you should look for other than the brand names.

Here are the factors you should always look for-

1. Sturdy and Heat Proof Lid

A very crucial trait of a good pot is that it should have a strong and sturdy lid that is also heatproof, usually made with heat resilient glass. 

These lids help trap the heat inside the pot and cook the dish well. If the lid lets the heat out it will take longer to cook.

2. Easy to Use

The pan you are using should have a rubber grip handle that enables you to move it, without the risk of dropping it. The handle should be made with materials that are bad conductors of heat so it does not heat up while cooking. 

As there are pans of different sizes and shapes, get the one that you find the most comfortable using.

3. Non-Reactive Surface

Some materials, as mentioned before, are reactive and can damage or even produce toxins in the food you are cooking. 

So, while choosing a pan, be sure to check the materials it was made with and buy the ones that have non-reactive material. 

These materials will not react with acidic foods like sauce or alkaline foods. Normally, Stainless steel and Anodized Aluminum are non-reactive materials, so try to go for pans and pots made with these materials.

4. Gauge Materials Should be Heavy

If the gauge materials are comparatively thin, then heat will not spread evenly across the pan. And as it is made of thin material it is likely to get dent because of the excessive heat trapped in one particular spot. 

This causes the food to be burnt on one part, while other parts remain uncooked. To prevent this from happening, get pans and pots with heavy gauge materials.

These materials do not dent or bend easily and can spread heat evenly along the surface of the pan.

5. Pans Should Also be Responsive

This is especially important if you are trying to make sauté dishes. While preparing dishes like sauté broccoli or garlic, you need to shift the heat of the oven to prevent the broccoli or garlic from getting burnt.

If the pan is not responsive, then even after reducing the oven heat, the pan will remain hot and burn the dish. You will need a pan that will maintain the heat the oven is discharging. So select a responsive pan while making sauté dishes.

The Different Materials 

Stainless Steel

Although a bad heat conductor, it has a cleaner and shinier surface compared to other materials and sustains longer.

Copper

A good conductor of heat. It is also very reactive, so using copper pots and pans is always a good idea. Used mostly as a base material for heat to pass evenly into the pot.

Aluminum

Same as Copper. A very good heat conductor and also has a shiny surface. But they react with alkaline and acidic foods, so using them as a bottom layer is the best way.

Anodized Aluminum

Anodized aluminum has all the benefits of aluminum, but none of the weaknesses. This high heat-conducting material has a hard surface and is non-reactive to the foods cooked in it.

Nonstick Coating

This material has a high heat-retaining ability thus can cook under high pressure. 

Different Pans & Pots For Different Needs

1. Frying Pan

The frying pan is the most common tool found in every kitchen. It is used to fry different ingredients like egg, pancakes, and can also be used to cook some quick meals. 

They can be made of nonstick, ceramic, stainless steel, cast-iron, and many other materials. Among them, cast iron pans are the most popular ones and are also a chef’s favorite around the world. Cast irons are beloved because they are extremely durable and easy to take care of.

2. The Roasting Pan

A very large pan made with high heat-conducting elements. The wide base of the pan is used to make larger dishes such as roasted turkey or steak. They are also oven safe.

3. Saucepan

Another very common pan. They are similar to frying pans but have some differences. They generally have a longer handle than frying pans and also have smaller bases. 

They are made with multi-clad stainless steel, so that heat can pass equally throughout the pan. Perfect for heating sauces and soups. Can also be used to cook rice.

Different Pans & Pots for Different foods

You also need to ask yourself various questions like what sort of food you are going to prepare. Different foods need to be heated differently, and each has its time frame for cooking. 

So ask yourself, whether you will be making a sauce, pasta, or sauté? and How often are you going to make these dishes? 

Of course, not one pan or pot can be the answer to all of these questions so you might need to get multiple pans and pots.

Final Thought

There are different pans and pots, and each has its own set of characteristics. So depending on what you are cooking, you should get the best pan to improve the quality of food.