Preparing home-made healthy meals has become a trend in recent years, encouraging individuals to replace ready-made products with fresh ingredients.
Apart from making the best choice of ingredients, cooking enthusiasts are also expected to select the right cookware. Some materials like aluminum, cast iron, and Teflon are believed to leach metals and emit harmful fumes when heated at high temperatures. In contrast, ceramic and copper alter neither the taste nor smell of food.
In case you are interested in healthy cooking, the following tips will help you choose the safest cookware for your kitchen.
Ceramics is one of the most popular materials used in the production of cooking equipment. Ceramic utensils are made from clay with a non-stick coating, which makes them an environmentally-friendly alternative. This cookware is known for its non-toxic qualities, as ceramics doesn’t leach any harmful substances into food.
Moreover, ceramic cooking utensils are amazingly long-lasting as long as you maintain them regularly. Given that no chemicals are used in the manufacturing process, these pans and pots are among the most eco-friendly options in the market.
Although classified as non-stick cookware, the utensils made from pure ceramic aren’t entirely non-stick. One is recommended to use a minimal amount of oil when cooking in order to remove the food from the surface effortlessly. In terms of price, authentic ceramic cookware is known to be pricey, so make sure you purchase a set of good value for the money.
Aluminum cooking utensils are widely known for their lightweight and inexpensiveness. This material is a fantastic heat conductor, allowing pots and pans to heat up with the speed of light. The affordable price of aluminum is what makes these kitchen sets one of the most preferred in the market.
On the negative side, aluminum utensils are known to leach metals when coming in contact with acidic foods. Although the leaching amount isn’t considered harmful, coated aluminum is the only way to prevent metal deposits from affecting food. Go to this page to check out the six most common acidic foods and whether to avoid them.
When it comes to durability, aluminum isn’t as long-lasting as ceramic, as it’s susceptible to scratching, denting, and corrosion. Also, the surface of aluminum pots and pans isn’t non-stick, which means you have to coat it with oil every time you cook a meal.
Since aluminum cookware isn’t entirely safe and eco-friendly, individuals are advised to choose anodized aluminum, referring to the treatment of this metal with an acidic solution. As a result, anodized aluminum pots and pans are thought to cause no leaching, provide a non-stick surface, and clean easily.
Cast iron cookware
Cast iron is one of the most prominent choices of cookware materials, preferred by the largest part of cooking enthusiasts. It’s known to last for decades, which is why cast iron pots and pans are used in households by many generations.
This type of material is remarkable regarding heat retention and conductivity, which makes it ideal for frying all sorts of ingredients. The food remains warms for hours after removing the pan from the stove. Even though cast iron is low-stick, enameled cast iron is the choice to make when looking for a non-stick finish.
In terms of maintenance, cast iron cookware is incredibly demanding, requiring regular seasoning, proper storage, and thorough cleaning. Additionally, this material causes a slight metallic taste in food due to the leaching of iron. Therefore, one is advised against cooking fish, pancakes, and acidic ingredients in cooking utensils made from cast iron.
Stainless steel cookware
Stainless steel is one of the favorites when it comes to cookware materials; being a metal alloy consisted of chromium, nickel, and iron. These utensils are extremely durable, resistant to corrosion, staining, and scratches. It’s an excellent choice for bakeware, given its ability for even heat distribution.
Due to the presence of nickel and chrome, there is a slight risk of leaching, particularly when using tomato sauce in your meals. When looking for a budget-friendly option, stainless steel utensils aren’t the right alternative for you. These cooking sets are known to be one of the costliest alternatives, mainly because of the long lifespan.
The non-stick category of cooking utensils consists of all types of pots and pans with a non-stick surface, usually made from Teflon or silicone. The greatest thing about this type of utensils is the easiness to maintain and clean, requiring nothing but water or a moist cloth to get cleaned. More importantly, non-stick cooking equipment allows individuals to use virtually no oil or butter in the process of cooking, which provides healthier meals.
In addition, keep in mind that non-stick cookware isn’t suitable to be used at high temperatures. Once the pan or pot gets heated above 500 degrees, Teflon starts producing harmful fumes that cause symptoms in people similar to those of flu. Also, heating Teflon over 350 degrees is known to be detrimental to the coating of these utensils. The more you heat up the coating, the less effective it becomes.
Copper cooking utensils are another widely-used alternative due to their fascinating heat conductivity. These are probably the most suitable choice for maintaining temperature control while cooking, as copper conducts and spreads heat amazingly fast in comparison with other materials. Also, you will have to worry neither about leaching nor food sticking.
Despite its excellent heat conductivity and temperature regulation, copper isn’t the best alternative when it comes to heat retention. The pots and pans tend to get cold the moment they are removed from the stove. Additionally, when shopping for copper cooking equipment, purchasing a whole set can be a substantial investment. Therefore, most individuals end up buying one or two pieces instead of an entire set.
Healthy cooking is a trend every person should start following.
Using the right ingredients and utensils is essential for preparing healthy meals, which are much tastier than ready-made food!