When you are looking for new cookware, one of the most important things that you can consider is the material that the cookware is made of.
As much as the use of your cookware will determine which pieces you buy, the material has a huge impact on the way you cook and how you care for your new cookware.
Copper Cookware vs Stainless Steel
Choosing between copper cookware and stainless steel cookware requires a little research into the pros and cons of each material as well as consideration of how you will take care of your new cookware.
The Benefits of Copper Cookware and Stainless Steel Cookware
Copper cookware has been popular for a while not only because it is beautiful, but also because it heats up very quickly and evenly so you don’t have to worry about burning the food that you’re cooking.
Because it allows for precise heat control, you can make precise recipes and even delve into candy-making without worrying about if you will be able to keep the temperature exact. Additionally, copper is antimicrobial, which allows this material to naturally resist bacteria—an important part of keeping your kitchen healthy and clean.
Some of the benefits of stainless steel cookware are that it is incredibly durable and non-reactive, and can be thrown in the dishwasher when you are done using it.
If you want a little more control over heat conductivity, look for stainless steel cookware that has an internal layer of aluminum or copper. While this will raise the price, it will help you heat your food more evenly.
If you want to be able to brown your food and de-glaze the pan for gorgeous sauces, you will want to opt for stainless steel, as this cookware can get hot enough to achieve this.
Copper cookware, unfortunately, tends to react to acid, which can cause the cookware to develop gray streaks and can make food taste metallic. Pure copper pots have this issue, while copper pots that are lined can stand up to more use without encountering these problems.
Additionally, copper requires a lot of maintenance and needs to be polished regularly if you want it to remain looking its best. This type of cookware is very easy to dent and damage, and should never be used on ceramic glass-top stoves because they can leave marks.
Finally, if you are going to invest in copper cookware, be prepared to pay a lot more than you would for other options.
Stainless steel cookware, on the other hand, is more prone to having hot spots than copper cookware is. This means that you have to be careful when using cookware made of stainless steel, as it can be easier to burn food.
Another problem with this type of cookware is that food tends to stick to it, and the pots and pans will thus require elbow grease to clean them well.
Additionally, constant moisture can cause stainless steel to rust. While it is possible to scrub rust off, it can be a constant battle for people who live in humid areas. Use a product like Bar Keepers Friend to keep rust at bay, and never use steel wool, as this will damage your cookware.
Buying Your New Cookware
When you are shopping for copper cookware, make sure that you pay attention to the lining of the pots and their thickness. Pots that are at least 2.5mm thick will do a great job of evenly conducting heat, and lined cookware will prevent some of the issues common to copper cookware from developing.
It’s important to be careful when shopping for stainless steel cookware so you get the best option available. Make sure the lids and handles are sturdy and won’t pop off and that the cookware is 18/10. This means that it contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel to protect against stains and rust. Also, consider buying cookware lined with copper or having an aluminum core for better heat conductivity.
Once you know the pros and cons of copper and stainless steel cookware, you will be able to make an informed decision when it comes time to buy new cookware.
Make sure to consider how often you are going to be cooking, whether you are going to be making the basics or want heat control for more advanced recipes, and your budget, as all of these factors will come into play when choosing new cookware.