Types of Bakeware & Cookware

TYPES OF BAKEWARE & COOKWARE

Have you ever noticed how many different pots, pans, cookies sheets... there are? Going to a store to buy a cake pan, can be so confusing! Do you get the non-stick, the stainless steel, the ceramic, copper? Ahhhh! It is all so confusing! Well, let’s take a minute to look at the various options and learn how to pick the correct piece for the job at hand.

Different types of metals conduct heat at different rates. For example, thicker metals will conduct heat more evenly than thinner ones. When looking at bakeware and cookware, you must consider the guage (or thickness) of the metal. No one cookware or metal is suitable for all processes, so you must educate yourself in knowing what is the best tool for the job. We will look at some of the options to help you understand when they might be a good choice.

Copper
Positives:
Excellent conductor. Heats and cools rapidly. The best choice for cooking sugars, fruit mixtures.
Negatives:
Expensive. Requires a great deal of care. Heavy. Usually has a tin lining.

Aluminum
Positives:
It is the most commonly-used option and conducts heat better than most options.
Negatives:
It is a soft metal and must be treated with care to avoid dents and scratches. They are not to be used for storage of food or cooking acidic foods. The metal can react chemically with many foods. Light-colored foods can be discolored if cooked in natural aluminum, especially if stirred with metal whisk or spoon.

Anodized Aluminum
Positives:
Anodized aluminum is a corrosion-resistant surface that helps prevent sticking and discoloration. After copper, it conducts heat the best. Twice as hard as stainless steel. Less porous than most other options. Will not transfer, peel, flake or rust when used as instructed. Ideal for citrus-based and savory recipes.
Negatives:
Slightly-more expensive than natural aluminum. Not as conductive as copper.

Stainless Steel
Positives:
Hard and durable. Useful for storing foods and for low-temperature cooking.
Negatives:
Poor conductor and retainer of heat. Can be available with a layer of copper and aluminum bonded to the bottoms, but this makes them more expensive.

Ceramics
Positives:
Great for use in ovens and microwaves. They conduct heat evenly and retain temperatures well. Ceramics are non-reactive and inexpensive. This includes earthenware, porcelain and stoneware.
Negatives:
Easily-chipped or cracked. Should not be used near or on an open flame. Quick temperature changes can cause them to crack or shatter.

Silicone
Positives:
Light material, resists sticking. Can be used from freezing temperatures to 485° F (251° C). Requires little to no greasing. Great for baking, chocolate and candy work.
Negatives:
Usually requires some sort of pan underneath for support.