Cookware is a different kind of containers for food preparation normally seen in the kitchen. These are saucepans, moulds, frying pans casseroles, pots, and many others.
Stainless Steel is an iron-alloy that contains at least 11.5% chromium. It is corrosion-resistant, scratch- and dent-resistant, too. Chromium is a toxic element that is dangerous to health when swallowed as metal particles. Since stainless steel is a slow heat conductor, a disk of copper or aluminum is put at the base for even distribution of heat. Stainless steel is not non-stick.
Aluminum is a light metal with excellent thermal conductivity. Anti-corrosive and combined with other metals; aluminum that is not coated and not anodized can react with acid-tasting foods and change the taste of the food. There is a belief, though, that an exposure to aluminum can result to diseases like the Alzheimer's disease. However, there isn't any strong evidence yet to prove that the aluminum cookware could actually cause AD. Anodized aluminum is not dishwasher safe.
Copper has the best thermal conductivity of metals resulting to evenly distributed heat. However, copper reacts with acid-tasting food like tomatoes and pineapple which results to copper toxicity. To prevent this copper toxicity, a tin lining is put inside the copper cookware. On the other hand, this tin lining is vulnerable to tin pest.
Non-stick is quite popular these days especially to the growing number of health conscious people. It is also a steel or aluminum cookware but coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to make keep the food from sticking and prevent any absorption of metal particles. On the other hand, there are also some health issues about the PTFE which have not been proven yet. Others contend that if the non-stick coating is not bad for the health, it would eventually depreciate and peel off.
Cast Iron is for slow cooking or for searing. It could be reactive to wine or tomatoes. It gets rusty very fast. You need to season it by rubbing a little fat/oil on its surface before cooking to make it non-sticky. It has no polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the coating of non-stick cookware.
Carbon steel is good for high temperature and fast cooking. This material also rusts easily and needs seasoning or putting of some lard on top of it to make it non-sticky. Even before putting this cookware into storage, seasoning is needed to keep it from getting rusty.
Natural Stone or the stone-like alternate is used for indirect grilling or baking.
Silicone can resist constant temperature of up to 360ºC and can melt at around 500?.
Ceramics like porcelain are a non-stick cookware. They are glazed or unglazed. Unglazed ceramics can absorb liquids while cooking and releases that as steam. Glazed ceramics might contain lead which is unquestionably risky to health. Glass-ceramic is both ceramic and glass. This material makes the cookware really tough. A freezing glass-ceramic cookware can be placed on the stove top right away without any fear of breakage. Examples of glass-ceramic cookware are Corningware and Pyroflam. Pyrex can break if there is a sudden extreme change of temperature. Glass-ceramics are thermal shock-resistant.
Non-Toxic Cookware Brands
Treehugger listed some non-toxic cookware brands. They are the following: Le Creuset Enamel Cast Iron, Green Pan Non-Stcik Pans, Farberware Earth Pan II, Ecolution Non-Stick Pans, Calphalon Hard Anodized Aluminum Set, Lodge Signature Series Cast Iron Pans, Pyrex Glass Dishes, Mauviel M' Copper and Stainless, Xtrema Ceramic.
List of Safe Cookware
There are cookware that are safe to use. Cast Iron cookware is good for cooking because it is durable and heat is evenly distributed around it. It, also, has iron which is not harmful but beneficial to the body. Although, it needs some seasoning like putting a little fat before cooking and before storage, it is still safe to use.
Unglazed Ceramic cookware is non-sticky, smooth and comes with different designs. They are safe and easy to clean and maintain.
Glass-Ceramic cookware is definitely tough and safe. It looks fragile but they are hard to break. Freezing point and boiling point make no difference to the glass-ceramic cookware.
Glass cookware is the most inert of all cookware materials. It doesn't leak any particles into the food you cook.
Clad Stainless Steel cookware is a layered cookware. Three metals like Stainless + Copper/Aluminum + Stainless are combined. The copper or aluminum is sandwiched by the stainless steel being inert in quality. It can be a safe alternative. It is said that you get around 45 micrograms of chromium for every food cooked using the stainless steel cookware and it is negligible. However since it is difficult to distribute heat evenly, manufacturers made them layered so as to address conductivity issues. But don't buy the one with a plastic handle if you need to use it in the oven. It might melt. Overall, the cookware plays an important part in the meal preparation. Hope you find the best one that meets your needs.