Home Healthy Lifestyle 4 different types of cooking materials: When to use each

4 different types of cooking materials: When to use each

Some people swear by their easy-to-maintain nonstick pans, while others prefer to use cast iron, which requires a bit more TLC. When choosing between different types of cooking materials, sometimes, you have to think beyond your preferences and use the right tool for the job. Paul Kahn, a Chicago chef who won the James Beard Foundation award, says there’s a time and place for certain types of cookware.

While using the wrong pan can interfere with the best flavor of your food, it can also harm the longevity of the pan if the wrong type of food is used. Below, you’ll find Kahan’s guide to choosing the right cookware for what you’re doing.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware is Kahan’s goal—you really can’t go wrong with it. “The 10 inch sequin pan Chả, I probably have hundreds of them in all of our kitchens and they conduct heat incredibly evenly. They heat up quickly, they’re extremely durable. The handle is never loose, the pan never bows. You can always scrub them so they look like new,” says Kahan, who works with All Clad. “That All Clad, 10 inch sequin pan, is a multi-purpose pan that you can do anything in.”

Not adhesive

Of all the different types of cooking materials, nonstick is the one that Kahan uses the least. “I really don’t want to use any kind of non-stick cookware,” says Kahan. That’s because he likes it when his food creates scum, which is brown caramel scum that sticks to the pan. “I want to have [food] burnt is better than no color in terms of taste, for me,” he said.

However, there is a time and place for nonstick pans, he said. “For me, the only real use of nonstick is to cook eggs,” he says. “You can make an omelette in a French black steel pan, but it’s very difficult.” He says to cook the egg side or overcook in a stainless steel pan with butter. But for omelettes and scrambled eggs, use a nonstick pan with rubber spatula ($9 for set of 3).

He says make sure any non-stick pans you use are not Teflon coated. “Teflon is scary for me. I hope that anything harmful to you is no longer allowed, maybe I’m paranoid, but non-stick surfaces come in and I’ve read quite a bit about the chemicals they’re made with that are harmful for you,” Kahan said. The American Cancer Society notes that while inhaling fumes from heated Teflon can cause short-term flu-like symptoms, “there is no proven risk to humans from the use of Teflon coated cookware (or other non-stick surfaces). “Abbio’s pan below is Teflon-free.

Abbio Large Non-Stick Pan – $95.00

Iron and steel

From a cooking point of view, stainless steel and cast iron are quite interchangeable, explains Kahan. The difference with cast iron is weight and maintenance requirements. “Gang is chiseled. Kahan says it’s a bit harder to maintain than stainless steel, and they’re heavy. Cast iron cooking utensils great for distributing the heat in the sky and keeping that heat after cooking. However, one thing you cannot use cast iron for highly acidic foods because the metal reacts with acids.

“You don’t want to cook ketchup in a cast iron pan,” says Kahan. “For me, if I’m going to stir-fry Dover Sole and I want to make pan sauce after with lemon juice and Moscatel Vinegar and capers and parsley, then finish it off with a knob of butter, you do it in the pan because you have all the little crunches from the Dover Sole left in the pan to mix with the sauce. “


When it comes to ceramic-coated cookware, Kahan says quality is key. “I can’t really say if there’s ever a right time to use it [less-expensive] Kahan said. “I do not use it. I never have. It doesn’t really serve a purpose for me. It’s crumbly. ‘ He turned to Le Creuset. “That works best for long-cooked, braised foods. Stews, lamb chops, anything with bones,” he said.

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