A Twitter thread by Lesego Semenya.
Cookware. Here's a thread on it from my personal experience. Gonna avoid mentioning specific brands, will leave that up to you and your pocket. #LesFoodFacts
Firstly, wording. There's a difference between "kitchenware" and "cookware". Kitchenware includes appliances and other kitchen gadgets whilst cookware refers specifically to things you'll use for cooking (pots, pans, utensils). I'm only touching on cookware in this thread.
You get various type of pots and pans made from various materials. Copper, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium, non-stick and these days you get pots that have blends of materials and metals. Each type is useful for different things
Copper is one of the best conductors of heat. It cools down and heats up quickly. This is one of the things to look for in a pot or pan. An even heat is key for best results. They're stunning to look at too. Problem? They're a pain to clean & polish, they dent easily, expensive
100% Copper pans are usually bought by professional chefs for their heat conductivity. They also look stunning in open plan kitchens where guests can see the kitchen. If you're for aesthetics, go for it. Make sure you insure them!
To make copper pans more accessible and affordable, a lot of manufacturers do a blend of copper and stainless steel. So the outside will be copper but the inside will be steel. The heat conductivity will obviously decrease. Its every chefs dream to have copper cookware.
Downside to copper? It changes the flavour of your food if you have an acid in your ingredients. Copper and acid are not friends at all.
Oh, Copper is also the best metal to work with when whisking eggs. For some reason eggs love copper.
Stainless steel cookware. The stuff our mom's would buy from that alphabet brand that sounds like a political party. Unlike that brand, what you want is NO plastic anywhere on the pot or pan...if you're serious about cooking.
You know how our mom's would tell us you can't make pap in an expensive pot? There is actually science behind that. Stainless steel is made up of 3 metals which work together to combat rust and corrosion. Which is good...except that means the pots aren't good with conducting heat
Stainless steel is popular because its really really hard to scratch and damage (unlike copper pots), it's cheap in comparison to copper, it looks newer for longer, doesn't dent as easily and it doesn't react to any foods or chemicals. Its for general everyday cooking.
Stainless steel is perfect for slow cooking and one pot cooking. The reason I said buy pots that don't have plastic is because you can just pop your pot with its lid on in the oven to cook casseroles or finish off cooking certain dishes. That's key to proper cooking.
Cast iron pots. Loved by many, understood by few. Popular because of their look and because they last forever and become treasured in families. One of the oldest types of pots you get. Worth the price? Nope.
Compared to copper pots cast iron (I'll explain the differences shortly) pots are a lot more affordable (depending on the brand of course). They conduct heat poorly (they take long to heat up, something chefs don't want) but retain heat well. They're really durable.
You get some confusion by many when they refer to their enamelled iron pots as cast iron pots. Cast iron would be the drievoet type cauldrons. Enamelled iron pots refers to the colourful ones that are all the rage.
The term "cast" iron refers to how the pot is made, it is cast in a mould. Coz its iron, unlike stainless steel, it is prone to rust. You have to season the cast iron every few weeks to avoid rust. If you don't season them, the tast of your food will change. Awesome for grills
Enamelled iron pots are those colourful ones. They're made of iron and then coated in enamel, which creates a glass like outer coating. The enamel prevents rusting and makes the pots more appealing to the eye. They're still slow to heat up & you'll rarely see them in pro kitchens
The last category of material is aluminium. Really popular in modern cookware. Cheaper than copper and cast iron and its usually the metal below your non-stick pots. Back in the day aluminium cookware was considered cheap but these days you get some really good quality ones.
Why is aluminium so good for cookware? It conducts heat really well (for woks and Asian cooking, rather go for aluminium as it requires flash cooking) and it is relatively simple to clean. Negatives? Aluminium is soft so it scratches and dents easily.
Majority of modern cookware counters aluminium's softness by mixing it with other alloys. So you'll often find it coated in non-stick material or another metal. If you love cooking breakfasts, the key to cooking eggs and omelettes is usually the pan. Aluminium is your friend here
Also the reason why your mom would tell you to use Hart pots for making pap...coz they conduct heat really well and quickly. Unlike the more expensive stainless steel pots.
Problem with aluminium is the same with copper, it reacts to acids in your ingredients.
So what should you get if looking for a set? Buy a good set of maybe 4 stainless steel pots, an aluminium based non-stick pan, a cast iron skillet, one aluminium pot and an aluminium wok. That's if you want them for cooking and are gonna make use of them.