Cooking 101: Tips for Perfect Pots and Pan Picking
Picking the Right Type of Pots and Pans
It's important that you also pick the right type of pots and pans. Stainless steel isn't the best choice for cooking food on high heat as they tend to burn at high temperatures. They can also cook unevenly unless the bottoms are coated with aluminum or copper. However, stainless steel pots and pans are generally inexpensive and are great for steaming and boiling.
Nonstick pans like Teflon make for easier cleaning. However, they don't work with all techniques of cooking either. For instance, if you are caramelizing and deglazing onions in a nonstick pan, they will more than likely burn. Nonstick pans also don't crisp very well, so they are best used for softer foods.
The best type of pan to use for frying is a cast iron pan. They are great for evenly cooking foods at high heat. Caring for a cast iron pan can be a little challenging at first, as you must first season it before use. Cast iron pans are not meant to be scrubbed and washed like other pans. They are supposed to be left with a little grease on them which serves as a coating. So all you need to do for clean-up is a quick swipe with a clean towel.
Aluminum pots and pans are probably the most popular choice in cookware. They are able to handle metal utensils and it's OK to scrub an aluminum pot. A good tip is to get a thicker aluminum pot and pan because it helps the heat to distribute more evenly, lessening the chance of burning.
If you want to kick it up a notch, invest in anodized aluminum cookware. They are made with a super hard surface that allows for better heat distribution. If you are cooking a sauce, it allows you to leave it on for longer and at a higher heat so you don't have to stir as much.