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A Budding Cook’s Guide to Knowing the Right Pans and Cookers

You might have discovered cooking as a talent. For a beginner, certain pans may not work. Learn about the best types of pans and cookers for newbies.

Cooking is fun and satisfying, especially if you use the right tools. For a beginner, finding those tools can be tricky, though. There are many types of pans, from cast iron to nonstick. Chefs would undoubtedly go for cast iron and stainless steel, but isn’t it easier to use nonstick?

Different types of pans deliver different finishes to food. Cast-iron is best at achieving a golden brown crisp; nonstick is best at creating perfectly smooth and even pancakes. But it doesn’t mean you have to fill your kitchen with all types of pans. Beginners only need the type that makes them cook comfortably. Once their skills get better, they may begin trying out other types.

So, what are the best types of pans and cookers for a beginner? Let’s find out.

1. Nonstick Pans

Nonstick pans are easy to use and clean, making them a top choice for newbie cooks. They’re also suitable for cooks who don’t like to use too much oil. You can fry an egg on a nonstick pan without a single drop of oil at all.

There are just some concerns about the coating of nonstick pans. Teflon was found to contain a potentially hazardous chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. Fortunately, the EPA already asked major chemical manufacturers to phase our PFOA. Hence, most nonstick pans in the market don’t contain PFOA anymore since 2013.

But don’t throw out your old nonstick pans yet. Though PFOA is a potential health risk, it doesn’t end up in the finished cookware. Traces of the chemical are only found during the pan’s manufacturing process. The finished pan and the food you’ll cook on it won’t end up with PFOA.

The only way you’d risk your health when using a nonstick pan is by heating it on a burner empty. When Teflon gets exposed to very high temperatures without cooking anything, it may release potentially toxic fumes. So stay on low to medium heat and avoid preheating the pan too long. Also, once the coating chips, replace it with a new one.

2. Ceramic-coated Pans

Ceramic-coated pans are also low maintenance and nonstick. If you’re meticulous about your kitchen’s aesthetics, ceramic-coated pans will surely appeal to you. They come in different colors. A beautiful turquoise cookware set, for example, can be both a practical and a display item. For that reason, ceramic pans are popular on Pinterest kitchens.

As for their qualities, ceramic-coated pans are similar to the nonstick type. It also requires little oil and can cook most food on low to medium heat. Ceramic coating distributes heat faster, allowing your food to also cook quicker. That said, don’t turn on high heat when using your ceramic pan because it can cause the food to stick and leave permanent stains. And as with a nonstick pan, don’t heat a ceramic pan empty.

3. Stainless Steel Pans

Stainless steel pans aren’t the most beginner friendly. But if you’re looking for the Maillard reaction or the satisfying browning of seared food, stainless steel is for you.

With this pan, you don’t have to worry about coatings, so you can use it on high heat. However, food sticks on it easily. You’d need a generous amount of oil to prevent it. But a little sticking can still happen even with oil. And it’d be hard to clean it. Only an abrasive scrubber can remove the stuck food residue.

To avoid dealing with stubborn sticking, use stainless steel saucepans only. They’re good for melting butter, double boiling chocolate, and making soup.

6. Glass Cookware and Bakeware

Glass cookware and bakeware are beginner-friendly but a little hard to handle. They’re heavy, so if your hands aren’t steady, you could risk dropping them. And even if they can handle high temperatures, they can still break.

Thankfully, they break “safely,” meaning they don’t leave shards that can injure you. But if your glassware is made with borosilicate, they’d still scatter sharp shards. So go for soda lime glass instead.

5. Air Fryer

If you’d rather take cooking shortcuts, try an air fryer. This cooker is gaining popularity lately because of the speed at which it fries food. And it doesn’t require oil, much to the delight of health-conscious cooks. What’s more, it can handle frozen food-no need to thaw them for hours.

Air fryers can’t cook all sorts of fried food, though. For example, if you want crispy fried chicken, an air fryer won’t likely deliver the crisp you’re craving. Use it instead for making French fries, sweet potato fries, and hot dogs.

These types of cookers and pans will make your food prep easier and more fun. You’ll definitely love cooking more because of them. Just be sure to maintain them as per the manufacturer’s instructions. And only buy from trusted sources, even if the price is a little high. You’ll get what you pay for from high-quality cookware.

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine
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