Aug 29, 2012

Steel, Aluminum or Iron for Cookware?

For those with catering businesses or own restaurants, buying the right type of cookware is important because commercial cookware is different from the cookware that you use at home. For one thing, cookware that is used commercially tends to be bigger than those used at home. For another, they’re used more often and therefore more susceptible to the wears and tears which usually take years before they start to show on the cookware used at home.

So there are a few things you should remember when buying cookware for commercial use. The price, metal type, ease in maintaining of cookware, and the shape of the cookware are things you should always consider when making a purchase. After all, the most important thing here is to pick the type of cookware which your chef or kitchen workers know how to work with.

Now you might be wondering, all things considering, why do you need to also consider the type of metal used in the cookware? Well, this is because the metal type determines the weight of the cookware, its heat retention and whether its rust proof or not. Remember that cookware comes in many types of metal with the three most commonly used being aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron. Each of these three common metals has their own pros and cons. Aluminum is the most economical choice, transfer heat well and doesn’t weight much. Unfortunately, aluminum will corrode over time due to acidic foods commonly used like tomatoes. Stainless steel is durable, as it's made from cold drawn steel bar, and easy to maintain. The downside to stainless steels is that it doesn’t transfer heat as well as aluminum, which is why many stainless steel cookwares have an aluminum bottom to help in even heat distribution. Some stainless steel pans are also coated with Teflon to make them non-stick but there have been concerns about this since Teflon has traces of PFOA, which is a likely carcinogen. Cast iron cookware doesn’t cost much. It’s heavy yet is favored by many chefs because over time it absorbs flavor and transfers this to the cooked food. On the other hand, cast iron cookware is difficult to clean and prone to rusting.

But regardless of whether you pick cookwear made out of cold rolled bar or aluminum metal, always remember to maintain them properly. For aluminum and stainless steel cookware, wait for them to cool before cleaning them because they might warp with the sudden temperature change. For cast iron cookware, make sure to have them regularly seasoned with oil. Take care of your cookware and you’re sure of many years of good service, commercial or otherwise.

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