What Are The Various Parts That Make Up Quality Cookware?What Are The Various Parts That Make Up Quality Cookware?

1) The Handle. This part is obvious and easy to recognize. Wood and silicone-coated handles are ones that stay cool to the touch when the pots/pans are used on the stove. There are also handles which allow the pots/pans to be used on the stovetop as well as the oven. Silicone-coated or metal handles allow the cookware to be used for stovetop and oven.

2) Rivets. Not all cookware has rivets. They are one method by which different pots/pans parts can be joined such as: the handle to the pot/pan or to the lid of the cookware. Rivets do not have to be used as some parts can be welded or even fastened with screws.

3) The Body of the pot/pan. Cooks can choose the type of pan/pot that they need depending on what they are cooking. Different cookware has different properties. Stainless Steel cookware is wonderful for browning food, enameled cast iron is great for braising, and copper cookware is good for sautéing and high-heat searing.

4) The Rim of the pot/pan. There are some differences in the rim that might not be easy to determine. If the pan/pot has a straight edge it makes tossing ingredients easier and more effective. If the rim is slightly rolled it makes pouring sauces and/or liquids easier than the straight edge.

5) Cookware Surface is the next part we'll examine. Each type of cookware has its own pros and cons. While cast iron is excellent for braising, the clean-up and care is not a pro, but a con. When looking at cookware it helps to make oneself aware of the pros and cons of the various types of cookware. Nonstick cookware has easy clean-up however; often food doesn't brown as well as other pans.

6) The Core of the cookware. Stainless Steel pans without the core of copper or aluminum often does not heat evenly and might have "hot spots". The core of copper or aluminum allows for excellent even heating because they are conductive metals. Several stainless steel cookware sets have these multiple layer designs in the base.

7) The Sides of the cookware. Different types of sides allow for different cooking solutions. The cookware to use when one is cooking liquids and needing them to thicken or reduce through evaporation should use a piece of cookware with flared sides. The flared sides allow for this type of evaporation. When simmering liquids the best type sides on the cookware would be high vertical sides.

8) The Base of the pot/pan. The base is the bottom of the pan and it is what affects how quickly the heat from the stovetop is transferred to items inside the pot/pan. The base of the pan can also have more layers of metal, often times three to six to make sure the pan conducts heat evenly and efficiently. When using a smoothtop electric range, it generally works best to use a flat base. There are induction ranges and these require that the cookware used on them have a magnetic base. The reason is the induction ranges use the principle of magnetism to heat the pans. To check and see if the cookware is compatible with an induction range it just has to be a metal that is magnetic, such as stainless steel cookware alloys which would respond to the magnetic field. Aluminum cookware would not be a choice that would work on an induction range.

Now that the various parts of the pan/pot have been explained it will help you in your search for good quality cookware.

by Armecia Lee
References and Bibliography
Armecia Lee has always loved to cook. She and her husband currently have a website devoted to stainless steel cookware sets. Visit their site at http://www.stainlesssteelcookwaresetsplus.com
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