Good, Better, Best: Cookware Options
Cookware is an essential part of a kitchen. It’s what we use daily to prepare our meals so of course we want it to be long lasting and healthy for our families and loved ones we are lovingly and carefully preparing food for! Selecting the right cookware is important. Not only will well made cookware last longer, meaning it’s a better investment, but the wrong cookware can actually do more harm than good for your family by leaking toxins and chemicals into the food you consume. There are good, better, and best options when it comes to cooking. What type you choose is largely determined by what you’ll be cooking.
Best Cookware Options
If you’re baking or roasting…
Properly seasoned stoneware and glass are the best cookware options when you are baking. Glass bakeware is great for baking casseroles in or roasting vegetables. I cover any vegetable in fat (lard is my personal favorite for roasting) whether it’s covered or uncovered! I love my casserole dish that has a great glass lid with it. However, if you have a dish that doesn’t have a lid, you can also use a layer of parchment paper with a layer of aluminum foil over the top as the lid.
Seasoned stoneware is my favorite for baking cookies and pizzas. A well seasoned stoneware piece can make a huge difference between a mushy or crips cauliflower pizza crust! If you are using stoneware, be aware that it might change your cooking time. I find it’s best to heat the stoneware up in the oven while the oven preheats. Then, while the food is cooking, I keep a close eye on it as it’s getting towards the end of it’s prescribed cooking time. It will probably cook a few minutes less.
If you’re boiling…
A stainless steel pot with a thick base and more metal on the bottom is the best option when you need to boil or steam on the stove. You can tell it’s a good stainless steel pot because it’s heavier! Having a thick metal base on the bottom helps with heat distribution so your food doesn’t scorch on the bottom of your pan. A great bonus is this makes for easy clean up too!
If you’re frying or reheating…
A properly seasoned cast iron pan is the workhorse of the kitchen! I use my cast iron to reheat most of my food since I do not use a microwave. I also use it to fry up my eggs and bacon in the morning, or cook a quick stirfry. It’s good for just about anything! If you have a problem with food sticking to your cast iron, it’s because you’re not heating it properly before adding your food or you’re not adding enough fat while you’re cooking. Use a lot of fat and nothing will stick! Seasoning your cast iron properly is easy. Just leave fat in it all the time! If you ever need to wash it out with water, immediately add more fat back to the pan.
Better Cookware Options
If you’re baking…
Aluminum baking trays that are lined with parchment paper are ok if you don’t have stoneware. Make sure you put the barrier of the parchment paper between your cookware and the food. Aluminum should never touch your food. The same thing goes for lining aluminum muffin trays.
If you’re boiling…
If you can’t find a stainless steel pot with a thick base, using a stainless steel pot without a thick base and with no coating on it is ok. If you know that your pots or pans are lead free, they can be used in your daily cooking as well.
Good Cookware Options
Using a ceramic pot or pan that has nonstick coating on it is better than a traditional non-stick coating. Keep in mind the smallest scratches on this you won’t be able to see. If you see the coating come off as you are washing the pan or cooking with it, it’s time to get rid of the pan! This is certainly not my preference in cooking but is better than traditional non-stick coating and will do in a pinch.
I do not recommend aluminum pots and pans, as you never want aluminum touching your food. Any pots or pans with traditional non-stick coating, plastic silicone baking trays and silicone bakeware are also not recommended.
What’s your favorite pot or pan in your kitchen? Do you have a go-to?