Food Guide – Selecting Pans & Pots

02Sep08

Selecting your pots and pans well for your kitchen can do you good in the long run. Always remember to keep a good watch of the practicality of the pan rather than its brand name, style, fashion or maybe, price. Keep in mind that you’re the one who’s going to use the pan or pot – The skillet you’re holding will be the base of your cooking activities, and they will also be the ‘holding’ item for your food.

Before purchase, always ensure that you can feel the pan. As much as you’d like to purchase it online, it’s better sometimes to just walk into the shop and feel them for yourself. There are certain ‘cheaper’ materials that can give you an extremely bad cooking experience, while some may just provide you with an overwhelming cooking solution. Some pots and pans yield different cooking results (but of course, it depends also on many other factors). When you’re doing your kitchen shopping, be aware that not all expensive pots and pans are great.

You might just end-up paying the heavy import tax after all. If you want to look into pan solutions, check out this post. Look at point 9, 10 and 11.

Exhibits below show various types of cookware materials used in a kitchen.

There are three common types of ‘bases’ for cookware:

  1. Thin-bottom cookware
  2. Heavy-bottom cookware
  3. Different material from cookware (e.g. Porcelain + Metal)

And common shapes and fashion are as followed:

  1. Ear-style wok/pan/pot
    This is the one with two little handles for you to carry.
  2. Handle-style wok/pan
    This is the one with a long stick at the side of your pan for you to carry. Some may contain another holder ear handle adjacent to it.
  3. Open-mouth pot
    Very classic, this one has no handle. Its rims at the pot’s opening is what you have to carry. Usually this is used when something needs stored.

Understanding Cookware Practicality

Cookware practicality is what matters most when you select them. Before you buy, keep these in mind:

  1. Base type

    As mentioned above: Thin, medium and heavy. Thin-bottomed cookware collects heat faster from its source, thus gains and releases heat faster than ever. This is good when you want to use it for quick cooking, thin soups, or when you need the heat to burst certain ingredients with low heat. Ideal for cooking quick pasta, fried rice, or simply toasting herbs on the pan. Note that its durability is lower as compared to the heavy-bottomed pan in the long run.

    Heavy-bottomed cookware is ideal when you need to keep something heated for a long time – To avoid that quick burn and allow a more proper heat transfer around the pan. Best for long cooking over the fire and braise/steam methods. Also provides better durability to high heat. Best used to cook rice, stews and also to slap it into the oven.

    Different cookware bottom materials are slightly uncommon in Malaysia. However, you can opt to use this when you’re doing charcoal ingredients, or follow the points below.

  2. Material type

    Choosing the right material for your cookware goes a long way. Walk around the mart and select wisely – Make sure you purchase high-quality stainless steel materials (that mentions stainless steel and you know they won’t rust), clay materials with a better finish (rough finishes could sometimes be better, but we won’t argue on that), ceramic ones for induction cooking, non-stick pans for your greater use (getting a non-stick pot is not going to help much; refer to No. 1).

  3. Usability

    This is not a right/left hand-use thing. This is going to be the question of whether you’re going to cook large pots, pre-cook ingredients, slap it into the oven, hold it by hand, use it over the grill, etc. If you’re cooking Indian, might as well get regular pots and pans but if you’re going Fusion and Modern Classics, consider a mix of small-to-large earthen and metal wares. Also, consider handle types, flexibility of pan/pot material and its polishing finish.

  4. Size

    Pot size determines not only the amount of people you’re going to cook for, but also to your menu. If you’re looking at 10 people everyday to eat, your pots do not need to be exceptionally big to fill in foods. Your containers and retainers should be larger. Consider size when you’re looking at the intensity of your cooking. Some cooking requires cook then freeze. You can do these on stocks and soups; so gather your menu and look it over before you actually make a purchase.

  5. Storage

    Storage is another problem homeowners face but in our case, it’s not a problem. Pots should always be left overturned and left some space for air to seep in. Don’t bother stacking wet pots – They are just going make your kitchen even dirtier. Pans on the other hand, should always be hanged and dried. Should you need to oil your pan after cooking or heat them up to a level where you can melt a stone with the heat, by all means, leave it to cool before hanging them. You might burn someone if you don’t. (Or maybe yourself)

    Always store them in a place where it isn’t dark – As you do not want invaders invading your equipments.

  6. Resistance

    Some cookware are made just for one usage – Some for a thousand times. If you’re looking at cookware, choose the one with an average lifespan. Keeping your pots and pans a higher turnover bears greater beefing – New technological improvements, less plastic or metal contamination, better utensils and your kitchen can also grow. Note that this applies to home kitchens that cook regularly, or busy commercial kitchens. If you don’t cook often, consider buying minimal stuff only.

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One Response to “Food Guide – Selecting Pans & Pots”

  1. This information in your blog is helpful!


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