Buying pots is a long-term investment and a decision that shouldn't be made lightly. There are a range of materials and styles on the market, and it's important to know which types are best suited to your kitchen. We spoke to Jamie Paine, the Head of Marketing and Retail for Le Creuset in South Africa, who gave us the following helpful advice: Choosing your material As you know, pots come in many shapes, sizes and materials. The three materials that we, at Le Creuset, find the most effective in the kitchen, are cast iron, stainless steel and forged aluminium. The main advantages of each material are:
- Cast iron pots allow for even heat distribution and retention, making them ideal for oventop and stove cooking. From a quick pasta sauce to hearty stew, cast iron is suitable to all cooking styles and adds an intensity of flavour to your dishes. Le Creuset also adds a glass enamel surface to their Cast Iron range, which ensures no food odours or flavours are retained by the pots and that cleaning is a synch after cooking and serving.
- Aluminium has excellent heat conduction. Look out for forged aluminium frying pans, such as Le Creuset's, which are coated with a non-stick surface. This surface makes them a dream to cook with in the kitchen, as it ensures food can be lifted or removed from the frying pans easily and effortlessly. The non-stick surface also ensures effortless cleaning.
- Most pots are made of stainless steel as it is inexpensive, doesn't warp and will not corrode or scratch easily. However, it doesn't have great heat retention, so usually pots made of stainless steel will have an aluminium or copper core. Remember to check for this when choosing stainless steel pots.
The bottom line
It is important to do research before choosing your cookware, and to buy the best product you can afford. Also, remember that if you follow the maintenance instructions given by the manufacturers you can be sure of years of good service and a great cooking experience.
This advice was supplied by Le Creuset. For more information, and to view their range of cookware products, visit lecreuset.co.za.