Posts Tagged ‘saucepan sets’

Copper Saucepan Sets

December 5th, 2010

One of a chef’s most prized possessions is his saucepan set. Not only because it is at the heart of his cooking, but can greatly affect the way his food tastes and how he/she can perform in the kitchen. Of all the saucepan sets available the pinnacle of them all is the copper saucepan set. So why is a copper saucepan set so sort after?

Advantages Of A Copper Saucepan Set

Copper is one of the best heat conductors known to man, so as soon as you change the temperature of the heat sauce you will almost immediately affect the food you are cooking. For example, if you are worried you food is starting to burn then you can reduce the heat and this will reduce the heat on your food and stop it from burning. If you are using a saucepan that is a poor conductor of heat for example, cheap stainless steel saucepan sets although you reduce the heat the saucepan still stays hot and continues to burn your food. Because copper is such a great conductor of heat whatever the shape or design almost never has any heat spots. This means you will have a uniform heat throughout your pan which is easy to control. They also have a great weight to the pan which is heavier enough to keep stable on your hob, but light enough to feel comfortable in your hand for any long periods of cooking.

Depending on your view a copper saucepan set when polished an well maintained can look fantastic displayed in almost any kitchen. So if copper is such a great material why don’t we all have them?

Disadvantages Of A Copper Saucepan Set

The most obvious disadvantage is they are prohibitively expensive. Copper particularly in recent years as become very expensive. In 2003 a metric tonne of copper cost under $2000 since then it has gone up with a current copper price of over $8000 and it is predicted to continue to rise. This makes copper saucepan sets out of the budget of most consumers. The other main disadvantage of a copper saucepan set is their maintenance. You cannot put them in the dishwasher and should never leave them in water for long periods ensuring you dry them thoroughly after use. Because copper can react with certain food types they are lined with either tin or steel. Although steel lined pans are more expensive they last longer than tin lined pans that would require re-tinning every couple of years. This makes tin lined copper saucepans a false economy. Although you can use modern cleaning pastes to keep your copper saucepan sets clean they are still a higher maintenance product than ones that are dishwasher safe.

Whichever type of material saucepan set you decide upon you should always check the manufactures instructions to ensure they not only suit your cooker type but also you know how to maintain them.

Stainless Steel Saucepan Sets

September 25th, 2010

Stainless steel saucepan sets are probably one of the most used pieces of cookware in our kitchen today but what are the advantages of a stainless steel saucepan set.

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel in metallurgy is also known as inox from French “inoxydable”, is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 11% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel, but it is not stain-proof. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the budget and requirement of the saucepan. Stainless steel is used because both the properties of the stain resistance and resistance to corrosion are required.

Too Hot To Handle

Most stainless steel saucepan sets have handles made from stainless steel which many people complain can get hot. Especially when you use them on a multi burner hob. Always ensure you turn your saucepan handles outwards so another burner does not inadvertently heat the handle. If you think the handle may have been heated then use a tea towel or oven glove to protect your hand when handling your sauce pan. The reason these handles are made from stainless steel rather than plastic or wood is that some recipes require the saucepan to be put in the oven and this would not be possible if such materials were used with the handle.

Lifetime Guarantee

Stainless Steel also makes the saucepan very robust to dents and scratches. Ceramic or glass cookware can be very heavy and is liable to break. Stainless steel however is a poor conductor of heat, manufacturers often bond another metal such as copper or aluminium which conducts well to the base of the saucepans which helps eliminate hotspots. Some ranges come with a non-stick coating which are particularly used for mil-pans and frying pans.

Many stainless steel saucepans come with a lifetime guarantee and can be used on most heat sources including induction hobs, however you should always check with the manufacturer instructions.