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Conduction, material, performance, hygiene. There are many considerations when looking at purchasing or revamping your store of pots and pans...

Aluminium Pans

Aluminium pans are a good conductor of heat, fairly inexpensive and don’t corrode easily. Due to the nature of this material, it is great for boiling water and cost effective when considering larger pots such as stockpots.

Aluminium pans should not be used on induction hobs and can react with acidic foods, tainting the overall flavour of the dish. Cheaper versions of aluminium pans will have a thinner base, usually made up of a single sheet of metal. It is always good practice to research the base thickness, as medium duty pans (around 3-4mm) are good for open-top cooking, whereas heavy-duty pans (around 7mm) are more robust, and therefore better for solid top cooking where cooking temperatures are a lot higher.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the material of choice for hotels and restaurants, it doesn’t tarnish easily, is very easy to clean and therefore more hygienic. It is also non-reactive unlike Aluminium and Copper, so any type of food can be cooked in it without tainting the flavour. It is also less prone to sticking than other materials.

As with Aluminium, a little research into the base goes a long way. The base is typically made up from a number of layers, such as Stainless steel at the bottom and top, forming a sandwich around an aluminium layer to increase conductivity. Top of the range examples can have up to 7 layers.

Black Iron

Black Iron pans are very robust, so much better for cooking at very high temperatures. As a general rule, seasoning before use is good practice to avoid food sticking to the pan. This involves adding a layer of salt to seal any imperfections, before removing and replacing with cooking oil, ready for use.

A drawback of this method is that after washing with soapy water, the process should be re-applied before its next use. When cleaning Black Iron pans, it is important to remember that they are more prone to rusting so proper drying is essential. This also helps to reduce tarnishing.

Copper Pans

Copper pans are a great conductor, and were once the material of choice for classic kitchens. Although it can be reactive with alkaline or acidic foods, this means dishes can take on a metallic taste. Lighter coloured foods, such as eggs, are also at risk from streaking where they pick up copper compounds during cooking.

For this reason, you can purchase copper pans lined with tin, this means you still get the conductivity of Copper, but the tin protects the food from contamination. Copper pans usually feature solid metal handles, which can get hotter than tubular handles found on stainless steel and aluminium.

Non-Stick Pans

Non-stick pans can be a non-stick coating applied to various materials. Cheaper versions are coated on to aluminium, whereas more expensive pans are usually coated on to Steel. The softness of aluminium means the life cycle of these varieties is shorter than pans coated on steel.

Non-stick pans are great for frying fish and cooking omelettes, but can be damaged easily if using metal utensils or if cooking temperatures are left to rise too high. This can sometimes cause the non-stick coating to split, especially when flash frying, as temperatures can reach above 250c.

Prepara - Exclusive Cookware

A comprehensive range of great quality products for food preparation and storage, exclusively from Lochart.

Stainless Steel Cookware - A choice of light duty stainless steel pans which are durable, hygienic, easy to clean and maintain, and a range of high quality, heavy duty stainless steel cookware offering great value for money. Includes saucepans, stewpans, frying pans, sauté pans, fish kettles, bain marie pots and lids as an optional extras.

Aluminium Cookware - A choice of heavy duty aluminium pans which have riveted and flame resistant aluminium handles, and medium duty cookware with heat resistant stainless steel tubular handles. Both provide excellent heat distribution and durability. Includes saucepans, stewpans, stockpots, porringers, omelette pans and casseroles.

Caring for your pans

• Don’t put a hot pan straight into cold water, as this can warp the base. 
• Avoid putting an empty pan on to a hot hob or in an oven.
• As mentioned above with Non-stick pans, avoid using metal utensils or abrasive cleaning materials.
• Ensure pans are adequately sized for the heating area being used, small pans may overheat if used on a large hob.
• Make sure your pan is dishwasher safe before cleaning.
• Leave pans to soak before trying to clean off food residue.
• When storing pans, make sure they are completely dry, as mentioned with Black Iron, rusting or tarnishing can occur.

• For more tips on how to choose the right Professional Pots and Pans, take a look at our Blog.


Lockhart Catering on 17 August 2016 3:00 AM

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