Every now and then you hear a new one: no aluminum because toxic, non-stick banished because carcinogens and wood, not even talking about it, would be the ideal nest for bacteria and germs. But is it all true? Is there a 100% safe material? We are sure that you will have asked yourself these questions a thousand times, reading the many news – often alarming – of which the web is full.
Aluminum: yes, but beware of acidic foods
Probably in the kitchens of restaurants, it is one of the most used materials, and this should already be a symptom that aluminum is among the most suitable metals for food processing. It is mainly used for making pots, lids, and ladles, even if the quality of the tool changes considerably depending on the thickness. At home aluminum kitchen utensils are certainly less used, either because – in the case of pans – foods tend to stick to the bottom (especially if the bottoms are not thick enough) or because this material is not suitable for washing in the dishwasher.
Steel: few crosses for many delights
The Stainless steel cookware are beautiful, shiny, and easy to clean; they last for years because they are extremely resistant and are not subject to abrasion. They are safe from a hygienic point of view and do not give problems with high temperatures. The same applies to tools, even if the prices are higher than other materials. Are the pans perfect? Yes, but only for certain types of cooking. A characteristic of steel is that it does not conduct heat homogeneously, as is the case for aluminum.
As a result, foods tend to stick to both the bottom and sides. For this reason, the most effective cooking methods with steel are those that require the presence of many liquids: marinades, boiling, bain-marie, are preparations in which the performance of these pans are definitely better than others. Usually, in fact, the useful pressure cookers are in steel. Beyond the pans, stainless steel remains the reference material for professional worktops and for most kitchen utensils. To make the best use of Stainless steel kitchenware, remember:
Add salt only with boiling water as contact with the salt in grains could start a corrosion process.
Cooking food in direct contact with the pot is not recommended because it could easily attack.
The steel containers are perfect for serving sauces and pickles, make a stock, and you won’t regret it!
Copper, the gold of the kitchen
Copper is an extraordinary material for many uses, and even in the kitchen its yield is incredibly high, so much so that it is often called “the gold of the kitchen”. A perfect definition, even in a non-metaphorical sense: they are in fact very expensive and therefore not very common in homes. Copper utensils and pots are practically eternal: great advantage of these instruments is in fact that they can be stagnated inside and polished outside, returning to a state like new, as often as necessary.