Whether you are a hardcore professional chef or just an amateur, your love for cooking is pure. And as a food maker, you need to make sure that all the things you are using to make a dish are the best.
Other than the vegetables, spices, and herbs you use for cooking purposes, the utensils you will use to cook a particular dish also make the dish even more delicious and nutritious. But most of the time, we do not pay attention to the utensils we use to cook the food. It might prove to be harmful to those who are consuming the food.
You need to ensure that the material of the cookware you use in the cooking process leaves only a positive impact on the cooked food. If you are getting confused about which utensil is best for cooking, do not worry, we got your back. This article will discuss the good utensils that you can use to cook your favorite dish and those you need to avoid.
Which utensils are the best for cooking?
So, now you know that some of the utensils are good and some of them are not that good for cooking purposes and for eating food. So, without any further delay, let us look at some of the best options available in the market.
1. Copper utensils
Utensils made by using copper have been used for several years to prepare foods. You can count on a copper pan or a pot to cook your food with perfection. Any copper cookware conducts heat all over the surface evenly. Whether you cook like a professional chef or just as a homemaker, having this utensil quality is essential. You will save a lot of energy while cooking a dish.
Other than that, copper utensils can also store heat energy to remain warm for a prolonged period. Most of the microbes find it challenging to live on the surface of the copper materials, so you will have less chance of getting infected by germs. Not only for the food, but copper utensils are also used to store water as the water also remains pure and free of any kind of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
2. Silver utensils
Using silver utensils for cooking or serving foods is a sign of elegance. Cooking or eating foods in silver utensils helps grow a strong immunity and maintains a healthy metabolism. Thus, you can keep up a safe distance from several diseases. The presence of several components in the build material of the utensils neutralizes the effect of food contaminants.
In many Indian households, children are served in silver utensils, as in Ayurveda; it is mentioned that silver can boost children’s brainpower in their growing phase.
3. Brass and Bronze utensils
Bronze utensils have their own set of benefits. The used metal can preserve almost 98 percent of the total amount of nutritional content present in the food. On the other hand, brass is an alloy metal. It is made by mixing copper and zinc together. Brass utensils offer almost similar kinds of benefits that a bronze utensil offers. The pans and pots made of bronze or brass can withstand the test of time due to their durability.
Another feature that might attract you to use these types of utensils is that they are lightweight. So, you can use them with ease while cooking and serving. And just like any other ideal cookware, the brass or bronze made utensils can keep the food warm for several hours.
4. Stainless steel utensils
In an Indian household, most of the utensils that one can find will be made of stainless steel. From pans to mixing bowls, stainless steel utensils are everywhere. Usually, we use this type of utensils regularly due to their properties. As the name suggests, they are stainless, which means they don’t catch stains easily.
In this way, the stainless steel cookware remains shiny for several years. Other than that, the utensils also don’t crack easily due to their durable nature. They are also easy to clean, and the colors also remain the same throughout the years. The utensils are also known for keeping the food flavors intact to get the exact taste you are looking for.
5. Cast iron utensils
Cast iron utensils are known as heavy-duty cookware. The primary reason behind this is that these utensils can be used at high temperatures that other utensils cannot tolerate. Capability to retain heat makes these cookwares ideal for fry foods or cooking dishes that usually take a long time.
The surface is also non-sticky, and that’s what makes cooking easy on the cast iron cookware. Cooking food in these utensils can prove to be helpful for people suffering from iron deficiency as the dishes cooked retain iron from the cookware’s surface.
6. Glass utensils
Over the years, glass utensils have become a part of both cooking processes and manage to get to the dining table. Most people prefer utensils made out of some sturdy materials. Well, glass utensils can also be durable and robust.
Utensils made by using borosilicate glass can withstand approximately 350 degrees Celsius temperature. These glass utensils are ideal for microwaving cooked food and cooking food in the microwave. Besides being more demanding than any regular glass utensil, the study glass cookware doesn’t catch scratches easily.
7. Clay utensils
Earlier, almost everyone used to have clay utensils to cook and consume food. To stay away from any impurities, it’s better to move back in time, and we should restart using clay utensils. The utensils made from clay may not look attractive but cooking food in them has several health benefits. As the utensils are made of clay, they are biodegradable and do not cause any pollution.
The clay cooking pots are highly durable as they are made by using years-old deep burning techniques. The absence of any toxic materials in these earthen pots and pans offers you healthy foods after cooking.
People often prefer drinking water in clay utensils as the water remains free from contamination when it is kept in earthen pots. Other than that, it also keeps the water cool. For all these reasons, many Indian households are nowadays using clay utensils instead of regular utensils.
8. Other good Utensils
Except for all these options mentioned here nowadays, the whole world is looking for eco-friendly substitutes for almost everything. Things are not very much different in the case of the cooking industry. People have started adopting plates made from paper and leaves from the plants such as bananas.
But the utensils, mostly plates, and glasses can be used for eating purposes and not for cooking purposes. So, if it is possible and available, then use them to make this world a better place. All the utensils discussed earlier also have a few drawbacks, but they are mostly negligible.
Which utensils should you avoid for cooking?
Now, as you know about the good ones, you better know about the ones that do not ensure the quality of the cooked food. Don’t get shocked as you might be using some of them in your kitchen at present.
1. Aluminium Utensils
Aluminum cookware is exceptionally lightweight, and that’s why many prefer to buy utensils made by using aluminum. But it would be best if you stopped preparing your food in aluminum utensils. Food ingredients that contain high amounts of acids can react with the aluminum surface of the utensil.
Food items like vinegar, tomatoes, or anything containing citric acid can cause a significant change in the flavor of the food after reacting with the bare aluminum surface. Not only the flavor, but the taste also changes. After cooking the food in an aluminum utensil, the food will automatically taste acidic. Though the aluminum that is getting mixed with the food is minimal, cooking food in these utensils for an extended period can cause serious health issues.
So, it is better not to use it. But if you cannot find any other option, you can go for aluminum cookware but make sure that the utensil is hard-anodized before packaging. You can also check whether the cookware is covered or not with materials that are non-reactive such as stainless steel. This coating of the hard anodized cookware protects the whole aluminum surface and evenly spreads the heat across the surface.
2. Ceramic utensils
If a utensil is made entirely by using ceramic, then there is no problem with that and cooking food is relatively safe. But if there is only a ceramic coating on the cookware you are using for cooking purposes, this is a sign that it tries to hide some harmful quality materials. This type of cookware might look nice, but you can count on us that it is not always safe. If you are determined to get one such cookware, check out the best ceramic cookware.
It is often seen that the ceramic coating on top of cookware remains soft and starts getting peeled off after a couple of months of usage. Whenever it happens, several harmful materials such as lead, arsenic, etc., that mostly remain present in the coating start to get mixed in the food. And not in any shape or form, these materials are good for your health.
Lead poisoning is considered to be a fatal type of food poisoning. It can lead to stomach aches, headaches, and several other health complications. Sometimes it can even lead a patient to coma or death. So, if you want to use it, go with 100% ceramic cookware. The material is not toxic, and the product will last longer than cookware with ceramic coating.
3. Non-stick Utensils
Several utensils make companies use Teflon to make their utensils non-sticky to meet the market’s needs. Teflon is a safe material, but it remains stable up to a certain extent. If the temperature goes over 300 degrees Celsius or 570 degrees Fahrenheit, then the Teflon coating disintegrates.
Thus, it releases toxic chemicals in the food that is being cooked in that utensil. So, there are two options: either you don’t use non-stick utensils, or you can keep an eye on the temperature while cooking a dish.
Nowadays, several dishes require a non-stick cooking surface, so it is not easy to completely give up on non stick cookware. That’s why the second option is far better than the first one. There are also other solutions to this problem like-
- Never heat an empty non-stick pan before cooking.
- Have proper ventilation in the cooking area.
- From time to time, replace the old non-stick cookware.
4. Granite utensils
As granite is a costly material, most utensil manufacturers use a very cheap raw material to make the cookware. Due to this reason, the safety of granite utensils fails to retain the heat and cannot spread it evenly. Cooking on the granite surface is not easy.
To cook properly, you need to follow the user’s guide properly for cooking instructions. You will often find that the food is getting stuck on the utensil surface. The enamel coating on top of the granite surface will start disintegrating after using it for some time.
Whenever that happens, you will begin finding pieces of ceramic in your food. Then it would be best if you replaced that with a new one. But just like non-stick cookware, you can use it for an extended period unless and until you are exposing it to excessive heat that the utensil cannot withstand.
5. Melamine Utensils
If you are using good-quality melamine plasticware, then you need not worry about anything. In case we overheat melamine products, the utensil will start to melt. If it takes place, then you should get concerned about safety.
In case of a meltdown, the melamine compounds will leak into the food and drink you consume. Mainly food and drinks containing high amounts of acidic content will cause the reaction with melamine. The potential risk includes kidney-related issues such as kidney failure and kidney stones.
6. Other Utensils
Other than all the utensils mentioned above, people nowadays also use utensils made from plastic to store or eat food. Plastic is not biodegradable at all. It would help if you can avoid it. So, if you are using any of the plastic utensils in your kitchen, get rid of them.
The adverse effects of plastic are similar to the other harmful utensil materials mentioned in the list above. If the heat gets beyond a certain extent, then the plastic will start melting. Thus, it will conglomerate with food cooked inside the pot, and this contamination is not suitable for your health.
Many people, especially in India, use cookware made of cast iron, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if the iron that is used is not corrosion-resistant, then it might lead to severe problems. It happens to be a dangerous health hazard. So, it would be best if you stopped cooking in any such utensils that are corrupted.
Factors that determine how good or bad is the utensil
Now, we can understand that you are super excited to buy some of the new utensils after knowing the health benefits. But there are several things that you need to consider before purchasing any utensils for your kitchen. Whether you plan to buy a complete set or a single one, read the following section carefully to understand the products better.
1. Health advantages
The world around us is changing, and to keep up with the fast pace that the world is progressing, one needs to be healthy. Your health depends on the food that you eat and the utensil that you are using to cook the food and eat the food. It would help if you chose utensils made by using materials that have several health benefits.
Look for something that has no toxic materials in it. Along with that, you also need to ensure that the nutritional benefits of the food remain intact. Some utensils neutralize the effect caused by the presence of contaminants in the food. So, to stay healthy, choose healthy utensils to cook and eat food and drinks.
2. Ease of Cleaning
After cooking and eating the food, one thing that most of us hate is cleaning the utensils. Don’t you think it is better to choose utensils that are easy to clean? Some utensil materials do not catch stains easily, and if they do, you can clean them by simply running them under tap water.
So, keep this thing in mind and read the product descriptions before purchasing it to know about this particular feature. If you can’t fit cleaning dishes in your busy schedule, then the best option for you is stainless steel utensils.
3. High Durability
Whenever you buy anything, you want it to be durable. And if that thing is something that you are going to use regularly, then it needs to be strong. Other than that, what type of cooking you will do using these utensils also plays a significant role in the product’s longevity.
Suppose you will make food that requires a lot of heat, then you need to choose utensils while keeping the heat-storing capability of the cookware in mind. Except that some people cook their food in a microwave instead of using a gas oven, it is better to choose glass utensils that can withstand the heat produced by the microwave oven. Buy utensils that do not crack or break easily.
The utensil that you are using for cooking needs to be compatible with your cooking method. As discussed earlier, your cooking style always influences the cookware that you choose for your kitchen. It is better to buy cast iron utensils for a non-stick cooking surface or if you need to cook deep-fried food.
To use a microwave oven, you should go for durable and robust utensils made from glass and, specifically, borosilicate glass. The surface of the cookware that you are using also needs to be considered before buying one. There can be various types of cookware available in the market, such as flat top and round.
Know your oven type to get a better idea about the utensil that you require for your kitchen. If you use a dishwasher to clean your dishes, you also need to keep that in mind. You need to ensure that the utensils that you are buying will quickly get into the dishwasher machine.
5. Cost of the Utensil
Whenever you are going to buy utensils, never go over the budget. Usually, no guarantee is given about the longevity of the utensils. So, if you pay out a whole lot of money on a product and that product doesn’t last long, then it’s natural that you will feel disappointed.
There is another aspect to look at in this scenario. If a product’s price is low, that does not mean that the product will not be up to the mark. So, don’t buy products only after looking at the price. Check the quality and make sure that the product is durable. The cost of the product varies depending on the material used to make the utensil.
Other than all these, if you give importance to the aesthetic appeal, then take a good look at the product before buying. Make sure that it matches your kitchen style. But most importantly, remember all the other factors mentioned in this section.
Good utensils for Cooking – Bottom Line
So, we have reached the end of the article, and now you might have a better idea about which utensils you need for your kitchen and which ones you need to avoid buying to stay far away from any food poisoning. But no matter which type of utensils you are using, you need to replace them after a certain period.
Whether you are buying your utensils online or offline, make sure the utensil is from a good brand and suitable for cooking. So, next time you will purchase cookware or any utensil, remember the tips that we have mentioned at the end of the article.
Be smart, be sensible, and make sure that only healthy foods come out of your kitchen by using utensils that ensure that the food quality remains good.
Hi! I Koyeli. I am an author of Bestcookware. I have 10 years of experience in cooking with various types of cookware. In these years I think I have dabbled into almost all aspects of cookware and have always struggled to get the correct information about them. So, I decided to combine all my experience into this blog and have covered many topics about cookware. If you have a question, comment here or contact me.