You’ve done your research and have decided that for your needs, it’s a gas range, not electric. Now, you face another decision; what is the best choice of cookware for your gas cooktop? There are a lot of options and it depends a great deal on what type of cooking you do andyour personal preferences for style and design. We will explore some popular choices.
The old black cast iron skillet is still around and still useful,but suffers from uneven heating, and doesn’t stand up well to high temperatures. For the most part, it has been replaced by much more efficient and lighter weight cookware, like Le Creuset, a premium enameled cast iron cookware manufactured in France. Receiving consistent five-star reviews on Amazon, this product is as decorative as it is functional. Its enamel coating offers excellent heat retention and distributes heat evenly. In addition to being beautiful, it is durable and highly resistant to chipping and cracking. Thanks to the black enamel finish on the inside, seasoning is not necessary. Another benefit is that it can be used on all heat sources, even induction. The only possible downside to Le Creuset is the high price tag; however, it comes with a lifetime warranty and is worth the investment.
More economical, but still an excellent choice is Lodge Cast Iron, an American manufacturer now in their second century of business. They still produce a very high-quality line of traditional cast iron cookware. In 2005, they introduced a line of enameled cookware similar to Le Creuset. Called Lodge Logic, it performs favorably to more expensive products, at a more favorable price. Unlike their original cast iron products, Lodge Logic comes preseasoned and is ready to go immediately. A few years ago, they debuted another new product, their Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steelline of skillets. Exceptionally strong, they can stand up to the hottest campfire or the most demanding chef.
Copper cookware has always been a favorite because it heats up quickly, cooks evenly and retains heat for quite a while. It is also much lighter weight than cast iron. There are no “hot spots” to interfere with the cooking temperature. It can also be used on almost any type of cookware. The downside to copper is that by itself, it can emit harmful chemicals that might mix with the food. Fortunately, this is easily avoided by lining copper cookware with other material, like tin, silver or steel. Be aware that the lining used can affect cooking time and the weight of cookware.
Among the elite in copper,cookware is Matfer-Bourgeat, a French manufacturer. For 200 years they have set the standard for cookware and bakeware in restaurants throughout the world. Needless to say, it is very expensive. Recently, Amazon featured an 8-piece set for quite an incredibly high price. It is undoubtedly worth the cost, but for the more budget minded there are many more economical and very good alternatives. Like the American-made Cuisinart Tri-ply Copper Cookware.
Cuisinart products have long been favorites of master chefs like Julia Child and James Beard. The Tri-ply copper cookware earns the same respect as the rest of the family. Although it is not a bargain brand by any means, it is much more in line with the average budget. An 8-piece set on Amazon, where it received a 4-star rating, costs just under $500. It is as safe and functional as it is affordable.
Stainless steel has many positives. The pots and pans are easy to use and very easy to clean. They are also durable and dishwasher safe. One negative is that it isn’t the best conductor of heat; however, most manufacturers use an aluminum or copper core so they heat much more quickly and evenly. Some brands also come with non-stick Teflon coatings, but these are not usually recommended for gas ranges.
An old favorite gets high marks when it comes to stainless, Cuisinart. Their Multi-clad Pro (MCP) line gets rated the best for 2015-2018. It is durable, versatile and economical. Cuisinart stainless steel cookware is also readily available on other websites and in brick-and-mortar stores.
There is a lot of variety when it comes to stainless steel, and that includes the price. For someone who doesn’t cook a lot, it may not be necessary to purchase the top of the line. There are very good stainless steel sets from manufacturers like Cooks Standard and T-fal that is available for a very reasonable price. If you can’t afford a complete set, purchase open stock and just get the pieces you need. You can add to them as your cooking needs—or your discretionary cash—increase. If you decide to go the open stock route, start with a 12-inch everyday pan, a 2.5 quart covered shallow saucepan and a Dutch oven or stockpot.
Gas flames shoot upward to the bottom of the pot or pan. The temperature isn’t even sothe cookware has to redistribute the heat. You can adjust the flame to suit the cookware, but you have to be sure to closely monitor it as you cook. That is why it is critical to buy the most effective cookware for a gas cooktop. Cookware that is durable and heats evenly. If the exterior is coated, it has to be flame-resistant so it won’t peal or have burn marks. If the interior is coated, it has to be scratch-proof. The heat from a gas stove is not evenly distributed throughout a pot or pan.
Make sure you read all the tips and instructions that come with your gas range if they are available. If not, go to the manufacturer’s website, or check out YouTube. One more thing, make sure you keep your range-top clean. Nothing will ruin your cookware, or your cooking, faster than a dirty gas burner.
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