There is a very popular saying that says that a man costs as much as his tools. This is especially true for modern cookware. We pay a lot of attention to the products and food we buy, but not so much to the appliances we use to cook.
After all, if you don’t use quality cooking utensils, your food could become poisonous from the pans and pots that are used, no matter if you are cooking with the cleanest and healthiest ingredients in the world.
There are many different types of cookware and they are produced in different quality. It is very important to know the properties and composition of the cooking utensils you use.
You should also know that the use of bad utensils can be harmful to health and destroy the taste of food.
With this said, which are the best utensils for cooking? Heat-resistant silicone utensils are the best utensils for cooking, followed by stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and cast iron. The utensil you choose depends on the amount of heat being used and the type of dish being made.
In the following article, we will discuss several of the most common cooking utensils by going through their pros and cons.
This will not be one of those articles that only focus on the good side but instead, we aim to be as useful to you as we can with our knowledge.
The Best Material for Cooking Utensils
Your pots and pans may be made of stainless steel, copper, cast iron, or aluminum, but which materials are best to use and safest for cooking?
|Cooking Utensil Material
|3-Piece Di Oro Silicone Spatula Set
|25-Piece Stainless Steel Utensil Set
|3-Pack Copper Chef Round Pans
|Rachael Ray Hard-Anodized Skillet
|Lodge Square Cast-Iron Grill Pan
We’ve got your back by material and by recommendation, so read on for a thorough guide to the best cooking utensils!
In our opinion, silicone utensils are the best to use for cooking. Their versatile shapes and sizes, as well as their high-heat resistance, make them perfect for almost any dish.
Pros of Silicone Utensils
One of the main benefits of silicone utensils is its high-heat resistance. You can rest assured that they won’t melt when cooking if you use them with food at high temperatures.
Moreover, silicone utensils do not retain any colors or odors because they are entirely stain-resistant.
Another reason why people nowadays turn their attention to silicone utensils is the fact that they are extremely user-friendly since they resemble rubber. There is no risk of scratching pots and pans – or of hurting yourself while cooking!
Cons of Silicone Utensils
Silicone tools are not useful for all types of cooking. They may be good for baking and working with soft foods but they will be highly useless when cooking harder foods or meat, for example.
Be careful when you order silicone utensils. The market nowadays is overfilled with cheap copies and alternatives that have nothing to do with the high-end tools that you would want to use.
We understand that sometimes money is limited, but it may be best to wait rather than risk your health with subpar alternatives.
Cheaper silicone utensils consist of glues and fillers made from chemicals that can dissolve when used at high temperatures. Yikes.
Recommendation: Di Oro 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set
Di Oro is a well-known brand for cooking utensils and our personal choice for silicone tools.
The following 3-piece set of spatulas is made from stainless steel and silicone and could resist temperatures of up to 600°F.
All three pieces have an ergonomic design suitable for flipping all types of food. The materials used are BPA-free and entirely dishwasher safe relieving you from all maintenance efforts.
Last but not least, all Di Oro utensils come with a “forever warranty” and a promise from the company to replace any damaged products with no questions asked.
2. Stainless Steel
Steel itself is a poor conductor of heat, so aluminum or copper is most often added to steel vessels. In fact, this is their main advantage, as these metals are used for the double bottom that this type of vessel has.
With these extra layers, the dish does not burn and the dish retains heat for a long time. Choose dishes with thicker bottoms and walls – they will reward you with long years of service.
Pros of Stainless Steel Utensils
This type of cookware is also called nonreactive and can be used to cook all kinds of food.
These types of dishes are heavy, massive, and extremely strong and durable. They can be cleaned in any way; no worries over aggressive detergents and abrasive cleaning agents. And yes, they are typically dishwasher-safe.
The basic models and standard shapes of these vessels are also relatively low cost!
Cons of Stainless Steel Utensils
Steel cookware has difficult and slow heat transfer and distribution.
This problem with these vessels can be solved by purchasing higher quality stainless steel vessels with an added inner core made of copper or aluminum, which improves thermal conductivity.
The good thing is that these additions do not increase the price much while they improve the utensils’ cooking capabilities!
Recommendation: 25-Piece Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil Set
There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars to equip your kitchen with all the necessary tools when you can purchase an affordable utensil set like this one by Asani.
With this 25-piece utensil set, you get all the regular cooking utensils that you would use daily in addition to all situational tools like a pizza cutter, a wine opener, and measuring spoons.
Made from high-quality stainless steel, you can rest assured that these utensils will last a lifetime and you will never need to waste money again.
Everything you see in this set is dishwasher-safe and the entire package is covered by a lifetime warranty that should leave you with absolute peace of mind.
In general, copper is not recommended for heat treatment but technology has given us solutions and a variety of useful copper utensils.
There are, however, more drawbacks with copper than with any other material which you can see listed below.
Pros of Copper Utensils
Extremely good thermal conductivity and very good control during cooking. The food is prepared evenly and very balanced, which distinguishes it in terms of quality and taste.
Cons of Copper Utensils
Copper is extra reactive when in contact with alkaline or acidic foods, which causes it to dissolve in the food resulting in metallic taste after being cooked.
Light-colored foods, such as eggs, can acquire gray streaks when cooked in a copper pan by absorbing copper. This is not a problem with infrequent cooking but copper dishes are not recommended for daily use.
A solution has been found for these vessels by placing an inner steel layer, which allows finding the perfect balance between the two materials – perfect thermal conductivity and safe cooking of reactive foods.
Recommendation: 3-Pack Copper Chef Round Pans
Our copper recommendation comes from Copper Chef with an award-winning design.
We selected a 3-pack of pans that sum up everything you would need to get the cooking going at home. These pans specifically impress with the design but they are equally good for cooking.
With the additional steel bottom, you can rest assured that the heat will be distributed evenly no matter the type of stovetop you have at home.
The core is made from anodized aluminum which ensures that the pans would last a lifetime. Plus, each pan is dishwasher safe which takes all the worries about cleaning off your shoulders.
Pro Tip: Use these pans with the Di Oro silicone spatulas!
The American Medical Association does not consider aluminum a toxic metal.
Of course, when cooking in such dishes, aluminum particles get into the food, but we must know that it also gets into our body together with the plants and foods we consume.
In short, aluminum is our constant companion throughout life!
If possible, avoid using aluminum utensils for acidic or salt-containing products and after cooking in them, transfer the food to a glass or porcelain dish.
Aluminum cookware is a favorite in cookware because it heats up quickly, does not burn and the price is not typically very high. Unfortunately, they do deform relatively easily.
Pros of Aluminum Utensils
Aluminum cookware has very good thermal conductivity and is extremely light and easy to use. Very common and indispensable when preparing someone according to specific recipes.
Cons of Aluminum Utensils
Like copper, aluminum is highly reactive with alkaline or acidic foods. It is extremely soft and easily deformed by a slight mechanical impact or when cooking at a very high temperature.
Aluminum utensils are easily scratched, which is a problem with prolonged cooking for health.
New technologies have improved this cookware through an electrochemical process, resulting in anodized aluminum, which is much harder and thus solves most of the problems of cookware.
Recommendation: Rachael Ray 87642 Cucina Hard-Anodized Nonstick Skillet
Aluminum is a material used for more specific cooking needs. You will rarely find a more reliable and convenient aluminum pan than this one by Rachael Ray.
Cooking with this pan ensures that all ingredients in the mix will be evenly cooked. It is versatile as it can be used in the oven at up to 400°F and it provides additional convenience with its second handle.
Maintenance is a piece of cake as the pan is dishwasher-safe. All you need to do is season it occasionally to keep the nonstick abilities and ensure the long years of service that the pan is capable of.
5. Cast Iron
Solid and heavy, cast iron cookware makes food great due to the even release of heat. In the past, most of them had no coating – retaining the smell of dishes and making them time-consuming to clean.
Today, on the market, there are those with metal-ceramic or non-stick coating, making these dishes universal. In taste, food cooked in cast iron containers is close to that in clay ones.
The cast iron vessel is not distorted and is practically eternal. However, the weight and labor intensity of its washing is something to keep in mind.
Pros of Cast Iron Utensils
Cast iron is a relatively inexpensive material, naturally non-stick, if in the right proportions, distributes heat evenly and retains it for a long time, gives iron in food, which for some recipes is useful.
They are very useful for prolonged cooking.
Cons of Cast Iron Utensils
Cast iron cookware is quite heavy and difficult to work with. When heated, it takes a long time to reach the required operating temperature, and cleaning them requires a little more effort.
There is a good solution for these vessels as well.
Externally-coated cast iron cookware suitable for all hobs and ovens is produced. These utensils are easy to clean and have all the advantages of raw cast iron cookware and no disadvantages.
Recommendation: Lodge Square Cast-Iron Grilled Pan
When you can’t afford a high-end grill or you simply have nowhere to put it, there is no better alternative than a grill pan.
This particular model by Cuisinart is one of the greatest options on the market in terms of price, quality, and versatility.
While it has all the regular properties of a cast iron utensil, it is enameled which means that you wouldn’t have to season it as often.
With the coated interior of the pan, it will not retain any flavors or unpleasant odors that would destroy the future cooking sessions.
While the fact that it is not a non-stick fan suggests that it would take additional maintenance, occasional seasonings should not be a problem and would ensure that this pan lasts a lifetime.