Cookware Materials Guide

Kitchen cookware is one of the most important purchases you will make for your home. Quality cookware sets will last for years and can be an attractive addition that you will be proud to show off when entertaining. While the material you choose for your cookware is mostly an issue of personal taste, every cookware material offers advantages for the home chef.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron

  • Low Cost - Quality cast iron cookware can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of similar quality aluminum and stainless steel.
  • Even Heating - Cast iron is an ideal conductor of heat and displaces heat evenly over the cooking surface no matter what type of heat source you use - making it great for outdoor cooking.
  • Non-Stick Cooking - When properly seasoned, cast iron cookware offers a natuarally non-stick cooking surface.

Carbon Steel Cookware

Carbon Steel

  • Lightweight - Carbon steel weighs half as much as cast iron.
  • Heat Control - The thin surface allows carbon steel to quickly heat up and cool down, providing better heat control than cast iron.
  • Non-Stick Cooking - Similar to cast iron, carbon steel cookware offers a non-stick cooking surface when properly seasoned.

Enamel Cast Iron Cookware

Enamel Cast Iron

  • Easy Cleaning - The porcelain coating of enamel cats iron allows you to use mild soap and water when washing, making clean-up a snap.
  • No Rusting - Unlike traditional cast iron, which can rust when left to soak or with food in it, enamel cast iron can be used for boiling water and is even dishwasher safe.
  • Vibrant Colors - Enamel cast iron s available in a wide variety of colors. This variety of colors allows you to match your enamel cookware to your existing kitchen decor.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel

  • Low Cost - Compared to other cookware materials used at the professional level, such as copper and aluminum, stainless steel is relatively inexpensive.
  • Durability - Stainless steel will stand up to kitchen abuse much better than other cookware materials and due to the levels of chromium in stainless steel, the cookware will maintain its mirror finish for a long time, allowing you to keep the same cookware for many years.
  • Cleaning - Stainless steel cookware will maintain its finish no matter how much scrubbing you have to do. However, stainless steel is dishwasher safe and can be soaked for long periods of time so you will never have to scrub too hard anyway.

Cast Aluminum Cookware

Cast Aluminum

  • Lightweight - Cast aluminum is considerably lighter than cast iron, making it easier to handle and work with.
  • Ease of Use - Excellent heat conductor, cast aluminum heats up quickly. Most cast aluminum cookware is treated with a coating that gives it excellent non-stick properties.
  • Cleaning - Cast aluminum is designed for easy cleaning. It's dishwasher safe, but can also be cleaned by hand washing.

NonStick Cookware


  • Low Cost - Generally made of aluminum, which is less expensive than other options such as stainless steel or copper.
  • Ease of Use - Novice or inexperienced cooks will find that food sticks and burns less easily in nonstick cookware.
  • Cleaning - Nonstick cookware is easier to clean because food doesn't burn onto the pan. However, nonstick cookware is not dishwasher safe.

Aluminum Cookware


  • Built-In Corrosion Inhibitor - Over time, aluminum will build up a layer of aluminum oxide which prevents corrosion. Anodized aluminum is aluminum cookware in which the manufacturer has aided in the oxidation process and hardened the layers for even greater effect.
  • Less Reactive - Originally, aluminum cookware reacted poorly to acidic foods. With modern anodized aluminum, however, you can cook all of your favorite foods without fear of the aluminum leeching to the food.
  • Completely Recyclable - Because aluminum is a completely recyclable material, when your aluminum cookware has served its purpose, you can take them to your local recycling center and keep them out of our ever-growing landfills.