A Quick Guide to Commercial Cookware Materials

How to select cookware materials for my kitchen – Chef Al's Equipment Buyers Guide

A Quick Guide to Cookware Materials






Heats up fast and evenly; dishwasher safe; inexpensive.

If untreated, it may stain easily and react with foods.

Great for general-purpose cooking.

Stainless Steel

Lightweight; durable; easy to clean/maintain; doesn't corrode or tarnish; won't scratch.

Doesn't conduct heat as well as other materials.

Good for general- purpose cooking - especially stir- frying.

Cast Iron

Thick and heavy duty; won't scratch; spreads heat evenly.

Doesn't conduct heat as well as other materials; reacts with acidic foods if it's not coated.

Perfect for browning and frying.


Easy to clean, great for cooking low-fat foods.

Scratches easily.

Best for low-fat cooking without much oil.