7 Types of Cookware Materials in India in 2021 & Pros and Cons

Types of Cookware materials in India

Did you know there are 7 types of cookware materials in India in 2021? Well, this number could be a bit more, but as far as the Indian kitchen habits and trends are concerned, there are 7 most common types of cookware materials in India in 2021.

Frankly speaking, a lot of people are not aware of the cookware materials except for Stainless Steel, Aluminium, etc. But, the taste of your food depends a lot on the type of cookware material you have used to cook it.

For someone who needs to buy new cookware, the choice amongst so many types can get overwhelming especially if you do not have the complete knowledge. Hence, today we are going to go through the 7 types of cookware materials in India in 2021 and see which one is the best with their pros and cons.

7 Types of Cookware Materials in India in 2021

In reality, there is no cookware material that will suit all the Indian kitchens. The choice eventually comes down to the individual’s requirements, cooking habits, and who likes what in the family. Having said this, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each type of cookware material will help you to make the right choice.

1. Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel cookware

Stainless Steel is known to be one of the most toughest and also most common cookware materials found in Indian households. This type of cookware is non reactive, durable and easy to clean as well. But, there is one problem with the stainless steel cookware, that it is not a good conductor of heat. This is why, you will notice a lot of brands have started selling stainless steel pans where the bottom of the pan is made from copper or aluminium disc. This combination helps to distribute the heat evenly.

Another problem here is you will always have to use some oil or butter as the surface of a stainless steel pot is not nonstick. While looking for stainless steel cookware, do keep in mind the grades they come with. For ex 304 grade stainless steel is a bit more expensive, but it also the best. Also, make sure the bottom of a stainless steel pan has a core of another type of metal that conducts heat better than the stainless steel itself, for ex – copper or aluminium.

Pros of Stainless Steel Cookware

1. Affordable, not very expensive
2. Non reactive
3. Does not react with foods
4. Easy to clean and maintain
5. Cooks pretty much everything for Indian style of cooking

Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware

1. Can be a bit difficult to clean, if food gets stuck to it
2. Expensive, if there is a copper base 

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – Only if the base of the pan is a magnetic grade of stainless steel
Dishwasher – Yes, but not recommended in the longer run

How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

Most of the times, you can use lukewarm water and a sponge to clean your stainless steel cookware, but if it is burnt, use some vinegar to get rid of discolouration.

Best Stainless Steel Cookware in India

Vinod Stainless Steel Induction Friendly Master Chef Cookware Set- 4 Pieces with 2 years of warranty, a silicone handle and a tempered glass lid is the best stainless steel cookware in India in 2021.

2. Cast Iron

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron is like an old wine which only gets better with the time. Personally, I am a huge fan of Cast iron material due to a number of reasons. Having said this, like everything else, Cast iron has its own disadvantages. To start with, Cast iron is one of the most durable cookware materials ever found, if maintained well. If there is one type of cookware you want to pass to your coming generations, it has to be Cast iron.

It is true that cast iron does take a lot of time to heat up, but once heated it will remain heated for a longer period and it will cool down very slowly. This material is known to be very versatile as it can cook almost everywhere from stove to oven to grill. It is to note that cast iron needs some seasoning which includes oiling from time to time. If you can do this consistently, your cast iron cookware will eventually have a nonstick surface.

Pros of Cast Iron Cookware

1. Indestructible cookware material
2. Can handle high heat
3. Improves with the age
4. Safe for oven, grill, broiler, etc
5. Helps to fight iron deficiencies

Cons of Cast Iron Cookware

1. Needs seasoning from time to time
2. Can rust if not taken care of 

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – Yes
Dishwasher – No

How to Clean Cast Iron Cookware

In order to clean your cast iron cookware, use warm water and a mild sponge to clean the pan. You can use a non abrasive dish washing liquid to remove the residual food. Once cleaned, let the cookware air dry.

Best Cast Iron Cookware in India

The Indus Valley Cast Iron Cookware Pre-Seasoned Kadai Set with Small Kadai – 1.5 L, Large Kadai – 2.5L, and Cast Iron Dosa or Roti Tawa with a 10 inch diameter is the best cast iron cookware in India in 2021.

3. Enameled Cast Iron

Enamelled Cast Iron Cookware

There are 2 types of cast iron, i.e. Bare Cast Iron and Enamel coated Cast Iron. When it comes to bare cast iron, you need to season it from time to time. The consistent process of seasoning gives you a nonstick surface over a period of time, hence this type of cast iron material needs regular upkeep and maintenance.

On the other hand, Enameled cast iron requires less maintenance and cleaning. These cookware sets are also more nonreactive and hence expensive too. Enameled cast iron also works very well on Induction cooktops. This type of material is not very durable against a sudden change in temperature and can even chip in these conditions. The biggest benefit with enameled cast iron cookware is that it does not seasoning.

Pros of Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

1. More attractive as compared to cast iron
2. Non reactive, ideal for acidic foods
3. Retains heat extremely well
4. Does not require seasoning
5. Comes in many colours

Cons of Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

1. Significantly expensive
2. Very heavy material 

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – Yes
Dishwasher – No

How to Clean Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Regular dishwashing soap and hot water is enough to remove stains from enameled cast iron cookware, if there is a stubborn stain, use some baking soda solution.

Best Enameled Cast Iron Cookware in India

The Trilonium Enameled Cast Iron Induction Compatible Skillet is the best enameled cast iron pan in India in 2021.

4. Carbon Steel

pros and cons of Carbon steel Cookware

If cast iron cookware is way too heavy for you, you should consider switching to its cousin i.e. Carbon Steel cookware. This type of cookware is very similar to the cast iron cookware such as excellent durability, heat retention, etc.

A cast iron cookware contains 97-98% Iron and 2-3% carbon whereas a carbon steel cookware will contain 99% Iron and roughly 1% carbon. In simple words, carbon steel cookware will have less concentration of carbon. The smaller percentage of carbon makes it less fragile and more stronger than the cast iron counterparts. When you buy one, you will notice the surface of carbon steel cookware is more smooth than those of cast iron pans or pots. With all these features, you will still need to season carbon steel cookware to make them better with the age. 

Pros of Carbon Steel Cookware

1. Lighter version of cast iron cookware
2. Can withstand high heat
3. Excellent conductor of heat
4. Extremely durable
5. Cooks food evenly

Cons of Carbon Steel Cookware

1. Not good with acidic foods
2. Prone to rust and corrosion if not taken care of

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – Yes
Dishwasher – No

How to Clean Carbon Steel Cookware

You should avoid cleaning carbon steel cookware with the water, in fact use salt and some cooking oil. Gently scrub the salt and oil into the stains with a soft cloth until the stain is removed.

Best Carbon Steel Cookware in India

Lodge CRS12 Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet with a diameter of 12 inches and still riveted handle is the best carbon steel cookware in India in 2021.

5. Copper

Copper Cookware pros and cons

Copper is one of the most excellent heat conductors amongst all the other cookware materials and this is why, cookware made from Copper is often expensive too. While cooking on copper cookware, you will have more control as these cookware heat up quickly and also cool down as soon as you remove them from the stove. They are also preferred by a lot of Chefs because copper has the ability to cook evenly from all the sides.

There is a major downside with copper cookware that they cannot be used alone for most of the cooking as copper has the tendency to react with minerals and acids of many foods. For this reason, you will see a stainless steel coating on copper utensils to create that non reactive barrier. Also, one should note that copper is not magnetic, hence it cannot be used with induction cooktops. Also, you will need to maintain copper cookware from time to time as it can discolour after a certain period of time, which will need to be repolished.

Pros of Copper Cookware

1. One of the most amazing heat conductors
2. Cooks food evenly
3. Looks antique and classy
4. Does not require preheating

Cons of Copper Cookware

1. Expensive cookware
2. Can react with acidic foods

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – No
Dishwasher – No

How to Clean Copper Cookware

Use some dish soap and warm water to clean your copper cookware, after that give it a gentle wash, if required use a soft sponge to remove stains from the copper cookware.

Best Copper Cookware in India

IBELL Copper Cookware Set with 6 Months Warranty & 6 Months Additional Warranty on Registration and 2L of capacity is the best copper cookware in India in 2021.

6. Aluminium

Aluminium cookware

Aluminium is one of the most abundant metals on the planet Earth and for this reason, it is inexpensive too. After copper, Aluminium is the best heat conductor, so the cooking experience in the aluminium cookware will be a breeze. If you add layers of magnesium, copper, other metals, you get a more lightweight version of aluminium cookware.

The downside of aluminium cookware is that it reacts with acidic foods, in order to overcome this issue, this type of cookware is lined with stainless steel or nonstick coating or they undergo anodization. The process of anodization significantly hardens the surface and gives it a very dark grey colour. As a result, anodized aluminium cookware looks more attractive, is basically non reactive and inexpensive as well. Also, anodized aluminium cookware is harder and more durable than steel. But if you do not treat it well, it is prone to rust and stains.

Pros of Aluminium Cookware

1. Extremely good heat conductor
2. Affordable
3. Anodized version is very popular
4. Ideal for sautéing vegetables
5. Lightweight

Cons of Aluminium Cookware

1. Raw aluminium is highly reactive to acidic foods
2. Prone to scratches

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – No
Dishwasher – Not recommended, read the product label

How to Clean Aluminium Cookware

Use water along with a few tablespoons of lemon juice or cream of tartar. Boil the solution for 10-15 minutes and let it drain.

Best Aluminium Cookware in India

Familia Nonstick Aluminium with Kadai Pan, Tawa Pan & Fry Pan, compatibility with dishwasher and induction cooktop and a 1 year warranty is the best aluminium cookware set in India in 2021.

7. Nonstick

Nonstick cookware

In the last two decades, there has been a growing surge in the popularity towards nonstick pots and pans in the Indian kitchen industry. Nonstick cookware is not only easy to clean, but you can also save yourself from unhealthy fat and oil that we use in our day to day cooking. A nonstick pan allows you to cook without adding any oil or very little oil and the coating helps to make sure the food does not stick to the cookware.

Having said this, nonstick cookware requires a lot of maintenance to keep its nonstick coating intact. Without the coating, there is no such thing as a nonstick cookware. If you are going to buy a nonstick cookware set, make sure you never use metal utensils on it as it can damage the nonstick coating. As an alternative, you can use a Silicone spatula. Similarly, ensure you do not stack nonstick pans with the regular ones, you can place a tissue paper or a soft cloth between pans of different materials. Lastly, nonstick cookware needs regular upkeep and maintenance in order to last longer.

Pros of Nonstick Cookware

1. Use little or no oil
2. Health conscious cooking
3. Easy to clean
4. Non reactive and non porous
5. Ideal for cooking eggs and dosa

Cons of Nonstick Cookware

1. Needs a lot of maintenance
2. Can scratch easily

Compatibility 

Microwave – No
Induction cooktop – Only if the base is magnetic
Dishwasher – No

How to Clean Nonstick Cookware

Just a few tips you should know, clean as soon as possible with hot soapy water, never use abrasive detergents or metal utensils. If there is a stubborn stain, use baking soda paste to clean your nonstick cookware.

Best Nonstick Cookware in India

The 15-Piece Non-Stick Cookware Set from AmazonBasics with 1 year warranty is the best nonstick cookware set in India in 2021.

I sincerely hope now you will have a clear idea on how many types of cookware materials are there in the market and which one should you choose depending on your requirements and also the budget. If there is anything left out, do leave a comment please.

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