Pots and Pans
These pans are made from multiple layers of different types of metal: copper, aluminium, stainless steel, and titanium. The metals are layered so as to derive the benefits from each metal while minimizing the drawbacks of using a single material. By far the most common design is stainless steel with an inner layer of aluminium. The stainless steel is on the outside of the pan because it reacts very little with food and air, but it is a relatively poor conductor of heat. The inner layer of aluminium – an excellent conductor but also highly reactive – compensates for the poor conductivity of the stainless steel. Some less expensive pans incorporate a multi-layered disc just on the bottom of the pan. This lowers the cost while giving some of the benefits of layering.
Best for: Sauté pans, saucepans, frying pans, grill pans, and woks.
Heat conduction: Excellent; even and rapid distribution of heat.
Versatility: Excellent. For use with the stove top (hob), oven, and grill. Be careful of high temperatures in the oven.
Temperature change: Versatile but it is never a good idea to take a hot pan and put it in cold water (except for Scanpan Classic and Professional lines).
Non-stick surface: Pans often come with non-stick (e.g. Teflon) or ceramic surfaces (Scanpan) options. I would go with the Scanpan non-stick because you can use metal utensils in it and it won’t scratch. The pan will last longer, and some people think that Teflon-type coatings may be dangerous if they are heated over a high heat when the pan is empty. Scanpan avoids that potential danger.
Care: If the pan is very thin, be careful of warping at high temperatures. Non-stick pans will last longer if used at lower to medium temperatures. These pans are typically easy to clean, especially if the material on the outside is stainless steel. See specific materials to check their recommended care.
Clean: Soak and clean with a brush and hot soapy water. Pans with non-stick surfaces (such as Teflon) should not be scoured.