(NC)—Most Canadians are aware that cooking at home is not only more economical but healthier than dining out, which makes choosing the right tools critical. Whether you’re a celebrity chef or a culinary novice, choosing the right pots and pans for your lifestyle can be a daunting task. By understanding the common types, like non-stick, cast iron, stainless steel, hard anodized and copper, you will be able to navigate the aisles like a seasoned professional.

Once you decide on the best cookware, make sure you take proper care of it to get the most from your investment.

“The two things that will ruin even the best pans are scratching on the non-stick surface and warping of the base,” says Alex Cheung, a cookware expert at T-fal Canada. “Although all of our non-stick coatings are safe to use with metal utensils, the use of silicone, wood, nylon, plastic or rubber tools will extend the life of a pan dramatically. Our T-fal pans include anti-warp technology that allows the base to expand and contract to changes in temperature. To reduce the likelihood of warping however, always allow the pan to cool completely before submerging it in cold water.”

More tips on how to care for your cookware, as well as an in-depth comparison between various materials, are available online at www.t-fal.ca. Or, on Facebook, become a fan of T-fal Canada and get a chance to win a full cookware set of your choice.

Five points for perfect cookware:

Heat conductivity- Some metals are better heat conductors than others. Copper is a particularly good heat conductor so look for pans that include it in the base. The better the heat conductivity the quicker you pan will respond to changes in temperature.

Price- You get what you pay for, so the more you spend the longer the cookware will last. The average lifespan of a pan is roughly two years.

Maintenance- If you usually put everything in the dishwasher, make sure your cookware is able to withstand the process. Copper and cast iron cookware generally require the most work to keep pristine followed by stainless steel with the easiest being anodized (which wipes clean) or hard enamel.

Reactivity- Some metals react with certain foods. Aluminum for instance has a tendency to react with tomato and other acidic dishes. This means that your food can actually absorb some of the metal.

Durability- Some cookware will maintain their good looks and last longer than others; stainless steel is considered to be one of the best in this respect. Warping is one of the biggest reasons to toss a pan, so look for an anti-warp base like as T-fal’s Senorielle range of cookware.


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