People are nowadays aware about the importance of finding the best kitchen utensils to support their daily cooking activities. In this case, there are many considerations before one finally buys certain utensils. Material becomes an important thing to think about.
Read on to learn about the Materials some great and efficient culinary items are made of:
Enameled Cast Iron Silicone Beech wood
Stoneware Nickel Mango Wood
Ceramic Stainless Steel Fine Crystal
Bonded Cookware by All-Clad Aluminum
Nonstick Interior by All-Clad Chrome
ENAMELED CAST IRON
Enameled cast-iron cookware consists of a cast-iron core surrounded by porcelain enamel. This combination produces a durable piece of cookware that can be used on the stove or in the oven. The colors are often vivid and the surface can be cleaned easily. Enameled cast-iron cookware heats evenly, conducts heat well, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Cast iron cookware is popular because it is heavy duty, maintains even heat and develops non-stick properties with use. Its downsides include the potential to rust as well as reactivity with certain types of food. Adding enamel coating to cast iron preserves the beneficial properties of cast iron with the addition of color, while avoiding the rust and reactivity issues.
Between 2 and 4 coats of enamel are applied to the cookware. The first coat is colorless ground porcelain enamel that is fired in a kiln at 840°C. The colored enamel coats are then applied, air dried and vitrified (altering atomic structure with heat). It is more common to find pans with 2 coats of enamel, but some major retailers carry models with 4 layers. – ehow.com/about-stoneware-vs-enameled-castiron-cookware
LE CREUSET Cast Iron Production
Le Creuset’s original and most well known range of products is its cast iron range. Cast iron has been used as “the” material for cooking pots since Roman times. Even with today’s wide choice of cooking materials, cast iron, still forged and crafted by hand, reigns supreme with its versatility, good looks and ability to retain and spread heat evenly.
Sand moulds and casting
In order to produce the desired shape for a Le Creuset piece, two sand moulds need to be made. One produces the interior shape of the item and the second, the exterior shape. The moulds are secured together leaving a small gap between them. The raw materials, including pig iron, are melted at an extremely high temperature in a large cauldron (called a "creuset" in French) and then poured into the moulds. Once the shape is cast, and the iron cooled, it is removed from the mould ready for the finishing process to begin. After use each mould is broken (the sand is then recycled) meaning that no two pieces of Le Creuset are ever "exactly" the same.
Once removed from its mould, each piece has then to pass through several finishing processes under the hands of skilled craftsmen for cleaning and smoothing, rough edges and burrs are removed in a hand process called "fettling". Then each piece is blasted by tiny metal pellets to prepare a uniform surface for enamelling.
Each piece of Le Creuset receives two coats of enamel. The first is a ground coat which, once fired at 840°C, is clear and uncoloured. This allows for better adhesion of the second coat, the coloured enamel, to the cast iron. This special colour coat is applied internally and externally. After the enamel is applied it is air dried before being vitrified to produce a highly durable, hygienic and shock resistant finish. – lecreuset.com
Stoneware is made of clay fired at very high temperatures. While earthenware is commonly used for dishes, canisters and other items, stoneware is made to be heat-tolerant. Stoneware is a stronger and harder clay. When unglazed, stoneware will be a buff or terra cotta hue with a rough texture. It is oven-safe, but cannot be used on the stove top. - ehow.com/about-stoneware-vs-enameled-castiron-cookware
Similar to cast iron, but a whole lot lighter, stoneware retains heat very well and makes a great display dish to go from oven to tabletop.
Ceramics are classified as inorganic and nonmetallic materials that are essential to our daily lifestyle. Ceramic and materials engineers are the people who design the processes in which these products can be made, create new types of ceramic products, and find different uses for ceramic products in everyday life.
Ceramics are all around us. This category of materials includes things like tile, bricks, plates, glass, etc. Ceramics can be found in products like watches (quartz tuning forks-the time keeping devices in watches), snow skies (piezoelectric-ceramics that stress when a voltage is applied to them), automobiles (sparkplugs and ceramic engine parts found in racecars), and phone lines. They can also be found on space shuttles, appliances (enamel coatings), and airplanes (nose cones). Depending on their method of formation, ceramics can be dense or lightweight. Typically, they will demonstrate excellent strength and hardness properties; however, they are often brittle in nature. Ceramics can also be formed to serve as electrically conductive materials, objects allowing electricity to pass through their mass, or insulators, materials preventing the flow of electricity. Some ceramics, like superconductors, also display magnetic properties.
Ceramics are generally made by taking mixtures of clay, earthen elements, powders, and water and shaping them into desired forms. Once the ceramic has been shaped, it is fired in a high temperature oven known as a kiln. Often, ceramics are covered in decorative, waterproof, paint-like substances known as glazes. - acers.org/membership/sc/Ceramics.doc
BONDED COOKWARE by All-Clad
Today, from its own mill in
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, All-Clad is the only bonded cookware manufacturer to
use American craftsmen and American-made metals to produce a complete line of
superior cookware. The innovative, high-performance bonded cookware that
All-Clad is known for is handcrafted in the USA by American artisans using
Every piece of All-Clad bonded stainless steel cookware is handcrafted with a revolutionary bonding process using a proprietary recipe of metals to provide the ultimate cooking performance. In the hands of an All-Clad artisan, copper, steel and aluminum turn into precious metals.
The highest quality standards.
At each stage of the
manufacturing process, every piece of All-Clad bonded cookware is
hand-inspected to ensure that it maintains All-Clad’s rigorous quality
standards. This dedication to quality ensures that every piece of bonded cookware that
leaves the Southwestern Pennsylvania rolling mill is worthy of the reputation
that precedes it.
No detail is overlooked in handcrafting All-Clad cookware, and this is what
makes it a true original.
The highest standards of quality and performance are the principles that have guided All-Clad from its inception. This philosophy continues to drive the engineers and artisans who create the cookware that is widely acknowledged as the world’s best.
The finest materials.
Raw materials are critical
to performance. All-Clad metallurgists specify the metal formulations in every
detail, from chemical composition to microstructure. Since quality always takes precedence over convenience, the metals are
formulated for optimal cooking performance, not for ease of manufacturing.
All-Clad bonded cookware is manufactured to the most stringent environmental standards. Virtually every ounce of unused material is recovered and recycled, including the metal dust generated during the sanding process.
- A pure core of aluminum, stainless or copper - not only on the bottom, but all the way up the sides of each piece of cookware distributes heat evenly and provides professional results.
- The 18/10 stainless steel interior cooking surface won't react with food and cleans effortlessly.
- Long, stick handles are cast from solid stainless and ergonomically designed for comfort and to stay cool on the hob.
- Rivets are formed from high-yield strength stainless steel and treated to remove trace elements of iron that could cause corrosion.
These painstaking efforts result in a finished bonded product that maintains the same integrity it was created with, even after a lifetime of cooking enjoyment. – all-clad.com
ALL CLAD’S NONSTICK INTERIOR
All-Clad's durable, PFOA-free nonstick coating provides effortless clean-up. It is compatible with all hobs including induction and is safe for use in the oven up to 500°F. Dishwasher safe. – all-clad.com
Silicone is a type of synthetic rubber. It is extremely flexible, resistant material with exceptional thermal adaptability making it well suited for kitchen housewares in contact with food and more particularly for baking products subjected to very high temperature.
Silicone cookware – how it’s made
The chemistry of the silicone is mainly mineral because it is based on quartz sand (silicon oxide) and is composed of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms (Si-O-Si-O- …). Silicone is a very common natural element found in sand and rock – it makes up 28% of the earth’s crust. Heat is applied to set the silicone; firstly at the point of manufacture, then followed by a lengthy post-cure process. It can also be injection molded.
Some of the advantages of silicone:
- High resistance to extreme temperatures (till 455°F in continuous use and above 480°F in peak one). And stable mechanical properties in a broad temperature range. This makes silicone cookware suitable for fridge to stovetop/microwave to freezer and can help reduce the need for plastic wrap and foil.
- Silicone rubber does not react with food, liquids and most chemicals or off gas hazardous fumes over its life and while in use.
- It’s stain resistant
- Intrinsic water repellent.
- Resistant to boiling water and aggressive detergents. It’s dishwasher safe too.
- Excellent release properties (non-stick performance).
- It’s very flexible (could also be a disadvantage – hot trays flopping around so use a sheet tray underneath before popping it in the oven)
- It doesn’t warp or deform
- Cools quickly
- Doesn’t hold odors from food
- Non-toxic to aquatic life and soil organisms
Disadvantage of silicone cookware:
- It’s usually more expensive than other types of cookware items
- Some lower quality silicone coatings contain filler that may be hazardous
- Knives and sharp utensils can cut and pierce the rubbery silicone. Great care must be taken when using sharp instruments around silicone.
- It’s not readily biodegradable
The major environmental impacts associated with silicone would be the mining of silicon and the energy used to create the products; but that also applies to metals used in cookware; so in a choice between Teflon coated and silicone cookware; the latter seems to be the more environmentally friendly option.
The filler issue mentioned is an important one as the filler could be made of anything. If you’re set on buying silicone cookware, check with the manufacturer regarding this. To test for filler yourself, twist the item and if white shows up on the bend, the piece likely contains filler. – mastrad.com.fr, greenlivingtips.com, Ezinearticles.com
More about Silicone
The primary advantage that silicone has over numerous other materials is that it is both heat and frost resistant. Silicone can literally be taken out of the freezer and put into a fully heated oven without damage. This can be extremely useful in many kitchens, and it also makes silicone very versatile. The same molds can be used for making both hot and cold foods, which means that cooks will save space by using silicone cookware.
The first use of silicone cookware is as non-stick cookware and molds. Silicone will not adhere to baked goods, making it an excellent choice for things like muffins and cakes. The silicone does not need to be oiled or floured; the batter can simply be poured right into it. When the food is done cooking, the silicone can be gently peeled away, leaving the baked goods intact. Nonstick silicone cookware lines include baking pans of all shapes and sizes, baking mats or sheets, and things like pancake molds, which can be used to make interesting shapes from batter right on the griddle.
Spatulas, stirring spoons, and similar utensils are also made from silicone. They can be used in both hot and cold foods without the risk of damaging the utensil. In addition, silicone has low conductivity, so a cook will not be burned on a silicone spatula left in a hot pot. The flexibility of silicone makes silicone spatulas well suited to cooking things like delicate stocks and sauces, since the spatula can be scraped along the bottom and sides of the pot, ensuring that everything in the pot is stirred. This heat resistant property also makes silicone useful for things like pot grabbers and table mats.
Silicone does not stain or hold smells. Silicone cookware is also dishwasher safe. This means that the kitchen can be kept clean, sweet smelling, and sanitary, even in the midst of a baking frenzy. In addition, most silicone cookware folds, which is an excellent space saving feature. The cookware is also chemically inert, and it should have no impact on human health.
When selecting silicone cookware, make sure to twist it. Twisting will show you how flexible the silicone is, and it will also reveal the use of cheap fillers. If white streaks appear when the silicone cookware is twisted, select cookware made by another manufacturer. - wisegeek.com
A silvery, hard, ductile, ferromagnetic (easily magnetized) metallic element used in alloys, in corrosion-resistant surfaces and batteries, and for electroplating. Most nickel compounds are blue or green. Nickel occurs sparingly in nature in minerals such as pentlandite and niccolite. It is present in most meteorites. Nickel is used especially for mixing with other metals and for plating. Nickel is of the Iron group and it takes on a high polish. It is a fairly good conductor of heat and electricity. The Atomic Number of this element is 28 and the Element Symbol is Ni.
Nickel is largely used as an alloy with other metals. Alloyed with copper it forms coin metal from which five-cent pieces are made, with copper and Zinc it forms German silver, and when added to steel in small quantities nickel steel is formed which is much superior to common steel for certain purposes. When deposited by electrolysis upon the surface of other metals such as iron, it forms a covering which will take a high polish and protects the metal from rust, nickel not being acted upon by moist air. Salts of nickel are usually green. - elementalmatter.info/element-nickel.htm
Stainless steel is the universal name for a number of different steels used primarily for their anti-corrosive element. Stainless steel has been developed to resist a number of corrosive environments. It ensures that our workplaces are safe, that buildings last longer and that our food preparation surfaces are hygienic. It is also an earth friendly material; it can be melted down, recycled and made into something else.
Stainless steel is always made using chromium. The minimum amount of chromium used to make stainless steel is 10.5%; it is chromium that makes the steel stainless. Chromium also improves the corrosion resistance by forming a chromium oxide film on the steel. This very thin layer, when placed under the right conditions, can also be self-repairing.
There are other elements used to make stainless steel as well, including nickel, nitrogen and molybdenum. Bringing these elements together forms different crystal structures that enable a variety of properties in machining, welding and forming.
There are four major types of stainless steel. Of these, austenitic is the most widely used type. It has a nickel content of at least 7%, which makes it very flexible. It is used in a range of houseware products, industrial piping and vessels, constructional structures and architectural facades. - wisegeek.org/what-is-stainless-steel.htm
As a result of its low density, low cost, and corrosion resistance, aluminum is widely used around the world. It is used in an extensive range of products from drinks cans to window frames and boats to aircraft. A Boeing 747-400 contains 147,000 pounds (66,150 kg) of high-strength aluminum.
Unlike some metals, aluminum has no aroma – hence its widespread use in food packaging and cooking pots.
Although not quite as good as silver or copper, aluminum is an excellent electrical conductor. It is also considerably cheaper and lighter than these metals, so it is used widely in overhead power lines.
Of all the metals, only iron is used more widely than aluminum. - lookchem.com/Periodic-Table/Aluminum
Chrome is slang for Chromium, one of the 92 naturally occurring chemical elements. Chrome is a metal, but it is not useful as a solid, pure substance. Things are never made of solid chrome. Rather, when you hear that something is chrome, what is really meant is that there is a thin layer of chrome, a plating of chrome on the object (the bulk of the object usually being steel, but sometimes aluminum, brass, copper, plastic, or stainless steel).
A cause of occasional confusion is the fact that people may tend to describe any shiny finish as "chrome" even when it really has nothing to do with chromium. For example, brightly polished aluminum motorcycle parts, electropolished stainless steel boat rigging, vacuum metalized mylar balloons and helmets, semi-shiny painted wheels, and nickel plated oven racks are sometimes called 'chrome' by the lay person.
Indeed it's not always easy to tell real chrome plating from other finishes if the parts are not side by side. When a chrome plated finish sits right next to another bright finish though, the other finish usually won't compare very favorably.
Chrome plating is more reflective (brighter), bluer (less pale, grayish, or yellowish), and more specular (the reflection is deeper, less distorted, more like a mirror) than other finishes. Put one end of a tape measure against a bright finish, and see how many inches of numbers you can clearly read in the reflection -- you can see skywriting clearly reflected in top quality chrome plating. And there's a hard to define "glint" to chrome plating that almost nothing else has. - finshing.com/faqs/chrome
Beech is a brownish-whitish wood type with a distinctive flecked grain. It is used for the frames of upholstered furniture, and in the making of solid and laminated flooring, decorative veneers, musical instruments, cabinet, brush backs, wooden spoons and handrail parts. It works best with hand and power tools and has good nailing and gluing properties. - ask.com/question/what-type-of-wood-is-beech
Mango trees are well known and popular for their sweet fruit, but did you know that they are one of the best furniture materials that is also sustainable? Other hardwoods take a long time to grow, therefore their price is going to be a bit higher, and are harder to produce due to their scarcity.
Most people have never heard of mango wood furniture, but soon enough they will. There are many good attributes of this material that makes it easy to work with, and cheap to buy. These good points will eventually make them reach or surpass the volume of other hardwood furniture sold.
Mango wood furniture can have a rather unique finish thanks to the great variety of colors a mango heartwood can have. It ranges from light brown to dark brown, some pieces even have a hint of pink. With this great variety, mango tree furniture is unique and give a fresh point to any room or kitchen. It is hard enough to make every day pieces of chairs, even beds and kitchen tables are being manufactured.
Even though it's hard enough to make most furniture, it's still one of the softer variations, working with it is easy and that keeps the costs down. This wood is sustainable. It means that the tree is planted mainly for its fruit which Asian farmers pick and export or use for the local cuisine. It's only timbered when it stops giving the fruits. Because the main trunk grows up to 3-5 feet in diameter and 70-80 feet in height in a very short time span. This makes it possibly the most important furniture material of the future.
In the western world, there is a particular demand for quality hardwood furniture, and while there are other species supplying the industry, such as teak and oak, mango wood is the fastest growing hard wood the industry can use, and it's still easy enough to work with to enable fast and precise processing. - esmein.hubpages.com/hub/mangowood
Bamboo is a 100% renewable source that offers excellent durability and is harder and denser than most hardwoods. Bamboo is a rapidly growing grass that re-grows quickly, as opposed to hardwood trees, which take years to re-grow. It is an Eco-friendly alternative to regular timber sources. It absorbs very little moisture and will not shrink or swell. Its unique engineering, featuring opposing grain end caps reduces the chance of warping. It is strong and naturally anti-bacterial, the perfect medium for cooking utensils. – creativecook.com
Fine crystal is made with minimal amounts of lead. Fine crystal is considered high quality glass. In order for the product to be classified as crystal rather than glass, at least 10% lead oxide has to be present. "The definition of crystal is essentially clear glass," says Glenn DeStefano, the marketing director at Lenox. He has been with the company for five years. "Most people, when they say crystal, are referring to something that has lead in it." Lead is what gives crystal the brilliance. When crystal is fired, lead helps bring out the extraordinary quality of brilliance, sound and texture in the crystal.
"When you see a crystal vase and the light hits it and it sparkles, that is because of lead," says DeStefano. With vases and bowls, the lead content isn't high enough to be harmful. Most of crystal stemware has 24 percent lead content, and most high-end glasses are lead or have lead content in them. "Companies do make higher-end glasses that are lead free, but the harm level within it is not something that could really affect or hurt any human," says DeStefano.
Fine crystal is also related to the level of craftsmanship that goes into each piece. If a piece is made exceptionally well, then it is referred as fine crystal. According to jewelrysupplier.com, some of the finest crystal ever made is from Baccarat in France and Waterford in Ireland. When the crystal production expanded its scope at Baccarat, the company built a reputation for having the best stemware, chandeliers, barware and perfume bottles.
Proper care and usage of fine crystal can help an owner maintain it in top condition and make it last forever. - esortment.com/fine-crystal