Mar 31, 2011

Choosing the Best Cookware for Your Kitchen

James Sy explains the details of
this beautiful, shiny (and heavy!)
pan to the author
So last Friday, hubby and I attended the Sunnex cooking demo and media launch of Sunnex's Mitchie Chef's Classics cookware collection.

And in addition to getting some cooking tip and tricks from Chef Mitchie Sison, I also learned a few ways to make sure that the cookware I'm getting is of the best quality.

(Special thanks to LJS Group of Companies president and CEO James Sy for taking the time to personally explain the products to this humble nanay. What a very nice man!)

Tip 1: Avoid aluminum cookware. Because I don't cook, I did not know that aluminum cookware affects the taste of food because aluminum is a reactive metal.

Now I understand why my aunt would rather use her clay pots rather than aluminum pots for cooking pinangat.

Tip 2: Look for stainless steel cookware with aluminum bottoms. Unlike aluminum, stainless steel is non-reactive: it does not ruin the taste of food and does not discolor easily either. But it has a disadvantage: it is slow to heat up.

To speed up the heating of the bottom of the pan, there should be an aluminum sheet lining the entire pan bottom, because aluminum heats up quickly.

Close-up of the high-impact bonded
stainless steel capsulated aluminum
Tip 3: Make sure the bottom of the pot or pan you're getting is entirely covered with aluminum.

It is a common practice of cookware manufacturers to sandwich or encapsulate the aluminum sheet between two layers of stainless steel because exposed aluminum discolors and makes the pot look unattractive.

The problem is, this practice makes it difficult for you to gauge if there is really aluminum sandwiched between the sheet and if the aluminum lines the entire pot bottom.

You can test this at home by boiling water in your pot. If the bubbles come from all over the bottom surface, then the bottom is fully lined with aluminum. If the bubbles come from just the center where the fire is, you've been cheated.

To avoid getting cheated, always get your pots and pans from reputable dealers who have a name to protect.

Tip 4: Silicon cookware should be unadulterated by plastic or natural rubber. Silicon is a good, durable, heat-resistant material, which makes it ideal for cookware. But some unscrupulous manufacturers mix their silicon products with plastic or natural rubber to make them cheaper. The problem is, the moment silicon is mixed with these other materials, it will melt into your food. Who wants food with rubber or plastic in it?

To know if your silicon cookware is made of pure silicon, bend it and check for the appearance of white lines. Pure silicon products will not show these white lines, so if you find them, watch out!

Tip 5: If you get an induction stove, make sure your cookware is induction ready. Induction stoves are great for households with children. They help prevent burns, are power efficient, and look simply classy.

But if your cookware is not induction ready, it will not work with your induction stove.

The Mitchie Chef's Classics pots and pans are all induction ready and made of die-cast surgical-grade stainless steel with riveted handles and pure silicon-covered handles and lid knobs.

That last feature means you can grip them without needing to use pot holders. The silicon grips can also withstand heat up to 200 degrees Celsius, so you can put them in the oven and bake stuff in them without fear of the silicon melting.

The bottoms of these pots and pans are fully lined with aluminum, which is encapsulated in the same high-grade stainless steel, so the pots and pans will heat up quickly and evenly without sacrificing the taste and health benefits of your food.

Because the pots and pans are die-cast—meaning the stainless steel was melted then poured into molds to form the shapes of the pots and pans—these pieces of cookware are very sturdy and will neither crack, warp, or even discolor. You can pass them right on to your grandchildren.

Sunnex's Mitchie Chef's Classics line of cookware can be bought at SM department stores, in the kitchenware section, and at SM Hypermart.

To learn more about Sunnex products, you can call 713-9435 to 38 or Like the Sunnex Philippines page on Facebook.

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