WHEN it comes to choosing the best saucepan for your home, the material it’s made from is the most important thing to consider.
It will affect everything from price and quality to the type of hob you can use it on. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the best pan material?
There is no true best material for saucepans – it all depends on what you’re looking for and the price you’re willing to pay.
Some of the most widely available pans are made from stainless steel, aluminium, cast iron or copper.
Each of these metals have their own qualities and benefits, which is why many modern pans now use a combination to produce the best results.
Aluminium for example is a fairly cheap metal that’s lightweight and conducts heat easily.
But it will need a coating or other treatment to protect it from alkaline and acidic foods, and a base made from another metal for it to work with induction hobs.
You can also get hard anodised aluminium, where the metal has been treated to create an extremely tough coating that's even stronger than stainless steel.
Stainless steel is usually a good shout as it’s durable, scratch resistant and usually induction hob friendly.
You’ll need a splash more oil during cooking though, as foods can stick to the bottom of the pan easily.
Cast iron is great for slow cooking as it retains heat well, but it’s heavy, expensive and takes ages to heat up.
It will work on induction hobs, but its rough surface may end up scratching the glass if you’re not careful.
Finally there’s copper, which can last a lifetime and is loved by chefs. While it conducts heat well, it needs special care to keep its sheen and it will need a special coating to stop it from reacting to acidic foods.
Like aluminium, it will also need a base made from another metal to work on induction hobs.
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