Cooking is a real passion of millions of people, who love nothing better than creating their own culinary masterpieces at home. Dinner parties are also hugely popular at the moment in the wake of programmes like 'Come Dine With Me' and hosting a night of food, wine and conversation can be a great way to spend an evening, while allowing you to show off your cooking skills. However, without the right equipment a charming soiree could become a charred disaster if you use shoddy cookware.
The first cooking vessels were made thousands of years ago by our ancestors who must have really struggled to make a stew beforehand. These early pots and pans were earthenware items which at first were porous so couldn't efficiently contain water. However, our cunning predecessors realised that if they glazed their pots with plant gum, and in later times ceramic, they would become watertight. As metalwork skills developed through the ages metals such as bronze and iron started being used to make cookware. By the 17th century western kitchens were filled with metal cookware sets similar to those used today, including pots, skillets, kettles and baking pans.
There is a huge range of cookware available today in all sorts of shapes, sizes and materials, such as the following:
This is a commonly used material in the kitchen; it is highly resistant to corrosion and does not react to either alkaline or acidic foods. Stainless steel cookware is often manufactured with a disk of copper or aluminium in the bottom to help conduct heat.
This material is somewhat slow to heat but provides even heating. It is also able to withstand very high temperatures so is often used for griddle pans which are used to sear steaks, fish and other foods.
Aluminium is extremely efficient at conducting heat. It is also lightweight so ideal for pots and pans that you may have to move around as you're cooking. Anodized aluminium has the natural layer of aluminium oxide thickened with an electrolytic process, which prevent it from being a reactive cooking surface.
Silicone is the newest material to be used for cookware and it is becoming very popular as it has a number of benefits. It is very flexible which means that foods can be easily removed from a pot or pan and it is also very light. As well as this it can withstand heats of up to 360 degrees Celsius.
The above materials all have their evident benefits so think about what kind of dishes you will be using your kitchen equipment for, and choose the best cookware for the job. If you have a look on your local high street it's quite likely that you'll find a cookware sale going on so quality equipment need not cost a fortune. There are also loads of websites where you can buy great cookware online. If you have a passion for cooking and you want to create some gorgeous repasts at home, get yourself some quality cookware.
Procook is the nation's largest specialist in cookware and has everything you could possibly need to cook up a real storm. The company's website allows you to browse and shop from the comfort of your own home so have a look today, at www.procook.co.uk