What Is Seasoned Cookware?

Seasoning CookwareIf you’ve shopped for cast iron or carbon steel cookware, you’ve probably seen the word “pre-seasoned” in the pan’s description. Pre-seasoned cookware has been specially treated with a coating of oil to create a non-stick surface. Certain types of cookware benefit from seasoning. It improves the pan’s performance and makes clean-up a breeze. I also highly recommend keeping up with seasoning your cast iron cookware! You’ll thank me later.

What Types of Cookware Are Seasoned?

Most types of cookware do not need to be seasoned. Cast iron and carbon steel benefit most from seasoning, but tin and hard-coat aluminum may also be seasoned.

Seasoning does more than just provide a non-stick surface. In the case of cast iron cookware, seasoning also prevents the pan from rusting. This is the primary reason why most cast iron pots and pans are pre-seasoned before they are shipped to the consumer. Without this protective coating, the pan may rust before it arrives at the store or the consumer’s home.

In some cases, cast iron and carbon steel cookware will arrive unseasoned. In this case, the manufacturer will provide instructions on how to properly season the pan. The pan must be seasoned before it can be used.

How to Season Cookware

Seasoning is fairly simple and straightforward. The process is lengthy, but it’s mostly hands-off. All you need is some cooking oil and time.

Cast iron connoisseurs will tell you that the type of oil you use makes a difference, but most manufacturers will state that any type of cooking oil can be used. The most common and popular oil choices are:

  • Flaxseed oil (the preferred type)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lard
  • Shortening

Some people also use coconut and olive oil to season their pans, but not everyone succeeds with these oils. Shortening, vegetable oil and flaxseed oil are the preferred methods and are generally foolproof.

To season cast iron cookware:

  • Start off with a clean pan.
  • Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature.
  • Apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the interior and exterior of the pan. Some people also apply the oil to the handles of the pan. If you do decide to do this, be very careful when handling the pan as the handle will be slippery.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place it on the bottom shelf of the oven. The lined pan will be used to catch any oil that may drip from the cast iron pan.
  • Place the cast iron pan in the oven, and allow the seasoning to “bake” for approximately one hour.
  • Turn off the oven and allow the pan to cool inside.
  • Store in a dry, cool place.

Cast iron cookware will need to be re-seasoned from time to time. When food begins sticking to the surface of the pan, it’s time to re-season.

When purchasing seasoned cookware, it’s important to remember that this is just a basic seasoning. To create a lasting non-stick surface, you must cook with quite a bit of fat until you have built up a nice, thick layer of seasoning. To preserve the seasoning, cleaning with just a towel and kosher salt is recommended.

Check out this awesome video on how to season a cast iron skillet!


What Is The Healthiest Type Of Cookware?

Healthy CookwareWhen it comes to cookware, heat distribution shouldn’t be your only concern. Some cooking materials may leach metals and other materials into your food, which may harm your health and alter the flavor of your food. If health is your primary concern when cooking in the kitchen, the cookware materials below are the healthiest choices.

Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware has been used for centuries. A well-seasoned cast iron pan offers an excellent non-stick surface, and the heat distribution with this type of cookware is superb. Cooking with cast iron will also add a little extra iron to your meals, which is beneficial for most families.

These pans do leech trace amounts of iron into foods, so if you have a health condition that puts you at risk for iron overload, this may not be a healthy cookware choice for you.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most affordable types of cookware, and it also happens to be one of the healthiest. Stainless steel is more stable than other cookware materials and far less prone to leaching. This means that meals cooked in stainless steel cookware are delicious and healthy.

Stainless steel pots and pans often feature aluminum or copper cores, which helps improve heat conductivity. However, these materials will not leach into foods as they are surrounded by layers of stainless steel.


Stoneware is an excellent choice for roasting or baking foods. This type of cookware is made from stoneware or special fire clay. Stoneware is made from natural materials, and does not need to be glazed. It heats evenly and provides great flavor.

The biggest concern with stoneware is cleaning. Soap should be avoided as the pan will absorb the flavor. Aside from this, stoneware is an excellent and healthier alternative to aluminum roasting pans and baking sheets.

Corningware and Glass

Corningware and glass can be tricky to cook with, but it’s one of the healthiest ways to cook simply because the material does not leach any kind of material into the food. There are only two concerns with glass cookware.

  1. Lids don’t seal tightly.
  2. Glass cookware can be damaged by thermal shock.

Aside from these two minor issues, cooking with glassware is a pleasure, and you can rest assured that the cookware is not leaching any harmful material into your food.


Like stoneware, ceramic cookware does not leach any material into foods. Ceramic is easy to clean and offers a non-stick cooking surface. Ceramic can be washed in the dishwasher, and you can even use steel wool or scrubbing pads without damaging the surface. If you are searching for durable, non-stick, healthy cookware, ceramic is a great choice.

These are the healthiest types of cookware you can buy. If you want to take things a bit further and reduce the amount of oils you cook with, ceramic and a well-seasoned cast iron pan are your best options. However, any one of these cooking materials will allow you to cook healthy, delicious meals that your whole family will love.


Should I Buy A Cookware Set Or Individual Pots And Pans?

All-Clad Stainless Steel 14-Piece Cookware SetOne of the first questions people ask when buying cookware is, “Should I buy a cookware set, or individual pots and plans?” It can be difficult to answer this question because it really depends on your cooking style, your budget and how many cookware pieces you currently own. In some cases, purchasing a set is the best option, and other times, purchasing individual pieces is more practical. When deciding whether or not to buy a cookware set, consider the following:

Are You Starting From Scratch?

If you’re just starting your collection, a cookware set may be a great option. Generally, sets offer a better value than purchasing individual pots and pans and will provide you with all of the basic cookware pieces you need.

However, the two points below (budget and cooking style) also need to be taken into consideration. If you’re on a tight budget and you only cook a few times a week, purchasing three or four individual pieces may be a more cost effective option.

Are You On a Tight Budget?

If you’re on a tight budget, purchasing individual pieces may be the best option, especially if you’re just starting your cookware collection. If you decide to go this route, you can purchase just the cookware pieces you need. A basic saucepan, skillet and stock pot will allow you to take on just about any cooking task.

What is Your Cooking Style?

Another important thing to consider is your cooking style. Certain cookware pieces are better suited for certain tasks. You may not want a complete set of non-stick cookware. You may prefer a nonstick griddle for cooking eggs, a copper core sauté pan for browning meats and a stainless steel stock pot for cooking stock. In this case, purchasing individual pieces is the best option.

Pros and Cons of Cookware Sets

There are some advantages and disadvantages to purchasing cookware sets.


  • Offers great value.
  • Includes a variety of cookware pieces.


  • May include cookware pieces you do not need.
  • Only one type of cookware material is offered.

Pros and Cons of Individual Pots and Pans

Purchasing pots and pans individually also has its advantages and disadvantages.


  • Allows you to purchase cookware that does exactly what you want.
  • A variety of cookware can be purchased.
  • Allows you to purchase only the pots and pans you need.


  • Purchasing pieces individually may be more expensive, especially if you’re starting your cookware collection from scratch.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Unless you are starting your collection from scratch, the general consensus is that purchasing individual pots and pans is the best option. In doing so, you purchase only the cookware pieces you need and can continue adding to your collection over the years.

However, it’s hard to ignore the value and benefits that the best cookware sets offer. If a cookware set offers all of the pieces you need at a great price, purchasing the set is clearly the best option. Knowing what you want and how much you can spend on cookware will help you make your final decision.


What Is The Most Affordable Cookware?

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Budget Image

Affordable cookware that performs well is hard to come by. Sure, you can find cookware sets for under $50, but how long will they last? If your cookware is only lasting a few years before it needs to be replaced, is it really affordable? This is why in the cookware industry, the term affordable doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap.” It means that a set of cookware is reasonably priced and will provide you with several years of use. Is that something you really want? Let’s take a look at what the most affordable cookware is.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is largely considered the most affordable cookware. It’s possible to find multi-piece sets for under $100 that perform well and will offer you many years of use if you take good care of it. The great thing about stainless steel is that it doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance. Most stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe. Even those that aren’t are generally easy to clean.

It’s also possible to find stainless steel pots with aluminum encapsulated bottoms that improve heat distribution. This improves the cookware’s performance without inflating the price tag. For everyday cooking tasks, stainless steel is the most affordable option.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is also a great choice for those who are on a budget. Much like stainless steel, you can find multi-piece sets for under $100. Cast iron is revered for its exceptional heat retention and distribution. This type of cookware has been used for centuries, and providing you care for your cast iron cookware properly, it can easily last you a lifetime. The biggest issue is keeping the pan seasoned and preventing rust.

If durability and performance are your primary concern, cast iron is the most affordable choice.

Hard Anodized

Hard anodized cookware is another affordable and popular choice with home cooks. Part of its appeal, aside from its low price tag, is its non-stick capabilities. Most cookware in this category features a non-stick surface, so clean-up is a breeze. You can also cook with less oil, fat and butter.

While there are high-end hard anodized cookware sets that cost several hundred dollars, there are also more affordable options that run between $70 and $120 for multi-piece sets. If easy cleanup and healthy cooking are your main concerns, hard anodized is one of the most affordable options out there.

Most stainless steel, cast iron and hard anodized cookware sets are similarly priced, so finding the right option for you will largely depend on your own personal cooking style.


What Is The Best Type Of Cookware?

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Best ImageNot all cookware is created equal. Finding the best type can be a challenge simply because what one cook considers the best may not be the best option for another cook. While you should take your cooking style into consideration when purchasing cookware, understanding which materials perform better than others can help you make a smart purchasing decision.

Best Type of Cookware Overall

The absolute best cookware type overall would have to be copper. It’s pricey, but copper cookware provides unmatched heat distribution and temperature control. It responds almost immediately to temperature changes, so it’s ideal for cooking temperature-sensitive dishes and delicate sauces.

The biggest gripe with copper cookware, aside from the cost, is maintenance. Pure copper pans are reactive to food and can discolor if they are overheated. On top of this, regular polishing is necessary to keep the pan’s natural shine and to remove tarnish. To make matters worse, pure copper is not compatible with induction cooktop surfaces.

The good news is that most modern copper cookware sets are lined with stainless steel. This ensures that the pan is non-reactive while still preserving the beneficial qualities of copper. Polishing is still necessary in most cases, and some manufacturers also sell accessories that allow the cookware to be compatible with induction cooktops.

Copper is, hands down, the best type of cookware as far as performance is concerned, but its high price tag often puts it well out of reach of the everyday consumer. Unless you’re a professional or a very serious cook, copper cookware may not be the best option for you.

Best Type of Cookware for Everyday Use

For the everyday cook, stainless steel is often the best choice. Not only is stainless steel durable, it’s easy to care for and is often constructed with other metals to improve the pan’s heat distribution.

Today, you can find stainless steel cookware sets that feature copper or aluminum cores surrounded by layers of stainless steel. This combines the heat distribution properties of these two materials with the easy maintenance of stainless steel. Unlike other cookware materials, stainless steel is non-reactive and resistant to rust, corrosion and stains. You can even find pans with non-stick coatings for even easier maintenance. As an added bonus, most stainless steel cookware is compatible with induction cooktop surfaces.

Even serious cooks often prefer stainless steel. It gets the job done, and it does so with ease. Plus, stainless steel pots and pans are often far more affordable than copper. Even high-end stainless steel sets are much more affordable than professional copper cookware. With stainless steel, you’ll find cookware sets in every price range from under $100 to $500+. Stainless steel may not beat copper in performance, but it’s the preferred choice of cookware for the everyday consumer.

Remember, the best type of cookware is one that works well with your own cooking style. Copper is the best performance cookware, but if you don’t have the budget or time to maintain this type of cookware, it will not be the best option for you.


Is Expensive Cookware The Best? Does Cost Really Matter?

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Does Cost MatterMost people are under the impression high-priced cookware is the best in terms of durability and performance. For the most part, this is true, but there are some things that need to be considered. Even high-end cookware has its flaws, and if the cookware is not convenient or easy for you to use, it’s really not the best option for you.

What Determines the Cost of Cookware?

There are many reasons why high-end cookware is expensive. Generally, these pots and pans are crafted with the highest quality materials.

Some pots and pans are specially constructed with multiple layers of different cookware materials. Clad cookware is a great example of this. These feature an aluminum or copper core surrounded by layers of stainless steel. This construction combines the excellent heat distribution and conductivity of copper with the durability and easy cleaning of stainless steel.

Generally, high-priced cookware is worth every penny, but this isn’t a rule that’s written in stone. There are some things that need to be considered when looking at cookware in any price range.


Just because a set of cookware has a high price tag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will last you a lifetime. Even more expensive non-stick cookware is not invulnerable to scratching and chipping. In fact, non-stick has a bad reputation for not being very durable. Most people replace their cookware every two to five years. Why spend so much on a piece of cookware that will need to be replaced after just a few years of use?

On the other hand, investing in an expensive cast iron, stainless steel or clad piece of cookware will likely be worth the price. These tend to be durable and well-constructed. Unless you purchase enameled cast iron, there really is no concern over chipping.

Ease of Use

High-priced cookware may be high quality, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll use it. Before investing in high-end cookware, check it out in person. Pick up the pots and pans to see how heavy or light they are. If a set of cookware is too heavy or includes items you don’t normally use, it may just wind up sitting in the back of your cabinet collecting dust. It doesn’t matter how much a piece of cookware costs, if you don’t enjoy cooking with it, it’s worthless.


Experience is another thing to consider. Copper is well-regarded as being the best type of cookware, and sets can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. However, if you’re used to cooking with non-stick or stainless steel cookware, you may not enjoy cooking with copper. An expensive piece of cookware is only worth the price if you’re actually going to use it.

As you can see, expensive cookware isn’t necessarily the best. It largely depends on what your cooking style is and the type of cookware you are considering. High price does not always equate to high durability, and some materials are easier to work with than others. Cookware with a high price tag is only worth the cost if you enjoy using it and it provides you with decades of use.