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The ultimate guide to...

Cookware

Our cookware buying guide will help you decide on the range of pots and pans that best caters to your cooking needs. So whether you're buying new cookware for a new kitchen or you're simply replenishing old stock, Debenhams' cookware buying guide has the answer.

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Hard Adonised

A chemical process, which converts the natural oxide coating on aluminium, is used when making hard anodised pans. This process is not a coating - it's an integral part of the pan, making it extremely durable.

Special Features

  • Hard Anodised aluminium is extremely hard (twice as hard as stainless steel) and very resistant to abrasion by cooking implements or scourers
  • It is an excellent heat conductor and allows you to cook your food to perfection
  • They are easy to clean.

Useful tip

  • Hard Anodised finishes have a low resistance to the alkalis used in dishwasher detergents, and it is recommended not to put hard anodised in the dishwasher. However, some hard-anodised pans now have an exterior coating intended to protect the anodised aluminium from the effects of these detergents. Check the pan maker's literature.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pans are made by combining steel with chromium to ensure that they are corrosion resistant and nickel for strength and ductility. The grade used to describe such cookware is known as 18/10 (18% chromium and 10% nickel).

Special Features

  • Stainless steel is a hard metal that gives an excellent polished finish, and resists scratches and dents. Its smooth surface is very hygienic
  • It is extremely durable and hard wearing
  • Stainless steel does not react with food.

Useful tip

  • Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat, so make sure that if you buy a stainless steel pan it has the addition of a high conductivity aluminium or copper base to prevent food from burning.

Aluminimum / non-stick

Aluminium pans are made with a strong outer enamel coating making it easy to clean and hard wearing. The non-stick interior protects your food from sticking to the bottom surface and resists any scratching that can occur when cleaning. Invest in a good quality aluminium / non-stick pan which can last up to several years.

Special Features

  • An excellent heat conductor, second only to copper
  • It is lightweight making it easy to handle
  • Available in attractive coloured exteriors to match your style of kitchen.
  • Useful tip

  • Make sure you don't over heat the pan as this can damage the inner non-stick coating.

Cast Iron - Le Creuset

Each piece of Le Creuset cast iron is unique - produced in its own 'sand mould' during the initial casting process. This casting process is strictly controlled to ensure the optimum mix of ingredients and firing temperature to attain the highest standard. Once cast, each piece is then inspected and prepared for two layers of vitreous enamel to be applied. The vitreous enamel is a glass material that seals each piece giving it an extremely hardwearing finish that has high resistance to acid and alkalis used in food and dishwasher detergents.

Special features

  • Excellent heat retention
  • Extremely easy to clean
  • Suitable for use on all heat sources including induction
  • Versatile - can be used on the hob, in the oven, under the grill
  • Vitreous enamel is hard wearing and non porous
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Available in different colour ways to match or compliment your kitchen.
  • No need to pre season before use
  • Lifetime guarantee.
  • Useful tip

  • Cast iron is a naturally heavy material and this may not suit some users. However, in cooking, the weight of the material becomes its strength and ensures even heat spread: energy efficient use on the hob and in the oven and unsurpassed heat retaining qualities.

Stoneware

This cookware made from stoneware undergoes tough glazing so that they won't scratch or crack. They are also extremely versatile and can be used in the oven up to 260C, under the grill, in the microwave and in the freezer.

Special Features

  • Very strong and durable - resists chipping, cracking or staining, will not scratch
  • Easy to clean, hygienic enamelled surface - will not absorb odours or flavours, resists moisture absorption
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Available in bright colours.
  • Useful tip

  • Stoneware items are primarily used for baking so avoid putting directly onto heat.

Porcelain

Porcelain has a lovely whiteness and translucency which is attained by firing white clay at a high temperature to make it become glass-like. This means that it is non-absorbent (so it will not discolour) and because it is heat resistant and can be very thinly moulded, is ideal for cooking use. Porcelain cookware cannot endure direct contact with heat, especially high heat.

Special Features

  • Elegant and durable, porcelain bakeware is a classic oven-to-table range, perfect for entertaining.
  • Due to the fact is it fired at a higher temperature than other ceramics, porcelain is completely vitrified so it is resistant to acid and absorbs no moisture or odours.
  • Useful tip

  • Oven (to 240 degrees celsius) and dishwasher safe. It will crack if exposed to sudden changes in temperature (not suitable for use on hobs or freezing).