What is Best to Cook on: Cast Iron, Copper or Stainless Steel?

Posted on December 29, 2021 in AGA

When it comes to cooking on an AGA, you want the best possible material that conducts heat and cooks your food evenly. The best materials to do this are cast-iron, copper and stainless steel but which is best and why? In this article, we will go through each metal to determine which metal is best for you to cook with.


Cast Iron

Cast iron cooking dates back centuries to the Han Dynasty in China, around 220 A.D. Cast iron only became popular in Europe by the 16th century and since then this versatile equipment has been a household staple and for good reason!

Cast iron is long-lasting, durable and has excellent thermal density, meaning that it retains its heat for longer. It’s cheaper than enamelled cast iron and high-quality stainless steel cookware; it’s also easier to clean too!

The downside to cast iron is that the handle gets hot and is much more heavier than other cookware. Bare cast iron is not the best for boiling water and cooking acidic foods like tomatoes, wine braised meats, omelettes, delicate fish, and desserts. This is because they do not react well to iron.

It need re-seasoning every so often and can take longer to heat up. What is seasoning you ask? Seasoning is oil baked into the pan which gives the cookware a smooth finish and makes it more non-stick. It protects the cookware from rust because it separated from the metal surface. Seasoning may put a lot of people off cast iron. However, it’s easy to do, and most cast-iron comes pre-seasoned, so you can use it straight out of the box. Best of all, seasoning slowly builds up over time which adds more flavour to your meals.

AGA is perhaps best-known for its expertise in cast-iron cooking and, as you’d expect, pieces in the range perform brilliantly and look gorgeous. And they’re made in France from 80% recycled material, meaning no resources have been used unnecessarily.

Perfect for good cooking, AGA cast iron cookware accumulates and retains heat which radiates on to food, sealing in the flavours and succulence. Superb oven to tableware – keeping food warm and ready for seconds. The range is suitable for use with all heat sources, including induction, and the casseroles feature a heat-resistant stainless-steel knob and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Check out the AGA cast-iron cookware range here


Copper

Copper pots and pans are not only stylish to hang from the kitchen ceiling or wall, they are an amazing thermal conductor which cooks your food evenly and tolerates high heats for searing. This also reduces the danger of scorching since the temperature can be regulated more easily, meaning that it is possible to cook with less energy. However, like cast-iron cookware, copper is relatively expensive but if looked after, it can last for decades. Overtime, they will need to be re-tinned to increase the longevity but it means your pans will last you a lifetime.

One of the key things to know about copper is that it's reactive. Acids like vinegar and tomatoes can leach copper into the food; over time, the ingestion of copper can be harmful. For this reason, most copper cookware is lined with tin to keep you and the food – safe.

For excellent copper cookware, check out De Buyer - a family-run French cookware manufacturer, founded in 1830, well-known in professional kitchens and for their expertise.


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware is the go-to for cookware as it's reasonably priced, easy to maintain and very durable. Unlike cast-iron and copper, it does not react to acidic foods. However, it may leach heavy metal into the food depending how long you cook the acidic foods for. Also, stainless steel can contain iron, chromium, and nickel, the latter having no nutritional benefit in the body.

AGA Cookshop stainless steel cookware is superior Swiss-made 18/10 that features a heavy 6mm super-thermic encapsulated base which gravitates towards the heat source, providing perfect contact with the hot plate or induction hob, resulting in even cooking. The unique lid design allows you to stack your pans inside the simmering oven. All wrapped up in a chic and contemporary brushed finish with polished furniture, this range of cookware in one no AGA owner can live without.

Check out the AGA Stainless Steel Cookware Range here


To Summarise

Cast-iron, copper and stainless steel cookware are all exceptional options. The main thing to take away from this article is that the more you look after your AGA cookware, whatever the metal, the more they will last you a lifetime. Ultimately, choosing which one to go for depends on your cooking style, your budget and what features you find the most useful or essential. Whether that'd be cookware to tableware or your love of tomato sauces! All three are viable options and are worth the investment as an AGA owner.

Winter Offer

Right now, you can enjoy up to 35% off selected AGA cookware in their fabulous winter sale. Save on cookware essentials, gorgeous textiles and the only cleaning range approved by AGA. T&Cs apply.

Visit the AGA Cookshop Website