Guide to Cookware and Bakeware

Guide to Cookware and Bakeware: Complete Cookware Production Line
Guide to Cookware and Bakeware: Complete Cookware Production Line

This guide is organized primarily for retail buyers and knowledgeable consumers as an easy reference handbook and includes as much information as possible for cookware and bakeware.

The information carries readers from primitive cooking through to today’s use of the most progressive technology in manufacturing. Year after year, buyers and knowledgeable consumers find this guide to be an invaluable tool in selecting useful desirable productions for those who ultimately will use it in their own kitchens.

Consumers will find this guide helpful in learning about materials and methods used to make cookware. Such knowledge leads to the selection of quality equipment that can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance, information that is also found within this guide. Any reader even glancing through the text and illustrations will gain a better appreciation of one of the oldest and most durable products mankind has ever devised.

Embark on a culinary journey with a comprehensive guide to cookware and bakeware, the essential tools that transform raw ingredients into delectable dishes. From understanding the different types of cookware and bakeware to selecting the right materials and features, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and elevate your cooking experience.

Cookware: The Essentials for Every Kitchen

Cookware forms the backbone of any kitchen, providing the vessels for versatile cooking techniques. Here’s a breakdown of essential cookware pieces:

  1. Pots: The workhorses of the kitchen, pots come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different cooking tasks. Stockpots are ideal for preparing large batches of soups and stews, while saucepans are versatile for sauces, simmering, and everyday cooking.
  2. Skillets: Skillets, also known as frying pans, are indispensable for sautéing, searing, and stir-frying. Choose from various materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, and aluminum, each with its unique properties.
  3. Dutch Ovens: These versatile cookware pieces excel in slow cooking, braising, and baking. Their heavy-duty construction retains heat evenly, resulting in flavorful and tender dishes.
  4. Roasters: Roasters are designed for roasting meats, poultry, and vegetables, ensuring even heat distribution and succulent results. They often feature raised sides to prevent splattering and allow for easy maneuvering of food.

Bakeware: Sweet Creations Await

Bakeware transforms your kitchen into a pastry paradise, enabling you to create delightful desserts and baked goods. Here are the essential bakeware pieces:

  1. Baking Pans: Baking pans come in various shapes and sizes, from rectangular pans for cakes and brownies to square pans for cookies and bars. Choose pans made from durable materials that distribute heat evenly for consistent baking.
  2. Cake Pans: Cake pans are essential for crafting layered cakes, bundt cakes, and angel food cakes. Select pans with the appropriate size and shape for your desired creations.
  3. Muffin Pans: Muffin pans are perfect for individual servings of muffins, cupcakes, and mini quiches. Choose pans with non-stick surfaces for easy release of baked goods.
  4. Mixing Bowls: Mixing bowls are indispensable for preparing batters, doughs, and fillings. Select bowls in various sizes to accommodate different tasks, from whisking delicate batters to kneading dough.
  5. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy is key in baking, and measuring cups and spoons ensure precise ingredient proportions. Choose sets that include various sizes for measuring both dry and liquid ingredients.

Selecting the Right Materials

The material of your cookware and bakeware significantly impacts its performance, durability, and suitability for different cooking methods. Here’s a breakdown of common materials:

  1. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is a versatile and popular choice for cookware and bakeware due to its durability, corrosion resistance, and ease of cleaning. It is suitable for various cooking methods, including sautéing, simmering, and roasting.
  2. Cast Iron: Cast iron is known for its exceptional heat retention and ability to develop a natural non-stick surface over time. It is ideal for slow cooking, searing, and baking.
  3. Aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight, conducts heat evenly, and is generally affordable. It is suitable for sautéing, frying, and baking.
  4. Anodized Aluminum: Anodized aluminum is a type of aluminum treated with an electrochemical process that enhances its durability and resistance to scratches. It is often used for cookware that requires frequent use.
  5. Copper: Copper is renowned for its exceptional heat conductivity, allowing for precise temperature control. It is often used in high-end cookware for delicate cooking techniques.

Additional Considerations: Features and Durability

When selecting cookware and bakeware, consider features like handles, lids, and non-stick coatings. Handles should be heat-resistant, comfortable to grip, and securely attached. Lids should fit snugly to retain heat and moisture. Non-stick coatings make cleanup easier but may require special care.

Durability is crucial for long-lasting cookware and bakeware. Choose pieces made from high-quality materials and consider their suitability for the intended cooking methods. Proper care and maintenance will extend the lifespan of your cookware and bakeware.


Navigating the world of cookware and bakeware can be an exciting journey, filled with the promise of culinary adventures. With this guide as your companion, you’ll be equipped to select the right tools, explore diverse cooking techniques, and create dishes that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests. Embrace the joy of cooking and let your culinary creativity flourish!

History of Cooking and Cookware

Any instruction in cooking would start at the beginning, of course, with the origin of cooking. Archaeological evidence reveals that humans first applied flames to raw food as far back as the first known use of fire about 800,000 years ago. It’s not known exactly why the earliest humans began cooking food, although its assumed they preferred the change in texture or flavor.

The first cookware tool may have been a hot flat stone upon which meat could be placed in a fire. Another early cooking utensil included a skewer, which held food away from direct contact with fire to prevent burning. Later cooking methods developed with the first use of pottery dating as far back as 10,000 B.C., which allowed food to be boiled in liquids.

Techniques, such as simmering, stewing, frying, baking and roasting were introduced as ancient techniques evolved. One of the first uses of metal was to form a cooking tool. The resulting utensils were of such value they were listed in some of the earliest wills on record and were bequeathed by their owners to the next generations.

Cooking Today

Cooking has greatly evolved to a point where a wide variety of cookware materials are utilized, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron. Metals combined with other metals create additional products, such as stainless steel combined with copper, aluminum tin, or chrome.

Porcelain enamel or organic-coated steel, iron, and aluminum are also available. Like metal cookware, ceramic cookware has been available for centuries. In the last hundred years, heat-resistant glass and glass-ceramic cooking utensils emerged. With the increased popularity of microwave cooking, heat-resistant plastic materials, including silicone materials, advanced into new and unique shapes for ovenware.

Cookware and bakeware manufacturers offer thousands of different products, many for general-purpose use and nearly as many for specialized use. The choices are staggering, but rest easy! This guide offers comfortable navigation through cooking methods, the properties of common materials, and the attributes of products to make buying and selling cookware simple. The quality and durability of cookware and bakeware have increased markedly within the past decade assuring a better value today than at any time in the past.

Current Trends

Most consumers are stressed about time. They want cookware and bakeware that performs quickly and is easy to clean. Cookware and bakeware choices are expanding as manufacturers seek niche products that forward-looking and sophisticated consumers will adopt. High-temperature, engineered plastics, such as silicone, appear commonly now in bakeware and as accent trims on handles and lids.

Complete Cookware Production Line
Complete Cookware Production Line

Consumers are more adventurous when it comes to cuisines. Many different types of cooking intrigue sophisticated consumers. Men are cooking. And, not just outside on a grill. Men are often less price sensitive when it comes to purchasing cookware and bakeware, regarding it in the same manner as other tools used to make life easier. Cooking is now part of home entertainment.

The kitchen is an integral space within a family’s home. Guests feel comfortable in the kitchen, too, even pitching in to help cook. Young people are learning to prepare foods from television cooking shows, more so now than through traditional home economics classes offered previously in American educational systems. Celebrity chefs catch the attention of savvy consumers, which makes cooking fun and a form of art.

Cooking Methods

Heat Transfer

Cooking is essentially the transfer of heat from the heat source to food. Simple enough by definition, yet, cooking is achieved using various forms of heat, and different principals of heat transfer and is influenced by the thermal conductivity of the cooking tool used.

The variables that create and affect heat transfer will be explained in the following section. Understanding the fundamental concepts of heat transfer is essential because the way a person prefers to cook should be considered when that individual selects cookware and bakeware to use at home.

Conduction in Cookware

In conduction heating, heat spreads across the bottom of the cookware used and is conveyed up its sides from the heat source. Heat is transferred directly to the food mass as the equipment heats. An example of this would be the sautéing of vegetables or stir-frying.

For conduction to take place, there must be direct contact between the heat source and the pan. For this reason, conduction cooking is limited if not impossible in oven baking because there is no direct contact between the cookware and heat source. Many foods are prepared by conducting using top-of-range cookware, so it is important that the cookware be made of good heat-conducting material.

The conductivity of the pan is dependent not only on its material but the thickness of the material. The conductive rates shown here assume equal thicknesses of the materials. Notice in the Table of Heat Conductivity left, that glass cookware used on a stove-top is resistant to conduction since glass is a poor conductor of heat (although glass is an excellent insulator). There is a benefit to less conductive cookware, however.

The more quickly a pan heats up, or conducts, the more quickly it will cool. This is why for long, slow food preparation, for soups, stews, and similar recipes, for example, less conductive equipment may be desired, in that it will hold heat for a longer period of time.

Copper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.00
Aluminum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.50
Steels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.25
Iron and Steel (single wall) . . . . . . . . . . . .0.10
Porcelain Steels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.16
Porcelain Irons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.10
Glass Ceramics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0025
Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than 0.0025


Heat transfer is never by convection alone. In the heating process, convection modifies or controls the rate of heat conduction. In a saucepan on the stovetop, for example, fluids in the food first begin to heat by conduction.

The heat rises by convection and increases the temperature of uncooked food portions. As the hot and cool food particles intermingle, the food mass uniformly warms. When the oven is baking, air near the heat source rises and circulates, only to be replaced by cooler air. The heated air, moving in convection currents, penetrates the food, assisting in
the cooking process.

This is a reason why convection ovens, which use small fans to intensify the circulation of heated air, cook more quickly than conventional ovens.


With induction cooking, an electromagnetic unit or coil beneath a ceramic cooking surface creates a magnetic electric current. This magnetic field passes through the cooking surface to ferrous (e.g. magnetic material like iron or steel) cookware.

The electric current and the resistance of a ferrous metal together create heat that cooks food. Therefore, heat is induced into the cookware, not transferred to it by the cooktop. The only heat generated is in the cookware itself, so the stovetop remains relatively cool. Thus, induction cooking is energy efficient since almost no heat or energy is wasted beyond the edge of the pan and because heating stops immediately when the pan is removed.

Cookware used for induction heating must have magnetic properties. Non-magnetic metal, such as aluminum cannot be used on induction ranges unless it contains a core or disk of magnetic material.


Like sound and light, radiation is emitted in waves. Radiation does not require direct contact with a heat source, liquids or air. Radiation is the reason a person can feel hot even on a cool day when they are in direct sunlight.

The heat source in a broiler or an oven produces heat waves. These heat waves are radiated to the food mass and as a result, penetrate and heat the food. In a typical oven, more than half of the heat is radiant energy.
The transfer of radiant heat relies on the ability of cookware to absorb the radiant heat energy.

Dark or blackened surfaces absorb radiant heat, while shiny, bright surfaces reflect it. Food is baked by a combination of convection, radiation, and some conduction. This is why recipes placed in dark baking dishes often require less baking time than when placed
in shiny pans.

Cookware and Bakeware Production and Manufacturing Machines
Cookware and Bakeware Production and Manufacturing Machines


Microwaves are electromagnetic currents of energy, not heat. In microwave ovens, electromagnetic waves are created by a special generator called a magnetron. The microwaves pass into food and generate heat within liquid molecules.

Liquid water molecules heat most efficiently in a microwave. Fat and sugar molecules also heat with microwave energy, but less quickly than water. Microwaves bounce off metallic walls in a microwave oven and penetrate food from all angles, passing directly through the cookware. For this reason, cookware that is made of glass, ceramic, plastic, and paper can be used in microwave ovens. Metallic cookware would reflect the microwaves away from the food. Some microwave cookware contains a safe combination of materials for safe, controlled cooking.

Materials in Cookware: Aluminium

Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat making it one of the more popular materials used in the construction of cookware. Because of this quality, heat spreads quickly and evenly across the bottom, up the sides and across the cover to completely surround the food being cooked.

Aluminum is a lightweight metal and easy to handle. Aluminum is also the third most abundant element in the earth’s crust, resulting in a relatively less expensive raw material. In nature, aluminum is always found in
combination with other materials. An ore called bauxite is the most common source of metal. Bauxite contains a greater percentage of aluminum than other ores and the metal can be extracted more economically.

Construction of Cookware

Aluminum cookware is manufactured principally by the following methods: stamping, drawing and casting.

Stamping or Drawing

In the stamping or drawing method, flat sheets or circles rolled to the desired thickness are placed on a press. The press then forms the sheet metal into the desired shape. Afterward, both inside and outside finishes are applied, and appropriate handles and knobs are attached.

Complete Cookware Production Line
Complete Cookware Production Line


Molten aluminum is poured into specially designed molds. These molds allow the thickness of the cookware to be strategically varied in different areas to maximize cooking efficiency.

For instance, pan bottoms can be made extra thick for even heat absorption and the pan walls can be slightly tapered to help create circular heat movement up and down the pan. When the aluminum cools, the mold is opened and the cookware is removed. Cast aluminum cookware is often heavier and thicker than stamped equipment

The gauge or thickness of aluminum cookware is one feature that determines its quality; the heavier the gauge (thickness), the more durable and generally, the more costly the cookware. Gauge is usually described by a number, the smaller the number the thicker the aluminum. For example, eight-gauge aluminum is thick (.125 inches); 20-gauge aluminum is thin (.032 inch). The thickness of some pans may be labeled in millimeters. Three millimeters is equal to a little less than 0.125 inches.


Aluminum cookware is manufactured with a wide variety of finishes. Stamped and drawn cookware may have exterior finishes of polished natural aluminum, chrome plate, anodized (with or without color), porcelain-enamel coatings, non-stick coatings or colored organic
coatings (acrylics, polyamides, etc.). Cookware bases usually have a satin or porcelain-enamel-coated finish.

Both finishes absorb heat. Cast aluminum cookware may have exterior finishes of the colored porcelain enamel coating, polished, hammered or Velva-glazed natural surfaces, colored organic coating, or hard-coat anodized surfaces. The inside finish on aluminum cookware may be a natural finish, “sunray” or “spun” finish, high polish finish, hard-coat anodized finish or non-stick coating.

Complete Cookware Production Line
Complete Cookware Production Line

Cast Iron in Cookware

The most important properties of cast iron are its heat retention and even heat distribution. It also is extremely durable. Properly cared for, cast iron will last for generations. Considered by professional chefs to be precision cooking tools, quality cast iron utensils enable precise control of cooking temperatures. The heat retention of cast iron allows for even cooking temperatures without hot spots. Cast iron cookware should be seasoned before use.

Quality manufacturers now offer cast iron that is truly pre-seasoned, with the coating of vegetable oil already applied making the pans easy to use right out of the box. Over time, cast iron cookware darkens to a black patina, a lasting, non-stick finish. Cast iron currently is used for cookware that includes skillets, roasters and Dutch ovens, broilers, griddles, and some specialty items, such as muffin and cornbread pans. These utensils are excellent for browning, frying, stewing, and baking foods.

Cast Iron in Cookware Production
Cast Iron in Cookware Production


Cast iron cookware isn’t pure iron. Other materials, such as carbon and silicon, are mixed with iron to produce proper hardness and durability. Iron with impurities included in it can heat unevenly and crack. Evidence of poor metal mixes includes discoloration of the cast iron, striations or smooth bright spots of “white metal.” Cast iron cookware is produced in a sand-cast process.

Quality cast iron requires sand molds made under high pressure so that their shapes can be precisely controlled. In addition to careful attention to the metal used in cast iron, the manufacturer must also control the components of the sand, which include clay and water. Patterns are pressed into the sand and the molten iron is poured into the resulting cavity.

As the iron cools to its solid state and becomes a cooking utensil, the sand mold is broken apart. The sand is cleaned off the cookware and it is then smoothed and packed for shipment.

Copper in Cookware

Copper, alone or in an alloyed form, has been used in cookware for hundreds of years. Copper’s uniform heat conductivity makes it a good material for top-of-range cooking because it distributes heat evenly. Copper also retains heat longer than other metals enabling it to keep foods warm and palatable. Copper cookware also is ideal for high-heat, fast-cooking techniques like sautéing.

Guide to Cookware and Bakeware: Complete Cookware Production Line
Guide to Cookware and Bakeware: Complete Cookware Production Line


Copper cooking surfaces are usually lined with tin, stainless steel or coated with a non-stick finish because foods left directly in contact with uncoated copper may become discolored. The discoloration tends to detract from the food’s visual appeal. An electrolytic process that deposits copper on the bottom of stainless steel cookware utilizes copper’s superior heat distribution.

Another manufacturing process bonds or laminates copper to stainless steel and other metals. A core of solid copper sandwiched
between two layers of stainless steel is another way copper is used to distribute heat uniformly

Glass & Ceramic

In the late 20th century, heat-resistant glass, ceramic, and glass-ceramic cookware were developed that can be used for storing, cooking, and serving. Major features are attractiveness, one-dish convenience, and inert, non-porous surfaces that won’t absorb food odors and flavors. For easy cleaning, both glass and ceramic ovenware are available with non-stick interiors.

Baking dishes and casseroles made of these materials hold the food’s heat long after it is removed from the oven. It is usually recommended to use these items at slightly lower oven temperatures for a shorter length of time because the covered cookware continues to cook foods even after it’s been removed from the oven. A rule of thumb is to reduce the recommended oven temperature by about 25° F (14° C).

Glass is available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and designs. It should not be used on the range top or under the broiler unless otherwise noted because it is sensitive to extreme heat changes. Glass cookware designed for baking can be taken from the refrigerator and put into preheated ovens after the cookware reaches room temperature.

Hot glass cookware should not be allowed to come into contact with wet countertops, nor should they be placed in water while they are still hot. And, while most are rugged, glass cookware can break under impact. Ceramics are among the most thermally shock-resistant materials ever developed and are true space-age materials.

Glass-ceramic was first used in rocket nosecones because the material could take the extreme temperature changes encountered in their supersonic flight from the earth’s surface into outer space and back. Glass-ceramic cookware offers wide food preparation versatility. It can be used for range-top cooking and is excellent for roasting, broiling or baking in the conventional or microwave oven. It can go directly from the freezer to the range top, broiler or hot oven. Glass-ceramic cookware can be immersed, hot off the stove, into sudsy dishwater for easy cleanup.


Glass is a non-crystalline material manufactured by melting a combination of raw materials, including sand, soda ash, limestone, feldspar and borax. The glass used in cookware is normally melted in a large refractory furnace or tank at temperatures exceeding 2000° F.

A small portion of the molten glass is drawn out of the tank and is blown or pressed into a mold. The mold essentially cools the glass, causing it to solidify. Heat-resistant glass cookware may be made of clear or tinted transparent material or opaque white (commonly called “opal” glass).

Ceramic cookware is manufactured from a mixture of water, clays, fluxing minerals (often feldspar), and finely ground sand. The particular forming methods depend largely on the water content of the mixture. A high water content (relatively liquid solution) permits the casting of the ware in a mold.

Lower water content results in a plastic mass that can be forced into the desired shape by a variety of methods. After forming, the ware is dried and fired (subjected to temperatures in excess of 2000° F) in a ceramic kiln to bond the components of the “body” together. Following this initial firing, the surface of the ware is coated with a glaze that, upon firing in a second ceramic kiln, develops a smooth nonporous surface much like glass.


Glass-ceramic is a special glass composition that is melted and formed like heat-resistant glass. Following forming, the articles are subjected to a special heat-treating schedule resulting in the development of a fine crystalline structure throughout the piece. It is this crystalline structure (which may be transparent or opaque) that gives the glass-ceramic its unique performance characteristics.

Glass ceramics may be white or transparent and tinted in appearance. For glass and ceramic cookware with non-stick interiors, three layers of non-stick coating are applied to specially prepared interior surfaces and then cured at approximately 800° F.

Microwave Cookware Accessories

Acceptance of the microwave oven as a standard cooking tool in households gave rise to the development of cookware made especially for the microwave oven. While previous materials, like glass, glass-ceramics, ceramic, and some metals work well as microwave cookware, this new category opened the field of cookware to other materials, such as plastics and paper. Containers used in microwave cooking must allow microwaves to pass through to the food.


Contrary to popular belief, some metals can be used in microwave cooking, especially when their microwave energy-reflecting properties are used to protect foods from overheating or overcooking. This is called “shielding.” These utensils generally include a matrix material, usually aluminum, that absorbs the microwave energy and the heated metal does the cooking.

This same principle applies to microwave steamers designed specifically for vegetables, seafood, and eggs. Most common metal cookware cannot be used in a microwave oven. The reason is that the metal reflects the microwave energy and the food inside the pan would not cook. When it comes to microwave-safe cookware, look to the recommendations of both the microwave oven and cookware manufacturers.


Follow this simple test for determining the microwave compatibility of cookware: Put one cup of cold water in a standard glass measure that is known to be microwave safe. Put the dish to be tested in the microwave oven along with the measure of cold water. Cook on HIGH for one minute. If the water has heated while the dish in question has remained cool to the touch, it is microwave-safe.

If the dish becomes warm or hot, it probably should not be used in the microwave oven. While many microwave oven manufacturers recommend the use of heat-resistant glass or glass-ceramic cookware for microwave oven cooking, consumers should check the manufacturer’s instructions for the cookware itself. Some glass or ceramic materials may have glazed surfaces which render them unsuitable for microwave oven use.

Generally speaking, shallow containers produce better results in microwave ovens than deep ones and round shapes tend to be better than square or rectangular ones, depending on the density of the food being cooked.

Plastics in Cookware

Since the mid 1970’s, space-age technology influenced many new developments and improvements of plastic materials. Plastics now have significantly improved durability and heat resistance leading to their use by manufacturers for ovenware and bakeware.

Plastic ovenware includes a broad category of materials with widely different characteristics. Many shapes, sizes, colors and designs of plastic ovenware are available today. Some shapes are specifically designed for small, compact microwave ovens, while others are made to accommodate certain foods. Plastics are generally known for their use as serving, storing and packaging containers. There is a family of materials used in plastic ovenware products, which fall into two categories: thermoset plastic and thermoplastic.

Thermoset Plastic

The thermoset plastic materials used for plastic ovenware have high-heat
resistances that make them suitable for use from the freezer to the microwave, convection or conventional oven. An example of a thermoset plastic material is fiberglass-reinforced polyester. This type of ovenware is rigid and consequently retains the original ovenware shape, with temperatures of 400° F/204° C.


Thermoplastic materials for plastic ovenware can be taken from the freezer to the microwave oven to the table. Some commonly used thermoplastic ovenware materials include polymethyl pentene (TPX), polycarbonate, and polysulfone.

All of the thermoset and thermoplastic ovenware products are dishwasher-safe, stain-resistant, break-resistant, and easy to clean. These unique characteristics have increased the popularity of plastic ovenware and continued to improve the acceptance of plastic for cooking.


The thermoset plastics are compression molded by using a predetermined weight of the material, which is either formed or compressed into a slug or pill and is placed into the mold when the mold is in an open condition. The mold then closes and heat and pressure are applied to this plug which forces the resin into all areas of the cavity as it compresses the material.

The thermoplastic or injection molded materials are formed in an injection press in which the material passes through a heated barrel, reducing it to a liquid which is then forced under pressure into the mold itself. The mold is then cooled. Subsequently, the plastic is also cooled and solidified. The parts are then ejected from the mold.

Porcelain Enamel on Metal in Cookware

Porcelain enamel on metal has served the needs of mankind for centuries. Museums throughout the world contain many examples that pre-date the birth of Christ. These ancient artifacts remain as bright, clean, and well-defined as the day they were created.

Originally porcelain-enamel was an artistic medium for making fine jewelry and, even when it was used to make a functional object, such as an urn or small box, it was invariably fashioned in painstaking, handcrafted designs. For centuries porcelain enameling developed as an art form, with only gold, silver, copper and bronze used as its base metal.

In 1830, a Bohemian craftsman found he could create a permanent, smooth, glassy surface on cast iron by dusting the red-hot metal with dry, powdered porcelain— and a new era dawned. From that time on, porcelain-enamel became a utilitarian, as well as a decorative finish.


Porcelain-enamel is essentially a highly durable glass that, with coloring oxides and other inorganic materials, is fused to metal at extremely high temperatures. It first found its way into the kitchen as a decorative finish for wood-burning ranges and cast iron cooking equipment. Later, when techniques were discovered for applying it to sheet steel, it became a standard coating for coffeepots, roasting pans, and saucepans.

In the manufacture of cookware, porcelain-enamel is applied after the metal is formed into its final shape. It can be applied to carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron. It is one of the most versatile finishes, offering virtually an unlimited range of colors and design effects. Today’s colors include many shades of bright reds, vibrant greens, clear blues, sunny yellows, and warm oranges, as well as the traditional “speckle” colors.

Stainless Steel in Cookware

Stainless steel cookware and bakeware is exceptionally durable. Once stainless steel has been stamped, spun or formed into a shape, it takes an extremely hard blow to dent it. Its attractive finish resists corrosion and tarnish, and its hard, tough, non-porous surface is resistant to wear. Extremely smooth and scratch-resistant, stainless steel equipment takes on an excellent polish.

Like other steels, stainless steel is an alloy—a combination of iron and other metals. What makes it different from other steels, however, is that it contains at least 11 percent chromium. It is chromium that makes steel “stainless” all the way through. Stainless steel may also contain other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, columbium, or titanium. These materials contribute special hardness, high-temperature tolerance, and resistance to scratching and corrosion to the finished stainless steel alloy.

Stainlees Steel Cookware Production Machinery
Stainless Steel Cookware Production Machinery


Stainless steel bakeware is usually fabricated of solid stainless steel. Top-of-range stainless steel cookware, on the other hand, is generally made by combining stainless with other metals, usually aluminum, copper or carbon steel. The other metals improve the cookware’s heat conductivity. Various manufacturing processes are used to combine stainless steel with these other metals. The resulting combinations are described as encapsulated or bonded bottom, two-ply, three-ply, three-ply/bottom clad, five-ply, and five-ply bottom clad.

Commonly has a stainless steel interior with another metal
on the exterior. In a few instances, this arrangement is
reversed with the stainless steel on the outside and a nonstick surface applied to the interior.

Has stainless steel on both the inside and outside surfaces
with a layer of copper, carbon steel or aluminum forming
the core.

Formed when solid stainless or three-ply copper is plated to the bottom or aluminum is applied to the bottom by casting, bonding or metal spraying. Five-ply/bottom clad equipment is made by the three-ply process, with two clad layers on the bottom. Five-ply equipment is made with stainless steel on both the inside and outside surfaces with three layers of aluminum or other metals forming the core.

Finishes in Cookware

Appearance is an important consideration in the selection of cookware and bakeware. A choice of high-polish or satin finish is normally available on stainless steelware. Either of these attractive finishes blends well with all colors and periods of kitchen décor.

Also, to meet the decorator’s demand for color in cookware, manufacturers produce cookware with porcelain-enamel exteriors on stainless steel. But, the cooking surface is most often stainless steel, where ease of cleaning and protection of food quality is most important. Some stainless steel cookware is coated, too, with non-stick interiors.

Polishing abrasives for stainless steel
Polishing abrasives for stainless steel

Tinplate in Cooking Industry

The history of tinplate in the kitchen can be traced to ancient times. Tin was widely used in Egypt, although it was not found there. Daring Phoenician sailors ventured to the British Isles, then known as the Cassiterides or Isles of Tin, to obtain this precious metal. Tin plating is the process of plunging plates of iron into the molten tin. The process was invented in Germany during the 16th century. The secret of using tin as a protective coating for metal was brought to England in about 1670.


In our age of new concepts in materials and fabricating methods, tin-plate steel still plays an important role, particularly in the baking industry. Many commercial baking utensils are made from tin-plated steel because it is durable and possesses excellent baking qualities. The consumer market for this type of merchandise also has become important over the years because of the cookware’s economy and baking qualities.


Efforts to ease the homemaker’s kitchen tasks have received a solid boost in recent years with the development of non-stick finishes on cookware interiors and exteriors. A finish or decoration for cookware can be any material that, when applied, changes the basic appearance and/or function of that cookware from its natural surface.

The finish or decoration may be applied through the use of either organic or inorganic materials. It may be fused on under high heat, spray-applied and bake-dried, plated over metal, applied by an electrolytic (anodized) method, or, in some cases, silk screened or applied decal, as in the case of a decoration.

The type of finish or decoration has certain advantages in each instance, and, generally, its application will be made where factors of use, durability, heat, abrasion, design, and appearance or other requirements will make one finish more suitable than another.

The finishes or decorations detailed below are not intended to be all-inclusive, yet represent those most commonly used on cookware products.


Porcelain enamel for aluminum or stainless steel is a vitreous or glassy
inorganic material that bonds to metal at temperatures of about 1000° F,
producing a glossy coating. Available in a variety of colors, it is usually applied to the exterior surfaces of aluminum or stainless steel.


Porcelain enamel for steel or cast iron is a vitreous or glassy inorganic material that requires bonding to metal by fusion at temperatures in excess of 1,400° F, producing a glossy coating. Available in a variety of colors, it is usually applied to the interior and exterior surfaces of steel or cast iron.


An acrylic-enamel finish is a thermoplastic resin coating bonded to the metal by baking at approximately 450° F. Available in many colors, it is usually applied to the exterior surfaces of aluminum

Induction Cooking with Cookware

By generating an electromagnetic field this innovative cooking technology results in improved performance, reduced consumption, absolutely no heat dispersion, and better safety in the kitchen.

Suffice it to consider that induction hobs make maximum use of the energy absorbed with an efficiency of 90% whereas, because of their operating principle, traditional hobs only have an efficiency of 40-60% and disperse about half of the energy into the surrounding environment. The heat transmission principle can be explained this way: when a ferrous metal container is placed on the plate the electric inductor underneath it creates an electromagnetic field inside it.

The electromagnetic field created generates a current in the ferrous metal container known as “Foucault”, after the name of its inventor, which transforms the magnetic energy induced inside it into thermal energy and causes it to heat up.

In fact, the electromagnetic field that heats the cooking area only originates when in contact with the container and is limited to the container’s surface; this allows the surface around the cooking area being used to remain cold, thus ensuring greater safety

Advantages of Induction Cookware

• Safety: there are no flames, heat is released by the magnetic field and only starts from the diameter of the pot being used for cooking. There is therefore no risk of burns from touching the plate near the edge.
• Cleaning: since the plate near the edge of the pots is not hot if liquid accidentally spills no crusts form.
• Design: for people that like a modern, minimalist style, induction cookers are really beautiful, trim, smooth, black, and have digital buttons.
• Food heats fast: for example, for normal pasta, the time it takes to bring the water to a boil is practically halved (obviously this depends on the power used).
• No danger of gas leaks: when electric energy alone is used there is no need to have two perimetral holes in the room, which are otherwise required by law and cause problems with heat and acoustics.
• Control: very accurate in changing the temperature of the pot (by means of digital displays): you can block boiling, and keep the heat very low or very high, with great accuracy that you cannot get with a traditional gas ring.
• Cost of use: not higher than for gas, electricity is more expensive but the
induction cooker only comes into operation when needed, usage times are lower and efficiency is 90%.
• Even heat: keeping the food from sticking to the bottom immediately, condiments and fats can be reduced and the food always has a better appearance.

Defects of Induction Cookware

• Initial cost: much higher than for normal gas cookers.
• High electric power absorbed: many of the induction cookers sold in Italy have automatic regulations to prevent consumers from becoming too high if several plates are lit at the same time, which for certain models can come to 7 kW. To use this type of cooker you need to ask the electricity company to adapt the power supply.
• Special pots: The pots used for induction cooking must be specially made for this particular cooking method. They can be made of any metal, aluminum, copper, or steel, it is important that they have a ferritic steel disk on the bottom. The “lifetime” of the pots depends on
induction being properly used.
• A different way of cooking: people used to classic gas hobs have to
revolutionize their habits as well as the cooking times.
• High-powered plates: special care is needed when using induction plates. The operator must always bear in mind that if the cooking utensil is left on the plate the parasitic current continues to transit from the inductor to the instrument, generating heat that, if not dissipated during the cooking of the food contained in utensil, can cause serious damage to the cooking
utensil and alter its functions irremediably

Aluminum for Induction Cookware


• excellent heat conductivity
• energy saving
• safety from the hygiene point of view;
• compliant with the laws regarding containers in contact with food;
• excellent resistance to impacts, thermal shock, scratching and corrosion. Needs no maintenance.
• light, thanks to its low specific weight, not to be underestimated for professionals in the sector that handle cooking utensils every day
• compliant with the HACCP regulations in force.


• high cost due to the ferritic steel disk;
• not so easy to handle because of its thickness

Useful Advice

• always make sure that the pots are also suited for induction plates;
• always make sure that the induction plate and the surface underneath the pots are perfectly clean;
• set the right power and strength according to the particular use, remember that the heating times of induction plates are much faster, use the potentiometers to reach the cooking temperature (where necessary) more gradually;
• if the induction flickers it means that there is a malfunction because the pot is not in the right position; there is no direct contact with the plate; the frying pan is not suitable; the request for power is too high and so it is not working;
• the best way of using it is for short and “extreme” cooking;
• if the pan is raised even just one millimeter the induction does not work and therefore it precludes any other kitchen jobs (sautéing creaming, singing, omelets etc.);
• there is no danger of burns with the plate lit (with no pan on it), in any case make sure that the cooking utensil was not removed only a short while ago because some residual heat could have been transmitted to the plate by the cooking utensil;
• it is dangerous to leave an empty pan over the lighted induction;
• the plate must always be cleaned simply with a damp cloth

Alu-Inox Cookware


• safety from the hygiene point of view;
• compliant with the laws regarding containers in contact
with food;
• excellent resistance to impacts, thermal shock, scratching and corrosion. Needs no maintenance.
• suitable for induction cooking if a disk in ferritic steel is applied to the oven;
• compliant with the HACCP regulations in force;
• good energy saving thanks to the aluminum core.


• high specific weight;
• poor resistance to aggression by coarse salt;
• stainless steel contains fair amounts of nickel and chrome

Induction Copper Cookware


• good energy saving, thanks to the high heat conduction capacity;
• safety from the hygiene point of view;
• compliant with the laws regarding containers in contact with food;
• excellent resistance to impacts, thermal shock, scratching and corrosion. Needs no maintenance.
• compliant with the HACCP regulations in force.


• high specific weight;
• poor resistance to aggression by coarse salt.

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