How to choose cookware (Part 1)

Choosing and buying the best cookware set for your home isn’t easy. Nowadays, the number of cookware brands seems to be growing daily and the range of pots and pans is extensive, with materials varying from stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium and copper. With such a vast variety, it’s normal to ask: how do you get down to deciding on the right type of cookware? The answer is simple. You have to first know exactly what you want! Basically, you need to know enough about cookware to allow you to make an informed decision. So, what should you look for when buying cookware? There are certain fundamental things you need to consider when choosing cookware, which is why we have prepared a list of the most important aspects to look out for.

Heat conductivity

It should be noted that some metals are better heat conductors than others. For instance, copper is mainly a good heat conductor whereas stainless steel isn’t. Undoubtedly, the better the heat conductivity, the better and the more evenly your food will cook. Moreover, when you turn the heat up or down, copper will react a lot quicker to the temperature change than stainless steel.


If you don’t want to clean your cookware every night just to keep it looking good, then you must consider the amount of maintenance required to keep your cookware in tip-top shape. Copper and cast-iron cookware usually need quite a bit of work to keep them looking pristine, whereas stainless steel is normally a little easier to look after. Many don’t understand the makeup of cookware, nor do they know why certain cookware materials are better than others. Keeping this in mind, we prepared some information for you to explore each type of cookware and their benefits:

Stainless Steel

This is the most common type of cookware material, and will probably find it in most households. Stainless steel is an alloy of metals including steel, carbon and chromium. The reason stainless steel is called ‘stainless’ is because of its ability to resist corrosion. You might find that most stainless steel cookware have aluminium or copper cores for better heat conductivity allowing you to cook food more evenly. Other advantages are that, as a material, stainless steel is reasonably priced, durable, scratch and warp-resistant and doesn’t effect the foods’ taste.

Cast iron

Cast iron is a material that has been used to create cookware for hundreds of years, some even swear by its exceptional cooking ability. Cast iron is extremely durable, so much so, it’s common to find cast iron cookware that has been passed down through generations. It’s also affordable and great at heat retention. Cast iron needs more upkeep than other cookware and can be heavier than most other types of cookware. At Petrolea Ltd we offer black cast iron pots & pans and also enamel coated cast iron varieties.

Pyrex Pyroflam Vitro-Ceramic

Patented by Pyrex, Pyroflam is a really groundbreaking material in the kitchen and tolerates temperatures between -40ºC to 800ºC. It’s also microwave and dishwasher-safe and can be used on any appliance except induction hobs. Pyroflam is made from Vitro-Ceramic, which was first used on the exterior of space shuttles, as it is an incredibly heat-resistant product with unique thermal-shock resistance properties. Moreover, this material won’t scratch, chip or retain color or flavors from food. The Pyroflam pots & pans feature a superior borosilicate glass lid for ease of monitoring during cooking. Merging revolutionary technology with useful cooking benefits, using original NASA technology, Pyroflam is designed to resist extreme changes in temperature, which means there’s no waiting around, you can simply come home, take your pre-made meal from the freezer and have it cooking in no time.


Aluminium is a soft type of metal which is used in approximately 50% of all cookware manufactured nowadays. It is an excellent heat conductor yet unfortunately, it can scratch and dent easily. This is why it’s normally combined with other metals in order to create the best solution. Usually aluminium is treated through a process known as anodization, which places a layer of aluminium oxide onto the surface making it scratch resistant as well as ensuring it doesn’t effect the food taste. Aluminium cookware is often finished with a non-stick coating to make sure food doesn’t stick or get burnt.


Commonly used among professional chefs because of its excellent heat conduction, copper cookware on its own is generally quite pricey so it’s not often seen in many home kitchens. Copper can also be combined with other metals such as stainless steel benefitting from the features of both metals. Copper cookware is mostly used by chefs everywhere as it conducts heat extremely well, meaning it heats quickly and adjusts to changes in temperature easily. This allows greater control over your cooking. The only downside of copper pots & pans is that they require regular polishing.

The ultimate decision

Making the final decision on the type of cookware all boils down to personal tastes and requirements. It also depends on how much time you spend cooking and your expertise in the confines of your kitchen. Additionally, it’s always good to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance so you’ll be rewarded with years of good service and ultimately, an enjoyable cooking experience! We hope you’ve found this blog informative. If you’d like to find out more about the range of cookware we offer at Petrolea, come and visit us at our showroom situated in Msida. Our collection of cookware is wide-ranging and includes brands such as Alessi, Pyrex and Bioflan.