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 Heavy Metal in the Kitchen

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PostSubject: Heavy Metal in the Kitchen   Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:00 pm

HEAVY METAL IN THE KITCHEN?


When buying pots and pans, you should know a little about The heat conductivity of different metals. Here are some Of the pros & cons for some of our common cookware materials:



COPPER
Is the best heat conductor of all commercial metals. It is 99 Percent heat efficient, which enables it to heat up and cool Down almost immediately. Chefs value this quality when making Delicate sauces. Copper alone is too soft for cooking, so it Always has a stainless steel, tin, or other lining.




Copper has several drawbacks, however. For one, the good Stuff is very expensive. Many stores sell shimmering sets of Light-gauge copper cookware, mostly suitable for placing on a Side board as decoration. Good-quality copper is heavy---A
Big saucepan weighs about the same as a St. Bernard puppy. Finally you can spend half of your productive life cleaning And polishing the darn stuff-Copper discolors when more than Two people look at it. As for the linings tin is old- Fashioned. Professionals, know how to use it, but amateurs may Melt the tin by accident. Moreover tin lining, wears out and Must be replaced. Don't bother; go with stainless steel lining.




STAINLESS STEEL
May not conduct heat very efficiently, but it has many
Advantages. For one, stainless steel is easy to clean; it is
Also indestructible. To improve heat conductivity, manufacturers Put a copper pr aluminum core in stainless steel pans, giving You the best of both worlds.




ALUMINUM
Pots and pans have gotten a bad rap in recent years. Certain Scientists contended that aluminum cookware releases toxins That can have sundry bad health effects. Recent studies have Found no hazards with aluminum, however. True, certain acidic Foods, such as tomatoes, react to aluminum and turn the color
Of pond scum, but the transformation is no health hazard.




CHEMICALLY TREATED ANODIZED ALUMINUM
Cookware has become increasingly popular in recent years. Anodization is an electrolytic process that creates a hard, Inpenetrable oxide film over the aluminum , which prevents Reactions to foods like eggs and tomatoes. Anodized aluminum Pots and pans are always heavy-gauge, charcoal gray in color, And more expensive than regular aluminum cookware (but still Costs less than stainless steel and copper). Calphalon is the
Major purveyor of anodized aluminum.




CAST IRON
Is a good conductor of heat and retains heat better than other Materials used in cookware. That quality makes cast iron ideal For searing steaks, hamburgers, or other meats at extremely High temperatures, or for browning stew meat before adding it To casserole. Cast iron is inexpensive, durable, and versatile. It takes a long time to heat and cool, so we don't recommend It for delicate sauces.




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