3 Popular Nonstick Cookware Base Materials

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Nonstick cookware, as you know has a metal core on top of which the nonstick coating, a.k.a, PTFE ( polytetrafluoroethylene) is applied. This coating helps release food quickly without the use of oil. But, the core material plays a vital role in cooking performance, durability and ease of use.

Let us take a look at the commonly used base materials and their effect on the above-mentioned aspects.

Aluminium

Aluminium is the most common base material used in nonstick cookware because they are inexpensive. The main advantage of using aluminium is its excellent heat conductivity. You won’t find any hot spots on them. But, the disadvantage is that when the coating peels off after a few years of use, the aluminium inside gets exposed. It comes in contact with food and leaches aluminium. This could be a health hazard, especially for those who have any sort of kidney ailments.

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Hard-Anodized Aluminium

Brands like Hawkins Futura have a nonstick coating on a hard-anodized aluminium core. They have all the advantages of aluminium cookware like better heat conductivity and overcoming the negatives too. Even if the nonstick coating peels off, the metal exposed is hard anodized aluminium. It is inert and doesn’t leach aluminium into the food.

We have also noticed that such nonstick cookware have better durability compared to regular ones. But, not many brands have a hard-anodized core beneath the nonstick coating.

nonstick cookware base materials

Also, note that certain brands sell hard anodized cookware in the guise of nonstick cookware. Unless they have a PTFE coating, they are not nonstick. Hard anodized cookware have a slightly better stick resistance than stainless steel. But even then, unless you apply sufficient oil, food will get annoyingly stuck to the base.

Related reading: How To Use Nonstick Cookware Safely In India

Triply Stainless Steel

Brands like Prestige, Stahl, Bergner etc sell nonstick cookware with a triply stainless steel base. 3 Ply cookware, for the uninitiated, has a layer of aluminium sandwiched between food-grade stainless steel and magnetic stainless steel, which makes it induction friendly.

Most of the brands apply the nonstick coating in a honeycomb design over the triply stainless steel, without covering the edges of the cookware. So when you heat oil in them, the fumes from the oil get deposited around the edges resulting in yellowish-brown stains which are difficult to budge. These stains require rigorous scrubbing with steel wool to clean. And if you accidentally scrub the nonstick coating, it will peel off.

Also, as the coating is in a honeycomb design, it is the stainless steel that comes in contact with food. If you don’t use any oil, food could get stuck on the stainless steel. So, it is not completely nonstick like the previous options. You need to apply a thin layer of oil for releasing food. Stahl Neverstick is the only option that comes with nonstick coating completely covered over the stainless steel base. So, it wouldn’t have such a problem.

These cookware however have numerous advantages. They retain heat better than aluminium. As a result, food develops a better searing and thicker crust. Also, even if the nonstick peels off, you needn’t worry about harmful metals coming in contact with your food.

Provided the thickness of the cookware are same, triply stainless steel heats up slowly compared to aluminium. So, the chances of overheating are lesser compared to the ones with an aluminium core. Thus, you needn’t worry about the nonstick coating disintegrating and emitting harmful fumes.

Out of the three types, nonstick cookware with triply stainless steel base are the most expensive.

Related reading: Best Nonstick Cookware In India

Conclusion

If price is not a cause of concern, it would be a good idea to opt for nonstick cookware with stainless steel base. It is safer, reduces the chances of overheating are lesser and has better cooking performance too.

The next best option is hard anodized aluminium. They are also priced competitively and are safer than aluminium.

If you are looking for a budget-friendlier option, ones with an aluminium core would be best suited to your needs.

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