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Choosing your cookware with confidence

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Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2011 7:49 am | Updated: 8:51 am, Thu Feb 24, 2011.

Getting married can be a full time job, especially when it comes to deciding what to register for wedding gifts. A seemingly endless array of kitchen products for cooking and entertaining can entice, but also overwhelm bridal couples. To gain confidence in choosing cookware and bakeware, two popular categories for bridal gift registries, Meyer Corporation, U.S. — the largest cookware company in the nation — clarifies misconceptions that can get in the way of making a perfect match.

Stainless steel cookware is stronger than hard-anodized aluminum cookware.

Truth — Stainless steel is stronger than plain aluminum. However, the process of anodizing the aluminum changes the molecular structure of the metal and makes it twice as strong as stainless steel. As a result, hard-anodized aluminum cookware offers two key benefits: first, durability; and secondly, because aluminum is a superior conductor of heat, fast and even heating with no hot spots to mar cooking results.

Look for a heavy-gauge collection for top cooking results and years of enjoyment. Anolon Advanced and Anolon Advanced Bronze are two gourmet choices that are top choices at bridal registries, according to Janice Rassin, National Bridal Director at Meyer Corporation, U.S.

I like the convenience of nonstick cookware, but I can’t use it in the oven.

Truth — Many people mistakenly believe that nonstick cookware is designed only for stovetop use, when in fact there are numerous quality collections that are oven-safe upwards to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Elegantly crafted Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Infinite Circulon are two gourmet nonstick collections with stainless steel handles and lids that are oven-safe to 500 degrees. Nonstick cookware with handles made of a combination of stainless steel and silicone, such as Anolon Advanced and Circulon Contempo, are oven safe to 400 degrees. The addition of silicone provides a comfortable and secure grip.

I love the performance of clad metal cookware, but it’s so heavy.

Truth — Pro-style clad cookware is constructed with a core of fast-heating aluminum or copper sandwiched between two layers of gleaming stainless steel. As a result, the pans are typically heavier and can be difficult to manage. Fortunately for the avid cook, there are now two innovatively designed collections that are significantly lighter and more agile without compromising on cooking results. Anolon Ultra Clad and KitchenAid Architect Clad are premium clad collections with an inner core of thick aluminum permanently bonded to stainless steel on the inside and outside. To make the pans lighter, a portion of the exterior stainless steel has been stripped away and replaced with a decorative finish — a classic black band for Anolon Ultra Clad, and an elegant taupe shade, called “coco metallic,” for KitchenAid Architect Clad. Both collections are easier to handle, and quite stylish, too.

Cookware with metal handles will get hot during stovetop use.

Truth —  Solid metal handles do have a tendency to retain heat and can make handling on the stovetop a safety issue. Look for gourmet cookware designed with hollow cast stainless steel handles, which deter heat from traveling from the pan to the handle to keep them cool to the touch. Options include Anolon Nouvelle Copper and Infinite Circulon. Other styles of handles combine hollow cast stainless steel with silicone for additional heat resistance as well as a softer touch to enhance comfort. Among the most popular collections with silicone handles are Anolon Advanced and Anolon Advanced Bronze with their signature SureGrip handles.

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