Reactive versus Nonreactive Pots & Pans

Pots & Pans with Fresh Veggies on Kitchen Counter

When searching for the right cooking media, both reactive and non-reactive pans have their advantages. Sometimes, it might be better to use certain types of cookware in certain situations than it would be to use others.

Advantages of Reactive Pans

Reactive pans are made out of materials such as copper, iron and aluminum. They conduct heat evenly. Therefore, they cook food more consistently and all the way through each piece of meat or other food.

In addition, you can let foods stand for longer periods using reactive pans because they take longer to cool. A little bit of metal, particularly iron, is not at all bad for the body and probably better than some coatings used on certain pieces of cookware today.

Advantages of Non-Reactive Pans

Ceramic and stainless steel pans are some types of cookware that are non-reactive. They do not seem to conduct heat as well as the reactive type, but they also do not change the chemistry of the food you eat. Furthermore, they keep the brightness of your eggs, tomato sauce and other light-colored foods in tact. Overall, your foods probably are more visually appealing and will retain their original flavors when using non-reactive pans.

What to Keep in Mind When Making Your Choice

Sometimes, you might cook in a reactive pan when safety is most important to you and you want to make sure the food is evenly cooked. On the other hand, you are advised to use non-reactive pans when using lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes or other acidic foods. Of course, buying high-quality cookware can be expensive. In that case, a set coated with an enamel would be your best choice as long as the finish on the pans is not toxic. However, note that using a reactive pan such as cast iron or copper usually just requires lower stovetop heat levels. Keep both of these concepts in mind when you make your choice.



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