Pros And Cons Of Pans Made From Various Metals

Posted on: 9 November 2015

If you're choosing cookware for your kitchen, you have three basic metals to choose from: aluminum, stainless steel, or copper. Which is the best choice for you will depend on how you intend to cook and what qualities are most important to you. To help you decide, here's a look at the pros and cons of each material.


Aluminum reacts quickly to temperature changes, making it a good choice when you want to heat something up quickly. It is resistant to corrosion and rust, and when you choose anodized aluminum (which is very common in cookware), it is naturally non-stick, so you do not have to use a lot of oil in cooking.

The downside to aluminum is that it will react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes and vinegar. giving the food a metallic taste. If you cook with these ingredients often, you'll want to choose a different metal for your cookware.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cookware is durable; it won't bend if you drop it like aluminum sometimes may. It is non-reactive, so you can cook any dish inside of it, and it tends to be quite affordable. Stainless steel cookware won't rust or tarnish over time; it stays looking like new for ages.

The downside to stainless steel cookware is that it has poor heat conductivity when compared to copper or aluminum. It takes longer to heat up, so you have to exercise a little patience when cooking.


Copper cookware has excellent conductivity and heats up quickly, which is why many skillets intended for high-heat cooking are made from copper. Though copper itself is reactive with acidic ingredients, most copper pans are lined with stainless steel to prevent this issue. Copper is known for its even heating, which is important if you're cooking highly intricate dishes.

The downside to copper cookware is that it is quite expensive in comparison to other materials. It does not work well on induction-style cooktops, either. Also, copper cookware does not take well to paint, so most copper pans are plain copper in color and may take on a tarnished look (similar to that of an old penny) over time.

In the end, it is up to you to choose the cookware that best suits your needs. Remember, there's nothing wrong with having multiple metals in your cookware collection. For instance, you could have a copper skillet, an aluminum pot, and a stainless steel wok.