What Are Utensils Made Out Of

Published: 13th March 2009
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ALUMINUM.--Because of the properties of aluminum, this metal is used extensively for cooking utensils. It is more costly than most of the materials employed for this purpose, but while the first cost of aluminum pans and kettles may seem large, the extra expense is justified by the durability of the utensils. They last much longer than utensils made of many other materials, for when aluminum is hammered and rolled it becomes extremely hard. Some aluminum utensils are very thin, and since they melt and dent very easily they are suitable for only light, careful handling. Although heavier aluminum utensils are more expensive than the lighter ones on account of the metal required and the manufacturing process involved, they are harder and more durable. Cast aluminum is used for large vessels, such as those required in institutions where large quantities of food are cooked and where pots and kettles are subjected to extremely hard wear, but this is the most expensive kind, for in order to make the aluminum hard enough for casting some harder metal must be mixed with it. One of the disadvantages of aluminum is that it is not always easy to clean, but this is overbalanced by the fact that foods do not burn so readily in aluminum utensils as in other kinds, since the heat is evenly distributed by this metal.

ENAMEL.--Good enamel cooking utensils are desirable for some purposes and are only moderately expensive. Utensils made of enamel are not so durable as those made of metal, because excessive heat or a sharp blow will cause the enamel to chip. Enamel utensils come in various colors, and all can be kept clean easily, but the gray enamel is considered to be the best for wear.

IRON AND STEEL.--Utensils made of iron and steel are usually inexpensive, but some, especially those of iron, are heavy. These metals are used principally for such utensils as frying pans, or skillets, griddles, waffle irons, and kettles for deep-fat frying. Sheet iron makes excellent shallow pans for baking cookies and other cakes, very satisfactory bread pans, and the best kind of pans for omelet and other frying.

EARTHENWARE.--A certain number of fairly durable earthenware utensils are necessary in a kitchen equipment. Mixing bowls are usually made of earthenware, as are also casseroles, which are covered dishes used for the baking of foods that require long cooking, and other baking utensils. Meat, fowl, and some vegetables, such as dried beans, are delicious when prepared in a casserole, as very little flavor or food is lost in such a dish.

TIN.--The cheapest metal from which cooking utensils are made is tin, but it is not generally used for utensils in which food is to be cooked, because it melts at too low a temperature. Tin is used, however, for such small articles as measures, cutters, apple corers, sieves, strainers, and other things of this kind, and it is especially desirable for them.

COPPER.--Before iron was known copper was the principal material for cooking utensils. The chief point in favor of copper is its durability, but utensils made of it are not practical for use in the ordinary kitchen because they are expensive, heavy, and very difficult to keep clean.

GLASS.--Utensils made of heavy glassware are much used for cooking. Glass utensils are especially desirable for custards and other dishes that the cook likes to watch while cooking or that are to be served in the baking dish. Glass cooking utensils possess the advantage of retaining the heat well.

WOOD.--Certain utensils made of wood are required in a cooking outfit, a molding board of hardwood and a smaller wooden cutting board being particularly necessary in every kitchen. Bowls in which to chop foods, rolling pins, and mixing spoons are usually made of hardwood, and when such wood is used for them they are entirely satisfactory.

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