All posts by Jeff Fidler

What You Need to Know About Online Grocery Shopping

Ordering Groceries Online – Food Safety, Shipping & More

You can order virtually everything online these days. When it comes to groceries, however, there are still some common concerns that many people have about the process of buying food online. Some are worried about the safety and integrity of the packaging, and fear that their order will show up with broken or damaged packaging. Others have concerns about shipping times and worry that you can’t effectively order perishable foods online, since they’ll spoil before they even arrive at your door.

Fortunately, modern online ordering processes, packaging methods, and shipping services have addressed all these issues and you can now safely and easily have virtually any kind of grocery products delivered right to your door. Here, we will outline some of the steps we take at The Low Carb Grocery to ensure that your order is packed, shipped and delivered quickly and properly, each and every time.

Freshness Details on Product Pages

For any perishable product, you can see specific details on their shelf life right on their product pages. For example, for the popular Mama Lupe’s Tortillas, you can see how long they will stay fresh at room temperature, and if you wish to extend this time you can store them in the freezer.

Estimated Shipping Time Guidelines

Before you place your order, be sure to check our shipping and delivery time calculator for your location. You can access this tool on our Shipping & Returns page. Simply by entering your postal code, you will be able to see your estimated delivery time as well as details on shipping weight limits, and the store location that your order will ship from.

Special Packaging Details

All orders from The Low Carb Grocery are packed securely and carefully in durable, sturdy packaging materials to ensure that each item stays in perfect condition on its journey to you. In addition, we offer thermal packaging options and cooling packs that provides additional assurance that your order will maintain optimum freshness during transport, regardless of climate changes or seasonal temperature swings.

Communication & Customer Service

In addition to our specialized packing methods, we provide communication directly to you on any orders or products that may require special steps or are facing unexpected delays. Rest assured, we will not let any product ship out unless we are 100% certain that you’ll be satisfied with it when it arrives. We will take steps to contact you via email and telephone to keep you informed of any special circumstances related to your order.

Order Confidently

We hope that this information has helped answer your questions and concerns about ordering groceries online. We want you to have all the details you need to order confidently, and know that we’re committed to your satisfaction with each and every order we ship. The team here at The Low Carb Grocery is dedicated to providing excellent customer service, quality products, and fast delivery times so that you always have the best low carb food products for you and your family.

If you have any questions about ordering from us, or would like more information about a particular brand or product, please don’t hesitate to contact us here, or drop in to any one of our stores. We look forward to serving you!

Low Carb Breakfast, Meal Replacement & Protein Bars

Guide to Low Carb Breakfast, Meal Replacement and Protein Bars

It’s hard to beat the convenience of a great low carb bar. Whether you’ve simply got an afternoon craving that needs to be crushed, or you’re looking for a simple and effective meal replacement option, bars can deliver everything you need in a handy pocket-sized package. Because of this, there’s no shortage of choice for low carb dieters in the world of breakfast bars, meal replacement bars, and protein bars. With so many brands and flavours to choose from, how do you sort through them all and find the bar that’s right for you?

In this guide, we will help explain the differences between the various categories of low carb bars, as well as a look at some of the brands and flavours that are the most popular with low carb dieters. Whatever kind of bar you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find this guide helpful in finding the right one.

Without further delay, let’s dive in to the different categories of bars, and how they are different from each other.

Categories of Low Carb Bars

In general, most bars will fall in to one of three categories based on what their intended purpose is, what kinds of ingredients they consist of, and how most people would tend to use them as part of their diet. These three main categories are:

Low Carb Breakfast Bars

As the name of this category suggests, there are bars available that are designed to be eaten either as part of breakfast in the morning, or as a complete replacement for your breakfast meal. Most breakfast bars are available in similar flavours and ingredients, such as chocolate and peanut butter, and many are heavily focused on nuts, seeds, and fruits. Breakfast bars tend to be loaded with fiber and protein in order to prevent the early return of hunger in the morning. They are a convenient way to deal with morning hunger, and are extremely easy to track as part of your daily carb and calorie intake due to their clearly defined nutritional contents. However, since many breakfast bars feature sweet tasting ingredients, low carb dieters should pay attention to ingredient & nutritional labels closely and choose bars made by trusted low carb brands.

Low Carb Meal Replacement Bars

Meal replacement bars are intended to act as a substitute for an entire meal, usually as part of a weight loss regimen. They accomplish this through high protein ingredients, while maintaining similar calorie content and equivalent levels of nutrition to a full meal. Low carb dieters should observe greater caution when selecting a meal replacement bar, since many popular mainstream brands commonly contain a large amount of added sugar. As a general rule of thumb, meal replacement bars are best used in moderation, and not as a long-term part of your diet plan. They’re great to deal with hunger in a pinch, but aren’t a good choice as a regular part of a low carb meal plan. As with breakfast bars, it’s always wise for low carb dieters to read ingredient labels thoroughly and choose from well-known low carb brands.

Low Carb Protein Bars

In general, protein bars are a great snack option as part of a low carb diet since their focus is on high levels of protein, and not necessarily as a complete meal replacement. Most protein bars are very dense, although this can vary greatly depending on the brand and ingredients used. The variety of flavours available in protein bars are staggering, which means you can find virtually any taste that you can imagine. Even so, the most popular protein bars tend to include sweet tastes like chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, maple, and caramel. As with the other two types of bars, it’s sensible for low carb dieters to pay close attention to the sugar content. Mainstream protein bars can often contain large quantities of sugar, so be sure to choose a low carb and low sugar option.

Most Popular Brands and Flavours

Bars are one of the most popular product categories at The Low Carb Grocery, and our customers have given us lots of feedback on their favourite brands and flavours for each category of bar. Here are some of the most popular brands and flavours from each of the three main categories of bars.

Most Popular Breakfast Bars

Atkins Day Break Bars

As the most well-known name in the world of low carb eating, it should come as no surprise that Atkins has created some of the best low carb breakfast bars available. Atkins Day Break bars are high in protein and low in sugar, making them a great choice for a quick breakfast or mid-morning snack. Our customers simply love the Chocolaty Hazelnut and Oatmeal Fibre flavours.

Shop all Atkins Day Break Breakfast Bars.

Most Popular Meal Replacement Bars

If you’re a fan of the taste of blueberries, you’ll love these Advantage Blueberry Greek Yogurt meal bars from Atkins. High in fiber, high in protein, and very low in sugar, these are the perfect convenient meal bar for those busy days when a lunch break is always just out of reach. Another top-selling bar that works great as a fast and easy meal option are these Apple Pie bars from Quest. These delicious bars include chunks of dried apple and tons of protein to keep you going. Our customers love the taste of these ones!

Most Popular Protein Bars

These Grenade Carb Killa White Chocolate Cookie protein bars taste so good, our customers simply rave about them! They have a great, smooth texture and rich, delicious flavour that will make you think that you’re cheating on your diet. If you’re in the mood for a little lemon flavour, then you’ve got to try these Lemon Cake protein bars from Oh Yeah!. With only 1 gram of sugar per bar, and over 20g of protein, these bars will definitely get rid of your hunger in a hurry.

Shop our entire selection of protein bars here.

Conclusion

As you can see, you’ve got no shortage of selection when it comes to great tasting low carb bars. Whether you’re looking for a low carb breakfast bar you can keep in your desk at work for those rushed mornings, or are simply hungry for a healthy snack option that won’t leave you craving for more an hour later, there are lots of great bars you can choose from.

We hope that you’ve found this information helpful, and remember that if you ever have any questions about these products or any others, we are here to help. Stop in to any one of our stores, or send us a message here, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

Don’t forget to share what your favorite bar was below in the comments!

irish foods low carb

Irish Food The Low Carb Way

Delicious Low Carb Irish Foods to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is nearly here, and with it comes the promise of green beer and plenty of laughter and merriment. To aid in your Irish celebrations this year, we thought it would be helpful to gather together a list of delicious low carb recipes that you can serve in honour of St. Patrick. Irish food is hearty, and in many cases is low in carbs even when made in traditional ways. These recipes take things to the next level by incorporating some interesting twists and alternative ingredients to make them even lower in carbs. Now, there’s no time to waste in preparing a great Irish-themed menu for St. Patrick’s Day, so let’s get right to the recipes!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

What better way to kick off a St. Patrick’s Day menu than with the classic combo of corned beef and cabbage? This savoury, high-protein meal is definitely considered comfort food, and it’s loaded with a hearty helping of vegetables to round out the recipe. It’s quite simple and easy to prepare, and requires very little prep time. This particular version calls for the corned beef to be brushed with butter prior to serving for an extra-rich flavour. Serve with your favourite mustard on the side, and you’ve got a fantastic Irish meal to go with your pint of Guinness.

Low Carb Irish Colcannon

Traditional Irish colcannon is made from mashed potatoes and either kale or cabbage, but this recipe takes the low carb route and uses cauliflower in place of the potatoes. It also substitutes spinach as the secondary ingredient for added nutrition and a vibrant green colour, although kale can also be used for a more traditional taste. It also incorporates avocado and sour cream for additional depth of flavour, and the result is simply delicious. Serve alongside bacon or ham, and enjoy.

No Bake Irish Cream Cheesecake

Next up, we’ve got a delectable dessert that utilizes the unmistakable taste of Irish Cream to make a rich, creamy cheesecake that is simple to prepare, and requires no baking. These mini single-serving cheesecake desserts feature a do-it-yourself Irish cream that helps keep the carb count very low, and tastes amazing. You can also adjust the coffee amounts to your taste, making it either stronger or milder if you prefer. Serve with a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping, and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with this simple but decadent dessert.

Low Carb Irish Shepherd’s Pie

There’s just something about Shepherd’s Pie that makes it one of the definitive comfort foods. It’s easy to make, can be prepared ahead and frozen for a convenient meal whenever you need it, and this low carb version is amazingly healthy. This particular recipe comes from Dixie Diner, and features their low carb instant mashed potatoes as the topping of the pie. Alternatively, you can always use a cauliflower mash instead, which would help to add another serving of vegetables to this dish, and bring the carb count down even lower.

Lamb and Vegetable Stew

It’s hard to believe that something this delicious can be made in just 20 minutes, but it’s true! This stew is hearty and comforting, and you’ll definitely want to have it year-round, not just on St. Patrick’s Day. It uses a savoury combination of tender lamb chunks, garlic, green beans, zucchini, and a simple selection of herbs and spices to produce a delicious low carb meal that the whole family will definitely enjoy on a chilly evening.

Low Carb Irish Cream Ice Cream

Here’s another tasty dessert option that you will love to serve up on St. Patrick’s Day, or any other day where you’re in the mood for some Irish cream deliciousness. This recipe is sugar-free and keto-friendly, with a nice light flavour that’s not too sweet but definitely an enjoyable way to finish a hearty meal. Top it off with a little bit of sugar free chocolate sauce or serve it beside a low carb brownie for an extra-yummy dessert experience.

McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

Finally, we have something to offer for an Irish breakfast that is amazingly simple and yet perfectly appropriate to kick off your St. Patrick’s Day this year. McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal is made entirely from wholegrain Irish oats, and is loaded with plenty of nutritional value and vitamins. Oatmeal is also extremely high in fiber, and contains an essential fatty acid, making oatmeal a very healthy breakfast option. You can also top your oatmeal with a variety of different things, like your favourite flavoured syrup or some fruit and berries, to give it a personal touch.

Conclusion

Planning a healthy, low carb St. Patrick’s Day menu full of Irish inspiration can be easy, and we hope that these recipes have encouraged you to try something different on your meal plan this year.

If you’re looking at a fast and easy way to make other things more Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, pick up a bottle of delicious DaVinci Irish Cream Flavoured Syrup. It’s sugar free, and is a perfect way to inject the wonderful flavour of Irish cream in to your coffee, on your hot cereals, or as a sweet addition to the top of your favourite frozen desserts.

We hope that you have a wonderful St. Patricks Day, and cheers to your health! Or as they say in Ireland, slàinte!

Introduction to Smartcake & Smartbun Low Carb Products

Cake and buns aren’t exactly the first type of foods that spring to mind when you think of the low carb diet, but the bakers over at the Smart Baking Company have made it their mission to completely change that. They’ve created an amazing series of baked products that shatter every stereotypical image of diet food being bland and boring.

In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at the Smart Baking Company, and what has driven them to produce such amazing cakes and other low carb products that our customers can’t stop raving about.

About the Smart Baking Company

Based in Florida, the Smart Baking Company was founded to prove to the world that, in their words, ‘healthy and fun can go hand in hand’. They are dedicated to making delicious and healthy foods that are perfect for low carb, gluten free, and low sugar diets. Smartbun and Smartcake products are free of gluten, starch, and sugars, but are dense in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids many essential vitamins. To learn more about the Smart Baking Company, visit their website.

The Smart Baking Company has quickly risen to the top of the list of popular low carb brands, thanks to their consistently delicious products and dedication to using only the finest healthy ingredients. You can be sure that when you buy their products, you’re getting top quality in addition to amazing taste. Now, let’s take a look at their products, and learn just what it is that makes them so good!

About Smartcakes

Finding delicious and healthy snack foods can be a challenge for many people, especially if you have a notoriously powerful sweet tooth. Sugars and carbs abound in traditional cakes and baked goods, and for low carb dieters, this means being very careful about enjoying cakes and other baked foods. Smartcake brings cake back in to the spotlight for low carb snackers. Fans of Smartcake simply can’t stop raving about the taste and texture of these delicious little cakes, and the fact that they are contain zero net carbs, no sugar, and no gluten just makes them even more satisfying!

Smartcakes are conveniently packed in pairs, and these delicious snack cakes that come in a wide array of flavours. Some of the most popular include Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coconut, and Tangerine. Smartcakes are made with a proprietary fibre blend including oat, corn and flax, and each cake contains 5g of fibre and 4g of protein. You can browse the entire range of Smartcake products here.

About Smartbun

Burger lovers rejoice! No longer are you forced to skip the bun, or resort to dry and tasteless bread options to hold your burger. Smartbun is the answer to the prayers of low carb hamburger aficionados. Developed specifically to address the needs to low carb and gluten free diets, the Smartbun is high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Smartbuns have a light and flaky texture, just like traditional gourmet hamburger buns, and are the perfect low carb platform for your fresh grilled patties. These buns use only top-quality ingredients, including a similar proprietary fibre to that which is used in Smartcake. Smartbuns are available in both plain and sesame seed varieties.

These buns are one of our customers all-time favourite low carb bread products, and the reviews we get are definitely some of the best we’ve ever about a low carb bun. Don’t think that the use of Smartbuns are limited to simply hamburgers. You can use them to create all kinds of sandwich concoctions, and have zero-worries about the carb count of the bun. Use them for everything from grilled chicken to Reubens, or even breakfast sandwiches. There are lots of options available, and the only limit is your creativity! You can shop for Smartbun products here.

Summary

Just in case you may need a bit more convincing to try out Smartbun or Smartcake products, check out this great video featuring Juli from Livin Large on Lifetime as she talks about her experiences with Smart Baking Company products, and does a quick review of the latest flavour of Smartcake, Tangerine!

If you find yourself frustrated or disappointed with the typical low carb cake and bun options, then you simply have to try these products from the Smart Baking Company. Smartcake and Smartbun products have built an outstanding reputation in the low carb world for being some of the most delicious and healthy baked goods that are available.

We’re sure that if you give them a try, you’ll agree that Smartcake and Smartbun are anything but ordinary, and they’re a perfect addition to any low carb lifestyle!

Make Pancakes & Waffles Great with Walden Farms Syrups

Make Pancakes & Waffles Great with Walden Farms Syrups

Product Insights: Walden Farms Syrups

We’ve already talked about all the great options that exist for low carb breakfasts, but today we’re going to look a little closer at a couple of our favourites, namely pancakes and waffles!

These delicious breakfast foods can easily be made the low carb way, but we’re not going to stop there. We’re also going to talk about Walden Farms, which is one of the most popular brands in the world of low carb foods. They have some of the most delicious sugar-free syrups that you can buy, available in many different flavours you can choose from to top off your pancakes and waffles.

If you’re not familiar with Walden Farms, take a look at this introduction article to learn more about the company and the different types of low carb food products they make. They’re one of the finest low carb brands available, and our customers agree that the quality and taste are second to none.

Now, let’s get going on breakfast!

Types of Walden Farms Syrups

First and foremost, we should definitely talk about Walden Farms Classic Pancake Syrup. This is the standard, go-to pancake and waffle syrup for many of our customers, who love the amazing guilt-free maple flavour. As with all Walden Farms syrups, it’s 100% sugar-free, which makes it absolutely perfect for a low carb diet. Many people even use it as a flavour accent on things like cereal and smoothies, or as an alternative sweetener in coffee, lattes, and tea. It’s definitely got plenty of uses in the low carb kitchen. You can find Walden Farms Pancake Syrup here.

Next up, let’s have a look at some other syrups from Walden Farms. If you’re in the mood to mix things up in the morning and try something new, they have several other flavoured syrups that work great on pancakes and waffles. Try some Strawberry Syrup to go with your strawberry pancakes, or perhaps some Caramel Syrup to accompany a piping hot Belgian waffle with sugar-free whipped cream.

Fans of blueberries will be happy to discover this tasty Blueberry Syrup which is amazing on top of blueberry pancakes or as a sweet addition to blended fruit drinks. For an even more decadent treat, throw some chocolate chips on top of your waffle and drizzle it with this fantastic Chocolate Syrup. We’re pretty sure this will be a smash hit with kids and parents alike!

Once you start exploring the different flavours of syrup from Walden Farms, you’ll find that they open the door to all kinds of custom pancake and waffle creations. For the full selection of Walden Farms syrups, click here to browse.

Now that we’ve got you craving some fresh, hot pancakes and waffles, it would be a shame to leave you without some incredible low carb recipes to try. So, we’ve gathered a couple of delicious recipes that you can use to test out all those new flavours of syrup this weekend!

Low Carb Pancake Recipe

Pancakes definitely qualify as comfort food, and this recipe will undoubtedly end up as your standard family pancake recipe from now on. It’s simple to make, only requiring 6 ingredients, and produces light, fluffy, and delicious pancakes every time. The great thing about this Low Carb Pancake Recipe from Maya at WholesomeYum.com is that it combines both almond flour and coconut flour to produce a superior texture that you can’t get with each flour on their own. It’s a unique twist on low carb pancakes that makes a huge difference in the final product.

Once you get your stack of pancakes cooked up, top them off with whatever low carb toppings you’d like, such as berries, nuts, whipped cream, and your favourite flavour of syrup. Now, dig in!

Low Carb Waffle Recipe

Finding a great low carb waffle recipe is like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, we did it for you so all you need to do is bookmark this recipe and start cooking! This recipe for low carb Waffles from Libby at DitchTheCarbs.com is not only sugar-free, but also grain-free, and still produces light, fluffy, waffles with no complicated ingredients or instructions. One fantastic tip that we just have to share about these waffles is that they can even be used as an alternative sandwich bread that kids will go nuts for. Now that’s what we call a creative use of a healthy waffle!

Conclusion

We certainly hope that this article has encouraged you to check out some of the great syrup products from Walden Farms. Those recipes for low carb waffles and pancakes are absolutely perfect for a fun, hot breakfast that the whole family will love this weekend. Offering a selection of toppings and syrups to choose from will kick things up a notch and definitely inspire some creativity around the breakfast table. See what interesting combinations you can come up with, and don’t be afraid to share them with the family. Although, they may just be so good, you’ll want to keep them all to yourself! Happy eating!

Pick Quality Pots & Pans and Other Kitchen Cookware

How to Choose Quality Cookware for Your Kitchen

How to Choose Quality Cookware for Your Kitchen

Having the right tools and equipment on-hand in your kitchen can make a huge difference in the food you cook, and how much you will actually enjoy cooking it. Most of us become quite accustomed to the kitchen supplies that we have on-hand, and when we finally do purchase an upgrade, it can be quite surprising just how much better things work. It can be something as simple as the shape of the pan, or the materials it’s made of, regardless, the right tools make cooking easier and more fun.

In this article, we’re going to go through some details on what to look for if you’re considering upgrading your cookware. We will cover everything from the basic types of cookware, to materials, and even some of the most popular brands to consider. With these tips, you’ll be sure to find the best cookware for your low carb kitchen!

Cookware Categories

Cookware can easily be broken down in to just a few main categories, usually based on the function they serve and whether or not they are intended to be heated. The main categories of cookware that most items will organized into are:

Pots & Pans

When something needs to be boiled, fried, simmered, or sautéed, this is the category you’ll be looking at. Pots and pans come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to meet the needs of countless recipe instructions. For example, soup pots naturally need to be big and deep, whereas saucepans are wider and shallower. While most of us simply look at the size of the pot or pan to determine which one we need, for many recipes, the shape is equally important. Many recipes describe the type of pot or pan best used for the food being cooked, so make sure you pay attention to these little details to get the best results when you cook. For example, if a recipe calls for the food to simmer while covered, you’ll need to make sure that you have a suitable lid for the pot or pan you choose.

Utensils and Preparation Equipment

Knives, forks, spatulas, whisks, and virtually everything else that you need to prepare foods prior to the actual cooking steps are in this category. This includes things like mixing bowls, cutting boards, slicers, graters, and anything else you’d need to prepare your ingredients. Depending on how the food should be prepared, or the type of ingredients you’re using, you’ll find different shapes and sizes of preparation tools and utensils more useful than others. For example, a paring knife is designed specifically to peel fruits or vegetables, or other small and intricate detail work. A carving knife, by comparison, would be awkward and difficult to manage for those tasks due to the size of it. Much like a screwdriver makes a poor hammer, you’ve got to use the right tool for the job.

Oven Safe Cookware

Due to the high heat environment of the oven, cookware that is designed for use in the oven is very different in materials and construction. Oven-safe cookware can be made from metal, ceramic, porcelain, stone, or glass. Thicker walls and heavy lids are typical for things like casserole dishes, steamers, and Dutch ovens. Ovenware must conduct and hold heat well in order to cook food evenly for best results, so the materials used are generally heavier and more durable than some other types of cookware. Other types of ovenware, like cookie sheets, are thin and made from metal in order to better suit the shorter cooking times of some baking recipes.

Materials

Just like there are different styles and shapes of cookware, there are different materials that they can be made from, each with their own characteristics. These characteristics tend to make some materials better for certain types of cooking than others. Here, we will list the most common cookware materials and their characteristics:

Stoneware, Ceramics, and Porcelain

Also known traditionally as ‘earthenware’, these types of cookware are created from pottery and ceramic materials fired at a very high temperature. This makes them ideal for use in the oven, and for serving dishes for foods that you’d like to stay warm for longer periods of time. Stoneware has very good heat retention, but doesn’t heat up as quickly as metal, meaning that it tends to me more suitable for recipes calling for longer cooking times. Depending on the specific type of cookware you choose, keep in mind that cleaning them can be difficult as foods tend to bake into the surface, something to keep in mind.

Glassware

Similar to stoneware, glassware is generally used in the oven, but also is common in serving dishes as well as in things like mixing bowls, storage containers, and other miscellaneous kitchenware. Glassware has the unique advantage of being transparent, and so it can be quite beneficial for some recipes that rely on visual cues to determine doneness. Glassware has similar heat-retention to stoneware, and can keep hot food warm quite well. Glassware does have the disadvantage of being a bit more fragile than some other materials and should always be handled with great care. Glassware can also be difficult to clean as foods bake into the surface – and because they aren’t non-stick, cleaning them can be a chore.

Copper and Aluminum

Most commonly used to construct pots, pans, and other cookware that are intended to be used on the stove, copper and aluminum are extremely versatile materials for a wide range of cookware. Both are durable, light, and conduct heat extremely well, meaning the cooking surface gets hot very quickly. Aluminum is less expensive than copper, if you can afford it, get it, as it’s better to invest a little bit more to have copper for its superior heat conduction, better looks, durability and longevity.

Stainless Steel

While stainless steel is an extremely popular cookware choice due to its appearance and durability, its actually much less efficient at heat transfer than some of the other material options. Most high-quality stainless-steel cookware actually uses a copper or aluminum core or base in order to address heat transfer issues, when compared to plain stainless steel.  Stainless steel can also be difficult to clean, foods love to stick like glue which not only makes cleaning more difficult, but can also impact the cooking experience.

Cast Iron

There’s no mistaking the weight and feel of a piece of cast iron cookware. It’s heavy, and extremely solid, and will last a lifetime when cared for properly. Although many people avoid cast iron due to its reputation of needing more effort to maintain and care for, it’s actually quite simple to season and care for a cast iron pan, and it ends up with a virtually non-stick surface. Cast iron transfers heat evenly and holds heat extremely well but does take much longer to heat up than aluminum or copper. Cast iron isn’t suitable for everything, especially acidic foods, which can actually damage the cooking surface. If you love steak, but don’t want to BBQ in the winter, get a cast iron pan, it’s ideal for searing meats to seal in the juices.

Coatings

Since one of the least pleasant aspects of cooking is the cleanup process afterwards, cookware manufacturers have invested a great deal of time and effort in developing better materials and coatings that help prevent sticking and make them easier to clean. There are a few different common coatings that you will see on the store shelves, and each one has unique properties to be aware of.

Silicone

Most of the kitchen products that feature a silicone coating are focused around baking, Silicone baking sheets are great for cookies, but other shapes of cookware, like a muffin tin, will likely be more difficult to clean. In addition, silicone is a very poor heat conductor, and won’t produce a browning effect like a metal pan will. If you like your baked goods to have browned bottoms or edges, silicone is probably not the best choice. Overall, silicone has limited applications and should be reserved for those instances where it makes the most sense.

Teflon

Teflon-coated cookware has been around for many years, and the non-stick effects are extremely helpful in a variety of cooking applications. Teflon coatings are used on metal cookware, usually aluminum. They effectively prevent foods from sticking to the surface, and make the cookware easier to clean. They can be damaged by using metal utensils, and so plastic or wood should be used to avoid scratching the coating. There has been some question over the safety of Teflon coatings on cookware in the past. These health concerns were related to the use of synthetic chemical compounds such as PFOA, also known as C8. However, the manufacturer of Teflon phased out these compounds from their processes in 2013. This article from Franki at GoodFood.com.au details the concerns with non-stick cookware, and how things have changed in recent years.

Ceramic

Ceramic coatings are made from the same materials as those used in other ceramic cookware. These coatings are extremely durable and produce a very slippery surface, making it very difficult for food to stick to it and makes for easy cleanup. Ceramic coated cookware is very popular due to these characteristics, but it also tends to be slightly more expensive. If you’re going for a quality set of non-stick metal cookware, ceramic coatings are definitely recommended as the best long-term investment.

For more information on the types of cookware materials, coatings and construction types, check out this cookware report from Consumer Reports.

Popular Cookware Brands

Now that you have a better idea of what kinds of cookware are available, and what materials you might want to choose, how do you start identifying the best manufacturers to look for? Well, there are some world-renowned brands that are always a safe bet for cookware, these include:

  • Meyer (Anolon, Circulon, Rachael Ray)
  • Tramontina
  • All-Clad
  • Cuisinart
  • Farberware
  • Lodge
  • Calphalon
  • Le Creuset
  • Woll Diamond Plus

In addition, Donna at TheSpruce.com has put together this handy list of the 8 Best Cookware Sets to Buy in 2018. Here, you’ll find recommendations for top-quality cookware in a wide variety of styles and price ranges.

Conclusion

Cookware can make the difference between a frustrating struggle and a fun, enjoyable cooking experience. Having the best tools and equipment for crafting your culinary creations is extremely important, and we hope that this guide has helped you in your search for the best cookware for your kitchen. Happy cooking!