Aluminum is our favorite material because it is very light to handle, it heats up quickly and evenly and is very resistant. It adapts to all types of kitchen utensils and is suitable both for conventional non-stick coating and for ceramic coating. It is an excellent conductor of heat providing a homogeneous temperature distribution throughout the cooking surface. Aluminum can be used in all heat sources, but since it is not ferromagnetic, it must be equipped with a stainless steel disc to be compatible with induction.
There are different systems to manufacture aluminum kitchen utensils, although in Valira we only use cast aluminum. Aluminum that is melted at 700ºC and then injected into a pressure mold (600 to 1000Tn). This technique can vary the thickness of the raw material as needed (thick bottom, thin walls) and ensures a perfect stability of the shape, due to the absence of mechanical stress. It is ideal for intensive use, non-deformable with the usual temperature changes when cooking. Ideal for both professional cooking and cooking at home.
We have two types of coating: PTFE and Ceramic.
PTFE: commonly known as Teflon, it is a non-stick coating, very effective and ideal for cooking eggs, fish, vegetables and simmering. The non-stick PTFE begins to deteriorate from 260ºC, so it is not suitable for cooking above this temperature. Since a few years non-stick PTFE are free of the PFOA molecule.
Ceramic: ATTENTION! It's not a non-stick! It has the appearance of being non-stick, for its outermost layer of about ten microns of silicone, but it will disappear after several uses and cleaning cycles.
However, the ceramic coating allows food to be sealed at high temperatures (360ºC) while ensuring easy cleaning. This coating is particularly suitable for aluminum tools, ideal for cooking at high temperatures (grill, grill, wok, pressure cooker ...).
There is no doubt that a cookware with a thick bottom is better, regardless of the material in which it is made. A perfect thickness of the base is 6mm. Ensures good heat distribution and good quality performance. In Valira we decided to have a 6mm base. .
A bottom thickness greater than this does not ensure greater benefits: the distribution does not improve and the product becomes heavier and more difficult to manage. On the other hand, low-end pans usually have a thin base, around 3 to 4 mm thick, which eventually ends up being deformed or domed.
The shape is undoubtedly what we know to choose more easily: a crepe maker for crepes, a wok for vegetables, a frying pan for eggs, a plate for vegetables or fish, a grill for meats, or a roasting pan for baking meat or fish.
This may suggest ideas for new ways of cooking: spiced and sautéed vegetables in a wok to play with their flavors, a griddle for cooking vegetables and meat at the same time, or a deep frypan for an omelette. But the fundamental thing of the shape is to feel comfortable with the tool in hand, to be able to carry out with confidence the recipe that we want to achieve.