Titanium cookware – probably the least spectacular titanium application in consumer products industry.

I can’t say that I’m much of a titanium cookware fan myself. In fact, although I won’t starve if my wife leaves for the weekend, I can honestly say I’m not that much of a cook. Still, this won’t stop me from grumbling in my chin while generously offering tremendously invaluable hints and tips when my dinner is not chef-perfect.

Nevertheless, titanium cookware is not something to be overlooked when dealing with titanium metal. Although titanium properties allow far much more complex and sophisticated applications, and probably there will never be someone that will use descriptions like “critical” or “invaluable” for titanium pans and saucers, the use of titanium in household items did solve some problems that other materials used before in this industry could not, especially for backpackers.

Snowpeak titanium has gone a great length in promoting the use of titanium in backpacking cookware.

For instance, cast iron cookware has been used for a long time in home kitchens. Cast iron's ability to withstand and maintain very high cooking temperatures made it an initial good choice for this common activity, and its excellent heat diffusion and retention made it seemingly perfect. However, anyone who tried to throw a pancake in the air with a cast iron pan knows that it proves to be a heavy task, so to speak. Just imagine how this would feel for a professional chef that uses the pan all day long, tens of ordered pancakes. Indeed, titanium lightweight would prove critical for him.

There are however other metals that are light. Aluminum has been considered for a while in the cookware industry, but the metal itself is known to react with certain types of acids found in foods, leading to potentially dangerous contamination. It’s not something that could kill someone, but it will certainly change the desired taste for the day special. This is a chef’s nightmare, in my opinion.

That must have been the reason for, at their annual reunion, when members of the research and development team from The International Frying Pan Producers Association brainstormed the material for the next millennium, they probably found, as almost every other researcher has, that titanium is ideally suited for their needs. Strong, durable and lightweight - an unique blend of advantages amongst all other metals. Not to mention that it was ready for the non-stick applications that Teflon offered for cooking industry. A chef’s dream came true.

It is worth mentioning that there are some drawbacks in using titanium in cookware. Heat is not evenly distributed in titanium plates. To solve this problem, titanium utensils are manufactured with an aluminum layer inside or with an aluminum base, in order to prevent hot spots and distribute the heat evenly. Such cookware tends to be expensive, so if you are looking for cheaper cookware, choose cookware made of titanium that has a thicker base. This will ensure better distribution of heat and prevent warping. Do remember that titanium has no intrinsic nonstick properties, so a protective layer (in titanium is usually ceramic) is present in all non-stick cookware, titanium or not.

There is also an intense, heated debate about titanium cookware safety concerns, that doesn't seem to be anywhere ready to be settled soon.

On the free market, titanium cookware is available in a large variety, some of which are frying pans, skillet pans, saucepans, stockpots, grill pans and sauté pans. You can also purchase titanium cookware sets. The range of camping titanium utensils, which is very popular especially because of their lightness, includes compact and light-handled cups and dishes. Some well known names in titanium cookware manufacturing are Scanpan, Eurolux, Anolon and WOLL.

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