01 Aug 2011

Smart Cookware for Seniors

photo credit: Sarah Hannigan

Enjoying cooking late in life is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Having the right cookware is a key ingredient. Here are some basics that all seniors in the market for a few good pieces should know:

Heavy Cookware

While heavy bottomed pots and pans help ensure even cooking and prevent foods from scorching, there are simple ways to lighten your load when cooking while getting the same results. Use these quick tips when evaluating your cookware:

  • Go small for a lighter pan, such as a 6- or 8-inch cast iron pan, that will produce the same results you’re used to
  • Stainless steel pans are a lighter option to cast iron and, with an aluminum core, provide the same even heat to prevent scorching.
  • Pans with see-through lids (such as the Lodge Manufacturing 3-quart round Dutch oven, $49.95) eliminate the need for repeated lifting of the pot lid and thus reduce the likelihood of an accident.
  • Pots and pans that have dual handles are easier to move and give greater certainty that a brimming, hot pot is totally under total control.

Matching Lids with Pans

Searching for the matching lid to a pot can be frustrating. Opt for cookware with color-coded lids and bottoms, such as the variety of Le Creuset products, which make it easy to match sets.

New Pans Offer Smarter, Handy Designs

Your tried-and-true collection of cookware is likely to have out-of-date and impractical designs. Handles might be wobbly and screws rusty. Knobs may be missing or smaller in shape. Older pots and pans tend to be more angular in shape, with straight sides, making it more difficult to thoroughly clean their sharp edged corners. When replacing old pans, choose large, oversized, ergonomically designed knobs and dual handles that make maneuvering simple. Also look for pans with slightly sloped sides for easy and complete cleaning.

Of course, there is more to consider when choosing pots and pans than just size, shape and weight. Some materials are safer and more energy efficient than others. I recommend you check out this Smarter Living Guide to Eco-Wise Cookware to learn more.



  1. Ida G Millman Says: August 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Ida G Millman says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 14, 2011 at 10:29 am
    My son just sent me your site, for which I’m very grateful.

    I began my cooking life with Revereware in 1948, switched to commercial weight aluminum around 1972 and, around 10 years ago, made another change to an assortment of steel w/aluminum core and hardened aluminum. For the last two I chose dual handles partly because they were ‘different’ and I’m a little ashamed of that decision. That was when I was much younger and, now you’ve made me feel so clever! Some of them are heavy – my ridged cast iron grill pan and the largest saute pan – but I manage and now know that its the extra handle. All the covers are glass, but I knew what I was doing in that choice.

    Your site is not accepting the email address I prefer that you use: ida_g_mail@sbcglobal.net. That may be because I’m using the gmail site. Thanks

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