Best Utensils For Cooking According To Ayurveda [2024]

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: April 23, 2024 References

best cookware utensils according to ayurveda
Different cookware utensils with different materials for cooking.

Welcome to the world of Ayurveda! This historic Indian method of health is all about living well and eating well. Ayurveda teaches us that even the utensils we cook with can affect our health, making it important to select the best utensils for cooking according to Ayurveda.

In this blog, we’ll explore why choosing the right cooking utensils is crucial if you follow Ayurveda. We’ll discuss which cooking utensil material is best for your health and how these choices can enhance your well-being.

Whether you’re new to Ayurveda or you’ve been following its advice for years, understanding the best cooking utensils material can significantly impact your kitchen and your life.

Keep reading to learn more about choosing the best utensils that fit with Ayurvedic wisdom and support your health every day.

This article will focus on the benefits of using old vessels for cooking, along with some Ayurvedic practices and older traditions.[1]

1 Best Utensils for Cooking - An Ayurvedic Perspective

bronze cookware
Bronze Cookware

Ayurveda teaches us that the materials we use to cook our food can affect the food’s energy and our health. According to Ayurveda, every material has its natural properties, and those can engage with the meals we prepare. Choosing the right cooking utensils is not just about how long they last or how they look; it’s about how they impact the health qualities of our meals.

Ideal Materials According to Ayurveda

closeup of clay bronze and copper utensils
closeup of clay, bronze, and copper utensils

Copper: Ayurveda highly values copper utensils for their health benefits. Copper naturally purifies the water and food cooked in it, balancing the doshas (body energies) and aiding digestion.

Bronze: This alloy of copper and tin is traditionally used in Ayurvedic cooking. It is believed to maintain the balance between the heating and cooling properties of food, making it ideal for cooking rice and curries.

Clay: Cooking in clay pots is one of the oldest practices recommended by Ayurveda. Clay adds a unique flavour to food and provides various minerals that are beneficial for health. It also cooks food at a slower pace, which helps retain the nutrients that high heat can destroy.

2 Healthiest Cooking Utensil Materials

When it comes to cooking, the materials you choose can make a big difference in your health. Ayurveda has long emphasized the importance of selecting the right materials for cookware. Let’s compare some traditional and modern materials to see which are considered the healthiest according to Ayurveda.

Traditional Materials

Copper, Bronze, and Clay: As mentioned earlier, these materials are favoured in Ayurvedic cooking. They are believed to add beneficial minerals to food and help balance the body’s energies. For example, copper can help regulate blood pressure and heart rate.

Modern Materials

close up of different utensils including stainless steel non stick and aluminum
Close up of different utensils including stainless steel, non-stick, and aluminum
  • Stainless Steel: This is a popular choice in many modern kitchens. Stainless steel cookware are durable, easy to clean, and does not react with food. From an Ayurvedic perspective, while it doesn’t enhance the food energetically as copper or clay might, it is considered safe as it doesn’t leach harmful chemicals into food.
  • Non-Stick Cookware: While non-stick pans are convenient and reduce the need for oil, they are often coated with synthetic materials that can release toxic fumes when overheated. Ayurveda would advise caution with these materials, as they can disrupt the natural balance of the body.
  • Aluminium: Aluminium cookware is lightweight and heats evenly, but there is concern about aluminium leaching into food, especially with acidic foods like tomatoes. This metal can accumulate in the body and may pose health risks, which does not align with Ayurvedic principles for health.

Making the Right Choice

Comparing these materials, traditional choices like copper, bronze, and clay seem to align better with Ayurvedic health principles. They not only cook food effectively but also enhance it with health-promoting qualities. Stainless steel can be a good alternative in modern kitchens for its inert properties, ensuring safety without negatively affecting the body’s balance.

3 Best Cooking Utensils Material According to Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, the choice of cooking utensil material is crucial because it can influence the energy of the food and, ultimately, how it affects our body. Let’s delve into why certain metals and materials are preferred in Ayurveda and what makes others less suitable.

Preferred Materials

copper iron and clay utensils
Copper, Iron, and Clay utensils

Copper: Copper is one of the top choices for cooking in Ayurvedic traditions. It offers numerous health benefits, including improving the immune system and aiding digestion. Copper vessels are particularly recommended for storing water, as the metal ionizes the water and imparts its positive properties.

Iron: Iron cookware is highly valued in Ayurveda because cooking in iron vessels can help increase the iron content in the food. This is especially beneficial for those with iron deficiency. Iron also holds heat well, cooking foods evenly and thoroughly.

Clay: As previously mentioned, clay pots add a unique flavour to the food and cook it gently, preserving the nutrients. Clay is naturally alkaline, so it can neutralize the acidity of the food, which helps in maintaining a balanced stomach pH.

Less Suitable Materials

stainless steel pots and pans isolated on white background
Stainless steel pots and pans isolated on white background
  • Aluminium: While aluminium cookware is common due to its excellent heat conductivity and affordability, it is not preferred in Ayurveda due to health concerns associated with aluminium exposure. Cooking acidic foods in aluminium can cause the metal to leach into the food, potentially leading to health issues over time.
  • Plastic and Synthetic Non-Stick Coatings: These are generally avoided in Ayurvedic cooking. Plastics can release harmful chemicals when heated, and non-stick coatings might emit toxic fumes if overheated. Such materials are considered to disrupt the natural balance and purity of food.

Evaluating Material Suitability

When evaluating cooking materials from an Ayurvedic perspective, it’s important to consider how they interact with the body’s energies and the food’s natural qualities. Materials like copper, iron, and clay not only enhance the food’s health benefits but also align with Ayurvedic principles of harmony and natural living.

4 Ayurveda’s Preferred Metals for Cooking

Ayurveda not only guides what to eat but also how to cook it. The metals used in cookware are carefully chosen based on their health benefits and their ability to balance the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) that govern bodily functions. Here’s a look at the best metals for cooking according to Ayurvedic texts, and how they help in maintaining health and balance.

Copper

Copper is highly esteemed in Ayurveda for its ability to balance the doshas and stimulate the flow of energy (prana). It is especially beneficial for reducing excess Kapha and Pitta. Copper vessels are often used for storing drinking water, as the metal positively charges the water, which in turn can help regulate the functioning of the liver and kidneys.

Iron

Iron cookware is recommended for its ability to increase the iron content in food, which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood circulation and reducing Vata and Kapha imbalances. Iron is a grounding metal that provides essential nutrients, making it ideal for those who need a boost in energy and stability.

Silver

Silver is another metal praised in Ayurvedic texts for its cooling properties. It is considered beneficial for Pitta dosha, as it helps cool and soothe the internal systems. Silver also has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for digestion and immune function.

Gold

Though not commonly used for cookware due to its cost, gold is revered in Ayurveda for its health-enhancing properties. Cooking with gold can positively affect all three doshas, especially Pitta, by imparting a soothing influence on both the food and the mind.

Choosing the Right Metal

While these metals are favoured for their specific benefits, it’s important to choose cookware that suits your personal health needs according to your predominant dosha. For instance, if you have a high Pitta, you might benefit from cooking with silver utensils, while those with high Kapha may find iron more beneficial.

5 Adding Ayurvedic Utensils In Your Kitchen

clay cookware
Clay Cookware

Introducing Ayurvedic utensils into your kitchen can be a rewarding step towards healthier cooking habits. Whether you’re deeply familiar with Ayurvedic principles or just beginning to explore them, here are some practical tips on selecting, using, and maintaining these traditional cooking tools.

Selecting Ayurvedic Utensils

  • Start Small: If you’re new to Ayurvedic cookware, start with one or two items. A copper water vessel or a small clay pot for cooking rice and stews can be a great beginning.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Invest in high-quality metals and clay. Look for certified materials that guarantee safe and durable use. Avoid cheap alternatives that might degrade quickly or leach harmful substances into your food.
  • Match Utensils to Your Needs: Consider your cooking habits and dietary needs. For instance, an iron skillet is ideal for those needing to increase their dietary iron intake.

Using Ayurvedic Utensils

  • Understand Each Material’s Cooking Style: Each material has its unique properties. For example, clay pots are excellent for slow cooking, preserving the richness and nutrients of the food. Copper, on the other hand, is excellent for cooking acidic foods like tomato sauce, as it can enhance flavour and add health benefits.
  • Pre-Season Your Utensils: Some Ayurvedic cookware, like iron and clay, requires seasoning to prevent sticking and enhance flavour. Proper seasoning also prolongs the life of the utensils.

Maintaining Ayurvedic Utensils

  • Regular Care is Key: Each material will have its care instructions. Copper and silver need to be polished regularly to prevent tarnishing and maintain their health benefits. Clay pots should be cleaned with warm water and a soft brush and must be thoroughly dried before storing to avoid mould growth.
  • Avoid Modern Detergents on Traditional Materials: Harsh chemicals can strip away the natural seasoning of iron and clay cookware and tarnish copper and bronze. Use natural cleaning agents like baking soda or vinegar for safe and effective cleaning.

Gradually Integrating Ayurvedic Practices

  • Educate Yourself and Your Family: Learn about the benefits of each material and share this knowledge with your family. Understanding why you’re using these materials can make the transition easier and more enjoyable.
  • Combine Traditional and Modern Techniques: Integrating Ayurvedic cookware doesn’t mean you have to give up your modern appliances and utensils. Instead, find a balance that works for you, such as using both a traditional clay pot and a modern stainless steel pot in your cooking routine.

6 Wrapping Up

Using Ayurvedic-recommended cooking utensils means that you are cooking with utensils made of natural materials such as brass, iron, and ceramic. These utensils are great as they add healthy ingredients to your food, making the food easier to digest and free of harmful chemicals.

Cooking with these utensils is more than just food preparation; It’s almost like meditation to feel connected to nature and find stillness. Cooking this way makes your meals tastier and more satisfying, which can encourage you to lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

By using Ayurvedic-recommended utensils, you are not just cooking; You honour a tradition that cares about your physical, mental, and spiritual health. This can help you feel better and more energetic every day.

FAQ's about Best Utensils For Cooking According to Ayurveda

Which cooking material is best?

Stainless Steel is highly durable and versatile, making it suitable for a variety of cooking techniques such as searing, sautéing, and boiling. It’s non-reactive, which means it won’t alter the taste of acidic foods, and it’s easy to maintain.

Cast Iron is renowned for its superior heat retention and even heating. It’s ideal for high-heat tasks like frying and searing, as well as for slow cooking that benefits from a steady temperature. However, it requires seasoning to maintain its non-stick properties and prevent rust.

Non-stick cookware is excellent for cooking delicate foods like eggs and pancakes, as it prevents food from sticking and makes cleanup easy. It’s particularly useful for low-fat cooking since it requires less oil. However, it’s less durable than other materials and can be damaged by high heat and abrasive utensils.

Copper offers unmatched heat conductivity, allowing precise temperature control. It’s perfect for quick sautés and reducing sauces. Copper typically needs to be lined with another material like tin or stainless steel to prevent food from reacting with copper.

Ceramic cookware provides a non-reactive surface and is often preferred for its health benefits, as it is free of potentially harmful chemicals. It’s suitable for slow cooking and provides excellent heat distribution.

Stainless steel is an excellent choice as it is durable, non-reactive, and does not leach chemicals. Cast iron is beneficial not only for its durability and heat retention but also because it can increase iron content in your diet, essential for health. Glass utensils are ideal for baking and storing as they withstand high temperatures without releasing toxins. Ceramic-coated cookware provides a safe, non-stick surface without the harmful chemicals found in traditional non-stick coatings, such as PFOA or PFTE. Bamboo and wooden utensils are safe for all types of cookware, prevent scratching, and do not interact with food. These materials are sustainable and add a natural, eco-friendly element to your kitchen.

Stainless steel is best for cooking utensils due to its durability, resistance to corrosion, and non-reactivity with food. It’s versatile and suitable for various cooking techniques while being relatively low-maintenance. Silicone utensils are gaining popularity for their heat resistance, flexibility, and gentle touch on cookware surfaces. They’re ideal for non-stick applications and can withstand high temperatures without degrading. Wooden utensils offer a classic and eco-friendly option, adding a natural aesthetic to the kitchen. While they require more care to maintain and may not withstand high heat, they’re gentle on cookware and provide a traditional cooking experience. Bamboo utensils combine sustainability with durability, making them an attractive choice for environmentally-conscious cooks. They’re suitable for gentle cooking tasks and offer similar benefits to wooden utensils with added resilience.

For Indian cooking, which often involves a rich tapestry of spices and diverse cooking techniques, certain materials are particularly well-suited to handle the demands of this cuisine. Stainless steel emerges as a versatile and durable choice, ideal for the varied cooking styles prevalent in Indian kitchens. Its non-reactive nature ensures that the complex flavors of spices remain uncompromised, while its ease of cleaning makes it a practical option for everyday use.

Cast iron also holds a prominent place in Indian cooking, renowned for its ability to distribute heat evenly and retain it effectively. This makes it perfect for slow-cooking dishes like curries and lentils, as well as for frying snacks such as pakoras. Its durability and heat retention properties make it a staple in many Indian households.

Non-stick coated cookware finds its place in Indian kitchens for dishes requiring minimal oil, such as making dosas or cooking delicate fish. However, it’s crucial to opt for high-quality non-stick coatings that are free from harmful chemicals like PFOA to ensure both safety and performance.

Additionally, traditional clay pots or earthenware remain popular choices for Indian cooking, particularly for slow-cooked dishes like biryanis and curries. These vessels impart a distinct flavor to the food and help retain moisture, resulting in tender and flavorful dishes that evoke the essence of traditional Indian cuisine.

The safest cooking utensils are typically made from materials such as stainless steel, silicone, wood, or bamboo. These materials are non-toxic, durable, and suitable for various cooking tasks.

Cookware that is 100% non-toxic is crucial for ensuring food safety and health in the kitchen. Several materials meet this standard:

Stainless Steel is a widely used option known for its durability and resistance to corrosion. High-quality stainless steel cookware does not react with food or release harmful chemicals, providing a safe cooking surface for a wide range of dishes.

Cast Iron cookware, when properly seasoned, forms a natural non-stick coating and does not contain any synthetic chemicals. It’s a favorite among chefs for its excellent heat retention and durability, and it can even contribute small amounts of dietary iron to your food.

Glass cookware, such as baking dishes and storage containers, is inert and does not react with food. This makes it an excellent choice for cooking and storing food without the risk of chemical leaching.

Ceramic cookware, especially those labeled as lead-free and free from other harmful substances, is another non-toxic option. Ceramic cookware is safe for cooking and provides an attractive and versatile option for various dishes.

Clay cookware, such as earthenware or terra cotta, is made from natural materials and does not contain any synthetic additives. While it may require more careful handling, clay cookware adds a unique flavor to dishes and is safe for cooking at low to medium temperatures.

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Kaushik Jethva
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Updated: April 23, 2024
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