Brass cookware refers to a set of utensils and culinary equipment made up of brass. You might have seen many of them in your kitchen, probably belonging to your grandparents. Brass has been used to manufacture cookware since the earliest of times.
It has been used to produce pans, pots, and vessels of various kinds for cooking as well as for eating. However, brass cookware was extensively used in ancient times and is not that common now. You can still find it somewhere between old utensils lying in your kitchen or antique shops.
Let’s quickly look at the top brass cookware options, and then I’ll get a bit deeper into the different options:
|Best brass wok pan: Ooobies 12 inch|
|Best brass saucepan: Finaldealz with lid|
|Best traditional brass karahi: Finaldealz Kadai pot|
|Best brass handle: Agnelli frying pan|
|Best brass drinking glasses: Mygift brass toned|
|Best brass wine glasses: Queenbar unbreakable goblets|
|Best brass dinner plates: Seletti Fingers|
|Best hammered brass plates: KBB Pooja Thali|
|Best brass charger plates: Old Dutch|
Best brass cookware
Brass can be used for almost any kind of utensil but it’s ideal to have these brass items in your kitchen for a healthier life if you use them with the care needed.
Brass pans are ideal for slow frying over medium heat since they allow better transmission of heat and can spread heat evenly throughout the pan. They’re lighter in weight and allow better enrichment of taste. They’re widely used for cooking Thai food and candies.
Brass spoons: History says brass spoons should be kept in the kitchen because their use allows beneficial properties of brass to help the body in various ways. They are easy to use, durable and can be used for almost all kinds of food or even kitchen decor.
For the most versatile cookware, you should go for a brass wok like this Ooobies 12 inch brass wok pan. It’s easy to make stir-fry dishes in it because of the high sides and you can make anything from fried beef to vegetables:
For a little more specific uses, like making sauces or small amounts of stock, this saucepan with a sturdy lid is the best option to choose:
A traditional brass karahi pan might be a good option if you like the look of it, or are really searching for this type of cookware:
You can also use it as a wok pan for stir-fry dishes.
If you just want the brass look, you can always opt for this Agnelli frying pan with brass handle, which has a great look to it:
Glasses made up of brass have extensively been used in ancient times especially for drinking water and milk because it is believed that having these liquids in brass can help boost the body’s immune system and lower down aggression and maintain overall health and texture of the skin as well.
Brass is also believed to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties due to which people in certain areas still use brass glasses to have liquids like water and milk.
Although not actual brass, these brass toned drinking glasses are just beautifully crafted and it’s quite hard to find real brass glasses these days. But these do fit the bill:
On that same note, you might want to consider these Queenbar unbreakable brass or copper toned wine glasses as well. They just have this great glow over them, even though they are not brass:
Brass plates have also been used widely for many years now. They can be used in daily routine for keeping and eating food. They allow easy and durable use and convenient eating while giving off the health benefits of brass as a bonus.
The absolute most beautifully designed dinner plates are these from Seletti. The “Fingers” design is handcrafted and will look great in your design appartment or country home:
A bit of a different look is these hammered brass dinner plates from KBB. They have a little bit higher rims and are ethically handmade in India:
If you’re looking for something a bit smaller (and more affordable) take a look at these Old Dutch charger plates. They are 13 inches in diameter:
Why should you use brass cookware?
Where modern-day cookware has given us the chance to enjoy utensils in glass, stainless steel, and non-stick cookware, the old school cookware is widely known for its healthy and therapeutic properties as well.
Known for its golden looks and polished finishing, brass cookware is one the oldest known cookware that has been famous for its malleable and beneficial properties. It is still used in small towns and villages where people believe it is healthy for their overall health to eat and cook in brass cookware.
Besides being durable and long-lasting, some other benefits of brass cookware you can count on while cooking in it are that it increases the overall strength and immunity of the body.
It also helps in reducing aggression and burning sensations and increases hemoglobin count of the body which reduces the risk of anemia. It also improves the condition and texture of skin making it look much healthier. Other than these health benefits, brass cookware heats up faster and cools down slower thus retaining heat and saving energy.
However, it is now believed that brass cookware should only be used to boil milk or water, although the fact that brass makes the taste of your food lingers in your mouth is also not denied.
What kind of brass is best for cookware?
Although there are many kinds of brass available universally, it is best to use a good quality suitable kind of brass when it comes to cookware so that the cooking experience is made convenient.
For high-performance cookware, the brass used should be ductile but a bit more solid so that it can stand the amount of heat provided and also maintain the shape. This can be achieved by varying the amount of copper, zinc and other trace elements used in the making of brass.
The lining used for brass cookware should also be more solid so that it doesn’t corrode easily upon contact with food. The number of harmful elements like lead, tin or arsenal in the brass itself or the lining should also be carefully monitored and kept in check. What are the disadvantages of using brass cookware?
While brass cookware gives us tones of benefits discussed earlier, it still comes with its own set of disadvantages as well. Because of its reactive properties, brass can react to the acids or any such ingredient in the food. This reaction causes a chemical form that can be poisonous for human health if excessive intake happens.
However, to avoid this, brass is often lined with some other metals like tin or steel, etc. which prevents the acids in food from absorbing brass or copper in it. Therefore, brass cookware can be used for slow cooking over longer periods but isn’t the best for frying acidic foods or using ingredients such as vinegar, etc.
Other than this, brass sometimes contains about 2% of lead in it to assist the cutting process and pressure tightness, which causes many health concerns. To avoid this, bismuth can be used as an alternative to lead. Bismuth has no proven health issues until now.
Because of its ductile properties and a lower melting point, brass can sometimes get too hot and change its shape which is also a con of cooking in brass cookware. In addition to this, brass needs thorough and careful cleaning because it can get spots on its exterior.
It must be cleaned with a specific solution regularly and must not be air-dried to prevent spotting and color changing. It cannot be put into a dishwasher because it gets easy scratches on the outside and can look worn out. Because of all these problems, brass cookware is slowly being replaced by aluminum and stainless steel cookware.
Medicinal properties of brass cookware
Other than looking like gold and giving off a radiant shine, brass as a metal has wonderful medicinal properties which makes brass cookware very beneficial for use. The composition of brass cookware makes it ideal for cooking bland and non-acidic foods. It also has a remarkable property of retaining 95% micronutrients in the food and maintain a rich taste.
Brass helps in providing stronger and healthier hair and also provides melanin for flawless looking skin. Not to forget that melanin is a very important component of our skin that ensures our skin is safe from all the external harm and UV rays. In short, eating and cooking in brass cookware helps our health find its way to better health and enrichment.
Brass cookware in comparison to other metal cookware: All of the metals used for cooking have unique properties that distinguish them from others.
Just like cooking and eating in copper utensils detoxify the body and provide antioxidants, silver cookware provides coolness to the body and iron utensils help reduce chances of anemia, brass has specific properties that distinguish it from other metal cookware including low melting points, easy handling, better transfer of heat and preservation of nutrients.
Despite some of the harmful aspects of brass cookware, it is still known for its medicinal and healing properties in small towns and various other areas to date.
Misconceptions between brass and bronze cookware
Since brass and bronze are both copper alloys and have similar physical properties, many people tend to confuse these two.
It is important to know the difference between brass and bronze because these two also have many differences in their chemical as well as compositional properties that affect cooking and eating experiences. Some of the key differences between brass and bronze that can help you distinguish between the two of them are:
- Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc while bronze is an alloy of copper and tin.
- Brass gives off a dull yellow/gold color while bronze gives off a more reddish-gold color.
- Brass is more malleable and moldable while bronze is harder.
- Brass has a lower melting point and bronze has a higher melting point.
Also, some of the similarities between these two metals are:
- They’re used in manufacturing musical instruments
- They’re used in the production of electrical fittings and contacts
- They’re used to make decorative items and drum cymbals
- They’re used in plumbing tools and places where friction needs to be avoided
Precautions for using brass cookware: While using brass cookware, make sure they’re modern-day manufacture. Brass items manufactured a few years ago might have some traces of arsenic, tin or lead in them and these elements can leak into the food you cook in these utensils.
Both lead and arsenic are poisonous and can deposit in your body and reach dangerous levels over time while they harm the body silently.
Foods with acidic properties, vinegar, tomatoes and citrus fruits, etc. should be avoided while cooking in brass cookware. Any kind of food should not be stored for long in brass utensils. And if your brass cookware is lined with tin or lead, keep a check on any kind of damage in the lining and get it repaired as soon as possible.
Cleaning brass cookware
Brass cookware needs a thorough and careful cleaning because of its compositional properties. It doesn’t corrode or layer off easily but it can if it remains in contact with food for long.
It is important to clean and wash brass cookware immediately after use and use a mild detergent instead of a harsh one or use a professional cleaner designed especially for brass.
For a homemade cleaner, you can use a teaspoon of salt and half a cup of white vinegar mixed with flour enough to make a consistent paste. Apply the paste on the utensil and leave it for a few minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water and do not let it air dry.
Any kind of harsh cleaners or cleaning can damage the lining of the brass utensils or the brass itself.
What is brass?
Brass is an alloy of Copper and Zinc elements. It is a substituted alloy i.e. the atoms of the two metals may replace each other within the same crystal structure. Brass is similar to Bronze except that bronze contains tin instead of zinc.
It may also contain other elements like arsenic, lead, phosphorous or aluminum in small amounts.
Mechanical and chemical properties of brass may vary according to the amount of Copper and Zinc used which also means, by changing the amount of copper or zinc, brass can be made softer or harder accordingly.
Brass has a dull gold-like appearance for which it is extensively used for decoration purposes. It is used in making lightweight decor accessories. It is also used in making doorknobs, locks, bearings, gadget casings and some other electrical appliances.
It is broadly used in making musical instruments and is well known for the property that it doesn’t create sparks and is therefore used in materials and fittings that are easily flammable.
Brass has been used in manufacturing home hardware for many years now. It is famous for home hardware because of its ductile properties due to which it can easily be molded into the desired shape or design and can be worked on easily for minor details.
Moreover, the desired finishing can be given to anything made of brass. It can be smooth, shiny, or grainy and can also be made to look like any other metal.
It is resistant to erosion from water, oils or sweats and can extensively be used in areas with extra moisture like kitchens and bathrooms. When exposed to air, brass oxidizes which makes it even more durable over time.
Another remarkable property of brass hardware is that it has an antimicrobial property that keeps viruses and bacteria from spreading. However, brass hardware needs a little more careful use because it can easily be bent and can get dents because of its malleable properties.
Also, it needs constant cleaning so that it doesn’t change its color.