Made from sand and oxygen, silicone is nonstick, nonreactive and safe to use in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher. They’re also very lightweight and won’t stain.
They are a bit on the expensive side and can be awkward and unstable.
Stainless steel cookware
The workhorse of kitchens throughout the world, you can find this cookware in just about every home in America. Stainless steel cookware is made from an alloy of metals, which usually include some combination of steel, carbon, nickel and chromium. They’re engineered to be nonporous, durable, corrosion-resistant and easy to clean.
Stainless steel is one of the more expensive types of cookware you can buy, especially when combined with other metals like copper (which is sometimes used to improve its naturally poor heat conductivity). It has a tendency to discolor under high heat and to pit when exposed to salt water. Additionally, if scratched, chromium and nickel could leach into your food.
Titanium is extraordinarily light and strong (the highest strength-to-weight ratio known to man, actually). It also heats very evenly and quickly. It’s nonporous, nonreactive, nonallergenic and can have an antibacterial coating. Titanium cookware resists scratching, denting and warping and is safe to use in the oven. If that’s not enough, it’s nonstick, so you can start a dish without butter, oil or water. It can often be wiped clean with a washcloth.
As you might expect, titanium is very expensive — the only significant drawback. Many people decide the extra expense is justified and treat the cookware as an investment, since titanium will often still look like new after years of use.