Cookware imparts energy (as heat) to the food being cooked. Whether the heat is from gas or electrical elements it must be distributed evenly upon the food. With more complex cooking methods it may also be important to be able to control changes in the heat in a precise manner.
The jets of a gas cooker will have gaps between them, as will the elements of an electric coil. For good quality cookware this should not be an issue. The ability for the metal in cookware to absorb and transmit energy is the thermal conductivity. Cookware with high conductivity will heat quickly and evenly; a heat applied at centre of a pan will also heat the rim of the pan. High conductivity is desirable for just about all cooking applications.
Heat capacity of metal is the ability to store energy. When a pot or pan has high heat capacity it will take longer to heat up and cool down than a pan with low heat capacity. This heat capacity depends on both the metal in a cooking implement and its thickness. It is better for a cooking pot or pan to heat and cook quickly.
The heat capacity and thermal conductivity are combined to give a good indication of the properties of cookware. The higher the thermal diffusivity the better the pot or pan. Unfortunalty metals with excellent thermal diffusivity, such as aluminium or copper, tend to react badly with many foods. Stainless steel, which does not affect food, has quite poor thermal diffusivity.
Stonewell & Flavorstone Cookware Pan
Combining metals and cooking surfaces can produce the best properties in cookware. Flavorstone uses aluminium and stainless steel construction with a non-stick sapphire coating. This combines the desirable thermal characteristics of aluminium with the neutral cooking surface of sapphire stone. It is the best of both worlds.