Cast iron is heavy, low-cost and favored by many chefs because it absorbs flavor over time and transfers it to cooked foods. The downside is that it is difficult to clean and prone to rust. No matter what kind of commercial cookware you choose, make sure to maintain it properly. Wait for aluminum and stainless pans to cool before cleaning, otherwise they could warp with the rapid temperature change. Also be sure to care for your stainless by avoiding harsh cleaning pads or corrosive chemicals like chlorine. Cast iron cookware should be regularly seasoned by coating it in oil and baking it for 45 minutes. It should be cleaned with soap but should never be soaked in soapy water, since it can rust or absorb the flavor of the soap.