Posts Tagged ‘quality cookware’

Why Spend Your Money On High Quality Cookware?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Cookware continues to be probably the most important utensils in most household. For many, buying top quality cookware means spending much money. But when you’re the kind of individual who has passion in cooking and preparing food, you may consider buying cookware seriously.

You’d wish to spend some time searching for good cookware that’s long-lasting and it has full functionalities in store.

In selecting a cookware, first of all , you should look at may be the material that it’s made from. Typically the most popular options are one that’s made from stainless as it is durable. It may resist deterioration which is also cheaper. However, these components continues to be criticized by some as hazardous to health because of its metals component like nickel, iron and chromium.

Other forms of materials for making cookware are ceramic, enamel, and glass. These materials are heat resistant and therefore are simpler to clean. Newer models are constructed with plastic-type you can use in cooking and storing. Unlike other metals, plastic cookware is safe for use in microwave ovens. This cookware can also be lightweight and can’t be broken such as the glass one.

In cleaning stainless cookware, use water and soap or warm ammonia and water solution. Rinse it with water that is clean then contain it dried thoroughly to avoid having spots onto it. Don’t use cleaners for example chlorine and alcohol to keep the great look of the cookware. Those made from surefire are often coated with heated unsalted fat or porcelain to prevent rusting.

Some kinds of cookware are constructed with copper and therefore are more costly compared to stainless. A stainless type with copper bottom can also be available and it is cheaper compared to all-copper type. The foot of this kind gets heated faster and odds are the meals easily gets burned at the end.

When purchasing cookware, it is necessary that it’s in a position to distribute heat evenly so the food is going to be evenly cooked without certain parts getting burned. Food cooked in those made from aluminum, copper, and surefire has a tendency to absorb the metal content of those materials. Stainless cookware remains the recommended as it is affordable, simpler to neat and has less a reaction to food.

You need to be aware that the perfect cookware is dependant on your requirements and just how it suits your cooking and food habits. Enjoy cooking together with your new cookware set!

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Back to the Future with Cast Iron Cookware

Monday, October 13th, 2008

As a little girl I remember my grandmother cooking with her heavy cast iron cookware. Although they were cumbersome, she had used those same skillets for many years, and she certainly knew how to use them to cook up a fantastic meal.

In those days before processed foods and slow cookers, the majority of the food we ate was fried, and cast iron skillets were excellent for frying. The other major method of cooking was roasting, and cast iron roasters turned out wonderful pot roasts and chickens.

You just couldn’t beat cast iron for dispersing the heat evenly. Sometime in the late 1950s, however, my grandmother did away with the cast iron cookware in favor of more modern, aluminum pots, pans, and roasters. Even though Teflon hadn’t been introduced yet, and everything stuck to the aluminum cookware, she wanted to keep up with the times.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I started seeing cast iron pans in mail order catalogs again in the 21st century. The Lodge Cast Iron company, the premium maker of cast iron cookware, is still very much alive and well in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. In fact, they’ve been in business for over one hundred years. They still offer a line of cast iron cookware that looks just like the old pans my grandmother used to use, but with a modern twist. The old time pans needed to be broken in, so to speak. They had to be used over and over and over again before they developed a desired patina known as seasoning.

For 21st century users, however, the pans now come pre-seasoned as Lodge has now developed a coating which seasons the pans and makes them perfect to use new from the box. If you ever get down to southeastern Tennessee, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Lodge plant. They have an outlet store where you can purchase high-quality cookware for a fraction of its mail order price along with all the accessories you’ll need to use it. You still can’t beat cast iron for even heat, and it makes excellent cookware for campers and people who like to barbecue.In spite of innovations Lodge has introduced over the years, it’s a part of our American heritage that’s changed very little except to get better and better.

Cookware Materials

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

There are different kinds of high quality cookware materials:

Stainless steel
Stainless steel is generally the most versatile and durable material for cookware. It’s the most popular kind of cookware among chefs because you can get really good quality for a reasonable price.
Downside of stainless steel is that it conducts heat not very good – thus stainless steel cookware should have a copper core.

Specially gourmet cooks go for copper when they have to cook foods at exact temperatures. Copper is the best choice in this case because there is no better conductor of heat. You can cook at exactly the temperature you want, e.g. you can cook at 78 degrees celsius if you wanted to. Great for frying and sauteing.
Downsides of copper are high price and the fact that copper reacts with food when heated and thus needs special coating (most of the time stainless steel).

Great heat conducter (almost as good as copper) and it’s cheap and strong and durable.
But it reacts with acidic foods and thus should generally have a coating to prevent leakage or taste alterations (this is specially true for spinach).

Non-Stick cookware is great because it allows for low fat cooking and is easy to clean.
Downsides is that non-stick cookware doesn’t last very long and has to be maintained carefully.

Cast Iron
Cast iron cookware is kind of a special case. It needs to be conditioned before using it because it will otherwise react with certain kinds of acidic foods and absorb the flavors of the food. (There’s a special kind of cast iron that doesn’t need conditioning – enameled cast iron cookware. A hard procelain enamel coating protects the cast iron from the food and vice versa.) The advantages of cast iron are that it provides even heating at high cooking temperatures and retains the heat excellently. One downside of this material though is that it heats up slowly.
Cast iron cookware is excellent for baking, browning and frying foods.

Anodized Aluminum
Anodized aluminum cookware has all the advantages of normal aluminum (except for the low price) but makes up for some of regular aluminums disadvantages. A chemical process makes aluminum much more durable and gives it a kind of non-stick surface and also prevents leakage of toxic substances into the food. It really is kind of the cheap version of stainless steel. Can be great for roasters, Dutch ovens, stockpots and saute pans.
However, you’ll have to handwash it because dishwashers might damage the surface. You also should not use steel wool or other aggressive scrubbing tools or corrosive detergents.
Another problem can be that because of it’s dark color it can be hard to observe the food – sometimes you’ll have to judge your food by it’s color and that might be difficult with anodized aluminum if you don’t have optimal lighting.

Glass cookware is a good choice if you use your microwave a lot. While most of the times it’s used for baking, there is also stovetop glass cookware available (it usually needs special handling though). Foods sticking to glass cookware is pretty unusual because glass is in itself already a non-stick material.
Disadvantages are that it’s heavy weight, and it’s heat distribution (not evenly) and that it’s not easy to handle. Glass is a very save cooking material, I have never heard of negative health effects from glass cookware.

Ceramic cookware has very similar characteristics to glass cookware (and can also be used for microwave cooking and is pretty non-sticky) but retains the heat better than usual glass cookware, distributes heat very evenly and is oftentimes also non-sticky. Oftentimes it’s used to make creme brulee, flan and custard.
Unglazed ceramics like terra cotta have are kind of spongy (that means they have lots of tiny little wholes inside) and thus can make the food a little juice, because the surface of the cookware add moisture in the form of steam to the food.
One thing that you have to be very cautious of when purchasing unglazed ceramic cookware is that the clay doesn’t contain lead.
Ceramic cookware might brake if you don’t handle it careful – but it’s also pretty cheap generally.