07/24/16

Seasoning Lodge Cast Iron Cooking Ware

Lodge cookware is a well known brand of cast iron pots and pans.  This brand has withstood the test of time being in existence for decades.  The secret to their continued success is the superior quality of their lodge cast iron cookware.

To be able to have your lodge cast iron cookware last for generations, proper care must be exercised.  This is not limited to the lodge pans brand but even the best cast iron cookware must undergo this specific care and maintenance in order for last a lifetime.  This is the process which we refer to as seasoning.

Cast iron cookware, regardless of the brand, has to be seasoned to serve its function and to be usable for a long time.  A cast iron pan or a cast iron pot which is properly seasoned will have a silky black finish.

When you season cast iron pots and pans, you apply edible oil, either from vegetables or animals, onto the outer and inner areas of the cookware to form a coating.  This is done for the following reasons:

  1. The coating safeguards the cooking ware from corroding.
  2. The coating will prevent food ingredients from sticking onto the pan.
  3. The coating will shield the food from acidic reactions against cast iron.

 Detailed procedure of seasoning cast iron frying pan and other pans and pots:

  1.  When you buy a new cast iron griddle or other cooking ware, it has a protective wax cover which should be washed off prior to seasoning the pan.
  2. Thoroughly wash the new pan or pot with dishwashing soap and water to remove the protective wax.
  3. Dry the cookware with a towel or leave it hanging to air dry.  Ensure that it is completely dry as this is very important prior to seasoning.
  4. Apply edible oil on the whole cookware.  This includes the bottom, sides, insides and even the handle.
  5. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Place the cookware properly coated with edible oil into the preheated oven and let it bake for an hour.
  7. After an hour, open the oven door and let it stay open so the cookware can cool faster.  Do not remove it from the oven until you are sure it is cool already.
  8. Your cookware should now have a silky, shiny black look and it is now seasoned and ready to be used.
  9. This process need not be repeated for every use.  You may repeat this process once or twice a year to maintain the good quality of your cookware.

Instructions on Washing Your Iron Cast Cooking Ware After Use

  1. After using your cast iron grill pan, wash it off with warm water.  If you need to take off something, you may use a soft cloth to remove it.
  2. Do not use dishwashing soap or rough materials to scrub off dirt from your cookware as it will damage the seasoning.
  3. In case you really need to soap or scrub your cookware, season it again afterwards.
  4. After cleaning your cookware, dry it completely dry before packing it away.

07/8/16

Kitchen Cookware: Which suits you most?

As a professional chef, a lot of times I am requested to give a recommendation on what kinds of kitchen cookware are preferable.  This is because there are already a lot of different types and brands of kitchen pots and pans to choose from.  Depending on your budget, you have a wild selection when it comes to the prices.  If there is no limit on your budget, you may opt for the high end brands or buy kitchen cookware sets instead of per piece.   If you are on tight budget, you may opt for cheap pots and pans.   What is important to know is what and how frequent you will use your pot and pans to be able to determine which is best for you.

To give my personal preference on what is the best pots and pans I consider based on my experience with them, I will briefly discuss each of them.

Cast iron cooking pots and pans – For preparing healthy dishes especially one dish recipes, I would recommend using cast iron.  Some of the dishes you can prepare are pork chops, pasta and frittatas.  Dishes which you should avoid preparing using cast iron cookware are dishes which have acidic recipes like tomato or lemon as they may react against the iron.kitchen cookware

In order for cast iron pots and pan sets to last a lifetime, maintaining its quality is important.  Appropriate care must be observed to achieve this.  As you may have already realized, cast iron pots pans weigh a lot compared with stainless steel pots and pans and others made of different materials.  One must be careful when handling it, especially when hot, as dropping it may cause irreparable damage.  Cleaning and storing cast iron pot and pan set also involve a different process called seasoning. Seasoning is putting a sort of coating on the iron cookware by greasing it and heating it in an oven.  We will discuss the process in detail shortly.  Once the cast iron kitchen cookware is seasoned, it is ready for use and should only be cleaned by warm water, and not with dishwashing soap.  The only time you may clean with dishwashing liquid is when you just bought it and took it out of its original packaging as there may be some waxy residue which serves as a protective cover for the new cookware.  After the first wash involving dishwashing liquid, you have to season the cookware and the next washes will no longer involve dishwashing liquid.

Going back to the process of seasoning your cast iron pots and pans sets, you must first make sure it is completely dry before you apply any coating.  You must also preheat your oven to 350 degrees in preparation for cooking or seasoning your cast iron kitchen pots and pans.  Apply a thin layer of edible oil on the inner and outer part of the cookware and place this in the preheated oven, letting it stay for about 30 minutes.  The inner part of the cookware should be placed in the oven where the inner part is facing down.  It is recommended that you place a stray or foil on the under rack where the cookware is being cooked to serve as an oil drip trap.  Once this is done, your cookware is ready to use.  You may repeat this procedure from time to time but not necessarily each time you use the cookware.  This will ensure that your cookware will be passed on the generations to come.

To get more information about other types of cookware, check out other kitchen pots and pans reviews.

05/25/16

The Good and The Bad in Hard Anodized Cookware

You may have heard of hard anodized cookware and wondered what it is made of.  The material used in this type of cookware is aluminum but instead of combining it with other metals like stainless steel, it undergoes a process called electro-chemical hardening wherein it is treated with sulfuric acid prior to the electro-chemical process.  After the process, the result is a very hard and sturdy cookware, probably even tougher compared with stainless steel.  There are advantages and disadvantages of using anodized aluminum cookware.  Let us list down some of these points to help you make up your mind whether hard anodized cookware sets are for you.

Advantages

Sturdiness and Durability

As already discussed above, hard anodized aluminum cookware is very hard and durable.  Because of this, it does not easily dent during accidental bumps or knock offs.  It could last for generations with suitable maintenance.

Safe for oven use

One of the most asked questions when buying cookware sets is if it could be used in an oven.  So, is hard anodized cookware safe for oven use?  That would be a resounding “yes,” granted, of course, that the cookware has metal holders.

Non-stick

Hard anodized aluminum pans are non-stick so there is no need to worry about your dishes sticking on your pans.  You can also prepare healthier dishes as being non stick, putting in a lot of oil is no longer needed.  This saves you also on the cost of cooking oil.

Cleaning  convenience

Hard Anodized CookwareUnlike stainless steel cookware, hard anodized cookware set is non-stick which makes it more convenient to clean, less the effort of taking out sticky food items on your pan.  In rare cases you get some clingy food stick on your pan, a tested technique to get it out is to soak it with baking soda mixed with water for a few minutes.  You may afterwards wash it normally.

Good heat conductivity

Hard anodized cookware is one of the best  cookware because it is made of aluminum metal which is a good conductor of heat.  Translating this into practicality, it means that you can cook your meal faster and you avoid hot spots as the entire cookware is made of alumunim, not just the core.

Disadvantages

Cost

The first turn off of most potential buyers of even the best hard anodized cookware set is the price.  Because of the tedious process involved in creating this high quality cookware, production cost is quite high and so does the selling price.

Weight

Ironically, aluminum does not weigh a lot like stainless steel , yet hard anodized cooking ware is heavy.  It is after going the coating process that makes it weigh a ton.  So for petite chefs, this might not be very ideal for you.  You need extra precaution when transferring this cookware with So for petite chefs, this might not be very ideal for you.  You need extra precaution when transferring this cookware with hot meal in it.

Cannot double as a food container

Unlike ceramic or glass cookware which you can use to store food for reheating on a later time, it is not advisable with hard anodized cooking ware.   Aside from it being heavy, it also does not have a tight-lid cover and giving air access to the food while in storage may spoil the food.

Manual washing only

So this is a big disadvantage for those who love the convenience of washing dishes in the dishwasher.  Only manual washing is recommended to protect the coating of this cookware.  After all, who wants to get contaminated with aluminum when the coating is damaged?

04/19/16

How to Keep Your Non Stick Frying Pan in Good Condition for a Long While

When purchasing a cell phone, you are not only provided with the cell phone unit itself, the charger and headsets normally go with it as well as they are necessities for you to be able to fully use the cell phone.  This goes true with purchasing non stick fry pans, when you buy one, attached sales to it are a non-metal utensil and a soft cleaning material like sponge or scouring pad with soft cloth bristles.

To guide you on the proper use and care of your non stick frying pan, here are some points to ponder on:

  1. After buying your brand new non stick fry pan from your favorite cookware store and taking it home to your kitchen, don’t immediately use it without washing it first with warm water and mild soap.  Use sponge or other soft cleaning material when washing non stick frying pans.  After washing, you need to either air dry the pan or using soft cloth or paper towels.
  2. Once your pan is clean, you need to season it by pouring a small quantity of edible oil and spreading it out to the whole pan using a paper towel.  After this procedure, you may now use the frying pan.
  3. Non Stick Frying PanWhen preheating even the best frying pan which is non stick, the maximum setting of heat you should use is medium.  Do not go above medium as it will compromise the coating of your pan.  Anyway, most dishes you would cook using non stick pans need not be cooked over high heat.
  4. Except if you are using a non stick deep frying pan, you do not need to use a lot of cooking oil on your non stick pan.  A very thin layer of cooking oil maybe enough already to prepare your dishes.  You may just spray oil over your non stick pan.  This is one of the beauties of this type of pan.  It also is a healthier option to prepare food.  This is one advantage non stick has over stainless steel frying pan.
  5. In order to preserve the coating of your non stick pan, avoid scratching the coating when cooking or even storing.  When you are cooking, use stirrers or spatulas which are non metal.  You may use utensils made out of rubber or wood.  When storing, it is better to hang non stick pans than stack them together to avoid possibility of scratching the coating.
  6. Even the best fry pan needs to be cleaned out immediately and thoroughly after use if you want it to last a long life.  Repeat the washing process as indicated in point number one, above.

The non stick fry pan is a convenient partner in the kitchen.  It will lessen your frustration when preparing dishes as it eliminates the problem of the ingredients sticking on to the pan.  If you would like to try other types of fry pans, try a stainless steel fry pan or a ceramic frying pan and compare the differences.

02/12/16

Emirilware: All Clad’s Ingenuity and Chef Emeril’s Passion in Cooking

If you are into cooking and have been following different cooking shows, you would certainly be familiar with Emeril John Legasse.  He is an award winning chef who has a regular television cooking program.  He has become popular because of his character and his innovative and sumptuous recipes and dishes.  Because of his influence in the cooking industry, a cookware line has been created and named after him.  It is what we have now as the emeril cookware.

Emeril is very well known for concocting healthy but flavorful dishes making healthy diet appealing instead of appalling.  He did not limit himself to his passion for creating healthy yet delicious meals.  He progressed further to putting his ideas on producing good cookware which would be beneficial to restaurant chefs and even those who just cook at home alike.  Since he is a great chef himself, you are sure that emeril cookware sets work!

EmirilwareEmeril teamed up with one of the best cookware brands for his cookware line, the emeril all clad.  As most of us interested in cooking already know, all clad cookware is already in itself a tried and tested cookware which is being used and recommended by professional chefs.  If you are not yet impressed or convinced with the regular all clad sets, then this may be what you are waiting for, the touch and genius of Emeril collaborating with all clad ltd.

With an emeril cookware set right in your home, you would be able to create delicious dishes for your family and friends to enjoy, without the need of spending too much in a restaurant.   You can do this with your own recipe or if you are up for a challenge, why not try one of Emeril’s recipes with your all clad emeril cookware?  You will surely impress your friends and family with your cooking.

To give you more information on the all clad emeril cookware, here are some of them:

  • Pro-Clad Emerilware – This line is created for extensive home cooking.  The cookware has two outer stainless steels sandwiching an aluminum metal sheet for good heat conductivity.
  • Hard Anodized Emerilware – If you prefer non-stick cookware, this is the cookware line you are looking for.  Not only do you no longer worry about your ingredients sticking, like in a stainless steel all clad pan, washing non stick cookware is relatively easy.
  • Cast Iron Emerilware – If you are looking for cookware that will last generations, then opt for the cast iron.  The cast iron emeril all clad cookware is pre-seasoned so it is ready for use.  It is, however, recommended that you season it again prior to use to make it more lasting.

The tie up of Emeril and All clad is good news for all cooking fans.  For more reviews on the emeril cookware, search for more emeril all clad cookware reviews and read for yourself what the rest are raving about on this cookware line.  You may also check out the actual cookware in an all clad outlet.