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?

03/25/16

Why Farberware Cookware is a Great Cookware Brand

When looking for a cooking ware brand to trust, you check the track record of the brand.  One true test is if it is widely used in household kitchen and more impressively if also used in restaurants.  One brand that passes this test is the faberware cookware line.  To give you a more informed decision whether to buy farberware cookware sets, let me discuss the strengths and weaknesses based on various experiences.

Strengths

  1.  This brand has been in existence for about 10 years now.  Their main focus as their target market is amateur cooks or those who cook at home for their family and friends.  The idea, however, is to be able to prepare dishes at par with restaurant dishes right at the comfort of your home kitchen using farberware pots and pans.  The resulting dishes have been consistently good that even some professional chefs prefer this brand of cookware.
  2. Farberware CookwareEach cookware in the farberware cookware set is fashionably designed.  Now your cookware is not limited to be used for cooking per se, you can use them also to design your kitchen walls.  No more dull kitchen cabinets to store your kitchen ware.  You can display them and let your friends admire your good taste, not only in food but also in kitchen fashion.
  3. One of the greatest advantages of opting for farberware kitchen pots and pans and their other kitchen ware is that they also sell parts of their cookware pieces.  How many times have you felt throwing out a partially damaged cookware such a waste and wished you could just replace the broken part?  Your wish has been granted by farberware!  Not only does this save you your hard earned money by not having to discard and replace a whole cookware piece, it also saves you from the sad feeling of parting from your trusted and beloved cooking pans.
  4. We all know that stainless steel cookware has been tried, tested and proven to be a sturdy cookware.  Most of Farberware pots and pans set are created using high grade of stainless steel metal with aluminum core.  The stainless steel provide the sleek finish and augments the overall strength of the cookware while the aluminum core provides good heat conductivity.  Say goodbye to annoying hot spots when preparing your dishes.

Weakness

  1. One thing that may turn you off with farberware pots and their other kitchen ware like the farberware knives is the price. The cost of their cookware pieces is a bit pricier than regular cookware brands but as the saying goes, good quality comes with a good price.
  2. Another thing is that, although they claim to be farberware nonstick cookware, there have been some who experienced food sticking to the supposedly non stick cookware. The secret to prevent this is to preheat the cookware using low or medium temperature.

As you can obviously see the strengths of farberware cookware far offset its weaknesses so I’d still say this is a good cookware brand!

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.

11/15/15

Cookware Shopaholic

For most of us women, especially moms, the most important part of the house is the kitchen.  We may not be chefs but the kitchen is the place in the house where we feel most in control of. This is our place, our haven! The kitchen is where our master pieces are created. This is also where we are most loved.  As the saying goes, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” If guys are into carpentry, most women are into cooking.  Just like in carpentry, we need tools in our kitchen or what we call, the cookware!

Another forte of us women is shopping!  Shopping for cooking ware is therefore twice the fun!  Checking, inspecting and choosing the best cooking ware is an exciting adventure.  There is a wide array of cooking ware sets to select from.  From ceramic cookware, hard anodized cookware, stainless steel cookware sets to titanium cookware.

CookwareVisiting cooking ware stores is fun but may be confusing, may get you out of budget and leave you with too many unnecessary cookwares if you do not plan your trip to the store well.  It would be good to research the functions and types of each cookware for different dishes you are interested in trying so you could buy the right one.  It would also be good to research a multifunctional cook ware to save you some money and space on one item instead of buying several.  Watching cooking shows may help you on this.  Also, you could discuss among your friends or fellow moms who love to cook to know which cookware works for whom and for what.  This is also a good way to bond with your friends!  You could also have a cook out and share your recipes with each other.

Another consideration when buying a cookware set is selecting the brand.  For this, checking out cookware reviews would be beneficial.  You could more or less know the good points and flaws of each brand by reading the reviews.  You will also have an idea which suits your budget.  The range of the brands in the store may vary from the quite expensive All clad cookware to the more affordable Cuisinart cookware.

It would also be good to know at what intensity you will be using your cooking ware.  It is always good to buy the high quality, durable cookware but if the price is very high and out of your budget, then you may consider another brand.  Some of the more expensive cookware like the calphalon cookware or wolfgang puck cookware are durable but are built more for professional usage or for restaurants who uses them extensively.  If you would only use it for a few dishes, then there are comparable quality brands which may be cheaper and may serve you as well as the more expensive ones.

In my next shopping trip, I am keen on checking out the waterless cookware.  I have seen a demo of this product and it has amazed me.  It’s like cooking with magic!  It would be a nice addition to my kitchen collection.  Imagine, being able to cook food without water, nor oil!  It is also multifunctional and very versatile.  I can’t wait to see this item and know for sure if it’s worth it.  I am always excited to shop for my kitchen but I need to save up for them as well.  I think this one is worth the wait!  Will get my hands on it very soon!