09/3/16

The Appropriate Pots and Pans for You

For a professional chef or a home cook, choosing the suitable pots and pans for your cooking requirement is an individual choice.  A lot of options are available and different factors are to consider in choosing the right one for you.  Some of the considerations are the frequency of usage, dependability, comfortableness, safety and versatility.

Another consideration is whether it is wiser to buy single pots & pans or to buy pots and pans set.  If you cook limited dishes for yours and your family’s consumption, buying single pot and pans may prove to be more economical.  You may do a lot of different dishes on a single reasonably sized pot.  Do not but a small pot as you are limiting its capacity as to the quantity and the types of dishes you can prepare in it.  As for pans, a small and bigger pan may be recommended for a few varieties of dishes, from simple frying to more complex dishes.  You may also want to have some stainless steel pots and pans and some non-stick ones.  You can find some good quality but cheap pots and pans which are suitable for everyday home cooking.

For professional chefs or cooking enthusiasts who are more daring in preparing more varied dishes, buying pots and pans sets may be better and more cost friendly in the long run.  It also saves you the hassle of not having the right cookware when you need it for your particular recipe.  Cooks of this type prepare dishes that range from seared meats to paellas so a wide variety of cookware is very much welcome in their kitchen.

Now there are also ingredients which are only suitable to certain types of cooking ware.  Example is tomato or lemon which is acidic and may react negatively on cookware with copper finish or aluminum finish.  Your best bet for acidic ingredients is stainless steel pots and pans set.  Stainless steel metal is non ferrous and non corrosive so it does not react with food ingredients.  This ensures the flavors of your ingredients do not get tampered with any metal taste.  Another option is glass cooking pots and pans which are surely non-reactive but has limits as to the type of cook top you will use.

The cast iron pots pans is an excellent option for cooks who are more into frying.  Cast iron has a good heat retention lessening the time required for you to achieve the brown crisp you are aiming for.  Cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned, though, prior to first use and this has to be repeated once or twice a year.  Ingredients will not stick to a well seasoned cast iron cookware thus is easier to clean compared with using stainless steel.

pots and pans setFor more complicated type of cooking which involves both a cook top and an oven, one consideration you have to bear in mind in selecting your cookware is the handles of your pot and pans set.  Take note that you have to transfer a hot pot or pan into the oven which is presumably pre-heated.  Your handles must be easy to grip and safely attached to the cookware itself.  It is also better that the handle stays cool even during cook time.  Do not rely on kitchen pot holders as you may underestimate the hotness of the handle if it is not the stay cool type.

The best pots and pans for wannabe chefs is a mixture of different types.  This way, you get to try each and know which one works well for each type of dish you are preparing.  For sure you will have favorite pots and pans over time and from this you would know which will be your next buy.  Discovering the versatility of your cookware will trim down the pieces you would need to buy.  Discovering also which wears down easily with your cooking frequency will enable you to be more cautious on your next purchase.  If you’re the artsy type, you may also want to try colored cookware like green pots and pans or pink pots and pans which are now available in the market.

To get the best value for your money, before deciding the cookware pieces you would buy, make sure you contemplate on what you really need.  Think about what you regularly cook and what dishes you still want to try.  Do not just imitate what others are buying or be fooled into buying the most expensive ones thinking it is the best or cheapest ones thinking you are saving money by doing so.  Note that some cookware is made for rigorous cooking like in catering or restaurants and for this reason the cookware are reinforced and therefore cost higher.  In the same manner, not all cheap pots and pans set are of inferior quality but you have to choose wisely because the possibility of getting low quality cheap cookware is high.  Doing a good research may save you a lot of bucks and having unnecessary cookware in your kitchen.

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.

08/19/15

Advantages of Ceramic Cookware

When you learned how to cook, you probably started off buying pots and pans without any particular specification, as long as you can cook the dishes you wanted to cook.  As you grow fonder of cooking and as your budget increases, you start to consider having a better set of cookware.  Finally, you decide to make an upgrade of your cookware so you can have a more reliable partner in the kitchen.

Upgrading your cookware sets may seem an easy thing to do but you would soon realize there are a lot of varieties when it comes to cookware.  Upgrading would mean you would be spending a bit more money than your previous cookware.  It is important that you get the worth of your hard earned money by buying the suitable cookware for your needs and taste.

What probably would be included in your consideration would be stainless steel cookware, cast iron cookware or ceramic cookware.  In this article, we shall present you with the advantages of choosing ceramic cookware sets.

Durability – If there is one thing which makes your investment in a ceramic cookware set worth your money is that it is very durable and will last you a lifetime.  It does not rust, scrape, strip off and discolor.  This is an advantage over stainless steel pots and non-stick coated pans.  It also doesn’t need special maintenance like seasoning which you need to do with cast iron for it to be usable for a long time.

Heating Capacity – Ceramic has excellent heating capability and transfers heat evenly throughout the cookware.  This is very important factor to consider when choosing a cookware.  We all want to avoid hot spots so that the dish would have consistent flavor and texture.  No part should be overcooked or undercooked.

ceramic cookwareCapacity to Withstand High Temperature – You are probably wondering, is ceramic cookware safe?  Yes, it is even at high temperature.  It is ideal for dishes which require thorough cooking.

No sweat cleaning – One common thing you would hear or read as reviews for even the best stainless steel cookware is that it is difficult to clean as food sticks to it.  This is a problem you probably won’t encounter with ceramic cookware.  Food is prevented from sticking on ceramic coated cookware.  If on a rare chance that you get food to stick on it, using a rough cleaning cloth is ok, unlike with a non-stick pan where you can damage the coating if you clean it a rough cloth.

Beauty – What would instantly draw you to buy the best ceramic cookware is its beauty.  It comes in different colors that could match with your kitchen interior.  You can even use it as an accent color to your kitchen.  It makes cooking much fun and appealing.  You can even attract your younger siblings or children with the colors of the cookware.  It doesn’t look very intimidating.

So, if you’re looking for a durable, reliable, easy to use yet appealing cookware, you will never go wrong with ceramic.