09/20/16

Professional Cookware for Amateurs?

When you have new kitchen or have just decided to buy cookware sets, you will realize that this is not a very easy task.  With the wide variety of available cookware sets on sale, finding the best cookware for you may prove to be challenging.

One of the most pressing issues when deciding on what cooking ware to purchase is whether to buy a professional cookware or just a regular cookware.  As a home cook, you may think that buying a professional cookware set may be an unnecessary expense as you may get the same results with using regular pots and pans.  In actual, if your budget permits, buying professional cookware sets may save you more money in the long run and make you happier in the kitchen.

Having the best professional cookware in your kitchen gives you an assurance and confidence that you are equipped with reliable apparatuses for your cooking needs.  It’s like going to a battle with the confidence that you have reliable weapons.  When you have reliable tools, you have one less thing to worry about.

Professional Cookware

Not only does professional stainless steel cookware give you confidence in cooking, it also inspires you to prepare sumptuous dishes and upgrade the recipes you cook.

If you are budget constraint but still wants to opt for professional cookware, you may consider buying the specific cookware you need instead of a complete set.  This is especially true if you only prepare specific dishes and do not need too many varieties of cookware with your type of cooking.

Professional Cookware setWhen you have finally made up your mind to go for professional cooking ware, you are now faced with a wide selection of different brands such as the thomas professional cookware, magnalite professional cookware or ameriware professional cookware.  I am pretty sure these brands are all reliable and mostly dependable.  Each brand will have some stronger points than the others and I will leave it up to you to discover these.  Check different professional cookware reviews to find out.

What I feel is more important to discuss is the type of cookware you would be most comfortable using.  Here is a brief idea on each kind of cookware you may encounter in the market:

  • Cast Iron Cookware – Probably one of the most durable types of cookware, reasonably priced, quite heavy and needs special maintenance called seasoning.
  • Stainless Steel Cookware – One of the most popular types of cookware, reasonably priced, easy and regular cleaning except when food gets stuck on the cookware then you have to soak it for a while then wash regularly.
  • Non-stick cookware – Also a very popular type of cookware, reasonably priced, very easy to clean since food does not stick on it, you may cook with minimal oil.
  • Ceramic cookware – Artistic and attractive cookware, medium to high priced, claimed to be a healthier alternative to non-stick cookware, versatile as you may use it also as serving dish.
  • Titanium cookware – Very durable, quite expensive, easy cleaning, waterless cooking is possible.

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.

05/5/16

Is Glass Cookware For You?

When we think of glassware to be used in the kitchen, what comes to mind is a serving ware or a fancy container.  What does not come to mind for most of us is that it could be a glass cookware where actual cooking over a cook top may be done.  We view glass to be very fragile and this is the reason why we never consider them as a cooking ware.  Well, be in for a surprise as glass stovetop cookware is now available and it could be subjected to high heat!  We can thank Pyroceram for glass cookware sets which were the offset of what they originally developed to cover the nose of a rocket as it can tolerate extreme temperatures.

One would wonder, why even use a glass cookware set?  Are there any benefits over the more regular cookware, like stainless steel cookware, cast iron cookware or ceramic cookware?  One main advantage of a glass cookware for stovetop is that it is aesthetically pleasant so you have the versatility to use it for your actual cooking and use it afterwards to serve what you just cooked on the table without the need to transfer the dish to another serving ware.  This makes it more convenient and there is less kitchen ware to wash.  But wait; there are more to its versatility!  When you have leftovers in your glass cookware, you also need not transfer it to another container to store the leftover dish in your refrigerator.  Pyrex glass cookware does not only tolerate high heat; it could also handle low to freezing temperatures.  When you need to reheat your dish, you just need to thaw it, if frozen then you may put it in the microwave.

Glass Coo kware Another advantage of using glass cookware is its health benefits.  The possibility of contaminating the dish with metal when using metal cookware is eliminated.  Glass is also not permeable so it is safe on acidic ingredients like tomatoes.

Of course there is no perfect cookware, most especially when misused.  Even the best cookware, if not used properly, will be damaged or create damage.  There have been reported cases of glass cookware breaking and worse, blowing up because of wrong use.  It seems basic that extremely hot glass, one just coming off from the stove top, should not be placed in a cold table top and vice versa, a freezing glass should not be placed in a very hot surface like heated stove top or microwave.  Just to be sure, manufacturers now provide safety guides or “how to use” guides on each cookware.  If used properly, cookware made of glass is safe and very efficient.

Some of the safety precautions when using glass cooking ware are as follows:

  1. When preparing to cook a dish out of meats, it is necessary to put liquid on the lowest part of the cookware.
  2. A glass cookware is safe to use in an oven, provided that it has been preheated.
  3. Do not place a hot dish on a cold countertop as it may break.  To transfer the hot dish to the counter, place a cloth mat on the counter before putting down the hot dish.
  4. Pyrex cookware and the like cannot be used on top of open flamed burners.

Glass CookwareThese are just some of the precautions to take note of that will help you properly use your glass cookware and will prolong its life while preventing harmful accidents.

Now that you are guided on the proper usage of glass cooking ware, you may want to know more on how to clean it.

On regular use, without burn marks, you may just use a simple sponge and dishwashing liquid to clean it off.  Do not use a scouring pad or any abrasive cleaning material to avoid scratching the glass.  Once you have burnt marks on the glass cooking ware, cleaning it may require more than just soaping it.  You may soak it for a while with warm water and dishwashing liquid to allow the burnt areas to.  If it still does not come off, put some baking soda on the burnt area and wipe it off with a cloth until it is removed.  You may also use a glass cleaner, usually with ammonia, if the baking soda doesn’t do the trick.  Just don’t forget to wash it off again with dishwashing soap after to remove any residue.

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!