11/30/16

Stainless Steel Pots – Are The New Materials Any Better?

In this review, we shall focus on stainless steel pots and pans.  Stainless steel cookware is a very popular type of cooking ware. Its toughness and easy maintenance are synonymous with good quality.  Stainless steel pans are user-friendly as it does not require special cleaning methods. They are safer to use as this material heats slowly allowing you to avoid getting burnt.  Stainless steel cookware sets are also aesthetically pleasing to look at. So they are not only functional as cookware but also sparkly decorations in your kitchen.

Of course, other types of cookware may have comparable performance as with stainless steel pots.  Other metals for a cookware material are brass, aluminum, or carbon steel.  Each metal has different strengths and weaknesses. So today more often than before, we sue to our advantage each metal’s properties while producing cookware.

Stainless Steel Pots vs Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware has also become popular.  This type of cookware has a non-stick covering which prevents food from sticking to the pan when cooking.  This makes cleaning the cookware easier. But the downside is you need to be careful not to scratch off the non-stick coating when you cook and clean.  You should, therefore, not use metal utensils when cooking and abrasive materials when cleaning. 

Before deciding to finally buy a stainless steel cookware set, study first the factors you need to consider in cookware.  One of the important things to consider is thermal conduction.  Thermal conduction is the transfer of heat from the cookware to the food.  If your cookware has high thermal conductivity, you need less time to cook your food.  Stainless steel heats slowly and this may make you think that cooking with stainless steel is therefore no good.  However, most stainless steel pot and pan sets have aluminum or copper metal core which has good thermal conductivity, which solves the weakness of stainless steel.

Materials for pots and pans

Although a stainless steel pan is sturdy, pans made of other metals are also comparable, like cast iron.  These metals may withstand wear and tear better than cookware made of other types of metal.  Stainless steel metal is non-reactive so it is safe to cook acidic ingredients.  This is very much in contrast with aluminum metal which may seep aluminum into the food. That would make it unhealthy, especially when you consume aluminum-tainted food regularly.

Stainless Steel Pots SetAnother consideration in selecting cookware is the price.   You will use the best stainless steel cookware for a long time and even if you pay more money, it will be worth it.  If you buy cheap cookware, without carefully inspecting the quality, you might have to replace it every once in a while, making it more expensive.  The best way to choose is to find a mid-range priced cookware of good quality, especially if it is limited to home use.  Some of the expensive stainless steel cookware, like the all-clad stainless steel, are made for professional use.

A final word on Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Stainless steel cookware is, undoubtedly, one of the best choices of cookware.  It is safe to use, easy to clean, durable and elegant to look at.  There may be a downside of stainless steel not being a good thermal conductor but it can be easily augmented with other metal materials.  The best stainless steel pots and pans usually have an aluminum or copper core infused into the cookware.

Compared to cookware made of other metals, I could say that stainless steel is the more superior choice.  If you search the market meticulously, I’m sure you would find reasonably priced stainless steel pots and pans.  Consider buying stainless steel cooking ware as an investment instead of an expense as, with proper use, these will surely last you a lifetime.

For more information on stainless steel cookware, check out other stainless steel pots and pans reviews.

10/16/16

Is Stainless Steel Cookware Proven Or Has Its Time Passed?

One of the most popular materials for cookware is stainless steel.  Stainless steel cookware has become well known because it has proven its quality throughout the years.  It is widely the preferred choice of cookware amongst home and professional cooks.  Aside from stainless cookware being a high-quality material, there are many other benefits to using stainless steel cookware sets.

Benefits of Stainless Steel Cookware

Allow me to list down here in the said benefits:

  • Sturdiness – stainless steel cookware set is very sturdy and does not easily break.  Stainless steel is not brittle and does not corrode.  There is tri-ply stainless steel cookware and even 5 ply stainless steel cookware already available in the market. They have more layers of metal. It can be an aluminum core, to enhance the performance of your cookware and your cooking experience.  Most stainless steel cookware made in the USA is safe to wash in a dishwasher.
  • Non-reactive – Maintaining the flavors of the dishes you prepare is very important.  You wouldn’t want your cookware interfering with the flavors, right?  Good thing that surgical stainless steel cookware does not react with food ingredients, even acidic ingredients like tomatoes.
  • Safety – Is stainless steel cookware safe?  Generally speaking, it should be safe but as in all cases, poor quality materials are being used in some products, in this case, stainless steel.  If using stainless steel for cookware, it should be surgical-grade.  To be sure you are getting good quality stainless steel, check the trusted brands like all clad stainless steel cookware or Cuisinart stainless steel cookware set.
  • Aesthetics – Stainless steel has a nice polished exterior finish which is quite easy to achieve with just a little cleaning even after so much usage of the cookware.
  • Reusable – Stainless steel is not something for the garbage can.  Even the best stainless steel cookware will deteriorate over time because of wear and tear and when the time comes, don’t be sad to let go.  It can serve another purpose, just get it to a recycling place and they could reuse the stainless steel to create something else.
  • Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Stainless Steel Cookware Cons

There are just some downsides with stainless steel cookware which we discuss as follows:

  • Heat conductivity – stainless steel is not a good heat conductor.  However, most stainless cookware is augmented with other metals like aluminum which is a good heat conductor to function seamlessly.
  • Price range – professional stainless steel cookware, which is preferred by many, is very costly although you may consider this aStainless Steel Cookwares an investment instead of an expense.  In the long run, it may save you money by not having to buy new ones but initially, yes, it is costly.
  • There is a more reasonably priced cookware like the KitchenAid stainless steel cookware and Kirkland stainless steel cookware which has reasonably good quality.
  • Cleaning – how to clean stainless steel cookware? It’s relatively easy except when the food sticks on your cookware.  However, some dishes will inevitably stick onto your cookware.  This is when cleaning is such labor with this type of cookware.  You need to scrub it thoroughly or sometimes you need to soak the cookware in water for some time before scrubbing it. Soaking will soften the stuck food.  You may also use baking soda and scouring pad to help with the clean-up.  If you want an easier life as to cleaning your cookware, buy a stainless steel cookware cleaner.

The Verdict

Overall, stainless steel cookware is one of the most versatile cookware types. Most cooks or chefs, be it regular home cooking or commercial cooking, love it.  The advantages of this type of cookware far outweigh its cons.

To find out what is the top stainless steel cookware, check out various reviews as they do stainless steel cookware ratings.

09/3/16

The Best Pots and Pans Right Now

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 your and your family’s consumption, buying a 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 buy a small pot as you are limiting its capacity and the types of dishes you can prepare in it.

Does The site Matter For Pots And Pans

As for pans, a small and bigger pan may be recommended depending on the varieties of dishes. You might be doing simple frying but you may want to do more complex dishes.  You may also want to have some stainless steel pots and pans and some non-stick ones.  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 paella. That is why they need a wide variety of cookware is very much welcome in their kitchen.

Some ingredients are only suitable for certain types of cooking ware.  An example is a tomato or lemon which is acidic and may react negatively on cookware with a copper finish or aluminum finish.  Your best bet for acidic ingredients is stainless steel pots and pans set.  Stainless steel metal is nonferrous and so it does not react with food ingredients.  Another option is glass cooking pots and pans. They are surely non-reactive but have limits as to the type of cooktop you will use.

Cast Iron Pots and Pans

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

Pots and Pans SetFor a more complicated type of cooking, 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 presumably preheated oven.

Your handles must be easy to grip and safely attached to the cookware itself.  It is also better than the handle stays cool even during cook time.  Do not rely on kitchen pot holders as you may underestimate the hotness of the handles.

The best pots and pans for wannabe chefs are a mixture of different types of cookware. You should try different cookware, and find out 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.

What Is Your Cookware Capable Of?

Discovering the versatility of your cookware will cut down the number of pieces you would need to buy.  Discovering also which pieces wear 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. Some 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 what you need.  Think about what you regularly cook and what dishes you still want to try.  Do not just imitate what others are buying or you will end up buying the more expensive cookware than you need. Thinking more expensive is better, is the most common mistake of all.

Note that some cookware is made for rigorous cooking like in catering or restaurants. For this reason the cookware is reinforced and therefore costs more.  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 good research may save you a lot of bucks and have unnecessary cookware in your kitchen.

07/8/16

Kitchen Cookware: Which Is The Best For You?

As a professional chef, a lot of times people request me to recommend 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 high-end brands. Or perhaps buy kitchen cookware sets instead of per piece.   If you are on a tight budget, you may opt for cheap pots and pans.   What is important to know is what and how frequently you will use your pot and pans. This will determine which cookware 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 below.

Cast Iron Kitchen Cookware

Cast iron cooking pots and pans are great for preparing healthy dishes. Especially with one-dish recipes, I would recommend using cast iron.  Some of the dishes you can prepare are pork chops, pasta, and frittatas.  Dishes that you should avoid preparing using cast iron cookware are dishes that have acidic recipes. These are tomato or lemon as they may react with the iron.

Kitchen Cookware TypesFor cast iron pots and pan sets to last a lifetime, maintaining their quality is important.  You must take appropriate care to achieve this.  As you may have already realized, cast iron pot pans weigh a lot compared to stainless steel pots and pans. Others made of different materials like glass or ceramic are also lighter.  One must be careful when handling it, especially when hot, as dropping it may cause irreparable damage.

Cleaning and storing cast iron pots and pan sets 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 you have seasoned the cast iron kitchen cookware, it is ready for use. After this, you must only treat it with 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. You should do this because there may be some waxy residue that 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.

Cookware Tips

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 to the generations to come.

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

05/25/16

Hard-Anodized Cookware: A Better Choice For You

You may have heard of hard-anodized cookware and wondered what is it.  The material 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. There it is treated with sulfuric acid before the electrochemical process. After the process, the result is very hard and sturdy cookware, probably even tougher than stainless steel.  There are advantages and disadvantages to hard-anodized aluminum cookware.  Let us list down some of these points to help you make up your mind whether these cookware sets are something you should get.

Advantages of Hard-Anodized Cookware

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.

One of the most asked questions when buying cookware sets is if they could use them in an oven.  So, can you use hard anodized cookware in the oven? That is not a problem at all if the cookware has metal holders.

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 it is nonstick, and there is no need to put a load of oil.  This saves you also on the cost of cooking oil.

Hard-Anodized Cookware SetUnlike stainless steel cookware, is non-stick which makes it more convenient to clean. This means less effort of taking out sticky food items stuck on your pan surface. 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 afterward wash it normally.

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

Disadvantages of Hard Anodized Cookware

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, the production cost is quite high and so does the selling price.

Hard-anodized cookware is pretty heavy.  It is after going through the coating process that it weighs a ton. So for petite chefs, this might not be very ideal for you.  You need extra precaution when transferring this cookware with a hot meal.

Unlike ceramic or glass cookware which can store food for reheating at a later time, you should not do it 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.

So this is a big disadvantage for those who love the convenience of washing dishes in the dishwasher. You should do only manual washing to protect the coating of this cookware.  After all, who wants aluminum contaminated food when the coating goes missing?