09/20/16

Is Professional Cookware Good for Amateurs?

When you have a 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 professional cookware may prove to be challenging.

One of the most pressing issues when deciding on what cooking ware to purchase is whether to buy professional cookware or just regular cookware.  Buying a professional cookware set may be an unnecessary expense. You probably believe you will get the same results with using regular pots and pans.  In actuality, if your budget permits, buying professional cookware sets may save you more money in the long run. It will also probably make you more productive in the kitchen.

Professional Cookware For Home Kitchen

Having the best professional cookware in your kitchen gives you assurance and confidence.  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 Sets

Professional stainless steel cookware gives you confidence in cooking. At the same time it inspires you to prepare sumptuous dishes and upgrade the recipes you cook.

If you are budget constraint but still want 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. That means that you do not need too many varieties of cookware with your way of cooking.

When you have finally made up your mind to go for professional cooking ware, you must check out the selection of different brands. There are numerous brands, such as the Thomas professional cookware, Magnate professional cookware, or Ameriware professional cookware.  I know these brands are all reliable.  Each brand will have some stronger qualities than the others and I will leave it up to you to discover these.  Check different professional cookware reviews to find out.

Pro Cookware Brands

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

  • Cast Iron Cookware – Probably one of the most durable types of cookware. Price is reasonable, though it is quite heavy, and needs special maintenance called seasoning.
  • Stainless Steel Cookware – One of the most popular types of cookware, reasonably priced, easy, and can be cleaned easily 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. It’s reasonably priced and very easy to clean since food does not stick on it. With non-stick cookware, you may cook with minimal or no oil at all.
  • 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 a serving dish.
  • Titanium cookware – Very durable but quite expensive.  Easy for cleaning, waterless cooking is possible.

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.

06/17/16

Induction Cooking Is The Best Or Another Nefangled Nonsense?

Cooking without open flame may be unimaginable in the earlier years.  Nowadays, you would observe in some cooking shows that they use a flat black surface, without any visible flames, to cook delicious meals.  This is what they call an induction cooktop.  It has a sleek, glossy black color that looks classy and neat.  Instead of using flames to generate heat to cook the food, it utilizes magnetic energy to generate heat.  This will give you an idea that not all types of cookware are suitable for induction cooking.

What is induction cookware?  Simply put, these are cookware that is compatible or may be used on induction cooktops.  The induction cookware has a magnetic bottom that will connect with the magnetic component of the induction top.

Induction Cooking Advantages

The primary advantage of using an induction cooktop is that it is safer than gas cooktops.  There are no open flames like burners and you prevent gas leaks which is one of the risks when using gas burners.  The induction cooktop is preferred in apartments and clustered housing because it is generally safer.

Induction Cooking with PanThe induction cooktop also has a good heating efficiency.  It takes less time to boil or heat using an induction stove cookware.  Cooking using induction compatible cookware saves not only time but also on the consumption of electricity.  Induction cooking is more energy-efficient than other electrical stoves. You will have a lower electric bill than other electrical cooktops.

One amazing thing also with induction cooktops is that the only area that heats up is the area where the cookware is directly under.  The heat does not distribute to other parts as it is only concentrated on the cookware.

One disadvantage of switching to an induction cooktop is that you might have to change most of your cookware sets and get an induction cookware set.  The good news, however, is that it is not difficult to find.  Many brands carry it.  If you have a good budget, you may opt for the all-clad induction cookware or calphalon induction cookware.

If you have a more practical budget,  there are cheaper brands like Cuisinart induction cookware and KitchenAid induction cookware.  Before you throw out your old cookware, check first as they may be induction-safe cookware.  A simple test to see whether your cookware can be used on an induction cooktop is to check whether a magnet can stick to the outer bottom of the cookware.

Try It, You Might Like It

If you want to experience cooking with an induction cooktop but are still unsure if it is really for you, you may try first with a portable induction cooktop which has now become widely available.  This is cheaper and not permanent, in case you change your mind.

To find out which is the best induction cookware, you may check out other induction cookware reviews.  You must also identify what type of cooking you usually do and the frequency of your cooking to help you in identifying which one best suits your needs.

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?

04/19/16

How to Keep Non-Stick Frying Pan in Good Condition

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. They are necessities for you to be able to fully use the cell phone.  This goes true with purchasing a non-stick frying pan. When you buy one, attached sales to it are a non-metal utensil and a soft cleaning material. But you can use any sponge or scouring pad with soft cloth bristles.

Non-Stick Frying Pan Tips

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

  1. After buying your brand new nonstick 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 a sponge or other soft cleaning material when washing nonstick frying pans.  After washing, you need to either air dry the pan or use a 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. Purple 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.

Non-Stick Frying Pan More Tips

  1. 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 may be 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 the stainless steel frying pan.
  2. 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 nonmetal.  You may use utensils made out of rubber or wood.  When storing, it is better to hang nonstick pans than stack them together to avoid the possibility of scratching the coating.
  3. 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.,

Non-Stick Frying Pans Final Words

The nonstick 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 onto 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.