Investing on the right stainless steel cookware

If you’re a foodie that loves experimenting in the kitchen or one of the millions of busy active people looking for ways to eat well without investing tons of kitchen prep time, the proper equipment is a must. Choosing the right tools makes food preparation and clean up easier and will drastically reduce time sweating it out in the kitchen…a great incentive to eat well and eat better! Through our commitment to helping you improve your diet and your life, we’ve narrowed down a selection of must-have kitchen tools and appliances that will get you on the fast track to good health in no time.

Professional-cookware set

Stainless steel cookware sets

High Performance Pots & Pans Are A Must-Have Kitchen Essential

A high performance set of pots and pans that will handle a variety of chores is definitely a must-have kitchen essential. Although there are lots of variables to consider when choosing which cookware best suits your personal needs and preferences, materials should be a primary consideration. Pots and pans are commonly made from stainless steel, aluminum, copper or cast iron. Aluminum, copper and cast iron are all reactive to alkaline or acidic foods and can alter the taste of your culinary efforts. Stainless steel is nonreactive, substantial and durable and a far superior choice  but used alone has poor heat transfer and distribution. Combining stainless steel with an inner core of copper or aluminum, both excellent heat conductors, provides the best of both worlds and is considered our best option if you’re planning on making the investment in a high performing set of pots and pans (and you should!). After reviewing and researching a plethora of pots and pans, our number one choice is the ALL-CLAD D5. (Source: Getting Healthy With Marie)

Stainless Steel Pan Advantages:

— does not react with foods e.g., tomatoes and wine
— makes excellent sauces after sautéing by dissolving products of caramelization and mallaird reaction

Stainless Steel Disadvantages:

— stainless steel heats uneven
— many types of food stick to surface of stainless steel unless proper techniques are applied.

Why food sticks to stainless steel pans?

Food that sticks is caused by chemical bonds that form between the food and the material of the pan – almost always a metal. These bonds may be relatively weak van der Waals forces or covalent bonds. Protein-rich foods are particularly prone to sticking because the proteins can form complexes with metal atoms, such as iron, in the pan.

How to prevent sticking or why hot oil prevents sticking?

The oil, being liquid, fills in the valleys and caves of the pan surface. Although the pan may look smooth at a microscopic level the surface of even the smoothest metal pan looks rough with hills, valleys and even caves. Hot oil is less viscous than cold oil and will immediately flow filling the gaps.

When oil in the pan gets hot enough a steam effect begins to occur —

“A small amount of oil added to a very hot pan almost instantly becomes very hot oil. The oil quickly sears the outside of the food and causes water to be released from the food. This layer of water vapor (“steam”) lifts the food atop the oil film and keeps it from touching the hot pan surface. If the oil is not hot enough, the steam effect will not occur and the food will fuse to the (too) cool pan surface.” Source: Ask a Scientist, Newton BBC

Continue reading – Edin Formatics: What does food stick to stainless steel surface

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Kitchen storage ideas you might love

Once or twice a month, I like to spend a weekend morning or afternoon deep cleaning, reorganizing and reevaluating my kitchen workflow. If you’re anything like me, the ingredients in your cupboard tend to double, even if your pantry is stocked with cooking and baking essentials. I catch myself at times stuffing some of my spices where I know they don’t belong, muttering to myself that I’ll ‘reorganize it later.’ Next thing you know, your refrigerator, cabinets and countertop are disheveled with items that don’t have a place.

Thankfully, when you take the time to reorganize and rethink your kitchen workflow, it allows you to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Plus, nothing feels better than cooking in an organized kitchen- it’s like the beginning paint strokes on a blank canvas. I’ve come up with a few tips I’ve learned along the way and I hope they inspire you spend some time in the kitchen this weekend!

Smart Shelving Solutions

Ideally, wouldn’t we all love to have spacious cabinets and open shelving? (If you have these already, when can I move in? A girl can dream!) In the meantime, use the space you do have smartly. Let’s talk about workflow. Think about how you move around your kitchen daily- are you constantly reaching for your spices while cooking? Besides prepping your ingredients ahead of time, it might make sense to keep your most used ingredients readily accessible- whether that’s on an open shelf near your stovetop or in a nearby cabinet space. Do whatever would make sense for your workflow in your kitchen.

The benefit of having open shelving (if you prefer the look) goes beyond storage of your most used culinary items- it also is a great way to display your favorite cookbooks, houseplants and kitchen-related trinkets. Even if it’s only a pair of shelves, the way your organize them could become one of your new favorite parts of your kitchen.

Organized and Functional Countertop Space

The countertop is usually where you store your most-used appliances. However, if you need the extra storage space, try displaying some of your cookbooks, cutting boards or dish towels in an organizational tool like wire baskets. Also, rethink your appliances; for example, I haven’t been baking as much lately and have been using my blender more for morning and post workout smoothies. Naturally, replacing my Kitchen Aid with my blender on the counter just made sense.

ingredient storage

Glass Ingredient Storage

I truly am a sucker for glass ingredient storage (you have no idea how much joy I get from printing out my adhesive ingredient labels.) Not only is it an easy way to spot the exact ingredient you need, it’s easy to remember where you put it too. Also, let’s be honest, glass storage has a more organized look. Mason jars are my classic go to for ingredient storage and so are these glass spice jars from Crate & Barrel.

Get more ideas at http://theeverygirl.com/5-ideas-for-organized-kitchen-storage

 

Three pieces of cookware will meet all your cooking needs

If you’ve ever picked up the molten plastic handle of a frying pan or cleaned a range top after making a marinara in a wobbly pot, you’re ready to learn about good cookware. First, lyou need to invest the money to get a good-quality pan made of the best metal for the job. Then you must care for cookware properly to give it the longevity you need. And remember―you don’t have to go out and buy whole sets. Instead, select the individual pots and pans that work best with what and how you cook.

 Whatever type of pan you pick, it should above all be sturdy. Thickness means that a pan will not dent, warp, or have hot spots (which cause food in one area of the pan to cook faster or burn before everything else is done). Thinner materials won’t hold heat evenly. A deeper pot should hold heat all the way up its sides; a weighty one will also be more durable and withstand frequent use and washing.

The three basic pots you need to start your collection: a two-quart saucepan, a 10-inch saute pan, and an eight-quart stockpot. They’ll cover just about any cooking task, and if you buy high-quality pieces, you’ll have them for a long, long time. And if you’re buying only three, you can get the best.

Stockpot

While this should be of good quality, it doesn’t have to be quite as hefty as the other two. Although you want it to be sturdy, you’ll be using it mostly to boil water for pasta and blanching or steaming vegetables, so you want to be able to lift the pot once it’s full of water. Something in midweight anodized aluminum is a good choice, since you may also want to use your stockpot to make large quantities of soup, stock, or stews. (If you’ll be using it mainly for boiling water, buy the cheapest you can find.) Anodized aluminum is treated with a strengthening protective coating and will perform well without costing a fortune. The handles on a stockpot should be big enough to grasp firmly. If a colander insert doesn’t come with your pot, consider buying one separately. The insert is not crucial, but it makes it easier to lift out pasta or vegetables.

Saute-Pan-Eco-Friendly-Cookware-Company

Sauté Pan

For searing and sautéing meats, vegetables, and chicken, pick a stainless-steel sauté pan. This pan will prove to be your most versatile. Not only can you sear anything to a golden brown but you will also be able to make a quick sauce with pan drippings. You can cook a whole meal and have only one pan to wash. The three-quart saute pan is the right size to make risotto and homemade pasta sauce, or even do some deep-frying. It’s great for stir-frying, so you won’t need a wok. With this type of pan, it’s important that the base be thick enough. A thin pan may buckle, making it hard to cook food evenly. Most good-quality stainless-steel pans have an inner core of aluminum or copper to enhance steel’s relatively poor heat conductivity. Handles should be heatproof and secured with heavy-duty, noncorrosive rivets. Stainless-steel, wood, and plastic handles all stay cool on the stove-top, but only steel and cast iron are ovenproof (wood will char, and plastic will burn). A pan with a steel handle, then, gives you the advantage of being able to finish the cooking in the oven. (And, obviously, use mitts when removing anything from a hot oven.) Lids should fit snugly (a tight-fitting cover helps keep moisture in the food), with a secure knob that is heatproof.

Saucepan

A two-quart saucepan is the right piece of equipment for making sauces and rice, or for reheating soup and pasta sauce. For handling all these tasks quickly, your best choice is a pan made of copper. It will look warm and inviting hanging from a rack in a country kitchen, but it has more going for it than mere beauty. Copper is extremely responsive to temperature changes, so it heats up and cools down immediately as you turn the stove dial. This means it’s especially good for making delicate sauces and candies or melting sugar. Look for a cast-iron or bronze handle with sturdy stainless-steel rivets. Apart from the aesthetic consideration, don’t worry about polishing copper pots. Tarnish does not affect performance. Copper cookware is usually lined with stainless steel or tin (exceptions being preserves pans and bowls for beating egg whites). Easy-to-use copper polishes are available in cookware and hardware stores.

Shared from Real Simple (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/tools-products/cookware-bakeware/only-pots-pans-youll-need)

Amazing cookware set you can buy

I selected these pans after way too much emoting compared with the two other makes of multi-clad pans (but never tempted by All Clad). Truth is, both these and the Duxtop I would expect would work great – but in the end, I purchased this product, and I’m very, very happy.

all-clad-stainless-steel

As most of my life I had cooked on non-stick (Farberware professional Silverstone) pans, I was concerned about food sticking. I did my research (many good sites out there) and am glad to say – except for eggs, its just not a problem. I follow the rule to heat the pan some first before adding my oil, etc, don’t worry about initial food sticking – it really DOES unstick mostly after it cooks a bit more… and have grown to enjoy making gravy and sauces with the little bits on the bottom. The pans do clean up perfectly with soap and a light-duty scrubbie – though you can save almost all your labor by letting some water sit in them for a few minutes, and everything comes off (I use a Lunatec dishtowel, also from Amazon). If you need extra help in special cases, either a baking soda paste or bartenders friend works fine.

In return for this incremental trouble, you get to feel like a professional chef. The pans are works of art to behold, with a beautiful mirror finish, very thick and solid feeling, and, yes – the heat really DOES climb up the side compared with bottom heating pans. They are just beautiful to handle and use. The lids fit well, are heavy-duty and are well designed with a concave shape (sheds condensation down the sides) – I don’t end up wishing they were glass. I expect these pans to last a lifetime.

The one thing I don’t use these for are eggs – my suggestion is that people getting this set also acquire one or two ceramic or non-stick pans to be used just for that purpose. They will serve you well, and with use just for eggs will probably last a good while. So far, my pan collection includes this set, an extra 2 qt. Multiclad sauce pan, and (because a local store was selling it too cheaply to resist) a 5.5 qt. MultiClad pro casserole, and an 8 inch and 10 inch non-stick saute pans. This seems to meet everything I have needed so far.

I cook with induction, and the pans work great, and display very little “noise”, although I don’t have other pans to compare them with – not a factor either way. I could not be happier – and doubt that any other pan (AllClads included, which, yes, are wonderful pans too) would outperform or outlook.

At the three month point, all pans are looking almost “like new”, except where a) one or my daughters had used a metal fork for some reason, and b) where my other daughter used a stainless potato masher – each breaking the “perfection” in minor ways. And.. we now have a nice silicone-coated potato masher

More:
Are nonstick pans unhealthy?
Cookware cleaning tips