Tasty Nonstick Set
Last updated date: December 12, 2018
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An Overview On Cookware
A successful home cook must have the proper equipment. One essential item is a great cookware set that includes all the necessary pots and pans to make any style of cuisine. Frying pans, Dutch ovens, saucepans, casserole pans, serving spoons, soup ladles and spatulas are all common components.
In addition to the number and types of pieces in your cookware set, the material is another big factor to consider in purchasing a cookware set. Popular materials include stainless steel, nonstick, steel, cast iron, copper and aluminum. The type you choose depends on your cooking needs as well as your cleaning and maintenance preferences.
For example, nonstick pans work well for delicate foods, such as pancakes and eggs. However, nonstick surfaces can be scratched with metal utensils. Stainless steel cooks foods quickly and offers a classic look, but can make it harder to clean cooked-on foods. You may also want to consider whether the material you choose is dishwasher-safe and/or oven-safe.
These days, a lot of consumers are also concerned about the chemicals present in cookware that could seep into their food. Some of the safest materials include cast iron, titanium, anodized aluminum, copper and ceramic. Some materials require extra care to ensure their safety. While stainless steel is generally safe, nickel and chromium can end up in your food if the cookware is damaged or worn.
Although the convenience of nonstick cookware, like the T-fal Signature Non-stick Set, makes it a popular choice, safety concerns around its coating of PTFE (brand name Teflon) caused some consumers to second-guess it. However, most of the products are now bonded so that the coating cannot come off, reducing the risk that someone could accidentally consume it. The fumes could become dangerous at super high temperatures, but you’re unlikely to reach those temperatures when cooking most dishes.
The size of the pieces themselves should also be considered. You can determine the best size for your needs by evaluating how much food you cook at a time for your family, as well as where you plan to store the pots and pans.
DYWM Fun Fact
Besides using fire to cook food, the creation of pots and pans might be the next most important innovation in cooking. Making meals in pots and pans made food safer, more edible and, perhaps most importantly, better tasting.
As early as 20,000 years ago, people were using pots to cook food. So what was on the menu back then? Fish soup.
Want to become a better cook? Focus on nailing the most common cooking methods, like roasting, sautéing and stir-frying. You’ll be on your way to winning a cooking competition show in no time.
Today, kitchen and cookware stores account for $15.2 billion in annual sales. That’s a lot of pots and pans!
The Cookware Buying Guide
- Heavier cookware conducts heat better than lighter cookware.
- Skillets of different sizes can help you accomplish different meals. A deep-sided, 12-inch skillet is ideal for a one-dish dinner.
- Got grease stains on your stainless steel pans? Your oven can help with that. As long as the handle is oven-safe, you can “bake” stained pans at 400 degrees for two to three hours. When you remove it, you will easily be able to scrape off the hardened grease with a spatula.
- To prevent food from sticking to a stainless steel pan, heat the pan until hot before adding oil.
- White spots found on stainless steel cookware are due to a buildup of calcium in the water. Boil a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water to get your pots and pans looking like new again.
- There are a number of creative storage solutions for your pots and pans. Try hanging them from a pegboard or a towel bar. An old ladder hung from the ceiling can make for a super cool design element in your kitchen.
- When working with a cast iron skillet, it’s essential to season it first. After thoroughly scrubbing it with hot, soapy water and drying it, spread a thin layer of vegetable oil over the skillet. Place it upside in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Let it cool in the oven.
- All types of pans, regardless of material, will have hot and cold spots, which can lead to uneven cooking. Some sets, like the All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Play, boast super even heat distribution. You can test out these spots by filling the pan with water and bringing to a boil on high heat. Observe where you see rapid bubbling. Once you know where your hot and cold spots are, you can keep your food moving in the pan and change its position to ensure even cooking.
- Avoid using cooking spray with nonstick pans. Instead, use oil or butter to avoid sticky buildup over time.