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Choosing a Stainless Steel Fry Pan

A stainless steel fry pan or skillet is the choice for many chefs. The stainless steel frying pan is often the workhorse in restaurants and home kitchens. A quality skillet offers an attractive appearance, great heat distribution, and easy cleanup. Whether you saute, make crepes, or pan fry, a stainless steel skillet is a great tool to use. You can’t get the fond for sauces from a nonstick pan as you can with stainless steel.

All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Fry Pan

Frying Pan Basics

Frying pans are typically sized 7″ to 14″, and have sloped sides. The sloped sides make it easy for turning, flipping, and releasing foods. A similar sized pan but with straight sides is a sauté pan. The frying pan is great for frying eggs, searing, or browning with oils, butter, or liquids. A stainless steel frying pan with its attractive shiny surface fits the decor of many homes.

Why Choose a Stainless Steel Fry Pan

Stainless steel cookware is lightweight, non-reactive to foods, healthy, dishwasher safe, and works on or in a stove or induction unit. Because it is not good at distributing heat, a quality stainless steel frying pan will be clad with layers of copper and/or aluminum, at least on the bottom if not up the side walls also. Quality stainless steel is referred to as “18/10” because it contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. 18/10 stainless steel is best on the inside, and a magnetic or 18/0 stainless steel on the outside for induction cooking. Because stainless steel is non-porous, and not coating with chemicals or nonstick surface treatments, it is considered a healthy cookware.

All-Clad 5112 Stainless Steel Fry Pan Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver All-Clad 5112 Stainless Steel Fry Pan Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver
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Characteristics of a Stainless Steel Frying Pan

All-Clad Stainless Steel Fry Pan

While a standard stainless steel frying pan does not have a nonstick interior surface, proper cleaning and heat levels will avoid food sticking to the frying pan. Quality aluminum or copper layered frying pans distribute heat so well, manufacturers recommend using just low to medium heat. Preheating the skillet for a couple of minutes first will heat the pan adequately for most purposes. The preheating closes the pores of the metal surface reducing the chance of food sticking. The polished surface makes the stainless steel frying pan easy to clean, inside and out. Like most metal cookware, it is not recommended to add salt directly to the stainless steel fry pan. Rather, add salt to liquids or foods already being cooked.

Cuisinart 722-30G Chef's Classic 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover Cuisinart 722-30G Chef's Classic 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover
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Cleaning a Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Most stainless steel skillets are dishwasher safe. Even so, hand washing is recommended. Usual cleaning involves immersing the stainless steel frying pan into warm sudsy water, and clean with a fine powder cleanser like Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend. Rub in a circular motion from the inside outwards. Dry the pan immediately. Do not use oven cleaners, bleaches, or steel wool.

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The stainless steel frying pan is found in the homes of many chefs and serious home cooks. It is versatile, easy to clean and a safe alternative to nonstick surfaces. Look for 18/10 stainless steel with aluminum or copper layers.

Happy Cooking!

 

Choosing Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless steel cookware sets offer durability, versatility, and style. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its healthy non-porous surface, appearance, dishwasher safe clean-up, and durability. Like cookware sets made of other materials, they usually include 6 to 14 pieces, lids included. Whether buying an individual piece or a complete stainless steel cookware set, be sure to look for quality. Higher quality stainless steel will always be “18/10” on the inside and clad with either copper and/or aluminum.

Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Why Choose Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless steel cookware sets are healthy, durable, attractive, and versatile. When properly cared for, it lasts a very long time, and is easy to maintain. Stainless steel is dishwasher safe. Be sure to check out the manufacturers care and use instructions, as well as pick up a quality stainless steel cleaner.

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
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Stainless Steel Cookware Set Tips

Stainless Steel Frying Pans

Cookware sets can include both a small and large frying pan. You will see a variety of names for these items including frying pans, skillets, and omelet pans. The small frying pan will usually be around 8″ while the large will either be 10″ or 12″. They make some as large as 14″, but are rarely included in cookware sets.

Sauce and Sauté Pans

The sauté pan looks much like a skillet, but the side walls are straight up, and they can come with a lid. The sauce pan is what most would call a small pot. These vary in size from 1 quart to 4 quarts.

Stock Pots

The stock pot is large, usually around 6 – 8 quarts. They are great for making homemade soups, boiling water for corn on the cob, pasta, or other large items.

What to Look For

Small stainless steel cookware sets usually include one or two frying pans, one or two sauce pans, and either a large sauce pan or a stock pot. Larger cookware sets will include both a large and small frying pan, one or two sauté pans, two or three saucepans, and a stock pot.

Happy Cooking!

 

Stainless Nonstick Cookware is a Powerful Combination

Stainless nonstick cookware is a new trend gaining popularity. Manufacturers today have uncovered the secret to bonding a nonstick coating to stainless steel. The end result is quality cookware that is easy on the cook, attractive and easy to clean. Nonstick surfaces are usually only applied to stainless steel skillets. A few brands, like the Scanpan CTX product line, are complete stainless nonstick cookware sets. 

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Stainless Nonstick Cookware

Quality stainless steel, 18/10 construction, clad with aluminum or copper on the inside, has been a favorite of chefs for a long time. Households on the “go” have enjoyed the advantages of nonstick surfaces like Teflon and T-fal. In the past, it has been difficult to bond the nonstick surface to stainless steel cookware because of its smooth non-porous surface. Today that has changed, and manufacturers are producing lines of cookware blending this powerful combination.

Clad Stainless Steel Heat Distribution and Appearance

Stainless steel is an attractive cookware with its shiny or brushed surface. The outside is easy to clean in the dishwasher, by hand washing with warm sudsy water, or a stainless steel cleaning compound. When clad with aluminum or copper, the stainless steel cookware produces precise heating control and even heat distribution.

Nonstick Interior

Busy cooks who do not want to spend much time scrubbing their cookware opt for a nonstick surface. Quality nonstick surfaces are produced with multiple layers and a bonding layer for durability. As with most, but not all nonstick surfaces, the use of low to medium heat is essential. Do not use metal or sharp utensils on most nonstick cookware.

Stainless Nonstick Cookware Options

Scanpan CTX Stainless Nonstick Cookware Set

Today several quality brands have products available. The Calphalon Contemporary line has a brushed stainless steel exterior with a light colored nonstick finish on the inside. Farberware has their Millennium line. Anolon has select pieces. As these lines become popular, and the advantages of this powerful combination become known, more manufacturers will introduce product offerings. My favorite by large measures is the Scanpan CTX stainless nonstick cookware set. It is chef grade premium cookware that can be used at higher heats, dishwasher safe, and a real joy to cook with (picture above).

Pricing

The prices of stainless nonstick cookware is higher than some other materials. The bonding process, quality stainless steel, and a high end nonstick surface makes a powerful cookware combination, but at a slightly higher price. For example, at the time of this writing, a Calphalon 8 piece cookware set runs $599.00. In the same product line, the 8 inch omelet pan runs $85. On the lesser expensive side, a Farberware Millennium 12 inch skillet runs only $39.99. Anolon products tend to be priced in the middle. My favorite Scanpan CTX 10-piece cookware set will set one back around $899. The Cuisinart GreenGourmet has a stainless steel line that is also top quality, though not dishwasher safe like the Scanpan CTX, seen above

Cuisinart GGT-10 GreenGourmet Tri-Ply Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart GGT-10 GreenGourmet Tri-Ply Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set
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Cooks now have access to a cookware with a powerful blend – stainless nonstick cookware. Excellent heat distribution of clad stainless steel with the ease of use of nonstick interior finishes makes a tempting combination.

Happy Cooking!

 

The All-Purpose Nonstick Cookware Set

The nonstick cookware set is popular because it is easy to use. Health matters aside, nonstick cookware is a consideration for everyday cooks who want food to slide off the cookware followed by an easy cleanup. Even when using stainless steel skillets to get that great fond for sauces, experienced cooks will use nonstick cookware for delicate meals like fish and eggs.

What is the actual cookware material?

The quality of cookware is not determined as much by the external or internal coating, as it is by the main cookware material itself. Too many shoppers looking for ease of use will get nonstick cookware without any regard for the more important core material. Today, nonstick surfaces are being applied to anodized aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and other materials. A quality piece of cookware will have aluminum or copper clad inside the cookware.

What should I get in a nonstick cookware set?

Scanpan CTX Nonstick Cookware Set

Scanpan CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set Scanpan CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set
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Here is an example of what you should get in a quality nonstick cookware set. This one, at the time of this writing, is the Scanpan CTX 10 piece nonstick cookware set. Please note that this is a premier nonstick cookware set, chef grade, that is eco-friendly and considered healthy. One can use high heat and metal utensils on Scanpan CTX cookware.

  • 2 quart sauce pan w/ lid
  • 2 3/4 quart sauce pan w/ lid
  • 10 1/2 inch saute pan w/ lid
  • 7 1/2 quart stockpot w/ lid
  • 10 1/4 inch skillet
  • 8 inch skillet
  • 5-Layer clad recycled aluminum-stainless steel construction
  • Suitable for all stove tops including induction

Quality Nonstick Coating

Several manufacturers claim to have the “toughest” nonstick surface. DuPont, the maker of Teflon, has the Autograph 2 nonstick coating as their top of the line product. It is found on a number of quality cookware products including Anolon. T-Fal is known to be very tough. Circulon advertises their Total line to outlast all other nonstick surfaces. If you are going to go with nonstick, stick with a high quality manufacturer.

Circulon Infinite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set Circulon Infinite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
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Heating and cleaning nonstick cookware

Circulon Infinite Nonstick Cookware Set

As with most nonstick surfaces, use low to medium heat. Higher heat can not only damage the cookware itself and the coating, but also possibly release harmful fumes. Read the care and use instructions of the cookware. If it claims to be dishwasher safe, is it safe all the time, or just some of the time. Most nonstick surfaces have instructions to clean by hand.

As seen in our exclusive article on Matching Cookware to the Cook, nonstick surfaces are suitable for the Reluctant Cook and the Busy Cook. These surfaces are attractive for frying foods up without sticking and an easy cleanup. There are good deals out there, but be sure you get a quality set made of quality cookware materials. One quality material to consider is stainless steel clad with aluminum inside. Check out our article on A Powerful Blend – Stainless Nonstick.

Happy Cooking!

 

What Happened to Corningware and Pyrex Glass Cookware?

Corning, Corningware and Pyrex glass cookware bring great memories to a lot of home cooks. Just seeing the white ceramic casserole dish with the blue cornflower logo brings back memories of mom’s cooking. Picture her as she would whip up some potatoes, create a casserole, fry some chicken, or string green beans. Try to remember what she would use to cook with, and bring out to the table. Chances are, you will see some of that white cookware with a blue cornflower emblem on the side. That was corning glass cookware. She would bake with it, and since it was presentation quality, she would bring it out to the table for the feast. What happened to that corning glass cookware?

Corningware Blue Cornflower

Corningware Glass Cookware Has a Rich History

The history of Corning goes back 150 years. Corning Glass Works developed the glass for Thomas Edison’s light bulb. It was in July of 1913 when, at the encouragement of a new scientists wife, Bessie Littleton, that Pyrex was born. Over the years they developed lines of glass and ceramic cookware and bakeware that was durable, attractive, easy to clean, and versatile. Though only a portion of their business, it was these consumer products that brought the name of Corning to the publics attention. More than 750 million pieces of CorningWare have been manufactured. In 1998 however, due to slumping sales and retooling of manufacturing plants, Corning sold off the CorningWare and Pyrex lines to World Kitchen, LLC. Under new direction, the CorningWare and Pyrex lines are still pretty strong, although different.

Today’s CorningWare and Pyrex

Under the direction of World Kitchens, LLC, CorningWare transitioned from ceramic based products to stoneware. It is described as an evolutionary change to bring more color and versatility to the kitchen. The stoneware based cookware and bakeware is easy to clean, stores food easily in the refrigerator or freezer, non reactive to acidic foods, and can be used to prep, cook, and display meals. The stoneware based CorningWare is not to be used on the stovetop, whereas the older ceramic based products are. The older product lines have been discontinued from production, but are still available from a variety of sources. While the condition of “new” is becoming harder to find, “gently used” items are increasingly becoming popular. The old familiar Corning white ceramic bakeware with the blue cornflower emblem on the side and glass lid, while not rare, is actually starting to show signs of increased value. Items can be found on the internet under the names Corning, CorningWare, or Corelle.

New or old, Corning and Pyrex products are considered healthy since they are non reactive to acidic foods, do not leave trace metals in foods, and are non porous. They are all easy to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher. 

If you are looking for stovetop-ready ceramic based cookware, there are choices, but they are harder to find. Emile Henry is a very fashionable and attractive line of French ceramic cookware and bakeware, and has recently introduced their “Flame Top” stovetop line of ceramics.

Corning Visions, Where Art Thou?

Corning Glass VisionsThe Corning Visions cookware line has been discontinued for quite some time. While it was heavily rumored that the products fracture or explode under high heat, numerous tests under intense scrutiny could not duplicate any such results. The amber and cranberry colored ceramic-glass cookware is available online from a variety of stores. I found that one of the best places to get Corning Visions cookware is on e-bay.

Corning glass cookware is alive and well in kitchens across the globe. Pyrex bakeware is more colorful, useful, and more transportable than ever. Whether glass, ceramic, porcelain, enameled, or some other material, it plays a vital role in every kitchen.

Happy Cooking,

 

Choosy Chefs Choose Copper Pots and Pans

Copper pots are chosen by home chefs because of the excellent heat distribution. Copper cookware has an aesthetic look many cooks enjoy. Like the memorable name brand peanut butter commercial, when it comes to cookware, choosy home chefs choose copper pots and pans. There are 2 variations of copper cookware. First it can be an inside clad layer, as shown in the All-Clad picture below. Second, it can cover the entire outside of the cookware, as shown further below.

All-Clad Copper Pots

Not all copper cookware is the same

Like with most cookware, when you purchase quality, it can last for generations. When buying lesser quality pieces, the results can be a waste of money. Copper cookware, at a minimum, needs to cover the bottom. Higher quality pieces will have the copper extended all the way up the sides. Copper cookware never has copper on the inside since it can be toxic when exposed to acidic foods. The insides are usually lined with a combination of tin, nickel, aluminum, or stainless steel. Proper care and use will help the cookware last a long time. Use the wrong cleaning methods, too high a heat, or the wrong utensils, can cause the inside surface to expose the copper, separate the bottom layers, or ruin the exposed finish.

All-Clad 600822 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver All-Clad 600822 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver
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The beauty of copper pots and pans

Copper saute pans and copper sauce pans are not only beautiful pieces of cookware, but the most precise cooking instruments. When making delicate sauces where precise temperatures are necessary, nothing beats the control of copper. When copper covers the entire outside surface of the cookware, it can turn different colors when in use. As the copper heats, it can turn pink, burnt orange, or purple. Once a home chef gets to know the cookware, they know when the copper pots are at the appropriate temperature by the color it turns.

Mauviel Made In France M'Heritage Copper 150c 6400.04 10-Piece Set with Cast Iron Handles Mauviel Made In France M'Heritage Copper 150c 6400.04 10-Piece Set with Cast Iron Handles
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Copper Pots

Cleaning copper cookware

Copper pans and copper pots need to be hand washed. Let the cookware cool after use. Wash in warm sudsy water and clean with a nylon scouring pad. Be careful with the inside surface as you do not want to scratch it to expose the raw copper. If copper cookware does get scratched or after extended use where the inside surface can thin, it is recommended to have the inside surface repaired. Copper cookware is not recommended for use in dishwashers.

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Are copper pots and pans healthy?

When it comes to health matters, the copper has little to do with the question. The material on the inside surface is what matters, as long as it is not scratched and copper is exposed. Stainless steel interiors are fine. Aluminum, tin, or when nickel compounds are used, are the types of interiors one may need to be cautious with. If a person is allergic to trace amounts of these metals or wish to reduce the chances of getting these metals in their foods, avoid these interiors.

Copper pots and pans are the material of choice for home chefs. Using copper pots is a joy, and aesthetically pleasing. Though expensive compared to other cookware materials, the end result can be the perfect delicate sauce or perfect dish.

Happy Cooking!

 

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

It is not hard to season cast iron cookware. Cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned to properly maintain its nearly nonstick cooking surface. Today, cast iron cookware comes in 2 varieties, standard black cast iron and enameled cast iron. The enameled cast iron does not need to be seasoned. In this article, I’ll discuss the best way to season cast iron cookware.

Lodge Signature Cast Iron Skillet

Why You Need to Season Cast Iron Cookware

When properly maintained, cast iron cookware can provide a nearly nonstick surface. As it is used, the oils fill in the pores of the pan or skillet, and helps release food from the cookware. If food sticks to your cast iron cookware, it is not seasoned enough or properly.

To season cast iron cookware:

  1. Clean and dry the cookware thoroughly
  2. Apply a thin coat of an appropriate oil
  3. Cook the cast iron in the oven
  4. Cool and store properly

Clean the Cast Iron Cookware

The first step of the seasoning process is to make sure the pan or skillet is properly cleaned. Rinse the pan out with warm, non-soapy, water. Using a stiff bristled brush, scraping any deposits off of the pan. Only if there are some seriously stuck on deposits is it OK to use soapy water. The soap will take away whatever seasoning has built up.

Once the pan or skillet is cleaned, dry it thoroughly with paper towels or a clean dry rag.

Apply the Seasoning Oil

Once the pan or skillet is dry, apply your seasoning oil. I use a virgin coconut oil. Use a neutral oil like food grade coconut oil, vegetable oil, Crisco, or lard. I’m hearing a flax seed oil works wonders also! I use wax paper to apply the seasoning. Others use a clean rag or even foil. I’ve found that paper towels are not the best to use because some paper remnants can stick to the cookware.

It is very important NOT to apply too much oil. If it builds up after the heating process, and is stored, the oil can become rancid. That’s not good.

Bake the oil into the Cast Iron

After the oil is applied:

  1. Heat the oven to around 350 degrees. For flax seed oil, use a higher temp like 450.
  2. Place the pan or skillet upside down on the top shelf of the oven.
  3. Place a layer of aluminum foil on the bottom shelf to catch any drippings.
  4. Cook for 30 – 60 minutes.

After the cast iron has cooked for 30 to 60 minutes, place it on the stove top or a cooling rack to let it cool.

Properly Storing Cast Iron Cookware

It is best to use cast iron cookware nearly every day. Using it and cleaning it properly on a regular basis builds up the best seasoning. If it must be stored, place a layer of paper towels or a rag on the bottom of the shelf. Store the cookware upside down, making sure there is air circulation around the cookware. Do not store lids on the pan locking in air. Seasoned cast iron needs to have ample air circulation. Locked in air will cause the baked in oil to become rancid. That’s not good.

When you are ready to use the cast iron cookware after it has been stored, rinse it with warm, non soapy water, and dry with a clean rag or paper towel. The use of soap will remove the seasoning. Very bad.

Properly seasoned cast iron cookware is a joy to use. The heating properties of cast iron and the nonstick surface will do a great job on whatever you cook, making you look like a professional chef!

Happy cooking!

 

The Growing Cast Iron Cookware Set

A Cast Iron Cookware set is not a dream anymore! Cast iron cookware is favored by cooks who like the healthy and naturally nonstick surface of cast iron. Cooks will be pleased to know that manufacturers are making additional cast iron cookware pieces that make up a full cookware set. What was once just a frying pan and Dutch oven, is now growing to include casserole dishes, sauce pans, saute pans, and other essential pieces of cookware. Enameled cast iron cookware is leading the trend with its luxurious colors and added food storage capabilities.

Le Creuset Cast Iron Cookware Set

The Popularity of Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware has been popular for a very long time because of its heat distribution and retention capabilities. Still a camp favorite for that overnight camping trip, new variations of cast iron cookware introduce colors and flexibility with enameled surfaces. Manufacturers are creating essential cookware pieces made of enameled cast iron with colors that fit any kitchen decor. Able to go from stove top or oven right to the kitchen table in fashionable style makes cast iron as popular as ever. Some enameled surfaces, being non reactive with food, even allow for marinating food and food storage after it is cooked.

The Growing Cast Iron Cookware Set

A standard cast iron cookware set will include:

  • A skillet / frying pan / omelet pan
  • A Dutch oven / French oven / large casserole dish w/ lid
  • The growing cookware set can include:
  • A sauce / saucier pan w/ lid
  • A saute pan w/ lid
  • A buffet casserole dish w/ lid
  • A panini pan w/ press
  • New cookware and styles being introduced all the time!

Seasoning and Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware

 Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Traditional cast iron needs to be seasoned. Seasoning cast iron cookware is a process of adding a quality oil to the inside of the cookware and baking it for an hour at 350 degrees. The seasoning process fills in the porous surface providing a naturally non stick surface. Enameled cast iron cookware does not need to be seasoned.

Always be sure to read the care and use instructions of your cast iron cookware. Most will recommend hand washing, even the enameled items that can be placed in an automatic dishwasher. Traditional pieces definitely need to be hand washed and dried immediately.

Cast iron cookware, always a kitchen favorite, is growing even more popular with luxuriously colored enamel surfaces and essential cookware pieces. Popular brands like Le Creuset, Staub, Lodge, and Calphalon have attractive and functional cast iron cookware pieces. As new pieces become available, they are being added to cookware sets, growing what was once a stingy 3 piece cookware set into full fledge 7 to 9 piece sets.

Happy Cooking!

 

Advantages of the Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set

Anodized Aluminum Cookware Sets are known for durability and light weight. Aluminum cookware sets are affordable, twice as hard as stainless steel, and attractive with its typical dark color. Today, they are even being made in colors, like bronze, other than the familiar black or dark gray. Most today do not have native anodized aluminum on the exterior or interior, but rather a nonstick surface. Cooks love anodized aluminum cookware because it heats very evenly surrounding your food with a steady heat. It is no surprise anodized aluminum cookware sets are found in many homes.

Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set

The “Busy Cook” will like an anodized aluminum cookware set. It’s a set that can endure daily cooking, be tossed around, and some can even handle the dishwasher.

See our Best Choices for Anodized Aluminum Cookware Sets

A Typical Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set

As with most cookware sets, it is important to know what you will be getting. A standard 10 piece set will include cookware pieces like this:

  • 1 1/2 quart saucepan w/ lid
  • 3 quart saucepan w/ lid
  • 8 quart stockpot w/ lid
  • 8 inch skillet/frying pan/omelet pan
  • 10 inch skillet/frying pan/omelet pan
  • 3 quart saute pan w/ lid

Note that each lid counts as one of the pieces.

A 12 piece anodized cookware set usually adds another saucepan w/ lid.

Saucepans are sized 1 quart to 4 quarts. Skillets are usually sized 8″, 10″, and 12″. Stockpots are around 8 quarts.

What Else to Look For in a Cookware Set

There are a lot of flavors of anodized aluminum cookware sets. Check if it is dishwasher safe. But always read the care and use instructions. Check the max temperature it can handle inside the oven. What kinds of lids come in the set. Also be sure to note the size and durability of the handles.

How Much Can You Expect To Pay

While list prices will range $300 – $600, you can expect to pay in the range of $200 – $400.

There are many advantages of the anodized aluminum cookware set. Being aluminum, it is light. It is stronger than stainless steel. Some have non stick surfaces inside and/or outside. By itself, it is considered “low stick.” It can be put in the oven. And some are dishwasher safe.

Anodized cookware sets that are not coated with nonstick surfaces are becoming harder to find. For more information of this type of cookware, please check out our article The Hard Anodized Cookware Set.

Happy Cooking!

 

Luxurious Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Colorful and beautiful, enameled cast iron cookware is healthy cookware for every kitchen. With the excellent heat distribution and retention benefits of cast iron, enameled cast iron cookware is functional and attractive.

Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Staub Coq au VinWhether Le Creuset, Staub, Lodge, or any other enameled cast iron cookware manufacturer, the enameled colors add a luxurious look to the standard black cast iron. With various shades or red, green, blue, and brown, the colors can fit just about any decor. Cast iron cookware traditionally is one of the least expensive cookware materials. While an enameled finish will add to the cost, there are still inexpensive options. The cost will often be associated with the quality and number of enameled layers. The higher quality enamel will be chip resistant, stain resistant, and have as many as four (4) layers of colorful enamel. While the term enamel is often associated with paint, cookware enamel is a glass product, thus healthy and easy to clean.

Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

Probably one of the most famous pieces of cast iron cookware is the skillet. While today they do make casserole dishes, Dutch ovens, and even sauce pans in enameled cast iron, the skillet/omelet pan/frying pan is most common. Placing your cast iron skillet on the stove top with low to medium heat will result in fantastic fried eggs, bacon, potatoes, or anything else fit for a skillet. Cast iron griddle pans are becoming immensely popular. Ridges on the bottom make an ordinary skillet not only healthy but also gives that restaurant quality presentation. Use a grill pan for steaks or any other food where grill marks would add to the taste and/or visual appeal.

Enameled Outside and/or Inside

On the outside of the cookware, the enameled finish makes it easy to clean as well as visually appealing. On the inside, it adds a level of nonstick performance and opportunity to use the same cookware for stove and table top. It is non reactive with foods. And it does not need to be seasoned as traditional cast iron cookware.

Use and Cleaning Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Like most high quality cookware, it is important to read the care and use instructions. You will find it is usually recommended:

• Do not use metallic utensils

• Use low to medium heat

• Do not use in the oven over 475 degrees

• Use a cloth or mitt to handle the cookware

• The surface can chip or scratch if banged or dropped

• Use plastic or nylon scouring pads. Not metal

• While some are automatic dishwasher safe, hand washing is still highlyrecommended

• Dry the cookware before storing

Beautiful, functional, and healthy, enameled cast iron cookware adds a level of sophistication to any kitchen. The busy cook, chef, or healthy cook will enjoy the colors and usefulness of enameled cookware. For more information about using cast iron cookware, be sure to read our article on The Growing Cast Iron Cookware Set.

 Happy Cooking!