We need cookware to put meals on the table. We know there are many different kinds of cookware available. But can the right cookware actually help us to cook better? Your Cookware Helper says “absolutely, yes.” Cookware plays an important role in the art and science of cooking.
There are 4 primary reasons why the right cookware can help us to cook better.
1) The right cookware will heat evenly.
One of the most important attributes of quality cookware is that it heats evenly. Consider all the cookware that is clad with copper and/or aluminum, for the sole purpose of helping the cookware provide even heating. When you use the properly sized cookware for the stove heating element, you expect the pan to provide an even amount of heat throughout the cooking surface. If it does not, the food will need more attention for flipping or stirring, cause food to stick, and possibly even provide food that is not cooked thoroughly.
2) The right cookware is appropriate for the job.
Here is where a little experience goes a long way. Obviously one will use a skillet to fry eggs or chicken, a sauce pan to boil water or heat liquids, and a sauté pan to cook up a bunch of veggies or meats. The appropriately sized cookware for the job is important. When you have multiple choices of cookware to use, choosing the right one can make the cooking process easier, or add a really nice touch to the meal.
Consider these real life cooking stories. I have an All-Clad stainless steel sauce pan that is clad with aluminum all the way up the sides. I recently used it when I was cooking grits with mushrooms as a side dish for swordfish steaks. During the cooking process, the heat was set to low, and the grits were slowly bubbling in the All-Clad sauce pan. The aluminum up the sides allows the pan to provide an even heat that wraps around the food, not just on the bottom. It was the appropriate cookware for this thicker side dish. Had I used a simpler Farberware sauce pan with aluminum clad just on the bottom, I would have to stir more frequently, and possibly risk having it burn on the bottom. For thinner liquid based dishes, the Farberware would be suitable.
Having sear marks on certain foods adds that restaurant quality touch to dishes. When making an Orange Chicken dish recently, I slowly baked the chicken in the oven. However, before serving it, I used my Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan to put sear marks on the chicken before I placed it on the serving dish, where I then drizzled the orange sauce over the top. The presentation was a success.
Here is another tip to help with a restaurant quality presentation. Consider using Staub Cast Iron Roasting Dishes, preheated in the oven, and place your chicken, steak, or vegetables on the Staub Roasting Dishes to give that sizzling effect, and final cooking, as you bring your dish to the table.
3) The right cookware is comfortable to use.
Comfort is an important variable when selecting cookware. Is the cookware too light or too heavy? Are the handles properly sized for your hands? If it is a heavy piece, does it have a helper handle to allow both hands to pick it up? As a tennis player, I know that a grip that is too small can cause elbow strain. Cookware with handles that are too small can also cause arm strain. Do the handles heat up too quickly? Many pieces today like the KitchenAid Brushed Stainless Steel cookware have handles with silicone inserts for soft, cool handling. Determine what makes cookware comfortable for you. With comfortable cookware, you will use it more, and enjoy handling it. If it is not comfortable, you may not handle it as necessary to get the proper results.
4) The right cookware gives you confidence in our cooking abilities.
Consider the folks you know who you find to be good cooks. Do you think they are confident in their abilities? Such confidence starts with the cookware. If you use cookware that heats evenly, the appropriate cookware for the job, and comfortable to use, don’t you think that would add to your own confidence? Of course it would. Confident cooks are not worried about the outcome. They try new things. They are creative. Their cookware is something they don’t have to be concerned with. They know it will perform satisfactorily.
Cookware comes in all shapes and sizes. Using the “right” pieces will help you in your cooking abilities, and build your confidence. Anyone can be a good cook. Cookware is an important part of the cooking process.
Your Cookware Helper
Last Updated on Monday, 13 June 2011 08:29