Things to know about your skillet

skillet recipe

I have a variety of skillet sizes so I have the right size pan for the cooking task at hand. If you’re sautéing, it’s important to have a large enough pan for the amount of food you’re cooking. If you try to sauté in a pan that’s too crowded, the food will just steam. And that defeats the purpose of sauteing, since the best part about sautéed food is the delicious caramelized bits that form where the food makes contact with the pan! Cook in batches if necessary. I like small skillets for melting butter, toasting nuts and cooking my morning egg, but I tend to use a large skillet for most everything else. (The only medium skillet I have came in the set I bought—I rarely use it. (Read more: The best skillet for your cooking needs)

Shared from Eating Well

Invest in stainless steel.
I love using stainless-steel pans because they’re strong, durable and versatile. If you’re going to drop any substantial money on a pan, let it be on the workhorse of the kitchen—a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet.

Use a nonreactive pan when cooking acidic foods.
When you cook acidic foods, such as tomatoes, lemons or cranberries, make sure to use a nonreactive pan, such as stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.

Interesting post: Skillet dinner recipes

Cook with less fat by using nonstick pans.
Nonstick skillets are great because you can use less oil and because delicate foods, such as fish or eggs, won’t stick to the pan or break apart. When you cook in a nonstick skillet, use nonstick-safe utensils, such as a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon—metal utensils will damage the nonstick surface. Don’t heat an empty skillet or cook over high heat, because the nonstick coating may break down at high temperatures and release potentially toxic fumes. For an alternative to conventional nonstick cookware, look for pans marketed under names like “green cookware” or “eco-friendly cookware” that are made with a nonstick coating that won’t break down when used over high heat. A cast-iron skillet is a good alternative to nonstick skillets for many recipes.

You can keep your aluminum pans.
While old research linked high aluminum intake with Alzheimer’s disease, subsequent studies on aluminum pots are few and circumstantial, and studies on antiperspirants and other aluminum-containing products are similarly slim. Today, most experts believe that aluminum’s role, if any, is small—and that diet and even crossword puzzles are far better places to focus anti-dementia energies.

5 stars for the All-Clad stainless steel cookware

I use the All Clad 10″ and 12″ Tri-Ply Frying Pans frequently for a variety of cooking, braising and browning. I gave up on non-stick because it doesn’t last very long and it also is reported to release teflon into the food. So, my comments on All-Clad are to address some of the issues that I find among the reviews. The purpose of this technology is to provide even, efficient heat. Given that, the amount of heat I find that is best delivered to the pan, is provided by a low medium setting on a gas flame (3.5 out of 10). The conduction properties of the pan will dictate that the heat also conducts on all sides of the pan, so it is reasonable to expect that food splattered onto the sides of the pan will cook and maybe even stick, making it more problematic to clean, compared to a non-stick pan. After cooking, I set the pan aside with 1″ of water and a mild detergent to soak for about 15 minutes and then wipe it with warm water, using a small dish cloth and it comes clean in most cases. If necessary, I finish the cleaning with a small amount of Barkeeper’s Friend to get the most stubborn baked-on food off the sides and bottom.

So far, I have not experienced staining of the pans, nor burning, which I attribute to the use of low, moderate heat. I gave the product 4 stars, because I think the handles could be more comfortable. Since it’s “Professional” cookware, I assume that All-Clad has a reason for the handle design, but I can’t think of why it can’t be a better fit for my hand. Also, I am somewhat xenophobic about manufactured products, so if it’s good and U.S. manufactured, I prefer it to other products. It’s also a bit pricey, but for me, at least, quality determines value, so I pay the price and cringe a little. I expect it to last a long time if I take care to follow the manufacturer’s directions for use and cleaning, so the price issue fades after I use it a few times.

How to season a stainless steel pan

Here are the simple steps to create a naturally occurring non stick stainless steel pan!

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  1. On medium to medium high heat, heat your pan for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Melt a little coconut oil or other high heat oil in your pan and swirl the oil around to evenly coat the pan. Allow the oil to smoke (don’t worry, we will be tossing this oil out)! Once the oil has smoked, turn off your burner and remove pan from heat source and allow to cool completely. You know your pan is seasoned and ready if you can see your mirror reflection of yourself in the pan (more details are in the video about this).
  3. Once the pan has cooled, pour out the oil and wipe the pan out with a paper towel. You now have a seasoned nonstick stainless steel pan.
  4. I am going to give you an example on how to cook an omelette in your seasoned pan. Simply preheat your pan on medium low heat for 2 minutes. Pour your egg mixture into your pan with no oil at all! Add desired ingredients (cheese, meat, veggies). Allow the eggs to cook for several minutes without disturbing. After a few minutes, flip you eggs and allow to cook another minute or two. Your eggs will slip right out of the pan, no sticking! (You can view this in the video as well). There is no need to ever wash the pan with soap, just wipe out with a paper towel as nothing will stick in the pan, cleanup takes about 10 seconds. This method is very similar to seasoning your cast iron skillet or wok. As long as you don’t use soap on your pan, your pan will remain nonstick. If you are using higher heat, you might need to add a little bit of oil.

That is it! So easy and no mess! Give it a try, you will be amazed!

STAINLESS STEEL PANS THAT I RECOMMEND

One last thing, not all stainless steel pans are created equal! Quality is really important when buying stainless steel pans.

I personally have this entire collection of stainless steel pans from All-Clad and absolutely love them! Think of it as an investment. These pans will last you a lifetime!

  • If you are looking to try out a piece of all-clad, I highly recommend starting with this one! All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan
  • If you are looking to buy a whole set, this is a great option: All-Clad Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded 10-Piece Cookware Set

Source: Wholelifestylenutrition.com

Husband bought a Rachael Ray cookware set

rachael ray cookware

My husband bought this set of pots and pans for me as a surprise because they were on my wish list. I liked them and wanted to give them a try. I have been using them now for about a month and I have to say I am completely happy with this product. This set is very durable and I think that they will last a long time. I think the porcelain sets are nicer anyways and the color is amazing and vibrant. I got the purple set. I never put these in the dishwasher because I just want them to last longer, so I just wash the by hand. The handles are easy to grip and use. They cook food evenly and I have never had anything stick to the pans. So far I haven’t had any problems with this product and hopefully it stays that way. I would recommend this brand to anyone looking for a new set of pots and pans, I actually have already recommended them to a few people.

Beautiful and awesome set. The colors are as displayed in the picture. The pots and pans come wrapped and secured to the max, which is kinda annoying for unwrapping but therefor you can be assured it comes in without any scratches or damages. The pots are regular weight (not too light or too heavy) and you can tell they are good quality.

Warmth gets through very quickly so water boils up very quickly. The handles are made out of rubber/ silicone type material which is very comfortable to hold on to and keeps you from burning your fingers. And in addition they put the same material on top of the lids to pick them up. I love it. Another awesome feature is the cleaning. No scratching and scrubbing (and cursing) necessary because everything comes right off and out. I really love this set and recommend it 100%.

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Guide when selecting your cookware

cookware

Cookware consists of different types of pots and pans that are used for specific purposes. Some of the pieces of cookware can be substituted for a type you may not have and still accomplish the type of cooking you need to perform. Pots and pans are available in different sizes and made of different types of material. Some materials are better than others when used for specific cooking methods.
When selecting the cookware for your kitchen, you should take the following points into consideration:
Budget – How much can you afford to spend on the pots and pans you purchase? You should purchase the best quality that you can afford. It will be well worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing them in a short time.
Cooking Habits – How much will you be cooking? Do you eat out a lot and buy convenience food or do you like to prepare meals from scratch? Will you be entertaining a lot?
Cuisine – Will you be making a lot of pasta, soups, or stir-fries? There are special pots and pans that assist in preparing these types of food.
Quantity – Will you be cooking for 1, 2 or several? Having the right size cookware will be important when preparing your food.
Cookware Materials
Cookware is made from many different materials. Understanding the differences will assist you in making the best choice for your needs. Some of the most common cookware materials are shown below with a description and pan care instructions for each. (Full article here)

 

What is a stainless steel cookware

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Before you decide whether stainless steel cookware is worth buying, lets first discuss what stainless steel cookware is. Stainless steel is made of an alloy, or a combination of metals. Most commonly, basic iron with chromium, nickel or some other minor metals. The chromium provides rust protection and gives your cookware durability. The nickel provides rust protection as well, and adds a polished look. Most well made stainless steel cookware has copper or aluminum added to the bottom of the pan or pot. This is done to increases the ability of the pot or pan to conduct heat. With all cookware there are different grades levels, ranging from low to high. Each person has different cooking needs, so its up to the individual to determine whether they want to spend more for higher quality cookware.

Check out more here

 Advantages of Stainless Steel
  • Extremely durable – might never have to replace
  • Smooth hard non-porous surface – reduces the chance of dents, cracks or leaks
  • Cleans easy – can be cleaned using several different kinds of methods
  • Looks – provides rich shine when cleaned and polished after use

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel

  • Poor heat conductor – pots and pans have to be coated with copper or aluminum to improve cooking time and surface
  • High cost – if your on a budget, a good set of stainless steel cookware can get pricey
  • Discolor – the outside of the pots or pans can discolor if exposed to very high heat
  • Salt exposure – salt water can damage the pots or pans by causing pitting

Should I Buy Stainless Steel Cookware?

For many cooking enthusiast, it’s a great addition to the kitchen. For others, teflon, aluminum or cast iron may be a better choice. When choosing your cookware look at the pros and cons to determine what works best for you. Which ever choice you decide to make, I hope it brings an enjoyable cooking experience!

Source: Hubpages (http://hubpages.com/living/Advantages-and-Disadvantages-of-Stainless-Steel-Cookware)

Which is the best non stick pots and pans

Brilliant invention, the non-stick pan it is easy to clean and ideal for low-fat or even no-fat cooking. But that’s not enough for us at the Good Housekeeping Institute. We wanted to know which ones are really slippery to food yet tough enough to stand up to the knocks and stresses of daily use – and, of course, which pans are a positive pleasure to cook with.

As a result, our testing kitchen has been a hothouse of frying, boiling, simmering and baking – on gas, sealed plate and ceramic hobs, and (where appropriate) induction hobs and in the oven – as well as washing up and high-powered scrubbing. We subjected 10 ranges of nonstick pans (a 14cm or 16cm milk pan, an 18cm lidded saucepan and a 24cm, 26cm or 28cm frying pan) to a battery of tests de cuisine. The result of all this slaving over hot stoves? Sixty-two pancakes, 62 fried eggs, 12kg of mince and onions, 7kg of caramel, 14 litres of white sauce – and the answer to our questions.

nonstick

Most pans turned out to be good at releasing food cleanly, regardless of which type of non-stick coating they have. However, some did better than others in our toughest slipperiness test – which involves making and pouring out caramel syrup. All the saucepans needed soaking in hot water to remove caramel stuck to the sides, but the Jamie Oliver, Judge Vista, SKK and Viners Techtonic required least effort to clean it off.

Arguably it’s the frying pan – typically the biggest investment – that sets the most difficult non-stick challenge, however. So we fried eggs using just a wipe of oil to check for sticking and burning, then assessed evenness of browning by cooking pancakes with no oil at all. The pancake test also demonstrated how much easier it was to lift food out of shallow pans with rounded bases.

The SKK was good, as was the Jamie Oliver with its curved top edge, followed by the Stellar. Good results when the pans are new aren’t the whole story, though. How long does the non-stick surface stay stuck to the pan? To simulate long-term wear and tear, we use a special machine to scrub the frying pans several hundred times each with a scouring pad, washing-up liquid and water. At regular intervals in the process, we check whether a pancake will stick to the worn area. The £44 Jamie Oliver and £74 SKK pans emerge as the most wear-resistant, but there’s little to choose between the £30 Jonelle, £22 Judge Vista, £25 Stellar, £15 Tefal Specifics and £55 Viners Techtonic, which survived almost as well.

There’s nothing like being trapped in the kitchen with a load of pans to make you appreciate how heavy or light, comfortable or awkward they are to cook with – and our indefatigable testers’ ease-of-use assessments are taken into account in reaching the final score for each range of pans. (Full article at this site)

What types of cookware SHOULD you be using?

We love our sturdy second hand cast iron cookware (and use it daily!), but it’s not for everyone.

Pros: We love the way cast iron leaves some foods nice and crispy, or with a caramelized finish. It offers superior heat distribution and retention when cooking. This material can easily and safely go from stovetop directly into the oven. A nicely seasoned cast iron pan will last forever and food won’t stick to it. Cast iron pans don’t need to be washed, only gently scraped, rinsed, or wiped clean after each use. We have purchased all of our cast iron cookware second hand at great prices. If you can find older brands, like Griswold, you’ll get all the benefits of cast iron without all the weight. Cooking on cast iron can even add extra iron to your diet, which is helpful for people deficient in this mineral. We recommend finding used cast iron or obtaining a family heirloom piece – these will most likely already be well seasoned and ready to use!

Check out this article for more of our thoughts and tips on using cast iron in your kitchen.

Cons: Many people don’t need extra iron that cast iron cookware will leave in your food. This includes men, people with a condition called hemochromatosis, and women who are not menstruating and losing blood every month. Our bodies don’t eliminate iron naturally (unless donating blood or menstruating regularly), and it can accumulate to toxic levels in some people. However, the iron in this material leaches more into acidic foods and is also dependent on how well seasoned a pan is. Well seasoned pans have a thin coating that makes them less reactive with foods.

In addition to the iron issue, if cast iron is not seasoned properly it can make foods stick, resulting in more difficult cleanup. It can also be very heavy to work with and will rust if left wet for a period of time.

Enamel Coated Cast Iron
Pros: Enameled cast iron doesn’t add iron to foods like non-enameled cast iron pans. (This is only a benefit if you belong to one of the groups of people who doesn’t need extra iron.) These pieces are great for using on the stovetop or the oven. They offer better heat distribution and retention than other types of cookware and don’t react with acidic foods like uncoated cast iron. If properly cared for, enamel coated pieces can last for generations. They don’t need to be seasoned like plain cast iron pans and food won’t stick if the interior has a nicely polished finish.

Cons: These are also heavy since they’re made with cast iron. The finicky enamel finish can be hard to care for. Metal utensils will scratch it, and it will discolor and lose its luster if exposed to extreme temperature changes. (Like boiling something and then immediately running cool water over the pan.)

Some enamel coated pans are made with cheap enamel that wears out and stains easily, and can also crack or chip off and end up in food. If enamel chips the pan is unsafe. For this reason we recommend spending the extra money on a piece from a reputable company like our favorite here or this other well known brand, and researching to make sure yours has a warranty before purchasing. That’s the other con – a good quality enamel coated cast iron piece may come with some sticker shock.

Stainless Steel
Pros: Stainless steel is inert and will not react with food or alter the flavors of your dishes. They’re very durable and any type of cooking utensil can be used on stainless surfaces without worrying about scratching or ruining a finish. They’re lighter than cast iron pieces and easier to stack and store since there’s no risk of scratching/chipping surfaces. Stainless can be heated to high temperatures, placed in an oven, scrubbed/scraped hard to clean, and the inside surface doesn’t contain harmful carcinogens. They can also be washed with soap or run through the dishwasher.

Cons: They’re not completely non-stick, and need a little fat or liquid added when cooking to prevent food from sticking. Cooking results are highly dependent on the thickness of the metal. A thicker or bonded stainless steel pan will cost you more up front, but is more durable and will last longer. (We have a few pieces from this line that we love. Continue reading here

More: Four ways to cook in cast iron skillet

Food Processor or Stand Mixer

I get confused sometimes when machines function overlapping each other. Like the function between food processors and blenders, they seem rather similar when performing their function. But if you research more, you will realize there is a small difference to them and that blenders are more suitable for soft and liquid foods.

So, you don’t have to regret buying the best food processor because they are different from blenders. Keep them in your kitchen and you can do all your boring repetitive tasks such as slicing onions and mincing garlic. You can process them once a month and saves you a lot of your cooking time.

When come the time when you want to make a cake, then you will ask the question of whether to use a mixer or the food processor. Both can mix well and I think mixer is more for heavy duty and for those who is serious on an everyday baking. I don’t think a food processor will be able to stay alive for long if you keep on mixing the cake mixer or mixing dough on frequent use. They are more suitable for chopping, mincing, shredding and grinding.