Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tools of the Trade: Stainless Steel Cookware

Today, there is a plethora of cookware available and with so many pots and pans to choose from, how do you know what to buy? Aluminum core, copper core, stainless steel, glass, waterless, cast iron.....the choices are endless.

Everyone probably has their favorite, but I love my stainless steel cookware. It's easy to use and easy to clean, with minimal fuss. I bought a set of All-Clad probably 8-10 years ago, and though it was a bit of an investment, I will have them for the rest of my life. And since I plan to eat for the rest of my life, they will most certainly be used!

One thing I would caution against is getting any "non-stick" cookware. If you haven't heard, there is quite a lot to worry about with the stuff giving off toxic gasses, teflon breaking off and ending up in the food, etc. It's not good. I bought a non-stick pan that is "green", made without these toxic substances, but I honestly don't care for it. The stainless steel pans have the advantage of being able to brown food, and this browning adds a lot of flavor to your food. Non-stick cannot do that for you. You really can't deglaze a non-stick pan. If you think you "need" a non-stick pan to cook omelettes, that's not so. Provided you get the pan hot enough before adding the eggs, the stainless will not stick. I promise! Check out this link for information on making sure your pan is hot enough. See, I told you.

There are many brands out there offering stainless steel. Prices fluctuate wildly, depending on the company, how it was constructed, what other metals (such as aluminum or copper) are sandwiched in between the stainless for better heat conducting. Your budget and cooking experience will dictate what's best for you. For deals on almost anything, try, or and search for stainless steel cookware.

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