Tips on a healthy pots and pans for cooking

So now your pots and pans can poison you, too? We have to worry about that on top of everything else?

This is actually nothing worth spending any time worrying about — getting safe and healthy cookware is simply something that needs to be thought about, decided upon, purchased and used. Easy and important.

skillet cookware

Non-stick pots and pans (all the rage when they were first invented and now very difficult to escape) are leaching carcinogenic toxins into the foods you cook in them. They were never designed for high-heat cooking, but last I checked, most of us aren’t cooking on low heat. Heat is heat and if we want to cook our food, we need heat.

As nice as it is to not have your pancakes stick, it’s not worth the health risks once that mystery coating starts leaching into your breakfast. According to the Environmental Working Group, non-stick pans are coated with polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon. When these pots and pans reach high temperatures, they release toxic fumes that have been known to cause flu-like symptoms in humans and even kill pet birds within seconds. Teflon, made by DuPont, has been sued for hundreds of millions of dollars as the chemicals have been linked to birth defects.

More: Top skillet recommendations

If you’re looking for something that’s low risk to both your health and budget, stainless steel is a good bet. According to the Environmental Working Group, stainless steel pans are a good alternative to their non-stick counterparts and brown foods better than Teflon pans. However, there is a risk with stainless steel cookware that nickel will leach into your food. It’s recommended that if you’re sensitive to nickel, you choose an alternative type of cookware. Titanium stainless steel cookware is much more expensive, but it’s of higher quality — certain grades are actually used to make health equipment.

PRICE POINT: Low (high for titanium stainless steel).

IT’S FOR YOU IF: You’re not allergic to nickel and you’re looking for good all-around cookware at a reasonable price. This is what we use in the kitchen as stainless steel is low maintenance, easy to clean and very durable.

Ceramic cookware is generally safe, but do a little investigating before you purchase. Only choose brands with zero lead content and avoid any ceramics that have a coloured glaze on the inside (this goes for bowls and mugs too) as these colours typically carry toxic chemicals. Some ceramic glazes contain lead, and with use they can wear down over time. Be sure to wash by hand and try not to use them for cooking acidic foods that could damage the glaze.

PRICE POINT: Medium.

IT’S FOR YOU IF: You’re not ready to make the leap to cast iron, and you’re prepared to carefully handle your cookware to avoid chipping, this is for you. Once ceramic is chipped, best to turn it into your newest planter.

Related sources:

 

 

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Which espresso maker should you get

One of the main popular drinks on the earth is coffee and its sure lots of inhabitants can’t perform without a cup of coffee or espresso early in the morning. It benefits them up in the morning, all set to engage the rest of the day. On account of the vast demand, coffee producers such as DeLonghi and Saeco in the midst of others have created lots of marketable espresso machines to please the demand. Coffee shops and cafes have also produced a need for extra high-end marketable espresso machines to please their clients. So with lots of dissimilar forms of coffee makers by dissimilar producers, which one is the greatest marketable espresso machine?

espresso drink
To respond that query, there are three things that you are supposed to considered before paying for a marketable espresso machine.

The sum of time you require to hang around for your espresso

It is believed the best marketable espresso machine has to make excellent quality espresso as quickly as possible. This is on the whole for coffee shops and cafes that can’t meet the expense of having their consumers hanging around for a long time for a cup of espresso. A few espresso machines know how to disperse two cups of espresso right away and can foam the milk more or less directly. Of course the price is most possible high but we do sense it is essential.

Upholding and Simplicity Of Usage

Not merely does a marketable espresso machines have to prepare espresso in as short period as probable, it ought to be effortless to uphold and make use of as well. They are surely a few espresso machines that are hard to make use of and uphold. The best marketable espresso machine is supposed to enclose a separate water reservoir and a container that mechanically throw out coffee grounds. It is advised to verify online and study the reviews of clients who are making use of the espresso machines.

Consistence of flavor

The best marketable espresso machine is supposed to know how to disperse cup following cup of espresso with the similar consistence. Many of the first rate espresso machines are supposed to have no pains in doing this. It is extremely advised by means of Saeco espresso machines. One more component of preparing a good espresso is making sure you are boiling very, very unconscientiously. If the boiling isn’t made very carefully, the sugars and rich smell will be gone. If you bake your espresso very dark, wait for liquid charcoal, because that’s what it’s going to flavor like. (Go to source)

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This Espresso Machine Fits My Sweet Spot

I’ve owned this machine for four months now and like it more every day. I spent weeks researching my options and decided that this fit right into my sweet spot of price and control. I am no barista and have not tried other machines so can’t say how the Breville compares to other machines but I still could not be happier with my choice.
espresso machines
The built in burr grinder is a great convenience and overall the machine provides just enough control in the key areas – grind dosage, grind fineness, water temperature, and, of course, tamp pressure – to allow you to experiment with your approach to get the best tasting espresso for your tastes from a given bean. Having never made espresso at home before I’ve really enjoyed the process of experimenting with different beans and finding the dose, fineness, and temperature that produces the best drink. I have a new-found appreciation for the coffee bean and it’s many varieties. It’s also been eye opening to discover how different one cup can be from the next as you change the variables. And in my opinion this wonderful espresso machine makes a really tasty shot of espresso. Of course, it can also make a miserable cup of coffee if you make a mistake in the process, but that’s part of the fun in my mind.

Re: messiness: I don’t see that as a problem. This is the nature of any espresso machine, whether it is an all-in-one unit, or if the grinder and foamer are separate.

Lastly, I am environmentally opposed to machines that use the plastic capsules. What, you are going to recycle 365 of them a year? Not good.

I look forward to my cappuccino every morning. It puts a smile on my face. I highly recommend this machine. (See the best espresso machines 2016 here)

Pros: all-in-one, thermometer, works well

Cons: difficult to change the beans if you want a de-caf; have to slide the metal cylinder over the frothing tube every time which can damage the rubber seal. Because of this, I give 4.5 stars instead of 5.

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Making an investment on good cookware that will last

I’m going to sound like a snot, but my honest answer is that I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with All-Clad, and when you buy these (admittedly expensive) pieces, you’re making an investment that will last you a lifetime.

Stainless steel is so wonderfully low-maintenance once you start cooking with it. These days, the only things I use my nonstick pan for are eggs and delicate seafood like scallops. You can sear your meat on the stovetop and put the pan right in the oven, which you can’t do with nonstick, and any stubborn bits can be scrubbed right off with Bar Keepers Friend.

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And for the price-conscious, you don’t need to worry about the copper core, Master Chef, LTD, or any of the “special” versions. The plain old All-Clad stainless, which sandwiches a layer of aluminum between two layers of stainless steel, does an unparalleled job of heating evenly and works on those newfangled induction cooktops too. Oh, and they’re 100 percent dishwasher safe. (Source: http://www.goodfoodstories.com/all-clad-stainless-steel)

Don’t run out and buy the 10-piece cookware sets—because you are making such a big outlay of cash, it’s better to buy a la carte with the pieces you’ll use most often rather than ending up with Russian nesting dolls of seldom-used pieces gathering dust in your cupboard. Time and again, I turn to the following:

    • 4-quart sauté pan, which is a frying pan with straight sides instead of sloped; the higher sides hold in liquid more effectively, which make it helpful for braising or pan-frying. This is the real workhorse of my kitchen, the pan that never makes it into the dishwasher because I’m using it so often.
    • 4-quart stockpot, called a “casserole” in All-Clad parlance. It’s the right size for making everyday quantities of pasta sauces and soups, boiling water for blanching veggies/making pasta, and your usual duties.
    • 12-inch frying pan, the piece you’ll turn to for pan-searing, grilled cheese making, and reheating last night’s enchiladas.

It’s also fun and useful to have two very small pans around:

  • 1-quart saucepan, which is the bottom of my double boiler and is perfect for reducing small quantities of sauce or making a single-serving hot chocolate
  • 8-inch skillet, for melting small amounts of butter or toasting nuts and spices on the stovetop

More: Investing on the right stainless steel cookware

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Things to know before getting your rice cooker

Rice cookers are ideal for preparing steamed rice and keeping them warm even with cooking. They’ve an insulated case with a removable cooking pot along with a heater that controlled by way of thermostat can be found relating to the two containers. The cooking pot is calibrated to make sure proper proportions of water and rice.

How rice is cooked

Water and rice are poured in at the beginning of the cooking, and the water is heated to boiling point hence the rice can absorb it to inflate. Following preset time, the remainder water is boiled away as well as the machine switches to “keep warm” mode or shuts down. Below are a few models along with the ways on what they cook your rice:

RiceCooker

Basic cookers

Also called as on/off rice cookers, they automatically block off following the rice cooks nonetheless they haven’t any indicator lights and their pans are regular aluminum, not non-stick. They may be cheaper but have fewer features.

Cook/keep warm

These cookers exchange signal of lower temperatures after cooking to keep the rice warm. They’ve got steamer baskets to cook other foods in addition to rice.

Fuzzy logic

Basic ones they can double for other recipes like sushi, brown rice, and porridge merely because might be set to cook different rice textures like soft and hard rice. Next to your skin keep-warm modes, bigger steamer baskets, and automatic timers.

Induction heating cooker

Another fuzzy logic rice cooker that conducts heat from the bottom upwards. They atone for measuring errors and supply even cooking. They’re also efficient considering that the power can be used for cooking instead of for generating heat.

Buying rice cookers

In purchasing a rice cooker, confirm the material (non-stick or Teflon-coated), the indicator lights, and security measures. Understand that aluminum, steel, and copper pots aren’t made for induction cookers. Clear glass lids are ideal if you would like monitor the cooking. Reference: http://cook-recipe1.blogspot.my

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Cooking Different Types of Rice

riceWhat would we do without rice? Most cuisines of the world are cooking rice in one way or another—from sushi to arroz con pollo, rice puddings to paella, and dolmas to dirty rice and jambalaya. We’re also drinking our fair share of rice—in sake, horchata, rice milk, and beer. All told, we humans get more than 20% of our calories from this mini but mighty grain.

Grains of Rice
There are three basic kinds of rice: short-grain, long-grain, and medium-grain. Among them you’ll find hundreds of different varieties.

Short-grain rice is rounded and plump, with a high starch content that makes the grains stick together when cooked, especially if the rice has been milled to make white rice.
Long-grain rice is much longer than it is wide. It’s lower starch content makes the cooked grains lighter, dryer, and more easily separated.
Medium-grain rice slots right between short- and long-grain rice both in shape and in starchiness.

White Rice has been milled to remove the outer husk, the bran, and the germ. Though less nutritious, white rice has some advantages over brown rice: it stores longer and cooks faster. White rice comes in short-, medium-, and long-grain varieties.

Brown rice has been given the lightest touch in terms of processing. It is the whole grain version with just the outer husk removed, leaving the nutrient-rich bran and germ. It is nutty, chewy, and more nutritious than white rice. Brown rice comes in short-, medium-, and long-grain varieties.

Black rice is a highly nutritious source of iron, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. It actually turns purple when you cook it.

Aromatic rices have a distinctive perfumy aroma when cooked. Popular examples are basmati (India) Jasmine (Thailand), Texmati (Texas), and Wehani and pecan wild rice (both from Louisiana).

Arborio rice is a medium-short-grain, starchy white rice, used most famously to make risotto. Continuously stirring risotto helps the rice give up starch that helps thicken the dish. Arborio rice is most easily found in the market, but other risotto rice varieties include Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, and Baldo.

Sticky rice, or “glutinous rice,” is a short-grained rice that is typically used in Asian specialties such as sushi.

Wild rice is actually the seed of a grass plant, and so not a “true” rice, though it is often found in rice blends and pilaf mixes. Wild rice has a wonderful nutty flavor and a chewy bite.

Instant or quick rice is cooked before being dehydrated and packaged. While it’s fast, it lacks the flavor and texture of regular rice.

Related: How I Found the Perfect Small Rice Cooker

Cooking Rice
Long-Grain White Rice
This type of rice is highly refined and polished, and doesn’t require washing before cooking. Recipes using other types of rice, such as basmati, sometimes call for soaking or rinsing the rice before cooking to remove extra starch.

1. To cook long-grained white rice, use a 2 to 1 ratio. Boil 2 cups of water in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, add 1 cup of rice and reduce heat.

2. Reduce the heat to very low. The rice grains swell as they absorb the water. If the temperature is too high, the bottom of the pan of rice can scorch while the top rice is still undercooked. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

3. When the timer rings, turn off the burner and remove the pan from the heat. Let the rice sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes (and no peeking under the lid–the steam will escape).

4. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.

You can serve the rice immediately, or put the lid back on to keep it warm while you finish cooking the rest of your meal.
To chill rice for a salad, spread it out on a sheet pan to cool quickly.
For food safety reasons, rice should never be left out at room temperature longer than two hours.

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How to Buy High Quality Knife Sets

Out of all the accessories used in kitchen, a knife is one of the best utensils you need to have. You need to have a perfect set of knives to make your cooking better with perfectly sliced fruits, vegetables and meat.
kitchen knives

Do not be left out – make the right decision when purchasing a knife set. I know one of the best knife sets you need to buy. When you looking for a professional high quality set of knives for your home, buy no other than Wusthof classic set of 8 knives that covers all the kitchen knives you require in a proper crafted oak block. The knife set is so durable, and it comes with a warranty.

In addition, you can buy three knives for your kitchen. So, do not hesitate to purchase Wusthof classic 3-piece set. Its durability is achieved by its German steel that will last for years. All the three knives have good sharpening blades, which make easy cutting through vegetables and meat.

However, when it comes to best price in the market, you should buy Zwilling Henckels twin signature19-piece knife set. Its affordable price comes at a medium range of $350, and that means an average price of less than $20 per piece. They are also really sharp at the time of purchase, thus giving them ideal performance when cutting.

For the best designed knife set, the 7­-inch Santoku and 5-inch set utility knives will do the trick. They retain sharpness for a long period of time, giving them enough workability when slicing and cutting meat and vegetables.

When shopping for a knife set, you will typically find yourself dealing with priorities such as quality, durability, and affordability. If the best knife set for you is the one that can last the longest, then you would be better off with Wusthof classic set of 8 knives or Wusthof set of 3 knives. And for the best price go for Zwilling Henckels set of 19 knives.

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Organize Your Pots and Pans

pots
A messy pots-and-pans cupboard is the bane of every home cook’s existence. Unfortunately, these chaotic storage spaces are just about as prevalent as they are frustrating. Tame your cookware by learning the how to organize your cupboard. Take inventory of what you have and store what you need using racks, hooks, and other tools that allow you to get the most use out of your limited cupboard space.

Remove your pots and pans from the cupboard. Before you can organize your cookware, you need to take inventory of what you have. Lay the contents of your cupboard out flat on the kitchen floor, table, or counter.

Get rid of cookware you do not or should not use. If you never use a pot or pan, having it in your cupboard only adds unnecessary clutter. Similarly, cookware that is in bad shape should also be disposed of.

  • Make sure that each lid corresponds to a pot or pan. You can use a pot or pan without a lid, but a lid that goes to nothing serves no purpose and only wastes space.
  • If a lid has a loose handle, try tightening it first. If the lid cannot be tightened, however, it becomes a potential hazard. Loose handles can come off in the middle of cooking making the lid something that you should replace.
  • Get rid of duplicate pans. Most people do not need three 8-inch skillets, even though they could benefit from having one 8, 10, and 12-inch pan apiece. If the pans are in good shape, you can donate them or keep them stored away in the basement or attic.
  • Toss or recycle cookware in poor shape, including any pots and pans that are warped, dented, peeling, or scratched. Damaged items may not cook food evenly or thoroughly.

Move cookware you rarely use to another location. For instance, if you have a large roaster that you only use around the holidays, store it in an easy-to-get-to spot in your basement or closet. You have very limited space in your kitchen cupboard. You should reserve that space for the items you need frequently.

Protect your pots and pans with shelf lining. Lay paper or rubber shelf lining inside your cupboard to protect your cookware. Rubber lining is especially useful in preventing your cookware from moving around too much. The less your cookware moves around, the less likely it will shift around or get scratched up.

Keep pots and pans with similar functions close together. For instance, keep the pans you use for baking near your cooking bowls, and the pots you use for boiling pasta near your colander. By organizing your cookware in this manner, you create a system of sections, and you can quickly find an item you’re looking for by immediately looking in its correct section.

Avoid stacking frequently-used pots and pans. If you use your trusty 10-inch skillet three times a week while preparing dinner, it does not make much sense to have it buried underneath your 8-inch skillet and a number of small saucepans. By setting the items you use most frequently off to the side instead of stacking them with the rest, you can save yourself the time and effort it takes to juggle extra pans as you remove them at dinnertime.

Read more at WikiHow

Cushion stacked cookware with paper plates. Some pots and pans will inevitably need to be stacked in order to fit. Place paper plates in between your pots and pans to prevent the bottoms and sides from getting scratched or dented.

Read: When you read cookware reviews, what do you look for

Put your heaviest items on the bottom. Slow cookers, large metal stockpots, glass pans, and cast iron skillets are all worthy candidates for the bottom shelf. Putting your heavy items on the top shelf could cause unsteady shelves to collapse. Even if the shelf stays intact, there is still some chance that you may bump the cookware as you try to get something else out, causing it to crash into and damage other pieces on the bottom. Storing your heaviest items on the lowest shelf prevents most of these accidents from occurring.

Make use of wire racks. Racks with stands create more vertical space, allowing you to stack your cookware without actually stacking pieces inside one another.
If you need to keep a frequently-used item separate, you can do so by placing a single-layer metal rack above your other pots and pans and positioning the special pan on top. Use a tiered wire rack to store multiple saute skillets or other pans.

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Knife Skills Every Cooks Should Know

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Learning how to cut properly can make the difference between seeing kitchen work as a chore and a joy. It can mean the difference between unevenly cooked dishes and poor flavor development, and excellence. There’s a good reason why the very first class any culinary student takes and the very first job any starting cook has in the kitchen is knife work. Cooking without mastering these basic strokes is like trying to run without knowing how to tie your shoes. These are the four strokes everybody should know.

Here’s what we’re gonna cover:

  • The Slice
  • The Chop
  • The Back-Slice
  • The Rock-Chop

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Depending on the type of knife you use, you may find yourself using some more than others—slicing and the rock chop are used mostly with Western-style curved blades, while chopping and back-slicing are more common for straighter santoku-style knives—but all are good to have in your arsenal.

Those scalloped granton edges add air between the knife blade and the material being cut, making it easier to remove the material from the blade. So, if you were slicing something thinly, you’d want to use this knife. Also, the word “santoku” means “three virtues” and applies to this knife due to its triad of abilities – chopping, dicing, and mincing. This is a very good general all-purpose knife to use for many jobs.” Article by The Kitchn

If you’re a total beginner in the kitchen, you might want to take a quick look at our guide on how to properly hold a knife. In fact, if you don’t know what a blade grip, a bolster, and the claw are, you may want a quick refresher anyway!

Source: Serious Seats (http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/draftknife-skills-the-three-basic-knife-cuts.html)

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