Well Equipped Kitchen Cookware
Summary: For a well equipped kitchen, quality cookware is vital. Before you buy cookware assess your needs. Are you into gourmet cooking or simple down home meals? How many people do you normally cook for? Also decide how much you are willing to spend.
There are a few basic cookware pieces that every kitchen should have: one or two skillets, and some sauce pans. You will want a one quart and two or three quart pots as well. I love my aluminum core stainless steel pots and pans. However I prefer cast iron skillets. I have a small six inch fry pan and a twelve inch. Cast iron Dutch ovens are great for making a stew or cooking a pot roast. Pots should be heavy enough to stay put on a burner. However if your pots are too heavy you could spill hot food when you try to pick up the pan and that could cause a serious burn to you or other family members.
Shop around at local stores to get an idea of what kind of cookware you may want to buy. There are several kind of material used in the manufacture of cookware. Copper is a great conductor of heat and is preferred by many professional chefs. In order to prevent the copper from reacting with acidic foods, the inside of the cookware pieces are coated with stainless steel. Aluminum is also a good conductor of heat. However it too can react with acidic foods and is easy to scratch. There is a process used to prevent the pans from getting scratched or from reacting to food. It is called iodization which treats the aluminum so that it doesn’t scratch easily or react to acidic foods like tomatoes.
Stainless steel cookware is not a good conductor of heat so you will generally find that it is often combined with a copper core aluminum. Often you will find pots with a stainless steel inside and aluminum core, which is aluminum in between two layers of stainless steel on the bottom and up the sides of the pots. This gives the individual piece the right weight for stability and ease of handling.
No matter what kind of cookware you use, it is a good idea to have a couple of non-stick pans in your kitchen. They are easy to clean and you don’t need a lot of fat in your cooking. Be careful when cleaning this cookware. Don’t use abrasive cleansers as they may damage the non-stick finish. Also avoid the use of metal utensils. Most of these pans need some oil in them before you heat them. While you can buy individual pieces, generally you can save money by purchasing a set of non-stick cookware.
It is also a great idea for a wedding shower gift for inexperienced cooks. Don’t forget to get them some non-metal utensils. Cast iron pots and pans must be seasoned by oiling the pan and then baking them in the oven at 300 degrees for thirty minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, pour out the excess oil and put the pan back in the oven for two hours. This will make the cast iron pots almost non-stick.
Don’t leave your cast iron pots soaking in water or other liquid. They can rust and leach bits of the iron into your food.
What individual pieces cookware do you need to have in a properly equipped kitchen? I would suggest two or three skillets in different sizes. I have two non-stick and one cast iron skillet. That fry pan and my Dutch oven are my absolute favorites.
When shopping for cookware, know what you are looking for and don’t shop by price alone. However you should compare prices. It may be worth it for you to pay a little extra for high quality cookware sets.
Check the different stores in your area and compare prices for the same cookware set. If you shop on line look for online stores that provide free shipping. Along with a cookware set you will want a kitchen canister set for storing sugar, flour, coffee, etc. as well as a set of measuring cups and spoons.
There are other gadgets that can be very helpful such as a cookie press, pepper mill, potato peeler, egg separator, cake pans, cookie sheets and other bakeware. Buy the best that you can afford. Some people shop by brands but that isn’t always best.
Let us not overlook necessary kinds of cookware accessories to include: electric deep fryer, mixer, blender, as well as a good set of knives. A microwave oven comes in handy for warming up some food without heating the whole kitchen with the stove. It is also useful for melting butter, chocolate and cheese to add to different recipes.
As with anything else you purchase, you should buy the best well equipped kitchen cookware and accessories that you can afford. If you buy low-end pots and pans at your local discount store you will frequently be replacing them. Good quality cookware and accessories may require a large outlay but it will likely last for many years with proper care.
After checking out prices in your local stores, surf the net for lower prices, free shipping and length of warranty. Take those prices and or shipping cost and then ask our store if they can beat the offers.
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