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Picking up good sets of cookware

Picking Up Good Sets of Cookware

Cookware is commonly used in the kitchen. It comprises of cooking vessels such as, frying pans and saucepans. It is intended for use on a range top or stove. Cookwares come in many variations. With the proper understanding of its features, you can choose which best fits your kitchen.
Cookware is commonly used in the kitchen, and it comprises of cooking vessels such as, frying pans and saucepans. It is intended for use on a range top or stove in preparing the food or for cooking purposes. Many variations have been developed as people tend to discover various other vessels for cooking.
During the civilizations of Stone Age, it was believed that the first techniques of using cooking vessels have been used. Among this, there were the improvements to basic roasting, and the use of clay or large leaves in order to preserve the moisture of the cooked food.
In Asia, bamboo tubes can be a used as a container, while in other places, the shells of turtles or large mollusks are being used as a waterproof cooking vessel. As early as 7000 BC, the inhabitants of the Tehaucan Valley began carving large stone bowls. Pottery developments allowed the creation of different shapes and sizes for fireproof cooking vessels. Subsequent to this, the porous container was then converted in order to produce ceramic glazes. Aside from this, bronze and iron metalworking skills were allowed in making cookware.
By the 17th century, the Westerner’s kitchens began to use kettles, baking pans, skillets and pots. These were commonly produced by a local blacksmith in American colonies. The material was derived from iron, while brass or copper were common in Europe and Asia.
Cookwares are made from different materials, such as:
? Aluminum — a very good thermal conductivity that does not rust. It is lightweight, and resistant to many forms of corrosion. However, it can react with some acidic foods and changes its taste.
Hence, non-anodized (has no layer of aluminum oxide) aluminum may cause oxidation to some of the foods like sauces that contains egg yolks, or vegetables such as asparagus or artichokes. Aluminum is commonly used for pie plates, cake or muffin pans, baking sheets and even pasta pots, steamers, skillets and stockpots.
? Copper — is good for thermal conductivity, it provides most of the heating aspect. Copper tends to be heavy and requires occasional re-tinting. It is also expensive. So far, they are considered as the best for fast cooking and sautéing due to such high heat.
? Cast Iron — a reactive material that can withstand very high temperatures. Cast iron is a porous material that easily rusts and requires seasoning before usage.
? Stainless Steel — is a relatively poor heat conductor. It is commonly used for kitchen equipment that contains a minimum of 11.5% chromium. Stainless steel is an iron alloy that also blends containing 18% chromium with either 8% nickel, called 18/8, or with 10% nickel, called 18/10. It reacts with either alkaline or acidic foods. Thus, they do not easily dent.
? Carbon Steel — maintains high strength and heat resistance when rolled into very thin sheets of material. Carbon Steel may be an advantage for woks and paella pans, but it does not conduct any heat. A process of rubbing fat on the surface can be done as its recommended usage in cooking.
There are also composite and coated cookwares such as:
? Enamel casted iron — made of cast iron which covers the surface with porcelain. It is has the properties that combines cast iron with a non-reactive and low stick surface. Thus, this creates a piece that has retention and heat distribution.
? Enamel over steel — this technique creates a piece that has a non-reactive, heat distribution of carbon steel and a low stick surface. Enamel over steel is ideal for large pans that are used mostly in water based cooking. Thus, it is a popular piece of cookware for camping instances because of its lightweight feature.
? Clad aluminum or copper — a technique with a layer of heat conducting material that can fabricate pans, such as aluminum and copper. Both its inner and the outer portion of a pot made of aluminum are typically clad. This way, it provides stainless surfaces for cooking and a contact cook top. Plus, the interior surface of copper is typically clad which leaves more attractive copper for exposure to the outer side of the pan.
? Teflon coated frying pan (Non-stick) — Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) minimizes the possibility of food sticking to the pan’s surface. Using Teflon is much easier because it is effortless to clean it as compared to other pots. Aside from this, there are no frequent results of having foods burned in its usage. It is important that while cooking, never use metal implements on the pan. This requires cautious care and attention.
Non-metallic cookware can be used in microwave ovens but cannot be used on the stovetop. Such examples are as follows:
? Ceramics — provides a nonstick cooking surface such as glazed ceramics like porcelain. Terra Cotta (unglazed ceramics) has a porous surface. During the cooking process, its surface can hold water and other liquids. Hence, some glazes used on ceramic have a highly contained level of lead that can be a risk to our health.
? Glass — Borosilicate glass is oven safe and allows the food to be seen with its clear glass.
? Glass-ceramic — this ceramic is used in making different products that has the best properties of both glass and ceramic cookware. It is immune to thermal shock because of it’s near-zero co-efficiency to thermal expansion.
? Silicone — able to withstand maintained temperatures of 675°F (360°C). It is light and flexible. The advantage of removing baked goods from the pan is its own flexibility.
Cooking vessels such as pots and pans have different variations and types. Such are:
? Braising pans and roasting pans — also known as roasters and braisers. It provides space for cooking chicken, pork or beef. It is also a shallow, large and wide pan, usually made of heavy gauge metal for safety usage on cook tops. Thus, it typically has a cover and two loops or handles.
? Casserole pans — can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. It is commonly made from glazed ceramic. A casserole is similar to having a roaster and a Dutch oven that can be used interchangeably.
? Dutch ovens — used for stews, soups, braised meats and a variety of large dishes, for slow low heat cooking. It is made from cast iron. Generally it is made into a deep pot with a heavy lid, for the purpose of re-creating oven conditions on the stovetop.
? Frying Pans or Skillets — sometimes called omellette pans. Frypans provide shallow sides, a large flat heating surface, and it measures 20-30 cm in diameter. Thus, it is best for frying food.
? Griddles — used for grilling, making pan breads such as pancakes and crepes, and frying. It is a flat circular plate metal with a semicircular hoop that is attached to the sides. It has a measurement of about 20 up to 30 cm in diameter. There are also rectangular and square griddles like grill pans, which enables its content to define a pattern similar to a waffle maker.
? Saucepans — used for boiling or simmering. It has one long handle unlike sauce-pots that possesses two handles, for easy lifting with both hands. Usually 1-8 liters, saucepans are measured by volume.
? Sauté pans — like a fry pan, it is used for sautéing. Sauté pans have vertical sides and a large area surface in order to prevent food during cooking from escaping.
? Stockpots — allows stock to simmer for a period of time. It is a large pot that comes in different sizes in order to meet the needs of a family who wants to prepare the food for a banquet.
? Woks — typically used for stir-frying, but can be used also for steaming and deep frying. It has a rough bowl shape that is wide and has one or two handles near the rim.
Here are the lists of most common cookware sets being introduced in the market today.
1. Berndes 674103 — Tradition 10-Piece Set (MPN 674103)
The Berndes 674103 has a 2 layer interior nonstick and 3 layer exterior surfaces that protects the food from burning and sticking. It is a 10 piece set with vacuum-pressure cast aluminum. Its price ranges from $369.99 to $399.99.
2. Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless 13 Piece Set (MPN: LS13)
The Calphalon Tri-Ply set is a stainless steel cookware with a combination performance with aluminum. Its aluminum core responds to quick temperature changes so as to continually spread the heat evenly. Its cool V design provides balance, allowing the heat to vent away from its long handles. This keeps it cool to touch. It is 100% dishwasher safe and designed ergonomically to provide an easy grip. Its price ranges from $356.29 to $399.95.
3. Edge Cookware 17-Piece Set with Silicone Handles (UPC: 00803659001097)
Edge Cookware is made from stainless steel and consists of: 3 interchangeable lids, 8- and 10-inch skillets, 5 utensils, 2, 4, 6-1/2-quart saucepans and measuring spoons, along with a Tri-ply 18/10 stainless steel with aluminum core. Its estimated price is $121.91.
4. Heuck 33002 Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron (MPN: 33002)
The Heuck 33002 is about 6, 8 and 10 inches for its varieties of 3 piece skillet. Aside from being safe and easy to use, it is capable of superior heat retention which will last for generations. Its price ranges from $17.99 to $19.99.
5. KitchenAid 15150 Gourmet Essentials Hard-Base Porcelain Aluminum (MPN: 15150)
The KitchenAid 15150 Gourmet Essentials is a 10-pc non-stick red cookware that includes: 8 Open French Skillet, 11 4.25 Qt. Covered Sauté, 1 Qt. Covered Saucepan, 8 Qt. covered Stockpan, 2 Qt. Covered Saucepan and a 10 Open French Skillet. Its price ranges from $139.00 to $149.99. Plus a $5.00 available bonus.
6. Rachael Ray Hard Anodized (UPC: 00051153806551)
Rachael Ray product is a 10-pc. Non-stick cookware with orange handles. The set contains: 10-inch French skillets, Hard-anodized aluminum construction, 1-1/2- and 3-quart covered saucepans; Soft-grip bright orange silicone (handles are oven-safe to 400 degrees F), 3-quart/10-inch cover, and a 6-quart covered stockpot. One can avail this for prices that would range from $157.88 to $179.99.
7. The Cuisinart Stowaway Cookware Set
The Cuisinart Stowaway Cookware set is a solid type of cookware that is advisable for apartment dwellers, campers or boaters and college students. It has a storage bag that makes it easily to transport this 8-piece stainless set.
The set includes: Canvas storage bag, 1 multi-cover for sauce pan and 8″ sauté pan, 2 Qt. sauce pan, 2 removable universal handles, 10″ sauté pan, 1 cover for stock pot and 10″ sauté pan, 6 Qt. stock pot, and a 8″ sauté pan. It price is estimated at $99.95.
Thus, household moms can bring their homes great cookware that can last a family. Collecting valuable cookware has become a family tradition, usually handed from one generation to another. This will go with the special recipes handed down as well.
Nowadays, interesting designs have set forth in the market. There are affordable prices that can guarantee durability. There are those that are pricey but are definitely worth it. Buying these can save you more because you will not be buying replacements for a very long time. Before buying cookware, you need to assess the type of cookware you need for everyday usage. It is also best to keep cookware you can use fro special occasions, especially if it involves catering to a number of people. Thus, knowing the right material used in cookware sets sold these days will help you with regards to your budget and with the comfort of knowing your cookware is something you can even hand down to your children..

A look at the benefits of gas grilling

A Look at the Benefits of Gas Grilling

Gas grills work by a spark igniting the gas within the grill. Gas grills typically have a knob or button in which you push, which in turn activates a small hammer. The hammer hit’s the top of an ignition crystal. Then the burner mixes the gas with oxygen and spreads it all over the cooking surface.
Barbequing is typically thought of as a summer event, but some diehard fans of barbeque will not think twice about breaking out their barbeque grills right in the middle of winter. Grillers in the southern states may not face the problem, but if you live past the lower states, then chances are your Winter includes a large amount of snow. Smokers and charcoal grills present a problem as you must set the grill up properly, and then wait for the grill to get ready. This can take hours, so the idea of standing outside waiting on the grill may not sound appealing in 3 foot of snow. Gas grills give you the opportunity of quickly cooking barbeque.
Another issue found with out types of grills is the cleanup involved. Once you are done grilling with a smoker or charcoal grill, you are then required to clean out the burned remains. In 3 feet of snow, chances are that you do not have a place readily available for disposal. Fire hazards come with the burnt coals and wood chips. Gas grills will simply need a wipe down before it can be stored away for the next time.
Gas grills, unlike some of the other grills types, have the ability to come with many different types of cooking surfaces. These different cooking surfaces include a BBQ surface, a flat grill, and a ribbed grill. Some grills even offer these types of surfaces as none stick, which allow you to cook a whole array of foods that you would not be able to cook on a grill otherwise. You will be able to cook your whole meal, including side dishes if you plan correctly. Some gas grills even contain a Wok type surface for cooking pasta and rise dishes, or a full rotisserie set that allows you to cook rotisserie chicken.
A feature that comes with different cooking surfaces is the ability to cook different foods, at different temperatures, at the same time. This feature is available if your gas grill have separate burners. This allows you to cook your meals much more quickly. Some gas grills even come with a warming feature, which will keep your food warm while the rest of it finishes cooking.
Gas grills usually contain a built in thermometer, which will aide you in cooking. You will know the exact temperature you are cooking at. Charcoal and Smoker grills do not typically contain this feature, which either leaves you guessing what temperatures you are cooking at, or requires you to buy extra equipment in order to find out what temperature your food is.
Gas grills have safely concerns all of its own, but they are unmatched by other types of grills. Propane gas is extremely flammable if not used correctly. Other grills however, present higher opportunities for fire as they cook with an open flame. Gas grills are typical built much sturdier then their more simpler counterparts.
If you are considering traveling with your barbeque grill, a gas grill may be the best option. Gas grills come in small sizes which are perfect for traveling. Small size gas containers are available at your local grocery store or department store, which allows you to easily transport the fuel source as well.

Weber smokers does your weber smokey mountain perform well

Weber Smokers – Does Your Weber Smokey Mountain Perform Well?

Despite being one of the most popular BBQ smokers of all time, the Weber Smokey Mountain is surprisingly one of those that are most commonly misused.

With a few simple steps you can learn how to get to grips with your Weber Smoker and it will make your life with this great smoker a pleasure as you see improvements in your cooking style and the quality of food that you produce with it.

To begin with, you will want to start your Weber smoker with a chimney starter and add flavoured wood chips to the external dish area and let them mound up so they sit a couple of inches or so above it.

A BBQ lighter, such as the wax variety, available from most DIY stores can be used to good effect by lighting them around the outside. In half an hour or so, your smoker will be up to cooking temperature.

The temperature at which you cook as is a matter of choice depending on what food you are going to cook and by which method you are going to be using.

Temperature wise, setting the Weber smoker to run at Around 240 degrees is a good starting point, and you can open the lower vents wide open during the 120 minutes along with the top vent which should be set to the open position.

By doing so, this will help to maintain the internal temperature of the smoker, and unless your locational temperatures are particularly extreme, you shouldn’t have to move the aeration vents any more during smoking.

If you are cooking large joints of meat such as a beef brisket, when it comes to adding the next load of charcoal, detach the lid of the chimney and shake it off well, making sure that the residue is left beneath the grate. To ensure your personal safety, it is recommended that you wear oven mittens to make sure that you don’t suffer a burn injury as the chimney is capable of reaching extremely high temperatures.

Now that you are ready to start smoking, you can now introduce water to your Weber Smoker, by adding very hot water to the water dish.

Now you can add a medium sized piece of your preferred hardwood to the heap and this will allow you to leave the smoker for quite a few hours so you can get on with other things.

To lower the Weber smokers internal temperature down to «low-and-slow», you can remove the lid of the smoker and move it around a few times on it’s base being careful not to damage the legs. This will allow the heat to radiate and leave the cooking area, and then you should replace the lid to proceed with smoking. You can adjust the vents as you see fit to stabilise the temperature to your liking.

If you need to set your Weber Smokey Mountain to a higher temperature, simply slide the lid over, so there is a small opening. This will allow the air to circulate more efficiently and increase the temperature considerably.

Be careful when doing this as it can raise the temperature very quickly, so be sure to check the temperature gauge often, around every 10 minutes or so initially is sufficient.

To get the best performance and keep your Weber Smoker clean at the same time, scrub the grates and bowl, removing the larger pieces of residue only. You do not want to completely clean the grates or bowl, a quick brushing over is ideal.

When you have finished using your Weber Smokey Mountain, shut the aeration vents and you may observe that there are plenty of wood pieces left inside. These are ideal for keeping and using to start fires, or use again in your Weber smoker next time.

It is worth buying a good quality pair of heat protective gloves so that you can safely operate and move your smoker during use and transportation.

Adding an accurate temperature gauge to your Weber Smokey Mountain is a functional and worthwhile investment and easy DIY project. To install a temperature gauge you will simply need to drill a suitable sized hole in the upper vent, or in the lid, and locate the gauge and install it using the supplied locking nut.

Maori hangi

Maori Hangi

Hangi is a traditional Maori cooking technique utilising hot rocks and water to steam food underground. The technique originated from early Maori settlers and is still practiced today because of the unique flavour it gives to the food.  The methods used to prepare a Hangi are truly unique. Preparation usually takes up to 1-2 days but is well worth it.  This article briefly explains exactly how a Hangi is prepared in the traditional way.

There is absolutely NO taste similar to a Hangi anywhere in the World. Hangi food is steamed underground atop hot rocks.  No, that wasn’t a misprint. The food IS actually buried in the ground and totally covered with earth. If you ever come to New Zealand, trying a Hangi is an absolute MUST try. You can’t honestly say that you’ve visited New Zealand if you haven’t tried a Hangi.

Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Special volcanic stones are found as a source of heat  for the cooking. Regular rocks won’t usually do the job because they can splinter during the heating process.  Finding the proper classification of stones for this job is absolutely critical to the successful outcome of ANY Hangi.

Step 2: These stones are positioned in the fire and heated for quite a few hours until they are white hot. The wood used can change the taste of the Hangi for good or bad. Natural wood is best and there are few special types which give a lovely smoky taste. On the other hand, treated timber or chemicals in the wood will most likely make you sick or poison your hangi.

Step 3: Dig the Hangi Pit. Try to get as many people around for this step as possible.

Step 4: Fill your Hangi basket with a mish mash of raw, but thoroughly defrosted, meat, vegetables, stuffing and 1-2 steam puddings. Hangi baskets are usually made out of of wire or steel. The base of the basket is normally lined and the food has to be filled in a certain way for optimum cooking.

Step 5: Transport the hot stones into the hole. This job requires speed and skill. This is where most Hangi’s are undone, as the longer the stones are exposed the colder they will become. Once this transfer has happened quickly put the basket on top of the hot stones.

Step 6: Wrap the basket with wet sacking cloth.

Step 7: Use spades to cover the Hangi again with soil until there is no steam escaping.

Step 8: Wait 2-3 hours and dig up the Hangi and ‘Hey Presto’, you’ve just cooked your very own Hangi!

Hangi food is typically served as a communal buffet. The food is spread out on a table and people generally help themselves as they please. Good Hangi accompaniments include Fried Bread or Rewena Bread (Traditional Maori bread). If you wish to cook your own Hangi there is a lot more precise information you need with regards to your equipment, preparation and timing. If any one of these aspects is off your Hangi may well be a complete disaster. If you need more information about this truly unique cooking technique visit www.howtohangi.co.nz for photos, specific information and video footage.

The bbq the ute vegemite true blue aussie icons

The BBQ – The Ute – Vegemite – True Blue Aussie Icons

Need a BBQ for your home? Then you need an Australian made BBQ from Lifestyle BBQs. If you love everything about Australia then it is important to support local industry. The BBQ is a common Australian icon, which unfortunately we cannot claim as our own invention. But the BBQ has been accepted as our own over the generations and at Lifestyle BBQ’s their BBQ’s are proudly Australian made.

Other famous Australian icons that are Australian made, and often common sites when a BBQ is in progress, include:

THE UTE was designed by Lewis Brandt at Ford Motor Company in Victoria, 1934. The ute is very popular amongst famers and tradesmen and is ideal for transporting food and drink to and from a BBQ. They also provide extra seating at a BBQ.

THE HILLS HOIST rotary washing line is another common sight in many Australian backyards and was designed originally by Gilbert Toyne in 1912. In 1945 Lance Hill further developed it and named it the Hills Hoist. A great invention for the drying of clothes but also great for creating additional shade at a BBQ by simply throwing a tarp over the top of it.

AEROGARD INSECT REPELLANT was invented by Australian entomologist Dr Doug Waterhouse in 1963 and is a must have summer item for most Australians who are bitten by insects during summer. The most common place to find aerogard is at a BBQ as insects are attracted to the food and people. BBQ goers DON’t FORGET THE AEROGARD this Summer.

VEGEMITE may not be an icon you initially associate with a BBQ but is an Australian invented icon that can not be overlooked. Dr Cyril Callister was the inventor of this black, thick paste made from brewers yeast waste, which was then launched to the masses by Fred Walker in 1923. Vegemite is one of the richest sources of vitamin B which makes it perfect for incorporating into your BBQ cooking. Why not try some of these Vegemite inspired BBQ recipes at your next BBQ – Vegemite and rosemary lamb cutlets, vegemite and beer marinated steaks, vegemite Asian prawn skewers or vegemite and honey chicken drumettes.

THE WINE CASK may not be the most sophisticated Aussie invention but it is a popular one, especially at an Australian BBQ. It was invented by Thomas Angove in 1965 and then Penfolds Wines added the very familiar dispensing tap. The wine cask is almost is well known around to world and is an innovative Australian icon. The wine cask is not only great for holding wine but can also be used as a pillow and/or floaty, as many Australian’s would know.

THE AUSTRALIAN CRAWL, today most commonly known as freestyle, was first adopted in the early 1900’s in Sydney. It became world known around 1912 when swimmer Fanny Durack, who most possibly invented the version we know today, won an Olympic gold medal in swimming. She was not only the first woman to win a gold medal but also broke the men’s swimming records. The Australian Crawl is a common sight at pool side BBQ’s across Australia as children, and adults, compete against each other.

Buy wholesale cookware this thanksgiving season

Buy Wholesale Cookware This Thanksgiving Season

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the planning stages are in full swing. The guests, the recipes, the variety of Thanksgiving staples, there are so many factors that go into this food-filled day. The most important part of the chef’s blueprint has to be the tools, more importantly the cookware. Roasting pans, mashing bowls, skillets, and stock pots are just a few of the items you may need to prepare the big feast, but are you properly supplied? Wholesale cookware is a simple solution to your Thanksgiving cooking needs.

Save BIG!

Rather than shopping at your local department store or specialty home goods store, try buying your pots and pans wholesale. You can purchase anything you may need, and save big in the process. With the right equipment, your cooking will be better than before, and you will receive all the praise. You can find Wholesale cookware at cheap discount prices, often times without a required minimum order. Save even more by shipping at bulk discount rates when possible. You’ll never go back to the department store prices again.

Special Items at Special Prices

Stainless Steel Cookware sets
They come in varying numbered sets (9 pc, 17 pc, even 30 pc). Each piece is constructed of heavy, surgical stainless steel and guaranteed to last a lifetime. The material spreads heat quickly and evenly, avoiding over cooking in certain places.

Durable Bakeware
Everything Thanksgiving feast needs a pumpkin pie for dessert. The durable bakeware offered at wholesale prices can be used all year long for various holidays and occasions. Cake pans, loaf pans, whatever your baking heart desires.

Waterless Cookware
“Waterless” Cookware has Thermo Control Knobs, designed especially for those who need large capacity cookware with superior quality. The special feature on this set is the unique thermometer knobs built into the lids to help you regulate cooking temperature.

Steam Table Pans
These ridged aluminum foil pans are ideal for cooking, transporting, freezing, reheating, and serving your Thanksgiving feast. Whether you’re at home or traveling for the holidays, they are useful at every stage in the cooking process.

The items that you can find in wholesale quantities and at wholesale prices are not limited to the ones above. Start your search now, whether it’s a hunt for a red aluminum cookware set, or miniature foil pie and tart tins, you will not be disappointed in the choices or prices.