Cookware RSS



4 Tips To Get a Better Sear

Why does food seared to a deep, dark golden brown taste so good? What you're tasting is the delicious byproduct of the Maillard reaction, which occurs when the surface of your food hits 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond the beautiful color change is a complex chemical reaction that's producing hundreds of flavor compounds which in turn create those rich, savory notes and tantalizing aromas we associate with seared foods proteins and vegetables. While beautiful sears are commonplace at good restaurants, it can still be tricky for the home chef to nail. So we asked our line-cook pals at some of the top NYC restaurants for their searing strategies. Here are the four essential steps to follow: 1. Dry Your Ingredients The...

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Care for your Cookware

Iron is notorious for getting rusty. Let it air dry, or clean it with corrosive cleaners, and you’ve got an orange mess. That’s why stainless steel was invented. It’s still mostly iron, but with a couple of other metals (primarily chromium) mixed in. This alloy is extremely resistant to rust, with a shiny luster that makes for easy-to-maintain cookware. A few basic techniques will keep your steel stainless forever. PREVENTING STAINS Although stainless cookware is simple to clean, the easiest way to maintain pristine pains to avoid any stains in the first place. For the most part, that’s a matter of common sense and a little knowhow. Don’t leave a pan on the flame and forget about it—if you do,...

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Cookware Materials 101

Shiny copper pots look unquestionably posh, and a matte black cast iron skillet gives off kitchen a rustic vibe. But aesthetics aren't the main reason why pots and pans are made from a number of different metals—and they shouldn’t be the reason why you reach for a specific material when choosing your cookware.  If there were a single perfect metal for cooking in, all cookware would be made out of that metal. There isn't. Different metals have very different material properties, which give them each different strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen. If there were a perfect metal, though, what characteristics would it have?  The ideal material would be nonreactive: that is, the metal wouldn't discolor or corrode when it...

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Know Your Cookware Styles

In the kitchen, we reach for a skillet, a saucepan, or a stock pot depending on what we’re cooking, but we rarely stop to consider how each different piece of cookware is ideally shaped for a particular task. The base, sides, and the handles are designed with purpose. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the variety of shapes of pots and pans. STOCKPOT The stock pot has tall sides and is designed to hold lots of liquid for long, flavor-developing simmers and boiling large amounts of water. Double handles allow easy transport of a pot that can weigh 20-plus pounds when full of stuff. Lower-end stock pots have thin bottoms, which is fine when boiling pasta water, but a thicker...

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Why Cookware Materials Matter

In cookware, materials matter a lot [link to heat article] when it comes to transferring heat from the stovetop to your food. But it doesn’t just matter which metals your pan is made from—how much metal you have is important as well. The two key words you need to keep in mind when talking about cookware performance is retention and conduction. The thicker a layer of metal is, the more heat it can retain. A thick cast-iron skillet stays hot long after the flame is turned off not just because cast iron retains heat well, but because the skillet is thick. More mass equals more retention. In terms of conduction—that is, the ability to move heat from one place to...

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