“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat”. – Guy Fieri, Food Network Show Host.
Food is a universal connector. Most cultures have different variants of the same food and it’s in exploring that we come to see the beauty of it all. People are relational beings and if food is a great connector, then it’s imperative to be equally concerned about the processes, and most importantly the cookware that aid these processes.
Cooking is the act and art of preparing food for consumption and this often involves the use of heat which in turn requires one form of cookware or another.
When we talk about cookware, we are referring to containers in form of pans, pots, woks, sauce pans, dishes etc., found in the kitchen and used for cooking purposes.
Your cookware says a lot about you as an individual or business. It gives insight into the kind of food you eat or want to serve in your business as well as the methods of food preparation you have embraced. With the wide variety of cookware types available these days, it is getting more difficult to choose as each comes with their pros and cons.
However, with the right tips for choosing the right cooking equipment, it should be easier to make the decision that will fit into your lifestyle or business model as it were.
So want to become a master chef? Here’s the cheat sheet.
Know Your Cookware
Knowing your cookware generally entails being familiar with the materials used to make them and what they can do for you in terms of your cooking style. This is the foundation and it saves you a lot of headache so that when it comes to the actual purchasing phase, you can do so from an informed position, focusing on the important specifications. The major ways to know your cookware are by: type, material and features.
Types of Cookware
- Pots (sauce pans) – these typically have vertical sides with one long handle or two short handles on the sides. They are deep with about the same width and height and mostly used for boiling or simmering.
- Sauté pans – these have a large surface area like frying pans with vertical sides so food doesn’t escape while cooking. As the name implies, they are used for sautéing (frying quickly in little hot fat).
- Frying pans – these have a large heating surface area with diameter from about 20-30cm and one long handle. Sometimes called skillets or omelette pans, they are best for pan-frying.
- Woks – these are typically wide, bowl-shaped and have one or two handles. It is deeper than the frying pan as it allows oil to be collected in the bottom middle instead of spreading and works well with high heat. The wok is known for stir-frying but can also be used to deep fry and steam.
Though these are some of the common types, they are not limited to these alone. We also have pressure cookers, kettles, stockpots, ramekin etc.
Given that a very high percentage of food preparation methods involve the use of heat, it therefore means that your cookware must be a good conductor of heat. Asides this, you also need to look out for a material that is safe and unreactive. This is because reactive elements can tamper with the taste of food and can be toxic.
A way to work this issue out has been to plate or coat the cookware made of this reactive elements with another, which is unreactive. There are a wide variety of metals used for the manufacture of various kitchen cooking items. A few of the more popular metals are mentioned below.
- Stainless steel
- Cast iron
- Carbon steel etc.
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One of the things you want to focus on here is whether or not it is dishwasher safe especially if you do not like hand washing. You should also decide if you would prefer non-stick types as this will mean paying attention to the coating.
Finally, make sure that they are of course aesthetically pleasing to you.
Choosing Your Cookware
Choosing your cookware just got easier. It can be a bit tricky, but doesn’t have to be hard. There are a number of simple factors you should consider before making a purchase. By focusing on your personality or business needs as well as what you want to achieve, considering these factors will be easier.
Some of the factors to consider are:
- Food and safety requirements
- Cost effective
- Energy efficient
- Low maintenance
- Multipurpose properties
- Lifestyle fit
If you want to delve deeper into this, you can read this article here: http://www.mfsdatanet.com/4-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-buying-a-cookware/.
One thing is certain; every cook (woman/man next door, novice, chef, or health-conscious foodie) thrives on using the right cookware. Having the right kitchenware makes the act of food preparation easier, fun and worth it all.
You do not need every tool in the market; you just need the right one. So, before buying that next piece, or next set, be sure that you have taken time to understand what your needs are.