Sautéing is one of those basic cooking techniques that lets you create delicious meals with plenty of variety to tempt your family’s palate. However, in order to sauté properly, you need the right equipment for the job.
Here are some tips on how to choose a sauté pan that will help you be more successful in the kitchen.
What is the Purpose of Sautéing Food?
In order to choose the best sauté pan, it helps if you understand the reason why sautéing is different from other cooking methods. One of the disadvantages of frying food is that the long cooking time tends to dry out your meals, leaving them tough and drained of flavor. Sautéing is a cooking method that involves adding food to a hot pan with butter or oil in it. The food cooks quickly, sealing in the flavor and tenderness while creating a seared outside for flavor and texture.
How Do You Sauté Food?
Unlike searing, sautéing actually cooks the food through. In order to do this, you need a high temperature and enough room in your pan that the food lies in a single layer across the bottom. This ensures quick and even temperature, without the stewing that would tough tender cuts of meat. The food is often tossed to ensure that all sides are properly heated, and to avoid sticking to the pan.
A good sauté pan should be large enough that all of your ingredients can lie flat on the surface. Crowding your food is one of the chief reasons why sautéing fails. If you are planning on cooking something like a filet mignon, you can use a relatively small sauté pan. For vegetables and hash browns, you’ll need a larger surface to work with.
It’s very important that a sauté pan be able to distribute heat evenly. For this reason, choose a pan with a thick bottom. Stainless steel with an aluminum core is a good choice. Cast iron is also very effective, although these pans may be too heavy to toss effectively. Some people also prefer anodized aluminum sauté pans or regular aluminum with a non-stick surface.
A proper sauté pan has sloping sides that help the food return to the pan when tossing. A pan with short, straight sides is actually a sauce pan.
In order to properly toss your food as you sauté, you’ll need a pan with a long and sturdy handle. Make sure that the handle of your pans is firmly attached to the body of the pan and that it is made of a strong and durable material. A good sauté pan can help you make deliciously tender meats and tasty vegetables. Using these tips, you can find a great pan that is right for your kitchen.