Is your pressure cooker really safe?

All American Pressure Cooker CannerRemember the days when you used to have to carry your hissing pressure cooker from the stove over to the sink in order to release the steam valve. You might have had to leave it under the flowing water for anywhere up to 20 minutes before you would be able to release the lid.

If you were like me you probably kept your face way back from the top of the pressure cooker… just in case!

Thank goodness, these days, pressure cookers are a lot safer and a lot easier to handle.

Read our latest article about the safety of pressure cookers here.

Jamie Oliver Tefal Non-Stick Frypan

I recently brought a Jamie Oliver Professional Series, non-stick Tefal frypan and so far I am delighted with the performance.

I read a number of reviews before I settled on my final choice and considering I was spending around $200 I wanted to be sure I purchased the best my money could buy.

Apart from the obvious choice of the frypan being non-stick there were other features that I was looking for. The pan had to have nice deep sides and the whole frypan including the handle had to be both stove and ovenproof safe.

Some of the features of the Jamie Oliver frypan include:

  • The frypan is made from 18/10 stainless-steel so it resists scratching and warping
  • The metal does not react with foods
  • The pan has a heavy-gauge aluminum core base for superior heat distribution
  • And the metal-safe nonstick coating is safe to use with metal utensils, although I still use my nylon spatula and tongs
  • The frypan has an easy to hold stainless-steel handle

The pan also has a ThermoSpot, whick is Tefal’s unique heat indicator that lets you know when the pan is preheated for cooking.

The frypan is dishwasher-safe and easy to clean and as an added bonus the frypan and handle are oven-safe to 260°C/500°F.

I have read how the non-stick coating can be harmful but this is only if you cook at very high temperatures for any length of time and your food will be well and truly burnt to a crisp by the time your frypan coating starts to release any harmful fumes.

Like most followers of Jamie, I feel he can be trusted and the fact that he has had a great deal of input into his range of cookware makes me feel confident in my choice. He uses his cookware on his current television series and subjects them to some amazing things including putting them in his outdoor oven. He also quite happily uses metal utensils on the non-stick coating.

Since I am so happy with the frypan I am considering buying the skillet.




How to Season Your Cast Iron Cookware

If you own cast iron cookware then you know that to cook successful meals you need to season your cookware correctly.

Without proper seasoning your food will not only stick to the surface but it will also react with the metal resulting in food that tastes and looks unappetizing. Your pans will also begin to rust, making them unattractive.

You can use your raw cast iron cookware in the kitchen and it is equally serviceable for use on the campfire when you go camping.

Raw cast iron cookware will give you many years of good service if properly cared and these pans are often passed down through the generations. So they are definitely value for money.

In fact I have a set of 3 saucepans that were handed down to me from my grandmother and they are in as good condition as when she owned them.  And because I take the simple steps below, they will be able to be handed on to my daughter.

Here are the steps to seasoning your cast iron cookware:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300F and place aluminum foil or similar in the bottom of your oven to protect it from oil spills.  If you have purchased your cast iron cookware as new then you will need to thoroughly wash it with warm water and soap using a scourer to remove any rust proof coatings.
  2. Dry the cookware thoroughly before proceeding to the next step. You can place it in the oven for a short period in order to do this.
  3. Coat the pan and the lid evenly with a heavy fat like lard or bacon grease. Many use Crisco for this purpose. The pan should be coated inside and out.
  4. Place the pan and the lid upside in your oven for about an hour. If you place them right side up then the oil will accumulate in the bottom of the pan.

For best results repeat steps 4 and 5.

Repeating this process once or twice will ensure an optimal non-stick surface to cook on.

Read more about caring for your cast iron cookware…

 

Read why cast iron is one of the best…. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/01/prweb619511.htm

You will find a wide range of reasonably priced Lodge Logic Cast Iron Cookware at Amazon.

Dutch Oven – Quick Facts

dutch-oven-cast-iron-with-legsNow just how many items of cookware can boast their own International Society? Well the Dutch oven can!

That’s just how much people love their Dutch ovens.

Quick facts:

– In 1804, Lewis and Clark began on the first ever overland exploration of the United States. They travelled to the pacific coast and back again. On their return in 1806, they named the Dutch oven as one of the most important pieces of equipment that they had taken with them.

– The Dutch oven is the official cookware of the states of Texas, Utah and Arkansas.

– The camp Dutch oven is included as official equipment of the Boy Scouts of America.

Dutch ovens have so many uses. You can cook almost anything in a Dutch Oven including cakes and pies. This is one of the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment you will ever own.

The Dutch Oven is great for campfire cooking when you are out camping.

Read more about Dutch ovens

Stainless Steel Cookware – Aluminum or Copper Base?

stainless-steel-cookware.JPGHave you ever thought about your stainless steel cookware? If you are like most people, probably not.

Not many people realize that stainless steel is not a particularly good conductor of heat. What this means is that hot spots can occur so if you are cooking a steak for instance you may find that part of the steak is cooked while other parts are undercooked. In other words your foods are cooked unevenly.

To overcome this problem, stainless steel pots and pans are often lined with aluminum or copper as both of these metals are quite good at conducting heat. However, because both of these metals are relatively soft and can react with certain foods, they are usually sandwiched between layers of stainless steel.

Although both copper and aluminum are good conductors of heat, copper is better because it reacts quickly to changes in temperature. This is why you often see professional chefs using copper cookware. It gives them greater control over their cooking.

The disadvantage of copper however is that it is more expensive than aluminum.

So if you are on the lookout for new stainless steel cookware then ensure that the base contains either aluminum or copper.