Save Money by Sticking to Kitchen Basics

All Clad Stainless Starter Cookware SetYou have probably seen more than your fair share of kitchen gadgets heralded in print, commercial and in-store display advertisements. They are marketed to save you time and effort, but make no mistake — their main focus is to get you to spend money. While some cooks undoubtedly benefit from the occasional gadget, most kitchens need only a few basic instruments to produce a variety of delicious meals. Some gadgets will save you time in the kitchen while others merely take up counter or cabinet space. Investing in the bare necessities allows you to make a realistic assessment of which extras would benefit your kitchen workspace.

Pots and Pans

You may be surprised at how few pots and pans are necessary. Many manufacturers bundle several sizes into a single package, but Real Simple Magazine suggests that you can get away with just a stockpot, sauté pan, and saucepan. Make sure that your pots and pans each have a lid, so you can use them for various cooking applications. Selecting heavy-duty materials, such as stainless steel and cast iron allow you to start a meal on the stove and finish it in the oven without dirtying another dish. A 9×13 pan is suitable for baked goods, casseroles and more.

Utilitarian Utensils

One good knife is all you really need. While several specialty knives exist, a high-quality chef’s knife or santoku will easily handle all of your chopping, peeling, slicing and dicing. To properly care for your knife, you should have a steel in your kitchen inventory. This video illustrates how honing a blade with a steel improves blade performance. A cutting board is also a necessity, to save countertops from damage.

Other extremely versatile kitchen utensils include tongs, wooden spoons and whisks. Spatula is a word that describes several types of cooking and baking instruments, two of which should be represented in a basic kitchen. A rubber spatula is useful for scraping down the sides of a bowl or jar. A turner is a spatula that literally turns food over in the pan. It is used for pancakes, hamburgers and more.

Great Gadgetry

People use several gadgets much more frequently than other tools. For instance, families that eat plenty of pasta may wish to find a suitable colander for straining boiling water from prepared noodles. If your family prefers to eat Asian food, a rice cooker may be invaluable. Vegetable peelers, box graters, can openers and food processors are among the most popular kitchen gadgets. Though a knife can do each of these jobs, they make the process much quicker. If you plan to use recipes in the kitchen, you will have to use instruments for precise portioning such as measuring spoons and measuring cups. Electric mixers, pastry brushes and rolling pins are very popular among people who bake.

Billeater offers tips and advice to anyone looking to save money on bills, cost of living, and small business expenses.

Finding the Right Cookware

One of the most essential factors when finding the right cookware is to understand the importance of quality.

Cheap cookware, more often than not, proves to be a false economy. The cooking results themselves can suffer and the pots and pans are often easily scratched and marked. Cheaper trays and dishes are prone to cracking, leading you to buy a replacement quite quickly. So quality is very important, however with so many quality ranges available it`s hard to choose between them.

Before you even start looking for your new cookware you need to think about what you really want from your kitchen equipment. How many people do you cook for, just yourself, you and a partner, a family, perhaps even professional catering on a large scale? The answer to this will affect the size and amount of dishes, pots and pans you need. The size of your kitchen and cupboards should also be a factor in the size of cookware you purchase.

If you cook on an industrial scale then you need hard-wearing cookware, where function overrides beauty. For those who regularly entertain at home you will be looking for cookware that not only functions well in the kitchen but can also look good when laid on the dining table. This is particularly important for lasagne dishes, casserole dishes and roasting trays which are often placed mid centre on a table to be served there.

There are also a myriad of materials found throughout the cookware market range. Most people tend to cook with good old time tested metals- stainless steel, copper, aluminium or cast iron. Different metals have differing benefits, cast iron, for example is extremely durable and conducts heat well but is prone to rust and can be very heavy. Aluminium offers excellent heat conduction but can be damaged easily. Copper can react with acidic foods compromising on taste but it also offers great heat conduction. Stainless steel on the other hand is easy to maintain and doesn’t react with foods, but it isn’t the best heat conductor.

Ceramic cookware is very popular and can look great on a table. Ceramics often come in a range of colours which is great for fun loving chefs. Cooking a casserole in the oven and transporting it straight to the dining table is an increasingly popular way to eat.

Finding cookware requires a little bit of research and a lot of thought, including setting a realistic budget. But once you have worked out what it is you need from your cookware in terms of size and material, you can start looking at the different sets which are available. Whether you are looking for a set for the home or a good set of catering equipment, there are many terrific options. A good cookware range should feel natural to cook with and last a generation; and you`ll just know when it`s `the one`.

The Different Types of Cookware

Cookware is an important part of anyone’s kitchen. Without the right cookware it really makes it difficult to cook quality meals at home.

There are a variety of different materials to choose from when buying cookware. The first is stainless steel. This is the most popular and for good reason. Stainless steel cookware is strong, durable and is easy to clean. If it contains a layer of aluminum or copper in the base then it is even better as it provides even cooking and prevents hotspots.

The second type of cookware is cast iron cookware. Cast iron cookware is a favorite for many people. It is strong and almost indestructible. It also cooks foods extremely well but it does have its drawbacks. It’s heavy so takes a bit of muscle to remove from the stove particularly if there is a lot of food in it to begin with.

Cast iron also requires seasoning so there is a little bit of maintenance involved to keep it working as it should. A popular alternative to bare cast iron is enamelled cast iron. This type of cast iron cookware has the best of both worlds. It has all the attributes of bare cast iron, however you don’t need to season it and clean up is a lot easier.

A third material commonly used in the manufacturer of cookware is hard anodized aluminum. This is a very popular choice as this type of cookware is non-stick making for easy cooking and even better – easy clean up! Hard anodized cookware is also quite strong.

Copper is another material used to manufacturer cookware. Copper is the choice for chefs who understand the benefits of copper. Copper is quick to react to temperature changes making it ideal for delicate sauces and gravies. It also cooks evenly preventing hotspots. The disadvantages of copper are that it can be expensive to buy and also difficult to maintain. That beautiful shiny copper needs to be cleaned regularly in order to keep it looking as good as the day it was bought.

Buy Cookware For The Cook in Your Family This Mothers Day

cb030109Not always, but generally it is mom who does the cooking in the family, so why not treat her to a new set of cookware or even an individual piece to add to her cookware collection.

And if you think that cookware is impersonal for a mothers day gift, there is nothing stopping you popping a bottle of mom’s favorite perfume inside the cookware gift, or you can add a bottle of wine or some chocolates or flowers.

Mom’s always appreciate any gift their family give them, and remember if you purchase a good quality piece of cookware your gift will not only give mom pleasure on the day but will give her many years of useful service.

And why not take advantage of the free shipping offer on orders over $29.oo from MetroKitchen.com
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Review: Circulon Total 10 Piece Cookware Set Review

circulon-total-10pc-cookware-setThis is what you call a good value for money cookware set. The Circulon Total 10 Piece Cookware Set is a good solid cookware set with all the standard pieces to suit a home cook.

This set is made from hard anodized aluminum with a non-stick cooking surface that is guaranteed to outlast all other non-stick cookware.

The set includes:

  • 1qt covered saucepan
  • 2qt covered saucepan
  • 8qt covered stockpot
  • 8in skillet
  • 10in skillet
  • 4qt covered saute pan

What We Like

  • Good value for money.
  • Manufactured from hard anodized aluminum which means pans heat quickly and without hotspots.
  • Stay cool handles.
  • Lifetime warranty.

What We Don’t Like

  • This set is not dishwasher safe so hand washing is a must.
  • This set has stainless steel lids – my preference is glass lids so that foods can be viewed without constantly removing the lid.

Recommendation

This set received very postitive reviews on the net. Most were happy with the durability and the fact that it was a very easy to clean set. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a good quality budget set of cookware.

Where Can I Get the Best Price?

By far the best price on the internet was at Amazon.com who were almost $60 cheaper than the rest.