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.

Cookware To Make Steaming Open Your Lobster and Clams Easy

graniteware-clam-and-lobster-steamerI grew up on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, 11 miles by boat from Auckland. As we lived near the beach we were able to have fresh pipi’s (clams), lobster, mussels, oysters and fish whenever we felt like it simply by strolling down to the rocky outcrops around the waters edge and helping ourselves. I remember my mother steaming open the clams in a double boiler taking care not to over cook them as there is nothing more unpleasant than rubbery seafood.

So when I saw the <Graniteware 3-Piece 19-Quart Clam and Lobster Steamer with Faucet Set I thought ‘What a great idea’. By using this 19 qt steamer you can cook up enough lobster, prawns, clams, crab or any other seafood you like for all your friends and family right at home.

Any seafood lover knows there is nothing quite so nasty as being served tasteless, over cooked seafood, it’s very unpleasant. Well this pot has been designed so that you get freshly steamed and ready to serve mouth watering seafood every time. Simply pop your seafood in the top pot and put the water in the bottom section.

And nothing goes to waste as there is a little tap on the side of the pot so that you can drain off the liquid that gathers in the bottom pot and use it to make all sorts of yummy fish dishes such as chowder, for your family.

The Lobster steamer is made from porcelain on steel by Columbian Home Products who have been in the business of making Granite Ware pots and pans for over 125 years. So they know what they are doing and you know that you are getting a product that is functional and excellent value for money.

Just a word of caution, this steamer is not suitable for use on ceramic-top stoves.

Here are some recipes you may like to try:

Spaghetti and clams on After Taste (by Sherry)
Clams Antipasto Supreme on Gourmet Clam
Lobster Risotto with white wine, mustard and passionfruit on We Love Seafood
Mussels Provencal on Mackay Fish Market

Let’s Make Meringue – Mauviel Copper Egg White Beating Bowl

mauviel-copper-bowlOkay so we all know that egg whites can be beaten in all manner of bowls, but there is nothing like having a bowl that is especially made for the job. And this bowl is one you will use over and over when you are wanting to make great meringue.

Mauviel is known for its quality, style and just plain good looks.

Its not only Professional chefs that benefit from having a Mauviel copper egg white beating bowl, home cooks will also find this bowl an asset when it comes to beating egg whites into fluffy, white, cloud like peaks for souffles or meringues.

Apart from the smooth clean lines of the bowl, there is a brass ring on the side so that you can hold onto the bowl while you are beating. This ring can also be used to hang the bowl on a pot rack or kitchen hook.

Mauviel is a French family business that was established in 1830 so they have over 170 years of experience in producing copper cookware so you know that you are purchasing a quality product that will produce egg whites whipped to perfection.

A Guide to Dutch Ovens

Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 8 Quart Camp Dutch OvenMost people have heard of Dutch ovens, but few know exactly what they are, or how they can be used in the kitchen.Some people  think that this kind of pot is too old-fashioned for modern use, but many cooks still use them today. This guide will tell you things you need to know about these useful and durable ovens.

What is a Dutch Oven?
A  Dutch Oven is a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. It is usually made of cast iron, either plain or enameled, though some modern ones are made of aluminum, ceramic, or steel.

They first gained popularity as a campfire oven, because they could be used for so many different types of cooking, including boiling, steaming, baking, and roasting. when you were out camping. The Dutch oven could replace several different types of pots and pans, which was important when all of your worldly belongings had to be stowed atop a pack horse.

The heavy metal construction also meant that they were difficult to damage, even when crossing heavy terrain, and these useful cooking tools were often were passed down through generations.

Alternate Names for Dutch Ovens
These ovens are also referred to as French ovens, cocottes, camp ovens, and casserole dishes. Names often vary depending on the country where they are used.

Two Types of Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens are still popular today. They can be divided into two separate types of oven, depending on how they are used:

Dutch Ovens for Camping
The same qualities that made Dutch ovens a favorite of settlers moving into the Wild West continue to make them popular among campers today. While most chuckwagon Dutch ovens are made of bare steel, aluminum ovens are not as durable, but are much easier to carry with you on the trail.

Modern-day Dutch camping ovens usually have three legs to hold the pan above the coals and rim along the top that allows coals to be placed on the lid for even cooking from each side. A handle stretches from one side of the pot to the other, allowing it to be hung over the fire if need be.

Dutch Ovens for the Kitchen
Dutch ovens used in modern kitchens have a flat base to make them rest more easily on the stovetop, and small handles on each side of the pot, plus they are generally enameled, which makes them more colorful and eliminates the need for seasoning.

Le Creuset 13.25-qt. Enameled Round Dutch Oven, Flame
When to Use Dutch Ovens
Dutch ovens are excellent for long, slow cooking. They are often used for chili, stews, and beans. In the kitchen, these versatile pots can be used in the oven or on the stove. Some other uses for Dutch ovens include:

  • Roasting – set in the oven for fantastic roast beef, pork, or chicken.
  • Baking – create breads, biscuits, and cakes in your Dutch oven.
  • Steaming – cook fresh, fantastic, healthy vegetables, fish, and seafood.
  • Boiling – use for rice, potatoes, and other side dishes as well as for coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Pan Frying – the lid of a Dutch oven can be used as a griddle. Make pancakes, fried eggs, or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Care of Dutch Ovens
If your Dutch oven is made of bare cast iron, it must be seasoned before use like any other cast iron pot or pan. When cleaning cast iron cookware, don’t use soap – it will destroy the seasoning. Simply scrub with plain water and then heat the pan until all of the remaining residue burns off.

A Dutch oven is a fun and versatile tool to have on hand, whether you intend to cook at home or on the trail. If you don’t already own one, you should consider adding it to your kitchen; it could become one of your favorite pieces of cookware.

More Information about Dutch Ovens

The Versatile All Clad Dutch Oven
A Quick Guide to Dutch Ovens – How to Season your Dutch Oven

The All Purpose Dutch Oven
Tips for Using Your Dutch Oven
How to Store Your Dutch Oven
Why are Dutch Ovens Called Dutch
Dutch Ovens- Quick Facts
What to Look for When buying a Dutch Oven

The Versatile All Clad Dutch Oven

all-clad-dutch-ovenWe are hooked on All Clad cookware and the All Clad Dutch Oven is one of those versatile pots that you will use over and over again.

We previously reviewed the All Clad Dutch Oven with the aluminum core and the hard anodized exterior, a dutch oven that we found to be versatile and practical. All Clad also have this Dutch Oven available with a polished stainless steel exterior which is very attractive.

If you are looking for an attractive piece of cookware that can be used on both the stove top and in the oven then this is the pot for you.  The large bottom surface is ideal for browning ingredients and the sides are high enough to prevent foods from spattering.  The walls are rounded making it easy to stir and mix in the ingredients.

This Dutch Oven has a large capacity so you can mix up a bunch of chili on footy nights and feed a crowd.All-Clad Stainless 5-1/2 qt. Dutch Oven

We know you will get a lot of use from the All Clad Dutch Oven, and remember, nobody ever regretted buying quality.

And where can I buy my All Clad Dutch Oven online:

Cooking.com

MetroKitchen.com

Don’t forget to read our review on the All Clad Dutch Oven or our Guide to Dutch Ovens for an overview on the versatility of this cookware.