How to Choose an Indoor Grill

Grilling is one of the most healthy cooking options. It lets any grease drain away from the food, cutting down on your fat intake and total calorie intake.

Almost anything can be grilled, from fish to steaks to veggie burgers. What you cook on your grill is limited only by your imagination.  Unfortunately for those us that don’t live in Hawaii or Florida sometimes we have to grill indoors. So the question is how to choose an indoor grill?

The first thing you’ll want to consider when choosing an indoor grill is if you want a stovetop model or a countertop model. There are benefits and disadvantages to both.

  • Countertop: A counter top model is a great cooking option. You can find countertop grillswith a heavy lid so that the food cooks evenly on both sides in much less time. You can find countertop grills that are set at an angle so any grease drains away from the food and into a grease

    trap. The only real disadvantage to a counter top indoor grill is the space you will need for storage when it isn’t in use.

    Stovetops: A basic stovetop grill is more commonly referred to as a griddle.  You’ll want a heavy cast iron grill so you can use the highest heat possible on your stove. The only disadvantage of a stovetop model is that grease doesn’t drain as easily as with a counter top model. Although there are stovetop grills available that have a raised cooking surface which helps to eliminate this problem.  The best benefit of a stovetop grill is the high heat you can use.

How to choose an indoor grill basically boils down to whether or not you want to cook on the stovetop or use a separate countertop model. Both are great choices when you’re forced to move the grilling back indoors in the dead of winter. With an indoor grill you can enjoy that great grilled flavor all year round.

Top Ten Tips on Caring for Copper Cookware

All Clad Cop R Chef Copper Cookware SetCopper cookware can be a bit of a chore to look after but if you follow these top 10 tips it will ensure that your copper cookware stays in the best condition possible.

1. Use a mild detergent, hot water and a soft sponge or dishcloth to clean it.
2. Soak cooked-on food – don’t try and scrub it off.
3. Use a circular rotating motion when cleaning the inside of a copper pot.
4. Don’t put a hot pan into water. This can cause irreversible warping.
5. Always use a low flame for cooking as Copper and tin are very good conductors of heat.
6. Never heat an empty pan.
7. Use only wood, rubber or plastic utensils.
8. Never use metal or abrasive utensils.
9. An all over patina is fine but don’t allow your cookware to develop darkened areas which can cause hot spots.
10. Don’t use aerosol cooking sprays as they can leave a gummy residue which is very hard to remove.

Read the full guide to caring for copper cookware here…

Tips for Making Good Sauces

nroritake-gravy-boatA delicious sauce can make the difference between an average meal and an extraordinary one. Sauces can temper a spicy dish, add flavor to a bland meal, or complement and intensify the taste of a complex recipe.

Your sauces should be smooth, free of lumps, and delicious enough to enjoy alone or when paired with a dish. Here are some tips for making sauces that will help you achieve a delicious flavor and texture at home.

General Sauce Tips

The key to a delicious sauce is patience. You should never try to rush your sauce by looking over a high temperature.

Avoid adding cold ingredients to a hot sauce. Instead, mix flour or other cool ingredients with a small amount of the warm liquid before adding to the main pan. This will help prevent lumps.

The best ingredients, like fresh herbs, rich butter, and home-made stock, will result in the best-tasting sauces.

Starting Your Sauce

Most sauces start with the same main ingredients. Rich juices from roasted or baked meats are a wonderful place to start flavorful sauces. If those are not available, a stock that you have made yourself is a good second choice, followed by cooking wines.

Pan Drippings – Before you roast lamb, beef, pork, or chicken, butter the pan so that the juices won’t stick or burn. Use the drippings to create a sauce to go with the meal.

Stock – Homemade stock is a far better choice than cans of broth or bouillon cubes, which are often high in salt, artificial flavors, and other unhealthy ingredients. Create a stock by boiling bones or seafood shells for several hours, stirring frequently and removing fat as it floats to the surface. Strain well to remove bones, and freeze any excess stock that you don’t need immediately.

Wine – Wine can be used to deglaze pan drippings or to mix with eggs and/or cream for a meatless sauce.


A good sauce has a thick, not watery, consistency. To achieve this, you’ll add a thickening agent to the base of your sauce. Some common thickeners include:

Roux – The most commonly used thickener is a roux, which is made by mixing flour with the warmed sauce starters listed above.

Cornstarch – Cornstarch can be used to make a translucent sauce, and is commonly used in Chinese-style dishes.

Egg Yolk – Egg yolks can be used to make a thicker, richer sauce. Mix the yolk with cream before adding to the pan. Never boil a sauce with egg yolk in it, or it will curdle.

• Reduction
– You can also thicken a sauce by allowing the liquid to evaporate by cooking slowly over a low heat. Season after the sauce reaches the right thickness to avoid over-spicing.

Creating a perfect sauce takes time and practice, but it’s a richly rewarding way to expand your cooking abilities.

Cooking with Rosemary – How to Use Rosemary in the Kitchen

Rosemary-topiaryIf you want to expand the repertoire of spices that you use in the kitchen and create dishes with more flair and zing, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with rosemary. Cooking with rosemary is a great way to add delicious flavor to meats and vegetables, and to make your dishes more exciting.

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an herb from the mint family, which grows natively around the Mediterranean. It is not surprising, therefore, that it is used in many Italian, French, and Greek dishes. The plant itself grows in many varieties, with different levels of flavor and hardiness.

Rosemary has short leaves with a shape reminiscent of pine needles. The top of each leaf is a dark green, while the bottom runs from light green to a silvery shade. These leaves are the primary part of the plant used in cooking.

Fresh, dried, and ground rosemary can all be used in cooking. Unlike many spices, dried rosemary is actually the healthiest form. Rosemary can also be infused into an oil, wine, or tea.

How Does Rosemary Taste?

Rosemary has a strong, fragrant flavor that many people find similar to lemon or pine. It is slightly sharp and tangy. When burnt, rosemary takes on a charred, mustard-like flavor which can add smokiness to blackened and barbequed food. It has a slightly oily texture.

Does Rosemary Have Any Health Benefits?

Rosemary was originally grown by monks around the Mediterranean region for its health properties as well as its flavor. Especially when dried, rosemary is a source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, folates, and iron.

Rosemary is also famous for its soothing properties, its anti-inflammatory ingredients, and its effect on memory. It is sometimes added to fortified cereals as an anti-oxidant.

Rosemary should not be overused, as extremely high amounts of the herb can cause convulsions.

Which Dishes Work Best When Flavored with Rosemary?

Rosemary is a very versatile spice that can be used with a number of different dishes. A few examples include:

The tangy flavor of rosemary accentuates nearly any type of fish, including red snapper, sole, cod, and swordfish. Sprinkle rosemary, salt, and pepper over the fish before cooking for an easy and elegant dish.

Rosemary can spice up the bland flavor of chicken, turning it into a memorable dish. Mix rosemary and butter together and slide under the skin of a whole chicken, or sprinkle rosemary, garlic, and salt over chicken breasts before baking or frying.

Rosemary is one of the best spices to complement lamb, whether you are cooking lamb chops or an entire rack of lamb. Mix rosemary with fresh cloves of garlic for a delicious addition to any lamb dish.

Rosemary is a great way to perk up an otherwise-boring green salad. Throw fresh or dried rosemary into a mixture of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and any other vegetables you like, and serve with an oil-and-vinegar dressing.

Rosemary makes a great companion to nearly any kind of potato dish. Try coating your French fries with rosemary before frying, or adding a pinch of rosemary to your mashed potatoes. Sprigs of rosemary leaves taste delicious with pan fried potatoes as well.

Mixed Vegetables
Blend rosemary with butter for a delicious and elegant topping for any kind of warm vegetables, from green beans to carrots to cauliflower.

Throw a handful of dried rosemary onto your barbeque coals to create a fragrant smoke that will add a lot of flavor to your meals. You can also sprinkle rosemary over ribs and other barbequed foods to create a pleasant smoky flavor as it cooks.

Try adding a hint of rosemary to puddings, ice creams, and sorbets for a uniquely delicious flavor.

Rosemary is popular in the kitchen because it can be used in so many different ways, both savory and sweet. Experimenting with this versatile herb can really stretch your cooking abilities, and add a wide variety of new flavors to your repertoire.

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How to Choose a Sauté Pan

all-clad-ltd-saute-panAll-Clad LTD 6 qt. Saute Pan with Lid

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.

What Should You Look For in a Sauté Pan?
Paula Deen 5-qt. Nonstick Signature Porcelain Saute Pan, Red

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.

Berndes - SignoCAST 11 Saute Pan With Glass Lid (Black) - Home

Berndes – SignoCAST 11 Saute Pan
With Glass Lid (Black)