The Cookalong Podcast

Your Cooking Companion

Posted in Tools & Equipment
April 15, 2018

About Cookware–You don’t need “The Best”

Let’s talk about cookware. Most of my cooking life, I have coveted expensive cookware. My ego was in charge, and I wanted my cookware to show that I knew about quality and made it my business to use the best. (I’m the same with knives. See my latest thoughts on that here.)

Those beautiful expensive pans warped and lost their non-stick coating and the silicone on their handles. Hundreds of dollars down the drain.

I love cooking with various oils. Did you know that using oil or even cooking spray in your non-stick pan is gradually eroding your non-stick coating? Cooking without oil is great for some folks, but that’s not my style. The pan packaging may tell you that you don’t NEED oil, but it doesn’t often tell you it will ruin your pan.

Warping is, for me, the most annoying problem. I have a glass cooktop, and when only one spot on the pan touches the burner, cooking is a slow and frustrating process. Repeatedly betrayed by expensive cookware, I went through a period of buying from the one-stop-shopping-store mark-down table, because when they warped, at least I hadn’t spent a lot of money and expectations on them.

I’ve always known about the rule of not putting cold water on a hot pan. Here I could tell you that if you let the pan cool completely before washing it, it won’t warp. But you know what? IT WILL. Eventually, it will warp. (Unless it’s cast iron, which I love. More on that here.)

Here’s my latest discovery, and it will change my cooking life. Maybe yours, too. With the advent of induction cooking, which only works with a pan that is flat against the burner, some pans are now made that will not warp. Really. And you know what else? They’re not expensive! You can buy terrific, non-warping stainless steel pans of most any size for around $30. The ones I’m talking about will specify a tri-ply base and will say they can be used for induction cooking. (You can read some reviews on Amazon before making your brand choice.)

That tri-ply, stay-flat base provides efficient and even heat distribution which makes sticking and burning less likely, the stainless steel cooking surface maintains its color, doesn’t react with food or alter flavors, it’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and most amazing of all, is dishwasher safe. No more careful hand-washing of your overpriced cookware. In this, it has cast-iron beat. Added bonus (I love this part): It’s beautiful! Oh, and did I mention it can easily be made non-stick? Read on

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