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Cooking with stainless steel

Stainless-steel cookware

For those who are new to cooking, the first thing you need to know is this: you won’t get anything to brown in non-stick coated cookware. Stainless steel is the only way to go for beautifully browned meats, but there are some things to know about pans. Temperature is important, so learning to use your stainless is a good idea if you don’t want to ruin your food and destroy your pots. If you don’t know how to use them properly or how to manage the temperature, your food will stick to the pan or burn.

Here are some important tips about cookware.

What should you do when it comes to stainless?

Cooking with stainless steel

Cooking is all about temperature shocks and exchanges. The reason a chicken is roasted at a higher temperature in the beginning is to shock the meat and create a nice, crispy and brown skin. The remainder of the roasting is done at a lower temperature. This same technique is used when cooking on the stove top.

So what’s the trick to finding the right temperature?

Use the water droplet trick

This is a great trick you can try in the beginning to get used to finding the right temperature. Heat your pan and place a small droplet of water into it when you think it’s hot enough.

You won’t find coated pans in restaurant kitchens. Cooking with stainless steel can produce some of the most fantastic dishes you’ll ever imagine. If you learn to use your pans correctly, you’ll never go back to anything else (check out the van der Waals force if you want to geek out on the physics of cooking). You’ll increase your range of recipes and make cooking and eating more enjoyable.

If you’re just starting out, here are the basic stainless steel cookware pieces you should have in your kitchen. They’re the sizes most often used by both professionals and home cooks.

  1. One, two, and four quart saucepans with lids – These will be your workhorses.
  2. Two to three gallon stockpot with lid – For soups, stock, pasta, and sauces.
  3. Ten to twelve inch sauté pan with lid – A sauté pan (from the French sauter – “to jump”) has relatively high straight sides and a flat bottom. It’s used for making sauces, pan “frying”, and braising.
  4. Ten inch skillet – A skillet (sometimes referred to as a frying pan) has sloped sides that taper in at the bottom. It’s used for eggs, omelets, frittatas or even pancakes.

Look for healthy Paleo recipes here. With the right pans, a little patience and practice, and a few good tips, you’ll soon be cooking great meals and impressing your friends while everyone benefits from healthy eating.

Simple Pan Sauce

Use your sauté pan to make a simple pan sauce for chicken or other meats.