What Kind Of Pans To Buy
I have had a lot of people asking me lately which pots and pans do I like to cook with?
It seems like EVERYONE has their own opinion on this subject, but for me it always comes down to how my food taste after I am finished creating one of my dishes and if the pan is safe and not leaching any chemicals into my organic food.
I went on a mission to find a set of pans to invest in (yes invest, they can be a bit pricey). There were several key elements that I was looking for:
- I did not want teflon coated/nonstick pans. Sure it is convenient to cook quickly on these pans, but you loose so much flavor for sauces and I am not convinced that teflon is safe anyways.
- I knew I wanted stainless steel. Not all stainless steel however is safe to cook with.
According to Ray Peat, there are two main types of stainless steel, magnetic and nonmagnetic. The nonmagnetic form has a very high nickel content, and nickel is allergenic and carcinogenic. It is much more toxic than iron or aluminum. You can use a little “refrigerator magnet” to test your pans. The magnet will stick firmly to the safer type of pan.
The Pans I Cook With
So the pans I purchased were All Clad. I am so impressed with these pans and I often wonder how I ever managed without them in my kitchen!
The other day I made some Sautéed Chicken with a mushroom white wine gravy that was so great I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
Many people find it hard to cook with stainless steel, especially after using teflon pans for so long. It might take a little practice, but below you will find a video I did with some helpful tips when cooking with stainless steel.
Here are a few more tips…
- Stainless steel pans MUST be preheated before you add any food to the pans. I usually turn my stovetop on medium low heat and allow it to heat for 2-3 minutes. You should be able to still touch the rim of the pan safely, but it should be hot (see video below). Add your oil to the pan after it is preheated.
- When foods are browned, carmelization begins, that brown goo and dark bits stuck on the bottom of your pan, becomes a goldmine of taste, flavor, aroma, as well as adding visual appeal to the finished dish. That brown stuff is highly desirable as it provides the base for the delicious sauces, soups, stews, and gravies. This develops because the drippings, the juices, sugars and fats from the food stick to the pan and brown; so you want it to stick to the pan, that is flavor! To deglaze your pan (get up all the yummy bits that add so much flavor to your dishes) simply add a little chicken stock or wine to the pan and it will pull all those yummy bits off the pan and into your dish!
- Avoid plain stainless steel cookware. The best, and coincidentally the most expensive brands are triple ply throughout (sides and bottom),while others only clad the bottom of the pan. The Key to its high performance is a three-ply, bonded construction. Sandwiched between layers of stainless steel is a thick core of pure aluminum that spreads heat evenly across the bottoms of pots and pans and all the way up the sides.
- Look for stainless steel handles that are riveted to the pan. This means the pans can go into the oven, and there is no danger of melting a plastic covered handle if it accidentally gets too close to a hot burner.
How To Cook On Stainless Steel
Cooking with Stainless Steel Pans add so much flavor to your cooking. Below I have done a video segment showing how easy it is to cook with stainless steel.
(I know the egg is totally overcooked, but you still can get the correct method of cooking on the stainless steel pans)
I did a new video that uses a lot less fat and shows you how to properly season a stainless steel pan.
I highly recommend that you watch this video!
For daily cleaning, warm soapy water is sufficient. Clean your pans thoroughly after each use. Food films left of the pan may cause discoloration and sticking.
To get rid of stuck-on food or discoloration and stains from using too high of a heat, clean your pan with a product called Bar Keeper’s Friend. To use the Bar Keeper’s Friend, simply use a soft cloth or sponge and water and make into a soupy paste. This can be used on the interior, as well as the exterior of your pan. The Bar Keeper’s Friend can also be used on the exterior of your pan. If your water has a high iron content, you may notice a rusty discoloration. Use Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove it.
I also use baking soda and make that into a water paste. That works really well too.
Share Your Thoughts
What do you cook on? Are you looking to make the switch to Stainless Steel?