Copper Cookware – Choosing the Right Copper Pans For Your Kitchen

Professional chefs and serious home cooks love copper cookware. Copper has the unique ability to conduct heat faster than any other metal that is normally used in cookware. Because the copper heats up so quickly, it moves the heat evenly throughout the pan, eliminating hot spots that can cause scorching and sticking.

Some cooks believe that having the right pans can improve the performance of their kitchen even more than buying a brand new range. Copper pots and pans respond quickly to any change in the temperature of the burner, far quicker than pans made of stainless steel or cast iron. This gives cooks much more control over the cooking process.

There are several types of pans that feature copper. The copper itself cannot come into contact with food, so there must be another metal on the inside of the pan.

Copper Plated Pans:

Some cookware is made with aluminum or stainless steel, and has been plated with a thin copper exterior. The bottom will usually have a thicker layer of copper, and the inner surface is usually stainless steel.

Solid Copper Pans:

Several European manufacturers make solid copper cookware lined with stainless steel; Falk Culinair from Belgium, Mauviel and de Buyer from France. Lara Copper cookware is hand-made in Australia. The Hammersmith Corporation is the last surviving maker of solid-copper cookware in the United States.

Solid copper cookware is much more expensive than plated or clad cookware, but the pots and pans made of solid copper respond much more quickly to changes in heat than any other pans. Professional chefs insist on solid copper, while a serious home cook may choose just one – perhaps a sauté pan or medium-sized saucepan – that is used most often.

Caring for Copper Cookware:

Copper pots and pans should always be hand-washed. Never put them in the dishwasher.

Unlike stainless steel and aluminum, copper will oxidize, or change color. To keep the copper shiny as new, a copper cleaning paste is recommended. The Mauviel Corporation makes a copper cleaner called Copperbrill, which works very well, but, like their pots and pans, it’s expensive. A more affordable choice is Twinkle Brass & Copper Cleaner and Wright’s Copper Cream, made by Weiman. All three of these fine cleaners are available through Amazon.com.

Polishing the copper is not just an esthetic requirement. The dark spots created by tarnish can create hot spots in the pans.

Makers of fine copper and stainless steel cookware suggest that the interior of the pans should be cleaned with a fine powder cleanser, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend. After using a powder, wash the pan again in warm soapy water and immediately dry the pan with a soft cloth.

Never use scouring powders, oven cleaners, or any cleaner that contains bleach. Also avoid using steel wool. Soft cloths and nylon scrubbing pads are best.

The stainless steel interior of copper cookware can be damaged by salt, which may cause small white dots or pits. These small pits are not attractive but they will not affect the performance of your pans. To avoid salt damage, always bring liquids to a boil before adding the salt so it dissolves immediately into the water.

Discoloration can also be caused by overheating, or by reheating a pan that has a food film that has not been completely washed off.

As you can see, good copper cookware has many advantages for the serious cook, but these pots and pans do require more care to keep them looking and working their best. For people who really love to cook, the extra care is worth it.



Source by Jonni Good

What Benefits Can a Range Hood Bring to a Kitchen?

Many people nowadays are considering investing in a range hood – whether an aluminium one or a stylish copper hood – as a design element in their kitchen area; these features can look stunning and really add to the ambience and feel of a kitchen space. With many different designs available too, it is easier than ever to find a perfect match for your interior decor.

There are several other key advantages, however, to having an aluminium or copper hood in your kitchen, extending well beyond just style. Here are some of the benefits that a range hood can bring to your kitchen space that you may never have even considered.

The first benefit of having a copper hood in your kitchen is that it drastically improves air quality. This may seem like an obvious point – after all, many people invest in these items as they are a way of ventilating a space that would otherwise be hard to do. Grease, smoke and steam are all extracted by a range hood, meaning the environment gets less saturated with pollutants.

The extent of this benefit, however, is often underestimated – all the by-products of cooking mentioned above can actually have a detriment to human health. Hot grease inhaled and on the skin is unpleasant at the very least, causing nasty burns in a worst case scenario. Steam and smoke can also case major eye, nose and throat irritation as well as lung damage.

It is also worth mentioning that your aluminium or copper hood also rids the area of carbon monoxide. This noxious gas in very present in kitchen areas, with serious health consequences for people who are exposed to a high level of it in the short and long term.

A range hood will also protect the user of the cooker from excess heat. As any amateur chef knows, it can often get very steamy in the kitchen, especially when preparing a meal for a large dinner party for family or friends. An aluminium or copper hood can provide a great deal of relief when preparing food, sucking the excess heat out of the kitchen and therefore giving you fresher air to breathe.

In this way, a copper hood cannot only be a health benefit, but improve comfort in the kitchen. This is especially true in an area that is not exceptionally well ventilated with windows or doors to provide a refreshing through draught. Those with smaller kitchen spaces would therefore be well off considering investing a range hood for this very reason.

In addition to making working the kitchen a lot more pleasant and making the environment safer to work in, a range hood also has the added benefit of making for a cleaner space. As mentioned previously, grease and other pollutants can make your cooking environment grimy, so proper ventilation provided by a copper hood can minimize how much cleaning you have to do.

It is also worth noting that many ranges themselves are actually very simple and easy to clean. A copper hood is an excellent choice as these are naturally anti-bacterial and often coated in a protective lacquer, making not only for a healthier environment, but also minimizing the amount of deep cleaning you have to undertake to rid your kitchen of mold and bacteria.

A range hood also provides additional lighting, which can make your kitchen a great deal more practical to cook and clean in. A steel or copper hood can light your space in all the right places, so you can work more precisely, avoiding investing in costly separate light fittings.

Finally, a copper hood or other type of range hood can improve your home resale value. As well as making for a considerably cleaner, healthier and safer environment, a hood also adds style to a kitchen – all of these are factors that real estate agents look at when valuing a property, and can make or break a sale with potential buyers.

There are many advantages to investing in a range hood in your kitchen, from health benefits to monetary ones. Whatever type of hood you opt for – a copper hood or a steel or aluminium one – you can rest assured that you will definitely get a return on investment in terms of enjoyment, comfort and practicality.



Source by Adam Torgersen

Choosing Kitchen Utensils For Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

When choosing kitchen implements for enameled cast iron cookware, it is important to understand the nature of the enamel that makes it different from ordinary cast iron pots and pans. Standard cast iron can be given nonstick properties and rendered easier to clean by seasoning with hot oil or grease. Baking oil into the pan at high temperature forms a bond that reduces the likelihood of rusting and iron getting into the food, and also makes it relatively nonstick and easier to clean.

Enameling is also a way of creating a barrier between the food and the iron base, and enameled cookware is fairly easy to clean and possesses an acceptable degree of nonstick properties, though you should try to avoid burning food onto the bottom or sides of the pan. If you do, however, enamel is fairly resistant to scratching – much more so that straight cast iron, stainless steel or nonstick Teflon surfaces. It can therefore tolerate scouring better than these other surfaces, but is very sensitive to knocks and bangs that can chip the enamel off the base.

Enamel is not baked on paint, as many think it to be, but is silica, or glass, that is mixed with pigments and then melted onto the iron surface. The process creates a bond that, while strong enough for normal handling, can chip if given hard knocks. If you drop enameled cookware onto a hard floor, for example, it is liable to chip, but not if you stir the contents with a metal spoon.

Nevertheless, although you can use stainless steel and other metal kitchen implements with enameled cast iron cookware, you are advised not to, and to try to use wood, plastic or silicone. Silicone is a form of plastic that has been cured and cross-linked to render it heat resistant, a property that ordinary plastic kitchen implements lack.

Wood is best for any type of cookware, but most people have a set of wooden spoons in their kitchen arsenal, and perhaps a wooden spatula, but very little else. You can get a wider range online, but the ladles and slotted spoons tend to be very small in comparison to their metal or plastic alternatives.

Plastic is excellent in respect of protecting your cookware, but it can be soft and can get even softer when hot. Not only that, but forget to take it off the pot when cooking and you will have given a new meaning to plastic food! The same is true of a plastic spatula or fish slice: these kitchen tools rarely last long without showing signs of a few burns. Which takes us to silicone kitchen tools.

Silicone kitchen implements are heat-rated, and some are rated as high as 900 degrees, so they will not soften or melt in the same way as normal plastic. There is also a good range of silicone implements, such as turkey lifters, fish slices, spatulas and cooking spoons, but still not as many as are available in stainless steel.

The problem with stainless steel is not that it scratches enamel, because it doesn’t as long as you are not trying hard to do so, but that if you hit the pan with a heavy stainless implement it might chip. Nevertheless, it is possible to use stainless kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware as long as you are careful, and make sure that you don’t knock or drop any implements onto the pan.

Taking an overall view, when choosing kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware you are likely best advised to use wood or silicone where you can, particularly for stirring spoons and the like, and stainless steel where you must. That is a reasonable compromise, but if you prefer to have a battery of tools hanging from racks on your kitchen wall, then stainless steel looks great but be very careful when using them.



Source by Rosemarie Gerdich

Knife Safety in the Kitchen

Most people do not know the proper way to handle a knife, whether it be in the kitchen or some other everyday use.

I have worked in a kitchen as a chef for 25 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how carelessly people handle a knife; one of the most used and dangerous tools in the kitchen. A knife is not a toy and it should not be used as one. Always respect a knife. It is also not a can, bottle or jar opener. It is also not a screwdriver, as this can cause damage to the tip of the blade and possibly slip and injure the user.

Always hold a knife in your dominant hand. If you are right-handed, hold the knife in your right hand. Likewise, if you are left-handed you would hold the knife in your left hand. You should always have the angle of the blade away from you. Never slice anything in the direction of your body, as you have a better chance of cutting yourself.

Never cut anything while holding it in your hand. Always use a cutting board with a damp cloth underneath it whenever you are slicing, chopping, or dicing. This will stop the board from slipping or moving on the counter top.

Also remember to keep your knives sharp at all times, as a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife. A dull knife will jump or slip off the item your are cutting and possibly cause serious injury to the user. That is why it is a important to own a honing stone or a knife sharpener.

Most people do not know the proper way to pass a knife to someone else. Some people will hold the knife by the blade while others will hold it by the handle. Each of these methods is incorrect. What if someone was to bump into the person receiving or passing the knife, this is an accident waiting to happen. The only proper way to pass a knife to someone else, is to lie it flat on a table with the edge of the blade facing away from the other person so they can pick it up themselves.

When walking through the kitchen, you never carry a knife loosely in front of you. The only way to carry a knife in the kitchen if you must, is by the handle, at the side of your leg with the sharp edge facing the back.

You should always hand wash your knives yourself after each use. Never put a knife in the dishwasher or sink with sudsy water as someone may reach in and cut themselves not knowing a knife was there.

Make sure you always use the proper knife for whatever job you are doing. Paring knives for coring or cleaning products, a chef knife for chopping or dicing and a slicing knife for slicing. Serrated knives are only to be used for slicing bread or sandwiches.

Always store your knives properly when not in use. A knife block or magnetic rack is best. If you must store your knives in a drawer, be sure to keep them in a separate compartment away from other utensils.

On a final note, if you ever drop a knife, do not try and catch it. I cannot tell you how many accidents I have seen as a result of this. Let it fall and come to a complete rest before you pick it up. Always stay focused on your task without any distractions when using a knife.



Source by Stephen Mazur

Choosing Kitchen Utensils For Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

When choosing kitchen implements for enameled cast iron cookware, it is important to understand the nature of the enamel that makes it different from ordinary cast iron pots and pans. Standard cast iron can be given nonstick properties and rendered easier to clean by seasoning with hot oil or grease. Baking oil into the pan at high temperature forms a bond that reduces the likelihood of rusting and iron getting into the food, and also makes it relatively nonstick and easier to clean.

Enameling is also a way of creating a barrier between the food and the iron base, and enameled cookware is fairly easy to clean and possesses an acceptable degree of nonstick properties, though you should try to avoid burning food onto the bottom or sides of the pan. If you do, however, enamel is fairly resistant to scratching – much more so that straight cast iron, stainless steel or nonstick Teflon surfaces. It can therefore tolerate scouring better than these other surfaces, but is very sensitive to knocks and bangs that can chip the enamel off the base.

Enamel is not baked on paint, as many think it to be, but is silica, or glass, that is mixed with pigments and then melted onto the iron surface. The process creates a bond that, while strong enough for normal handling, can chip if given hard knocks. If you drop enameled cookware onto a hard floor, for example, it is liable to chip, but not if you stir the contents with a metal spoon.

Nevertheless, although you can use stainless steel and other metal kitchen implements with enameled cast iron cookware, you are advised not to, and to try to use wood, plastic or silicone. Silicone is a form of plastic that has been cured and cross-linked to render it heat resistant, a property that ordinary plastic kitchen implements lack.

Wood is best for any type of cookware, but most people have a set of wooden spoons in their kitchen arsenal, and perhaps a wooden spatula, but very little else. You can get a wider range online, but the ladles and slotted spoons tend to be very small in comparison to their metal or plastic alternatives.

Plastic is excellent in respect of protecting your cookware, but it can be soft and can get even softer when hot. Not only that, but forget to take it off the pot when cooking and you will have given a new meaning to plastic food! The same is true of a plastic spatula or fish slice: these kitchen tools rarely last long without showing signs of a few burns. Which takes us to silicone kitchen tools.

Silicone kitchen implements are heat-rated, and some are rated as high as 900 degrees, so they will not soften or melt in the same way as normal plastic. There is also a good range of silicone implements, such as turkey lifters, fish slices, spatulas and cooking spoons, but still not as many as are available in stainless steel.

The problem with stainless steel is not that it scratches enamel, because it doesn’t as long as you are not trying hard to do so, but that if you hit the pan with a heavy stainless implement it might chip. Nevertheless, it is possible to use stainless kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware as long as you are careful, and make sure that you don’t knock or drop any implements onto the pan.

Taking an overall view, when choosing kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware you are likely best advised to use wood or silicone where you can, particularly for stirring spoons and the like, and stainless steel where you must. That is a reasonable compromise, but if you prefer to have a battery of tools hanging from racks on your kitchen wall, then stainless steel looks great but be very careful when using them.



Source by Rosemarie Gerdich

Which Kitchen Pans Do You Really Need?

If you're equipping your kitchen, then you'll want to make sure that you have the right sort of kitchen pans for your needs.

Here's the sort of pans you'll need

1. Milk pans are saucepans with spouts and so are ideal for pouring out sauces, or soup, or other liquids, as well as warm milk.

2. With a wide range of saucepans to choose from, in different materials and sizes you'll be spoiled for choice if you're sure what sort of pans you need. Perhaps you'll want professional quality pans for your large family, or maybe you'll want colored pans to compliment your kitchen and other kitchen appliances.

3. A good quality frying pan is essential, and can mean the difference between well cooked food and burnt, or undercooked food. You'll want a non stick pan with a strong handle that does not get hot so that the pan is easy and safe to use, no matter what you're frying.

4. Sauté pans can be thought of as like covered frying pans, and are used for cooking food at very high temperatures for a short period of time. You'll want a sauté pan with even heat distribution that warms up fast so that you can sauté quickly. You can sauté meat, fish and vegetables and so this is likely to be a pan you use often.

5. A chef pan allows you to cook a meal in the one pan. You may start by frying onions, then adding meat and vegetables then making a sauce to go with it. These pans have long handles and are deeper than frying pans.

6. A grill pan has two usable sides, a flat side, and a ridged side. This pan can be used for cooking different types of meat and even paninis too.

7. If you're keen on stir fry meals, then you'll want a good quality wok. Using a high temperature, and cooking for a short time, you'll need your pan to heat up quickly, and spread the heat evenly so that all the ingredients are cooked properly.

8. A cookware set may be just what you need if you're new to cooking, or want to give saucepans as a gift for someone setting up their first home, or going to university. Having the most common pans will ensure that the most popular dishes can be created. If there is a glaring omission, or a bigger or better pan is needed, then it will be easy to add to the cookware set.

9. Stockpots are ideal if you're cooking for a lot of people, or make food to freeze. Perhaps you make large batches of soup so that you can freeze some, or maybe you have a large family, and use your stockpot to cook enough pasta, rice or potatoes for everyone.

10. No matter what sort of cook you are, or what sort of food you cook, you'll want to make sure that you get good value for money. Buying the cheapest items might seem like a good idea initially, but over time, you might not get the performance or durability that you expected, and so will have to replace some of your saucepans.

Now you know what sort of kitchenware you need, have you got the right kitchen pans?



Source by M James

Which Kitchen Pans Do You Really Need?

If you’re equipping your kitchen, then you’ll want to make sure that you have the right sort of kitchen pans for your needs.

Here’s the sort of pans you’ll need

1. Milk pans are saucepans with spouts and so are ideal for pouring out sauces, or soup, or other liquids, as well as warm milk.

2. With a wide range of saucepans to choose from, in different materials and sizes you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re sure what sort of pans you need. Perhaps you’ll want professional quality pans for your large family, or maybe you’ll want coloured pans to compliment your kitchen and other kitchen appliances.

3. A good quality frying pan is essential, and can mean the difference between well cooked food and burnt, or undercooked food. You’ll want a non stick pan with a strong handle that doesn’t get hot so that the pan is easy and safe to use, no matter what you’re frying.

4. Sauté pans can be thought of as like covered frying pans, and are used for cooking food at very high temperatures for a short period of time. You’ll want a sauté pan with even heat distribution that warms up fast so that you can sauté quickly. You can sauté meat, fish and vegetables and so this is likely to be a pan you use often.

5. A chef pan allows you to cook a meal in the one pan. You might start by frying onions, then adding meat and vegetables then making a sauce to go with it. These pans have long handles and are deeper than frying pans.

6. A grill pan has two usable sides, a flat side, and a ridged side. This pan can be used for cooking different sorts of meat and even paninis too.

7. If you’re keen on stir fry meals, then you’ll want a good quality wok. Using a high temperature, and cooking for a short time, you’ll need your pan to heat up quickly, and spread the heat evenly so that all the ingredients are cooked properly.

8. A cookware set might be just what you need if you’re new to cooking, or want to give saucepans as a gift for someone setting up their first home, or going to university. Having the most common pans will ensure that the most popular dishes can be created. If there is a glaring omission, or a bigger or better pan is needed, then it will be easy to add to the cookware set.

9. Stockpots are ideal if you’re cooking for a lot of people, or make food to freeze. Perhaps you make large batches of soup so that you can freeze some, or maybe you have a large family, and use your stockpot to cook enough pasta, rice or potatoes for everyone.

10. No matter what sort of cook you are, or what sort of food you cook, you’ll want to make sure that you get good value for money. Buying the cheapest items might seem like a good idea initially, but over time, you might not get the performance or durability that you expected, and so will have to replace some of your saucepans.

Now you know what sort of kitchenware you need, have you got the right kitchen pans?



Source by M James