Not all frying pans are the same thing. A frying pan is a fry pan, of course. And they are always used for the same purpose. True. But there are many differences between a good frying pan and a not so good frying pan. Price ranges can guide you a little bit, but sometimes we don’t discover we have chosen the wrong one until we use it at home. If you don’t want this to happen again, the best solution is learning about how to distinguish between the good and the bad ones before buying them. You don’t need a master, just follow these easy rules!
The quality of a frying pan is mainly determined by manufacturing materials and procedures. The most common materials are stainless steel, iron and aluminium.
You may think there can’t be quite a difference between each aluminium manufacturing procedure because at the end the result is the same: an aluminium pan. But there is a lot.
The three main manufacturing procedures are: stamping, forge and die casting. Knowing the names is cool and maybe you can use this information to win the Trivial Pursuit someday, but here the important thing is to know the differences between them, so let’s go for it!
Stamping is the process of placing flat sheet metal in either blank or coil form into a stamping press where a tool and die surface forms the metal into a net shape. The press produces the desired pan form on the sheet metal part. This is the easiest process and also the cheapest one. Consequently, stamping pans are the ones you will be able to buy at a lower price in stores. “Great, I’ll take this one!” Yes, you can buy this one, of course, but there’s an issue you must take in consideration: when aluminium gets hot, it tends to go back to the original shape which, in this case, is a plane surface. This means the cooking vessel will lose contact with the cooking surface shortly before buying it, thus food will not cook evenly. This, together with they usually come with low quality cheap non-stick coating, means stamped pans have a really short useful service.
Forged aluminium pans manufacturing process is very similar to stamping but the metal is heated. This allows using a thicker and more resistant metal sheet which reduces vessel deformation when cooking. Although these pans are more expensive than the first ones, it’s worth paying a little bit more as they practically don’t lose shape; they are longer lasting and cook better than stamped aluminium pans.
The last manufacturing process is die casting. It is characterized by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mould cavity which has the desired pan shape. This is the most expensive one, but also the best as it avoids pan from losing shape because “pan” is the original shape. You may think it is not necessary to spend so much money in a pan. If forged frying pan is resistant, durable, reasonably priced and cook fine, why should I need more? Well, it depends on your needs. Die casting allows working with different aluminium thicknesses, which contributes to better heat distribution and even cooking results. Finishing and details are also better because die casting procedure offers more design possibilities. pressed fry pan is also the ones with better non-stick coatings to avoid food from sticking on the cooking surface.
How can I distinguish them in stores?
Stamped aluminium pans are really easy to distinguish. A really low priced pan is a stamped pan for sure. But to be sure, take the pan, touch it and balance it. Is it very light and thin? Then it’s stamping.
Forge and die casting processes are more difficult to distinguish for non-expert eyes because weight can be similar. Maybe the best is to look at the packaging because manufacturers always write in big font size you are looking at a cast aluminium pan. Yes, it’s a not very scientific detection method, but it’s very effective.
Now it’s your choice! Maybe you still prefer having a stamped aluminium pan because you don’t use it a lot. But as far as you like cooking, we recommend you to spend a little bit more to buy a cast aluminium pan or even a forged one.
What Is a Saucepan and What Does It Look Like?
A sauce pan is a staple of kitchens the world over, but it's not immediately clear how to differentiate between a saucepan, saucier, stock pot, sauté pan, and all the other pots and pans. In this article, we'll discuss what a saucepan is, what a saucepan is used for, and what a saucepan looks like. Let's get cooking!
A saucepan is a piece of cookware that's typically circular and metal with high sides and a long handle. Saucepans' high sides serve two purposes. The first (and obvious) purpose is that these high walls allow for more food and drink to fit inside the saucepan. The second, less obvious purpose is that they give the saucepan a larger surface area, which — when paired with their smaller base — means saucepans can more evenly heat their contents by surrounding them on all sides. Saucepans are taller relative to their width than, say, a stock pot for this exact reason.
The Casserole Makes a Healthy Comeback
Having kissed its crumbled-corn-chip top and canned-soup innards goodbye, the humble casserole is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. And for good reason.
Not only are casseroles fast and easy to make, but new casserole recipes call for vegetables and whole grains, and that means they can be healthy as well, according to Melanie Polk, director of nutrition education at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
"A casserole gives you an opportunity to mix a whole bunch of cancer-protective foods in a single dish," says Polk. "It's a way to combine beans, whole grains, and vegetables."
Polk adds that a low-fat diet that contains at least 5 servings a day of a wide range of plant-based foods -- fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- can provide anti-cancer benefits. She also says that it doesn't matter whether the foods are raw or cooked.
"It's important to eat a variety of foods that have been prepared with a variety of cooking methods, except for frying, which adds unneeded fats," says Polk. "Certain foods, when cooked, release more of their cancer-protecting substances, so cooking isn't a bad thing. We know that some of the phytochemicals in broccoli, for example, become more available when the broccoli is lightly steamed. But it is less important whether they are raw or cooked. What's important is that you get them any way you can."
Here's an example of a recipe from the AICR:
Spanish Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 1/4 cup rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 1/4 cup canned chicken broth
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers drained and chopped
2 medium chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup frozen green peas
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 2-quart casserole dish, combine rice, onion, and oil. Add tomatoes, one cup of broth, paprika, oregano, peppers, roasted peppers, chicken, and bay leaf. Stir to combine well. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Stir in peas and add an additional 1/4 cup broth if needed to keep rice from sticking. Bake until chicken and rice are cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve.
wok, thin-walled cooking pan, shaped like a shallow bowl with handles, widely used in Chinese-style cooking. The wok has a round bottom that concentrates heat, cooking food quickly with relatively little oil. Food when cooked may be moved up the sloping side of the wok to stay warm without cooking further, while other food is cooked at the bottom. The wok was developed as an implement to conserve scarce fuel. It is generally made of iron, carbon steel, copper, or aluminum. Although woks come in sizes ranging from 25 to 80 cm (10 to 32 inches) in diameter, household woks average from 30 to 36 cm.
Woks have been used for some 3,000 years in China for a variety of cooking methods, including stir-frying, boiling, and stewing. The addition of a rack and cover converts the wok into a steamer. Originally designed for use on wood- or charcoal-burning Chinese stoves, woks have been adapted for Western use by the addition of a metal ring, which is set on top of a gas or electric stove to hold the wok and prevent it from tipping. Electrically heated woks, with a removable heating element and thermostat, may be used for cooking meals at the dining table.
The Ultimate Guide to Choose The Best Cookware Set
Are you planning to setup new cooking equipment for your kitchen and you seem pretty confused? Does the innumerable amount of cookware brands leave you clueless about how to choose your cookware set?
In recent times, there has been a rapid rise of different kinds of cookware sets which also depict the combination of materials varying from, stainless steel to cast iron, aluminum and copper.
So, if you want to make an optimum investment in the ideal set of cookware, this guide will help you choose the best cookware set for you and be in a win-win position.
You can buy a forged cookware set , but creating your own customized a la carte set lets you focus your space and resources on the pans you need most.
To help you get started, we’ve organized choices into three categories:
The Essentials: These are the absolute basics we think a home cook needs to prepare the widest selection of recipes with the fewest pans.
The Add-Ons: With a little more money to spend and space to spare, you can add these pans next. We consider them to be great choices to build out your core set of essential pans.
Awesome Extras: We admit that we love certain pans that may not be utterly essential, but they make us happy. And, truth be told, we find ourselves reaching for them more often than we expected. Some are a bit of a splurge, but we think they’re worth it.
All of the specific products we list below are winners of full testings we conducted here at America’s Test Kitchen. Where relevant, we’ve also included the best inexpensive version of each piece—what we call our Best Buys—to give you more budget flexibility.
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