Learn how to find the right cookware for your culinary needs with these tips from Curtis Stone.
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How to Choose the Right Cookware
Featured Pro: Curtis Stone Category: Cooking Time: 2:34
CURTIS STONE: Gas engine for more power, electric or both for better fuel efficiency. The choice is easy in the hybrid. Now, if only cookware was that simple. There are so many choices. There’s stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, nonstick. I’m going to show you exactly which pan to use for which job in this next GMC Trade Secret. Come with me.
So whether you’re going out to buy yourself a new cookware set or if you’re just diving into the cupboard and trying to pluck out the right pot for the right job, I’m going to break it down for you. I’ve brought out four different types of material. Okay, now, they’re all pretty much the same kind of pan. This one’s nonstick. Over here we’ve got stainless steel. Here I’ve got cast iron, which is the heavy one. And down at the end I’ve got cast iron which is coated in enamel.
You know, they’re all better for different reasons. The nonstick is great if you’re going to cook something a bit delicate; you know, if you're going to do some eggs or some fish, something that, of course, you don’t want to stick, but, you know, something that’s going to be quite sort of delicate to cook.
The stainless steel is very different, because the stainless steel, things will stick to. But then if you’re going to caramelize a steak, you kind of want that to happen, so you get that nice golden color on your steak and you can deglaze the pan with a bit of red wine. The beauty of stainless steel is the whole thing can go in the oven. It’s really durable and it’ll last a long time.
Now, next on from the stainless steel, we’ve got the cast iron. The cast iron is really affordable. It’s very, very heavy. And it’s great because it retains its heat for so long. So the heat gets right up into the rims. And if you’re doing something like a stew or a chili or a braise, you know, something that you’re going to cook for a couple of hours, cast iron’s a really good option.
The only down side to cast iron is it takes a bit of maintenance. You know, once you’ve cooked in it for a while, you’re going to put some salt in and you’re going to season it, which means you’ve got to work all the impurities off the cast iron so that you can cook cleanly again.
So this guy is the enamel-coated cast iron, so it gives you everything that the cast iron gives you in terms of its heat retention. It’s great for cooking slow things, you know. But the enamel means that there’s less maintenance. You don’t have to season the surface, which is good if you’re lazy like I am.
So there you go. That’s what the pros do. They’ve got a different tool for every different job. So this one is great for an omelet, you know, a nice piece of fish, a quick stir fry, where you’re not going to cook at too high a temperature. The stainless steel is a complete all-arounder. It does pretty much everything – goes in the oven, really good, very durable. The cast iron, it’s the big heavy one, retains the heat, great for cooking slowly, as is the enamel-coated cast iron.
So that’s what the pros do. Go out, get the right tool for the right job, and cooking will become a breeze.
I’m Curtis Stone, and that’s your GMC Trade Secret.