Can Your Choice of Pan Make You a Better Chef?
There are many ways that you can improve your abilities in the kitchen, but few are as effective as choosing the right pan. There are many different types of pans and materials that are used and this can have a big impact on what the food looks and tastes like. It can be hard to know what pan is right for what job, so this post will help you to make the right decision and improve your cooking.
Things to Look for in a Pan
First, it is helpful to know what to look for in a pan. Quality can vary greatly when buying pots and pans, but you need to look beyond the price tag so that you can identify a quality pan (you can usually find these for affordable prices as well). First, you should always look out for heavy gauge materials as these will spread and hold heat much better for even cooking. A simple way to tell is to pick the pan up and feel its weight and knock on the bottom - a dull thud is a good sign and a light ping should be avoided.
In terms of materials, cast iron is always a smart choice as it will spread heat evenly and it is extremely durable. Stainless steel is popular and a good budget-friendly option, but keep in mind that cheap pots and pans will have trouble heating evenly and you may not be able to put a pan in the oven. Non-stick is good for beginners and another budget-friendly option, but they are not considered to be the best and will not last a long time.
You should also look out for pots and pans that have sturdy and secure handles that are screwed, riveted or welded. Additionally, all lids should fit tightly to keep moisture in.
Every Pan Has its Purpose
You also want to make sure that you are using the right pan for the right job. You can often buy bundled pan sets, which is a smart way to make sure that you have everything that you need and often a good way to save money. A few of the key items and their uses include:
Frying pan: Used for pan-frying food
Griddle pan: Suitable for frying at a higher temperature, including searing steaks
Dutch oven: Tall-sided pans for making soups and sauces, deep frying and simmering
Casserole pan: Similar to a dutch oven but with shorter sides. Designed for “low and slow” cooking, such as casseroles and stews
Hopefully, this post will be educational and help you to pick out the best pans and improve your cooking. It is often overlooked, but the equipment that you use to cook has a huge impact on the overall quality of the food that you plate up.