by Cameron Curtis in How-to, February 11th, 2014
by Catherine McCord in How-to, February 7th, 2013
Every cookware surface has its own set of rules to guarantee correctly cooking food and a long life on your shelf. Whether your cabinets are stocked with nonstick, cast iron or stainless steel (or you’re thinking about a set to invest in), these tips will keep your pots and pans properly cared for.
When cooking with nonstick pans use medium heat or lower. High heat on a coated pan will shorten its shelf life. Because temperatures can soar, don’t preheat an empty pan. Add food or even oil from the start. Keep in mind that foods prepared in a nonstick pan will not brown well, as high heat is necessary for a seared surface to develop. Foods won’t be able to adhere to the surface and form the browned bits that make up a golden crust.
Cast-iron skillets can be used everywhere, from the stovetop (to make the best pancakes you’ve ever had) to the oven (for my family’s favorite Chicken With Caramelized Lemons Olives and Tomatoes) to the grill (for those warm summer nights when nothing sounds better than grilled corn on the cob, burgers and sweet baked beans).
When a cast-iron skillet is seasoned well, it can develop an almost non-stick surface perfect for cooking omelets and other foods using less oil for cooking. An added benefit is cast iron’s ability to leach small amounts of iron into food.
A cast-iron skillet is one of the least expensive kitchen tools you’ll ever purchase and it’s the type of kitchenware that tends to get passed down through the generations. So if you didn’t inherit granny’s cast-iron skillet that always made her famous cornbread, then get one for yourself and start the tradition in your family.