Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Safe Cookware

Someone asked about safe food storage containers and cookware in a group I'm in, so it inspired me to show you what I use regularly.

Part 2: Cookware

As for cookware, I regularly use stainless steel saucepans, ceramic lined skillets, a giant steel wok, lots of old Pampered Chef stoneware, and a I have 3 sizes of stainless steel pressure cookers. I have a stainless steamer basket, too.
I use the smaller pressure cooker at least once a week.

The pressure cookers save a lot of time when prepping for the week. Cooking time is cut significantly for beans and brown rice. The pressure cookers are also great as stock pots for soups and stews and can be used for canning and preserving.

10' braiser/baker comes with silicone handle grips

I recently invested in an Xtrema Ceramcor Braiser/Baker with cover. If you choose to go the full ceramic route, be prepared for a learning curve. These pots and pans heat up slowly, and retain heat well after the stove is turned off. They are versatile for the stovetop, oven and broiler and pretty enough to serve from at the table. Learn more about their products here: Ceramcor

While I do own a cast iron skillet, I rarely use it. I do use my wok regularly.  I use the stoneware for
baking, but if I were to buy new I might go with glass baking dishes to save money and be able to stick everything in my fancy new dishwasher. I  have a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish and several of my glass dishes that I regularly use for storage are also able to go in the oven.

I have a wide range of stoneware, and it's lasted me 15-20 years so far. I have 3 sizes/shapes of flat stones, a loaf pan, a square pan, an oval pan, a muffin pan, a bar pan, a mini bar pan, and 2 sizes of round bakers. It sounds like a lot, but they were collected years ago over time when those Pampered Chef parties were all the rage.

The one item I don't think I could do without is my Vitamix. While technically not cookware, I feel the need to include it as I use it every day. I make my own nut butters, flours, hummus, dressings, smoothies, whole food juices, and more. I grind my own coffee beans and when my kids were little I made baby food in it. I've even cooked hot soup with it.

I had my machine for 22 years when I recently called for a blade replacement because it wasn't performing up to snuff. . For about $80 more than a new blade assembly, I got a refurbished new model, with a 5 year complete warranty, with their trade-in program. My “new” Vitamix ended up costing me half of what I could buy one for at Costco! While others may balk at the price, I feel like I got a great value and a product that served me faithfully for over two decades. Here's the model I currently own: C Series Vitamix