Choose the Best Cookware On A Budget

While cooking is often put into the “home science” category, you cannot deny that it does carry a large measure of artistry. True artists in the kitchen, just like painters and sculptors, know that the best way to turn out true art is to have the best tools you can afford. When it comes to cooking, that means quality cookware.
Learning to create varied quality cuisine calls for a lot of trial and error, but having the best cookware on a budget to cut down your cost.
The best cookware for sauces is made of copper. Copper reacts quickly to temperature changes, so when the stovetop temperature is reduced, the pan will cool quickly to avoid scorching or burning the sauce. Copper also cooks more evenly than other metals used for cookware.
Cookware for sauteing also can be made of copper or alternatively of anodized aluminum. That’s because the saute process fries food quickly on high heat, so the right pan is one that keeps heat and responds well to temperature changes. Stainless steel that has a layer of aluminum or copper sandwiched between layers of steel is the best cookware. Nonstick cookware can be used, but the layer of material that keeps food from sticking doesn’t retain heat very well, so sauteing can prove chancy with this type of cookware.
When it comes to stir frying, most cooks agree that the Chinese pan with steeply angled sides known as a wok is the best quality. Woks come in different sizes and materials, but in two main shapes: flat or round-bottomed, the traditional version. Flat-bottomed woks are the best cookware for electric stoves, while the round-bottomed version works for gas ranges. A wok must conduct heat well, since stir frying needs high hear. Carbon steel, cast iron or aluminum are the most popular metal choices for woks that make the best cookware.
Roasting pans are another staple of cookware to which chefs pay close attention. The cooking method of roasting requires even conduction of heat, so the best metals for this purpose (again!) are copper and aluminum. Roasting pans made of copper, anodized aluminum or stainless steel lined with aluminum or copper are the preferred choices. In addition, the chef can choose whether to use a roasting rack. Some cooks like the roast to cook in its own juices for flavor, and for providing the basis of a sauce or gravy. Others prefer to raise the roast out of its juices so that the fat drips away and more air circulates around the meat. Cook’s choice.
Whether you want to specialize in sauces, sauteing, stir-frying or roasting, always purchase the very best cookware you can afford. No cook has ever gone wrong investing in the best cookware enough to last a lifetime of delicious meals.

The two knives every chef begins with

As a starter set for her I suggest the two knives every chef begins with — a 3 1/2- to 4-inch paring or utility knife, and a 7 to 8-inch chef’s knife. With the paring knife she can slice, peel, bone and fillet. With the chef’s knife she’ll mince, chop, dice and even carve like a pro. Later you can add others.
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One of the brands I’ve test-driven for a long time, and one that gets high marks from professionals for its price-quality ratio, is the Forschner by Victorinox’s Fibrox line. Their chef’s knives are in the $30 range and paring knives are as low as $7. If she’s anything like me, she’ll still be using these knives years from now. Even with those three-figure knives ready and waiting in my knife block (my profession was the excuse for the splurges), these two usually end up by the sink waiting to be washed.
Along with them, get her the perfect knife sharpener for beginners, the AccuSharp knife and tool sharpener. It uses sharpening pieces that are preset at the correct angle so you can’t ruin your blades, and costs about $15.
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One last thing: Caution her to never, ever put a knife in the dishwasher — it ruins the blade’s tempering. Hand wash and dry it as you go.
Here’s a recipe she can practice on to try out her knife skills. It’s a good Sunday night supper too. The list of ingredients might give you pause, but trust me, the salad comes together easily. Cook the eggs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. And do the same with the dressing.
Article source: Splendid Table