Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cooking Bouge

ooking is an important part of life, it's what provides nourishment for our body and gives us the energy to work so that we may shop for wonderful things.  And thus, the cookware we choose is equally important.  You can buy cookware that will last you a few years, or you can buy cookware that lasts a lifetime.  The price differential is about double.  Personally, I prefer to be set for life.

All-Clad is the manufacturer of choice when it comes to solid performance; both in the way it performs in the kitchen and in how long it lasts.  With proper care (which requires little more effort than reading this blog), this cookware will last several generations.  The savvy shopper can even take the most disgusting looking All-Clad cookware from eBay or consignment shops and easily restore it for daily use.  In short, this is an investment that will truly pay off.  Even as you head to the nursing home to be fed dinner at 4pm by the cook staff, you can be assured that your All-Clad dishes can be sold and fetch a good price.  Here's the scoop:

Founded in 1960, All-Clad is the last true American cookware company remaining, with American workers forging American steel in southwestern Pennsylvania.  With it's bonded aluminum and steel, it offers superior even cooking across all areas of the pan.  Careful attention is applied both to the composition of the metal as well as the construction, and no corners are cut.  All-Clad today provides several lines of cookware, from their original and classic stainless steel (aluminum core, polished stainless exterior) to MC2 (solid aluminum core with brushed steel exterior) to LTD to LTD2 to Copper Core and more.  They even offer new non-stick surfaces as well which, despite my loathing of the concept, offer far better staying power for the nonstick surface than all other nonstick pans I've tried.  I've chosen the MC2 because I like the non-fussy exterior that develops a patina of sorts over time.


For those used to the convenience of nonstick, you'll be instantly impressed with how well the All-Clad stainless pans clean up.  Soak them for about 15 mins and wash with soap and water and a non-abrasive scrubber and you'll quickly find that they gleam as if they're new without that classic "elbow grease" required for similar pans.

Like other pan manufacturers, All-Clad provides "sets" of pans for purchase.  You can also buy them individually.  I'd steer clear of the sets; while they cost less per pan, you'll quickly find that these sets come with items you'd never use, thus losing your price advantage that sets offer.  Instead, buy one or two pans to get you started and then add to your collection based on need.  Cleaning requires soap and water, nothing else.  Make sure the soap is the creamy stuff like that which you'd use on your hands, and a non-abrasive scrubber.  When cooking, make certain to use wooden utensils for stirring.  If after cleaning your pan you see bluish water marks, you can either forget about it or gently apply a powder cleanser (like Bartender's Keep) to the pan to remove it.  Use a sponge and clean in circles, following the "grain" of the metal.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  I doubt you'll be disappointed!

--A

3 comments:

  1. I've been cooking peppers and onions in the skillet on the grill a lot lately. I'll have to add jalapenos next time. Yum. I like cooking bacon that way too, although hot fat + open flame adds a nice element of danger. I used to get flank steak, but my husband got me to try the carne asada cut from our local market, and I prefer it. Not sure if it's thin-cut flank or skirt (I'll have to ask), but it looks like this 

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