Cast-iron is the premium medium for slow cooking food and locking in robust flavors. Not only do cast-iron pieces look good, but they are also practical. Cast-iron ovens are especially versatile in that they are great for slow-cooking cooking stews, sauces, chili and casseroles. Professional-grade cast-iron cookware is thick and heavy but imparts a higher iron content to food and will clean up easily. When a recipe requires slow-cooking and robust flavors, cast-iron cookware is the way to go.
Frying pans are probably the most heavily used items in your kitchen, the workhorses of your cookware collection. Frying pans serve many purposes, so an investment in professional-grade stainless steel and nonstick models will prove to be a smart decision. Stainless steel pans are great for cooking non-delicate foods and can efficiently saute, depending on the size of the pan. Nonstick pans are perfect for delicate foods such as eggs or pancakes. Better yet, nonstick pans need little to no oil so you can keep your recipes relatively healthy. Opt for at least one stainless steel pan and one nonstick pan for your kitchen.
A professional stainless steel saucepan that can hold at least three quarts is essential for your kitchen. It is a must-have for cooking soups, sauces and rice, and the stainless steel keeps the flavors to stay true and robust. Look for one that also has a helper handle, a lid and a pour spout to help make your cooking experience that much easier!
A stockpot is essential for boiling water and cooking pasta. Because the stockpot will get a lot of use, it's good to invest in a professional-grade pot. Professional-grade pots also use materials that distribute heat evenly, so food gets cooked evenly. Stockpots are also great for boiling seafood and preparing soup in bulk. Look for stockpots that come with removable strainer inserts and steam baskets, and pick a size that you think you'll use most often.
Roasters are a life-saver during the holiday season and are practical for everyday cooking as well. Turkey, large hams, lasagna, vegetables and potatoes are just a few things that roasters are built to cook. The most important part of the roasting pan is its durability and ability to distribute heat evenly. Copper and stainless steel roasting pans conduct heat very well, using less energy while cooking food faster. Professional roasting pans are usually large pans with a copper/stainless steel combination that can handle 500 degrees, and have double helper handles and a lid. Don't settle for less when it comes to a piece of cookware that you will be using often.
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