Waterless Cooking

Have you heard of the waterless cooking method? It is a relatively new method of cooking that has many advantages. In the past, a lot of household cooking has involved cooking food with water. When cooked in water, however, a lot of the food’s nutritional value, not to mention the flavor, is taken away. Waterless cooking allows you to cook food in it own juices, retaining all the vitamins and minerals as well as most of the original flavor. There is no need to add water to foods (especially vegetables) because the natural moisture in the food is released and the steam created helps the cooking process. The steam is circulated throughout the pot and falls back into the food allowing it to stay moist and juicy.

So what are the advantages to waterless cooking? First of all, it is an easy way to cook. Many times you can use a one-pan cooking method so that all the food (meat, veggies and potatoes) is cooked together. This also allows for easier clean up with only one pan to wash up. And the new waterless cookware, with its superior heat distribution, tends to have less chance of food burning or sticking.

Waterless cooking also tends to cook food a lot faster. With the new waterless cookware available now the heat is evenly distributed along the bottom of the pot or pan. Because of this, there are no ‘hot-spots’ that may tend to burn your food. The lid of the pot forms a seal, which locks in the heat (as well as the moisture) so the cooking time is decreased.

As mentioned, waterless cooking is a healthy way to cook. None of the nutrients are lost during cooking, and you don’t need to add oil to stop the food from sticking to the pan, which also makes it healthier. The natural color and texture of the food is also retained which makes the food more appealing. Foods that are supposed to be crisp tend to keep their crunchy texture as well.

The features of waterless cookware that allow this cooking method to work include a flat bottom on the pots and pans which allow the most efficient means of heat transfer. The flat bottom connects with your stove element better, whether it be the coils of an electric stove or a gas unit, so that the heat transfer is more efficient. The cookware also has an iron core and an aluminum or copper base plate built into it that helps to retain a continuous, constant cooking temperature even after the heating element has been turned off.

Waterless cookware is typically made of high-grade stainless steel, which is better than other traditional pans in a couple of different ways. The stainless steel does not allow the taste of the metal to transfer to your food, as may be the case with aluminum or Teflon-coated cookware. Some companies use surgical stainless steel, which is the highest grade you can get for a real quality product. The stainless steel is easy to clean, durable (enabling it to last an extremely long time) and it allows you to keep your cookware sterilized.

One of the main features of waterless cookware is the special lid that keeps the natural moisture in the food from escaping. The lid forms a seal with the pot and lets the natural juices form into steam so the food cooks in its own natural juices, retaining all the nutrients and original flavors. There is a steam valve that whistles and tells you when you should turn off the heat (once the juices have created sufficient steam). In this way you save energy when cooking and the food is always cooked at a constant temperature.

Although it is referred to as waterless cooking, one thing you should do before cooking with this method is to rinse your food in water and then drain it before cooking. This ensures there will be enough water clinging to the food to create enough steam, mixed with foods natural juices, to cook it properly.

Cooking times with the waterless cooking method is generally a little less than traditional cooking times, depending on personal tastes for doneness. You should always cook your food at medium to low temperatures because the special waterless cookware construction allows the unit to conduct heat in the most efficient manner. You must also resist the urge to lift the lid during the cooking process as this will lengthen the cooking time and may even allow the food to dry out when the steam escapes.

The steam valve will tell you when you should turn off your stove element-when the correct temperature has been reached to allow the food to cook itself. When the steam valve whistles, turn off your stove, but do not lift the lid until the specified cooking time has elapsed-then you can open the lid and serve out your hot food. As a tip, put warm water into the unit after the food has been removed and let it sit while you eat so clean-up will be a snap afterwards.

Most recipes can be adapted (with a few alterations) to using the waterless cooking method as well. You will discover that old favorites will taste better and new recipes will be simple to master. The waterless cooking method is a new and healthier way to cook. It is more energy efficient, allows the food to retain its own juices, texture and color, and is an easy way to cook.

Outdoor Cooking Methods

There are many reasons you may want to use one of the many outdoor cooking methods for your meals. Maybe you are going camping or you just want to grill outside in your backyard. Whatever your reason for using the outdoor techniques for cooking you need to understand what a few of them are and how they are can help you cook the proper type of food for you and your family.

You can choose from grilling with a few different types of grills to cooking over an open fire. It all depends on what you want to cook and why you have decided to cook outside. Below you are going to find a few different ways for cooking outside to choose from.

1. Gas Grill Cooking

One of the most popular methods of cooking outside is with a gas grill. This grill will take either natural gas or propane, which will be your main source of fuel for cooking. You may want to supplement the gas heat with wood chips so you can get more flavor since you are cooking with gas.

There are many advantages you will get when you cook with gas. It is one of the most convenient ways to cook because all you have to do is uncover your grill, flip a switch, and start cooking. It barely takes 10 minutes for your grill to get hot enough to cook on and compared to other outdoor cooking methods this is very fast.

Another great thing about cooking with a gas grill is the cleanup. It is very easy to clean a gas grill because there are no ashes or mess from charcoal dust or wood. You can let your grill stay hot for ten minutes after you are done cooking and scrape it down a bit and you will be all set. The heat will clean the grill on its own quite well.

The only downside to cooking with a gas grill is that you are going to taint the flavor of the food you cook with the gas a little bit. This doesn’t bother most people and you can use wood chips to help give your food a bit more flavor. If you use wood chips make sure you soak them in water for a while before you put them on the grill.

2. Charcoal Grill

A charcoal grill may be a better way to cook if you don’t want to taint the flavor of your food. There is nothing like getting that good smoky flavor into your food from the grill. Plus charcoal grills are much cheaper than gas grills because they are much simpler. There are many benefits to using a charcoal grill.

You can still use wood chips to help add flavor to your food and if you get the right tools you can light the charcoal and be ready to cook in about 20 minutes. This is a great way to cook outside if you don’t want to use gas, but you want to grill out anyway. You can lock in the great smoky flavor by using a charcoal grill and in most cases it is not as expensive.

Clean up is a bit more strenuous than using a gas grill, but most charcoal grills will have a way that you can dump the dust and ashes pretty easily. This is not much different than unhooking the tank from a gas grill every time it needs to be filled. You will have better tasting food with a more natural flavor with this outdoor cooking method.

3. Over an Open Wood Fire

If you are camping or you have a fire pit in your backyard another choice would be to cook over an open flame with a wood fire. This can allow you to keep the food tasting wonderful and cook in many different ways. You can take advantage of cooking things like cobblers in a Dutch oven or cooking many other dishes with the tools that are made for cooking over an open fire.

When you are camping and you are using a fire to cook most of your meals you can boil many things with simple pots and pans that are made for cooking. However, there are also tools that will allow you to build a pocket style sandwich and put it into the fire to cook. This is great for a pizza type of sandwich or anything else that can be toasted.

Many campers prefer to boil most of the food, but with an open fire you can roast marshmallows, hotdogs, and many other foods with a simple skewer that is long enough to put into the fire without burning your hand. There are many tools to help you cook food while camping and the most natural way to cook outside is over an open fire.

The outdoor cooking method you choose will have a lot to do with what you plan to do with your food. If you are simply cooking outside in your backyard choosing a grill type and cooking is much different than if you are camping out. Campers need more equipment and they have many choices for the tools they can use to cook over an open fire or even with gas burners.

If you want to keep your food tasting as natural as possible you will want to avoid using gas and stick with an open wood fire or charcoal. This is also the way you want to go if you are going to be smoking some type of meat. The smoky flavor comes from the charcoal or the wood you are using and if you use gas it will taint the flavor of the meat you are cooking.

It is up to you what type of cooking you want to do outside and if you are looking for something that is convenient and fast, then a gas grill is the best choice. However, if you are after flavor and you are not concerned about saving time you can either use a fire pit or a charcoal grill for your outdoor cooking needs.