W.A.V.E.

COOKING UTENSILS: CHOOSING THE BEST PAN

One of the indispensable utensils in every kitchen is the frying pan . They are used for cooking, frying, sautéing, etc. We can practically do almost anything with them.
A frying pan consists of a metal bowl with normally low open edges (the edges may vary from very low as in the high-ripe sauté) and a handle that can be made of insulation plastic, of the same metal as the container or Of wood, to hold it. Most of them come coated with Teflon or another anti-stick , whichfacilitates the cooking or frying of foods, preventing them from sticking to the pan. Its is to have a pair of them, a small one of 20 to 25 cm in diameter and another large of 30 to 35 cm.

WILL WE BE CHOOSING THE BEST PAN?

When we buy a pan, we usually do not take into account certain basic aspects that are very important when choosing the right frying pan for our kitchen. The size, the shape of the cooking surface, the cast iron handle cover, the material with which they are made, the thickness, the quality / price ratio according to the use that we are going to give, etc, are things in which we have to look at The time to evaluate the best option. As common sense prevails, for example, if we are going to use a lot in the kitchen the pan we should look at the mid / high range because we are looking for something that will last us, it is also logical to look for the size that suits To our needs, etc.

HOW DO I START?

To begin with we have to be able to handle certain technical aspects that will be very helpful to us. These are: thermal conductivity , heat capacity and thermal diffusivity . They may look like abstract or difficult terms, but let’s not rip our garments yet. Below we will briefly explain each one of them and you will see that they are really very simple and easy to understand things and that we have all seen their effects in the kitchen. In addition, the importance of knowing this is that it will serve to distinguish and understand the function of each skillet according to material that is made and therefore choose and know how to use the best option.

THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY

When we cook what we do, basically, is to transmit energy from a source of heat to the food and, in addition, this is done by interposing some object (pan, frying pan …) that acts as a mediator, evenly distribute that energy and prevent the food from searing As would happen if we put it directly on a flame (think of the difficulty of preparing a soup over the fire without using any container). But not all materials will be suitable to give them this use. Because of their thermal qualities, metal utensils are generally used. But not all metals react in the same way when heat is applied to them and this is, among other things that we will explain later, because they have different thermal conductivity.

The thermal conductivity of a material is its ability to absorb and transmit (release) energy . When we put a pan on the fire or the glass-ceramic, the energy of that heat source is transmitted to the pan and increases its kinetic energy. It’s what we call ” warm up “. The heated material transmits the energy to nearby materials having a lower molecular energy level (which are at a lower temperature than the material). In other words, when we say that we heat a material, what actually happens is that there is an exchange of energy from the source of heat to the material that is colder, and this occurs (as we will see later) by vibrations of Its atoms, So that they start to vibrate more quickly by the contribution of energy and vibrate the surrounding atoms by expanding that energy. The more heat conductivity the material has, the faster it will heat up and the faster the heat will spread to unheated areas .

For example, stainless steel pans have poor conductivity, when we put them on the fire, the base is heated first, and then slowly the edges, so the center of the pan will be too hot when the edges have warmed. What has been done to avoid this is to make the bottom thicker , well, when it is hot, the top of the bottom of the pan will be further away from the heat source and the whole pan will heat more evenly.

What is desirable is that the pans heat up quickly , have no hotter points than others and react to the changes we make to regulate the heat we impart to food.

CAST IRON

It is heated slowly , retains the heat extremely well and distributes it uniformly even at high temperatures. These properties make batteries made from cast iron a good choice for frying or grilling. Some manufacturers suggest avoiding acidic ingredients when cooking with these containers because they can react and decrease the taste and color of foods. Traditional uncoated iron pots often go from one generation to the next, demonstrating their durability. Before using them for the first time you have to ” curethem , which is to heat them several times covered with oil to make the surface become non-stick. Some brands make them with a non-stick coating. To avoid the rust, you must carefully dry them after washing them and spread a thin layer of oil on the inside .

CARING FOR FRYING PANS

Lastly, indicate that taking care of our frying pans correctly will make them longer. The first thing is to follow the advice and directions that the manufacturer recommends .

– Use soft sponges (never metal scourers) and non-abrasive soaps to clean them and use the dishwasher if the manufacturer so indicates.
Do not leave the pans to soak too long . Although they are stainless, they will deteriorate faster if we keep them immersed in water for a long time.
Do not pass the frying pans directly to the scrubbing water . Allow them to cool, the very sudden change of temperature favors the deterioration of the non-stick coating.
Dry them after washing them and store them in a cool, dry place . In this way we will extend the life of our skillet taking care of the materials with which it is manufactured.
– If you keep them in one place, one on top of the other, put a piece of cardboard between them , in this way you will avoid that by stacking and recovering they will hit and form marks or chips.
Use spatulas and spoons (or other utensils) of wood or heat-resistant plastic to cook with them, so as not to damage the non-stick surface.

 

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