The Secret Of A Well-Equipped Kitchen
Most of modern society's health problems are related to poor nutrition. Obesity, high blood pressure, heart condition, diabetes, even cancer, may have their roots in poor diet. To make things worse, we also lost the true appreciation for a good, tasty, healthy meal.
Fortunately, people are increasingly returning to their kitchens and to dusting up their grandmothers' cookbooks and rediscovering the delights of preparing food. Of course, to truly enjoy the art of cooking, the enthusiastic new chef needs right tools. That means at least few stone cookware pots, pans and casseroles, made of natural stone or baked clay.
Stone Has A History Of Keeping People Warm
In the old times, people used baking stones for all their cooking and even for keeping the home warm. Natural stone and baked clay retain heat for a long time and cook food evenly, keeping the flavors of food and spices. The next best thing is stone cookware, dishes made of natural stone or baked unglazed clay, which have the same properties. There is a range of unglazed clay cookware on the market, in all sizes and shapes. The most popular brand of true stone cookware is The Pampered Chef.
Choices In Stoneware
Everyone who appreciates nice, crusty home made pizza should not even try to bake it without the pizza stone, a slab of unglazed clay that makes pizza dough soft on the inside and wonderfully crunchy on the outside. People who love to barbecue can enjoy using the cooking stone, usually made of granite, which, once heated by your grill, makes perfect juicy chicken breast, fish or slice of green pepper. There is a whole range of pots, pans and casseroles made of unglazed clay that are unmatched for baking beans, slow-cooked stews, breads or just about anything else.
La Creuset - Stone?
Le Creuset stone cookware is very popular brand of "stoneware", best known for their brilliant colors and great design. They are actually made of cast iron and the inside is coated or lined with ceramic enamel. The cooking in this type of stoneware is similar in effect to cooking in true stoneware, as it retains heat for the long time and is non-stick. The difference is that the ceramic enamel is non-porous and does not retain food juices and flavors as true stone cookware.
Stone Coated And Stone Lined Wares
Stone coating or stone lining of heavy aluminum and cast iron is a new type of non-stick coating which is supposed to replace Teflon. Teflon has a bad reputation as health hazard if ingested, and the stone coating is said to be less unhealthy. The coating material is supposed to contain small particles of stone, which have the same effect on food as natural stone or baked clay. Unfortunately, there is no detailed information about this material, nor there is enough experience among user to accept this claim at its face value.
Caring For Stone Cookware
Because it is porous, stone cookware will absorb all the flavors it gets in contact with, so it has to be cleaned without detergent. Use only warm water and a sponge. With use, stone becomes "seasoned", and the longer you use it, the more "non-stick" it will become. You may want to speed up this process by making the first dish you cook in it something with large content of grease, like lasagna, or roast chicken. Always be aware that you are dealing with clay, which cracks if exposed to sudden difference in temperature. Warm it slowly in the oven and, when hot, do not let it get in contact with cold water. If you treat it well, you will have years of happy, productive use. And if they are lucky, your kids might one day inherit your favorite stone casserole or baking dish.
Stone cookware is appropriate for pizzas because of their even heating surface. Look for the stone outdoor pizza oven if you're an individual chef or the commercial pizza oven if you want to open up a restaurant. Consider picking up a pizza peel to help manage the pie.Popular Brands
There are a few very popular brands that people have come to trust over time.
A pizza stone is smoothed stone made of terracotta or other clay material which permits even heating of pizzas for a crisp texture.
Use a pizza peel (paddle) to put item in or take them out of the large capacity oven.
An outdoor wood-fired oven is perfect for hot days when indoors cooking is unecessarily hot.