Waterless Cookware Knowledge


A little knowledge related waterless cookware.

Really Waterless?

Most foods contain much water, here are some examples:

Raw potatoes contain 79% water

Raw carrots contain 87% water

Raw iceberg lettuce contains 96% water

Raw tomatoes contain 94% water

White meat chicken with skin contains 69% water

Chicken fryer, whole contains 66% water

Ground beef 85% lean contains 64% water

So actually, you are not cooking without water. For leafy vegetables such as spinach, if you just rinsed you don't need add any water. If it's dried again, you may add 1 or 2 tablespoons. You'll need a small amount of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot if you're cooking dry foods such as rice,noodle and pasta.

18/0,18/8,18/10

18/8 means that this stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 18/10 is 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The higher the numbers the more corrosion resistant the material.

Both 18/8 and 18/10 contain nickel and are part of the grade family "300 series" stainless.

18/0 means that there is 18% chromium but zero nickel. When there is no nickel the stainless grade family is the "400 series". 400 series are not as corrosion resistant as the 300 series and are magnetic, where the 300 series are non-magnetic.

Therefore the more expensive/better/shinier stainless steel alloys have MORE nickel. Those alloys with more nickel are more corrosion resistant and have a brighter shine/luster.

304 Surgical Stainless Steel

Surgical Steel is often used when referring to T304 (or Type 304) stainless steel.T-304 18/10 surgical contains titanium, 18% chromium and 10% nickel, providing strength, durability, corrosion resistance, and easy to clean and a gleaming appearance that will last a lifetime.

Hospitals use surgical stainless steel because it can be kept clean, sterile and will not interact with foods. So 304 Surgical Stainless Steel is high grade stainless steel.

Other Surface Materials of Cookwares

Aluminum is lightweighted,conduct heat well and inexpensive. But aluminum is easy to leach out to the food, making food the aluminum smell. On the other hand, aluminum is associated with Alzheimer's disease. Though there is no definite link proven,it's better to becaureful. The longer food is cooked or stored in aluminum, the greater the amount that gets into food. Leafy vegetables and acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus products, absorb the most aluminum.

Now aluminum is usually used conjuntion with other material such as stainless steal.

Teflon coated cookware is suitable for pan fry cooking and easy stick food. But it also has many argues about its affect on health. Studies show that PFOA, main material that makes from teflon coat is 'likely' to cause cancer in rats and will finish prodct by 2015. Another material e-PTFE (Gore-Tex), which is used in surgery in several medical fields, will used in teflon coated cookware.

However, if you are using teflon coated cookwares, you should plan to discard them after one year regular use. The coat is easy to be scratched. This will cause aluminum leach into the food as most metal beneath the coat is aluminum.

Another disadvantage of teflon coated cookware is that if it is heated over 350°C or 650°F, the coatings can give off irritating or poisonous fumes.This might happen if you left an empty pan or pot on a burner.

Copper cookware is not so popular. It conduct heat very well,response fast, suitable for sauteeing and especially for delicate sauces. But it's bad in heat retention and so not suitable for deeply fry and slow simmer.

The danger is that it'll cause your health problem when you have some amount of copper intake. And you don't know how to control the copper intake when using copper cookware.

Cast iron cookware provides iron which is essential to our red blood cell. Large amount of iron is harmful. But it seems that most of us lack iron in our body. Cast iron cookwares maintain heat well, working especially well for slow simmering.

But cast iron cookware is heavyweight and ugly, so it's less used now than previous.

5-ply, 7-ply

A ply means a layer of metal. Theoretically more plies a cookware has, the thicker of the bottom and faster and more evenly heat spread. Practically,there is no too much different for 5-ply,7-ply and 9-ply on heat spread. Waterless cookware must have at least 5 plies. 7-ply is the best and 9-ply is a little heavier.

Stainless steel is corrosion resistance, temperature resistance, beauty highly durable, so it's used on the surface(both inside and outside) to protect both the food and the cookware. While aluminum conducts heat well and so it's used as inner layers.

Here is a 5-ply constructure.

304 Surgical Stainless Steel
Aluminum Alloy
Pure Aluminum
Aluminum Alloy
Surgical Stainless Steel

Here is a 7-ply constructure.

304 Surgical Stainless Steel
Carbon Steel
304 Surgical Stainless Steel
Aluminum Alloy
Pure Aluminum
Aluminum Alloy
AISI 430 Stainless Steel



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