Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Is there a secret to cookware for vegans?

I think this question is fraught with fallacious arguments, although there are a few things that belong in the arsenal if you want to make life manageable. What is important is the staples you use, and you set up a program so you're always cooking ahead certain staples, so you can just reach for them during the week... For that, as I have pointed out in earlier blog entries, I recommend a top of the line Rice Cooker, with a GABA Brown Rice cycle. The timer will free you up tremendously. I start my breakfast before going to bed, so that it's ready at 6:30, and then I can setup anything for during the day, even lunch first, and dinner later, but in reality I cook these staples in batches for a few days.

But then it comes to pots and pans, and what is the best for cooking without oil, and sometimes even without water?

For the last forty years I have used Demeyere Silvinox, and these pans were designed to cook without oil or water. They stay beautiful, but they are a bit


Then, some of my favorite pans are Calphalon, and that is what Khokon, the owner of Packsun was using when we had our Oil-free Vegan dinner there. Calphalon is also high quality cookware, though again a bit pricey, but not as high as Demeyere.

Recently, I found some budget options, and they seem to work well, though I don't know if they'll last forty years. There is the Gotham Steel, Titanium & Ceramic Non-stick frying pan, and here is a Youtube video on it. I have used it for vegetables quite successfully, and I like it.
And lastly, there is the Red Copper (TM) pan, which is also a good candidate. And here is another review, which is quite impressive, and confirms my first impressions with this material. The green one in the video I have never tried.

The confusing part is that the Red Copper (TM) pan says to season it, while the Gotham Steel pan does not say so, and visually the materials look quite the same. You can get these everywhere in the city at Bed, Bath and Beyond, or online. I like the way both of these work with oil-free cooking of various vegetable dishes, and they remain easy to clean.

By comparison, for a while I had a Uniware Ecolon pan that also claims a ceramic coating, but I found it did not stay as easy to clean, or as forgiving for oil-free cooking. Different from the ceramic coating used in Red Copper and Gotham Steel, it does not tolerate steel utensils. To me this is not a big point per se, for I use mostly wood or silicon utensils for cooking, as I generally don't like any risk of scratching in any of my pans. For now, it is not one of my favorites.
But the choices are endless, but it does seem some pans are better than others, and quality does pay for itself. Notice how Demeyere claims 30% lower energy consumption, that really does make a difference also. Quality does pay.

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