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Professional Cookware for professional chefs

Whether you are just starting out in the kitchen or have many years experience you will produce better quality meals by using professional cookware. There are a multitude of brands, makes and styles to choose from. The best cookware for you is a matter of personal choice.

The professional cookware used by one person could easily be considered unacceptable by another. This article will give you impartial advice on the different types of cookware available. A popular material for professional chefs is stainless steel cookware.

This is popular due to the fact that stainless steel cookware is resistant to scratches and dents. However, there are many professional chefs that do not like stainless steel cookware as it does not conduct heat on an even basis. As a result it is quite possible to ruin a meal you have spent a lot of time on. Another option is to use aluminium cookware which is particularly popular for bake ware. It is important that aluminium cookware is coated or anodised to give it protection. This protection is necessary as aluminium has a tendency to scratches and dents.

It is also subject to reacting with alkaline and acidic substances which results in the food it is contact with changing colour. The food will look burnt even though it isn't. If this happens you will certainly lose marks for presentation even if you don't for taste.

Copper cookware is a strong preference for professional chefs for the simple reason of copper's ability to conduct heat evenly. Copper cookware is probably the most popular cookware used by chefs. It is generally considered to be a good investment. However, it is generally the most expensive cookware. On the downside, copper cookware suffers from similar problems to aluminium cookware in that it scratches easily and food tends to stick to the bottom and sides.

Cast iron cookware is very resilient and can last a lifetime if looked after properly. New cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned (also known as cured) to make it effective. Seasoning is achieved buy rubbing fat over the cookware. The fat can be any type such as vegetable oil or animal fat.

The cookware should be then left in a hot oven for at least an hour. The process should be repeated several times until the cast iron cookware becomes black. This makes the cookware non stick.

It is a bit more labour intensive at the beginning but the end result is that you have cookware that will last for years and years. One last thing to remember here is that when you clean the cookware you should not leave it to soak in water. This not only makes it susceptible to rust but it also tends to dissolve the fat coating on the cookware. Glass cookware remains a popular favourite. It can be very decorative and is generally a lot easier to clean than metal cookware. It can withstand variations in temperature and in most cases can be used on top or the range.

It is important that the correct methods of cleaning are used. These should be non-abrasive self polishing cleaners. Stubborn stains can be removed by leaving the cookware to soak in water. The phrase 'you get what you pay for' applies to professional cookware as much as anywhere else.

You should avoid buying cheap cookware as the odds are it will not last long and will not perform as well as better quality cookware. Look to buy a brand name. Many of the better brands have online advice and tips as well as recipes to try. Compare prices online to those in the good department stores.

Michael Saville has written more articles about professional cookware. These can be found at http://www.vicariously.net/food The site provides information and advice on all aspects of cookware as well as other food and drink items.

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