There are many cooking ways that most people do not know about. The cookware you use may completely change your dish. A saute pan is instrumental cookware that regular pans and utensils cannot replace.
Sauteing is the process followed while cooking food in a saute pan. The food is sauteed at very high temperatures using fat substances like oil, butter, or ghee. Due to this, the food is prepared faster than other methods like boiling or microwaving.
How does one know when the food is ready?
When the food turns brown, it indicates it is ready to be served. It also adds an odour that adds extra taste to the food. However, one has to be careful not to cook the food at high temperatures for a long time as it might burn the food.
Saute pans can be used to cook many dishes. They are pretty versatile. The cooking methods, temperature, and ingredients might vary, but the sauteing process remains the same.
Saucy and juicy dishes- Curries and casseroles that are quite fluid can be cooked in pans. The sides of the pan are designed in such a way that the food does not get spilt. The pan’s surface is large enough to cook fast food and fry the sauces. It also results in minimized sloshing.
Cooking meat- The pan’s surface is quite broad, which helps cook large pieces of meat. Large amounts of meat can be cut easily at high temperatures. Non-stick pans have the added advantage of the meat not sticking to the pan. They also do not let the food leave residue and can be washed easily. Large steak or chicken breasts can be cooked with ease with such pans.
Can be used to cook food in the oven- The earlier prepared dishes can be heated again to serve hot. Certain items like risotto, lasagna, pasta, etc. can be finished by baking in the oven.
Things to remember while buying a pan
Material of the pan- The material has to be of good quality. Purchasing a non-stick pan has the added advantage of being washed easily. It is best advised to buy a pan with a mixture of more than one type of material like stainless steel, aluminium, cast iron, etc. The heat is spread out evenly due to the presence of aluminium, while stainless steel helps the pan’s durability.
Size of the pan- Different pan sizes must be considered before purchasing one. This is because all types and quantities of food cannot be cooked in the same pan. For instance, the preparation of chicken breasts requires a larger pan as compared to frying vegetables.
The size and shape of the handle- The handle should be attached to the pan so that the heat does not travel to it. It has to be made of heat-resistant material and is easy to hold. The handle is an essential component of pans as the entire sauteing process depends on its ease.
Methods to cook
Dry heat- This means the food can be cooked in a preheated pan with a bit of oil. Dry heating is used for cooking various spices before adding them to curries. It is most commonly used to heat fats like butter and ghee, so they do not get burnt.
Direct heat- This is the most common way to use a pan, by placing the pan directly above the burner. However, it only cooks one side of the meat. It has to be constantly flipped and sauteed for the whole piece to be cooked. This process is the quickest and most efficient compared to other heat methods.
Indirect heat- The food can be cooked in the oven. Indirect heat means that there is no use of fire. It is a slow process compared to the direct heat method. It is also known as baking.