Getting The Most From Your Cookware

Stove-Top baking: Your cookware provides added versatility and fuel savings by allowing you to bake cakes and breads on top of the stove. Prepare batter or dough according to recipe. Preheat pan for 3 to 4 minutes over low heat. Coat interior of pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and cover then adjust heat to lowest setting for the time specified. (Slight adjustments may be required during the baking cycle.) During the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking time, lift the cover slightly to remove extra moisture. Cakes and breads will bake to a light brown.

Using cookware in the oven: Your cookware has phonolic handles which are oven-safe up to 350 degrees. However the oven must be fully preheated (indicated by light going off) before placing pans inside, as the preheat setting might exceed 350 degrees. CAUTION: Be certain the broiler unit is turned off, as it could cause blistering of the handles.
Stack cooking: Prepare entire meal over one burner is just one more way your cookware conserves fuel or electricity, and saves space! Foods are cooked in separate pans stacked one upon another, or the pans can be inserted within one another. Follow these simple rules.

  • a. Always place the larger utensils on the bottom, using a flat surface lid (i.e. dome cover or inverted casserole.)
  • b. The large utensils on the bottom is the best suited for preparing those foods requiring longer cooking items, such as, roast, poultry, ham or stew.
  • c. The upper utensils serve for preparing foods of lighter weight and volume; including cooking frozen or fresh vegetables, fruits, sauces and pudding. The pans on top are also used for melting butter, margarine, candies or to warm rolls, leftovers and other foods.
  • d. Preheat lower utensil over medium setting, then add meat. Brown on all sides then cover.
  • e. Add potatoes, vegetables or other foods in time needed to cook them before meal is done. They can be cooked in the inset by placing pan within the lower utensil. First remove cover from base pan and place rack on it above the meat. Set insert pan on rack and re-cover quickly.
  • f. Vegetables, fruits and other foods must be started in a sauce pan and then placed on top of the larger pan with flat cover. It is not necessary to use this method for the top utensils if only melting or keeping foods warm.

The whistle vent: Start temperature at medium to medium high, when the vent whistles turn the burner down to low or off (for fast cooking food, such as broccoli).
The solid cover: Start temperature at medium to medium high, when you are able to spin the cover freely while it is resting on the pan, turn the burner down to low or off.
Select the correct size range unit: The diameter of the range top and cooking unit should correspond in size. If cooking on a gas range, the flam should not extend up the sides of the cookware. Select the proper sized pot when cooking. The best results are obtained when the pot is at least half full. This is especially true when cooking vegetables. Never attempt to cook a small quantity in a large pan.
Use little or no water: Place vegetables in pan and cover with cold water. Pour off quickly. The moisture that clings to the food (approximately 1 to 2 tbls) is enough for cooking. Remember some water is necessary for dried fruits, cereals, etc.
How to make sure a vapor seal is formed: If the valve has whistled or steam escapes from around the cover, the heat setting is too HIGH. Reduce the heat. If you cannot spin the cover freely while the cover is resting on the pan, the heat setting is too LOW. Increase the heat slightly. If the cover spins freely, you are cooking at the proper temperature.
Don’t break the seal: When you lift the cover to check the food, try to replace it as soon as possible. To reform the vapor seal, turn up the heat to medium for about a minute to re-form the water seal. Then return the heat to LOW and continue cooking. After cooking, a utensil may have such a snug water seal that the cover will “lock on” and be difficult to remove. For safety, simply reheat the utensils until the cover loosens.
High Heat- the #1 Mistake Use low to medium cooking temperatures. The cookware is designed especially to cook all foods at a low to medium setting. You preheat on medium you COOK on low. If vapor continues to escape over a low setting, reduce to warm or simmer. If this setting is too high, you can use a flame tamer under your pot. You may use the high setting, but it is not necessary.
Keep your handles and knobs tight If a handle or knob loosens, tighten it. Use a screwdriver for the handles.
Preheating test: When you have to preheat a pan, such as for meats, chickens, use a medium high setting for 3 to 4 minutes. You can tell the pan is preheated by adding a few water droplets to the pan. If the water beads and begins to sizzle and bounce, the pan is ready. When cold meat is placed into a preheated utensil it will stick at first, but as the meat browns fat is released, it will loosen. A small amount of cooking oil may be necessary when preparing foods containing sugar or no natural fats, such as eggs. Just enough to cover the surface is sufficient.
Vapor seal when using a high dome lid: When roasting turkey, chicken, beef, pork, or wild game, a water seal must be present at all times in order to assure satisfactory results. The following directions should make it easier to use this time and money saving method of cooking:

  1. Use medium heat until bubbling occurs.
  2. Then reduce heat gradually (to retain moisture in the rim) to low.
  3. There should always be a ring of water in the rim and the lid should float or spin freely. If it grates and drags, you have lost the seal and need to raise your heat slowly until the water ring appears again.

If you follow these instructions you can be assured of tender meat, cooked with less shrinkage in half the time. Depending on the stove and size of pan used, it will take 5 to 15 minutes to get a water seal.
Soaking While the pan is still warm (not hot) add hot water and let soak until the pan cools.
If your family has different eating hours which requires holding food for long periods, try using your skillet or roaster with the dome lid and stacking. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how appetizing and fresh it still looks after hours of waiting, with the temperature set on the “warm” setting.
Final Thoughts During the preparation of meals, learn to start your longest cooking vegetable first. Meats that are roasted usually take longer, but pan-broiled meats generally only take 10 to 15 minutes. That way everything will be done at the same time.

MDR Healthy Cooking
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