Vegetables Do start with a cold pan. Do fill pan to capacity when possible. This provides proper heat distribution and actually decreases cooking time. Do rinse fresh vegetables while in the pan, drain excess water with cover slightly ajar. Cover and start cooking on medium to medium high heat, when the valve steams turn burner to low or off. For frozen vegetables simply rinse pan first, fill to capacity and repeat process. Do not lift the lid or stir, it is not necessary and will increase cooking time. NOTE: Low temperature on a gas burner often times is not low enough, if this is the case you may want to invest in a diffuser; they are inexpensive and available at any kitchen store.
Meat Do preheat pan on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Place meat in pan 2 to 10 minutes or until meat releases from pan bottom. Flip meat once and cook for 2 to 10 minutes depending on preference.
Fish Do start with a cold pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with sliced lemons or oranges. Add fish (halibut or salmon are great cooked this way), season and cover. Start on medium heat. When valve steams or whistles, turn to low. Wait 10 to 20 minutes depending on thickness of fish. Shrimp and scallops are also great cooked this way!
Cakes Do preheat pan on medium low heat with cover on. If using electric skillet preheat to 275 degrees. Prepare batter and spray pan with cooking spray. Add batter and cover. Check after 20 minutes, wiping underside of cover with towel to remove moisture. Check with a knife or a toothpick. When knife or toothpick comes out clean, it is ready. Shake pan from side to side to loosen cake and place on plate. Approximate cooking time is 30 minutes.
Eggs Do not preheat skillet on medium low to medium heat when frying eggs. Spray bottom of pan with cooking spray and add eggs. Drop a tsp of water on top of each egg and place cover on pan. Turn to medium heat for 3 minutes (or until whistle) and turn to low. Leave for 1 minute. If you prefer soft eggs, remove cover earlier.
Soups Do add the recommended water to your soup recipe. You may wish to reduce the salt added to your soup. Instead of bringing to the boil and reducing to a simmer, you may now cover the pan and bring to a whistle and reduce to low. You may notice the soup takes less time and does not need salt added. This is because the food does not toughen at the high (boiling) temperature and the natural minerals (salts) remain in the food.
Pasta & Rice DO ADD WATER. As recommended by the recipe. Replace the cover and turn to medium, after the whistle turn to medium low and keep the cover on. Fresh pasta may be cooked over water using the steamer insert.