bridal season, birthdays, whatever the occasion if the person you are buying
a gift for cooks, or wants to learn, a kitchen focused gift is always welcome.
decent set of pots and pans can make the difference between tasty meals and burnt
food the secret to any top chef's success.
couples, the popularity of online bridal
registries and the growing availability of professional-quality products takes
the guess work out of wedding and shower gift giving, but if you need a present
for Christmas, another holiday or a special occasion, you'll have to do a bit
of prep work before selecting the cookware to give.
You may be surprised
to find that basic kitchenware pots, pans and baking sheets can
be found at the top of many wish lists. Whether you're dealing with a gourmet,
professional level chef or someone just starting out learning to boil water, cooks
in the kitchen need "stuff" to cook in.
you buy, learn about the differences in types of cookware
provides excellent heat transfer, is lightweight, easy to clean and non-stick
coatings are available. Aluminum is good for everyday cooking and is great for
low-oil or low-butter recipes. The thickness of the metal varies. Less expensive
pans tend to be thinner which can cause uneven cooking. Acidic foods can react
if they come in contact with the bare aluminum, so make sure to get a non-stick
coating if you opt for this metal.
iron can last a lifetime, is great for cooking but can be very heavy. For
traditional cooks who enjoy bringing out robust flavors in foods, cast iron is
a top choice. The thickness of the cast iron spreads heat evenly and makes
food less likely to burn. Traditional cast iron cookware 'seasoning'
techniques are now applied before purchase in most cast iron cookware.
is an excellent heat conductor. Visually attractive, it is for the designer
cook who enjoys quality and the art of cooking. The outside surface of the copper
will react to heat when the pans are used and will require polishing to keep that
designer look. You may want to include pretreated copper shining cloths if you
decide to give copper bottom pans.
steel is durable and requires low maintenance.
It also offers a bright surface. Since stainless steel is a poor head conductor by itself, most stainless steel cookware will be combined with another metal such as copper or aluminum to aid in heat transfer Stainless is great for talented and aspiring
chefs who take cooking and taste seriously. Choose from pans with multi-layers
or a conductive bottom for best results.
Porcelain-clad steel is durable and provides even heating, especially in ovens. This is
the most popular type of roaster for meats and oven-roasting recipes.
the cookware to the cook
any occasion, the Cookware Manufacturers Association offers the following tips
to help guide your gift search...
Consider the person who'll use the cookware. Ask about their cooking
habits and skills. Find out what they have and what they may need to avoid giving
2. Select quality, heavy-gauge cookware, gadgets and kitchen
utensils durable enough for a long life even with everyday use. (ED NOTE: when rapped lightly with your knuckles, a piece of heavy guage cookware should sound like a dull thud. Less durable cookware will result in a light "ping".)
3. Really good quality cookware can be expensive. Look for sales and if a full
set is out of your price range, think about purchasing just one or two items.
Usually a roasting pan, large skillet or cooking pot with a cover is an
appreciated, useful choice.
It takes more than just pots & pans ....
Spice rack: a great idea
for the beginner chef.
means prep gadgets that make preparing food easier are any cook's friend.
These are the types of items that even aspiring gourmet cooks don't buy for themselves
and make perfect food focused gifts.
Good quality utensils in an attractive holder,
mandoline slicers, mixing bowls, knife sets, pasta machines, sushi press kits,
a set of whisks... are all items that make cooking more pleasant.
thermometers, peelers and injectors are also handy tools to help get the recipe
just right. Cookie cutters and a cookie baking sheet are welcome in any kitchen.
An attractive tea pot for boiling water with a handle that will not get
hot or burnt is a great gift idea.
Crock pots and breadmakers are easy, time saving
helpers to fill a kitchen with delicious aromas no matter how much experience
the chef brings to the meal.
racks with a variety of preground, good quality spices are a good gift for the
starting chef. A nice, solid mortar and pestle comes in handy for the grow-your-own
or fresh herb lover.
a look around in a local chef's supply shop or check the online cooking supply
sites for other good ideas.
If your gift hits the spot, you may wind up getting
invited to some delicious meals as a special thank-you for a thoughtful and useful gift!
Source... www.cookware.org - Courtesy of ARA Content