VIVE’s Guide to Essential Cooking Tools and Utensils – Part 2

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Our 2nd part of Cooking Essential Tools and Equipment focus on the pans and pots our Chefs think will help you cook almost everything.

Check out our secret Cooking tools that our chefs use for cooking so that you can be highly efficient!

1. Cast-Iron French Oven: large and multi-use pot has been around for centuries, usually made of cast iron and complete with a tight-fitting lid, dutch ovens are known for its ability to retain heat and hold food at a steady temperature during and after cooking. It can be used for frying, braising, baking, stews, slow cooking and poaching food. In fact it is so versatile and so reliable that if you had to buy 1 item and only one, we would recommend this one without a doubt. In our kitchen, we use Chasseur Cast-Iron French Oven since day 1 and it never failed us, in fact it is probably the pot that is the most used in our kitchen. Tip from our Chefs: Make sure to use a “dry” kitchen towel when you are handling the pan as the heat will transfer to the handle too. If you need further information about what size to choose from, email us at info@vivecookingschool.com.au, it would be our pleasure to help.

2. Stockpot: is designed for making stock (the base for soups and sauces). A great stockpot is designed to heat rapidly, to simmer long and evenly. It should be large enough to cover a whole chicken and lots of veggies with room to spare. We use it in our kitchen to boil lobsters or a large batch of corn on the cob or dried/fresh pasta. And of course we make all our stocks using this pot. Please note that it is important to keep or make sure you have the lid.

3. Saucepan: a cooking utensil that is round in shape with high, straight sides and a longer handle. Equipped with a tight-fitting cover, the saucepan can range in sizes to hold contents for one point or in sizes up to four quarts. It’s perfect when you don’t have a ton of room to manoeuvre but still need to have the job done, use a small saucepan. It’s great for cooking rice and other grains and reheating leftovers and, for sure, making sauces, such as bolognese. f you need further information about what size to choose from, email us at info@vivecookingschool.com.au, it would be our pleasure to help.

4. Cast-iron pan: are so durable, healthier and useful that our Chefs all agreed that this is worth the investment. You can pan fry, shallow fry, pretty much anything you want. The heat is more even and the retention of heat helps to keep your dishes warm longer. You can place the pan safely in the oven, to finish of the perfect steak or make dessert like Tarte Tatin. If you maintain it properly it has a natural non-stick property. If you have been to our school, you will notice that our brand of choice is Chasseur. We chose this brand because the quality is impressive and the cost is reasonable. In fact one of our Chef has inherited a Chasseur Cast-Iron Pan from his great grandmother, which is a pot that date prior to WWII and still cook amazing dishes. Tip from our Chefs: Make sure to use a “dry” kitchen towel when you are handling the pan as the heat will transfer to the handle too.

5. Non-Stick Pan: a very handy pan to have in the kitchen. Cooking a fried egg, omelet, tortillas or even Crepes it is an absolute pleasure to cook with a Tefal non stick pan. Our Chefs recommend that you are careful not to use sharp and metal utensils to grab food from the pan, it can damage the pan and become less healthier for you.

+ Versatile lid: not all of the pans will come with lids. Using a lid in your cooking can prove to be quite useful. You can steam, or encourage evaporation to thicken sauces, or increase the speed of cooking. Most pots and pans may already include a lid so make sure to keep them.

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We want to hear what you think about this article, or what you would like us to write about next! Write to us at info@vivecookingschool.com.au.

VIVE Cooking School is for passionate home cooks of all ages looking for a deeper connection with how they shop, source, prepare and share food. Learn more about us.

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Jean-Luc Tan
Jean-Luc, founder of VIVE Cooking School, managed to quit coffee in Oct 2019. He likes to think he is a healthy eater, but truth be told: he can't resist Maccas Apple Pie and anything that is deep fried!
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