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Pots, Pans & Kitchen Utensils

Kitchen utensils are mostly a common ground in many different cuisines around the world, as the cooking methods are almost the same, especially in the western hemisphere. When it comes to Italian cooking there is almost no difference, but there is a few items that should always be part of your kitchen arsenal. This is in no way an exact list, many of the tools are not even known in the US, those will be left for another section or addition to our site. Special attention should be pay to the characteristics of the pots and pans, like thick bottoms, enamel coated, etc., as they will determine the even distribution of heat and helping not to burn food. I can’t emphasize enough on the quality of kitchen utensils, pots, pans and knifes, buy the best you can afford. Different pots and pans require different care depending on the materials use to make them, and of course they all have their advantages and uses.

Pots and Pans

Copper
The best heat conductors but they are expensive, dent easy and require a special cleaning care, never wash with detergent, a sponge or rag lightly soaked in vinegar is the best to keep color and get the smell of food off, they tend to absorb it quick.

Stainless Steel

The most widely used, not as expensive as copper but cost more than aluminum. Very easy to clean and long lasting, but heat distributionis a less than ideal, they have the characteristic that foods tend to stick to it if not enough attention is given. The key for that not to happen is to bring it to a nice heat before start cooking, never put oil on a cold pot, will take longer and almost everything will stick, wait for the oil to start smoking a little before adding to it. To combat the lack of even heat distribution of stainless steel, some of them are made with copper bottoms and what is called Try-Ply. Try-Ply is a 3 layers of metal construction, the middle being aluminum (with very good heat distribution) and the outer layers are stainless steel.

Aluminum
Very good with heat conduction but they are a softer and porous metal, because of that not so easy to clean, not so hygenic, sometimes giving a dirty discoloration which might interfere with the color of foods; that’s why Hollandaise sauce should not be made in an aluminum vessel, it changes the color.

Kitchen equipment that should not be left out of the ideal Italian kitchen:

Chef’s knife Pasta Cooker Potato Ricer
Dutch Oven Sautè Pan Food Mill
Stock Pot Food Processor Pasta Machine
Colander Graters Ravioli Molds
Rolling Pin Mallet Wooden Spoons
Wisks Terrine Molds Semi-freddo Molds
Dessert Molds Wheel Cutter Shears
Mandolin Olive Pitter Nut Cracker

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