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Eco Cookware?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I recently attended one of those "get two free nights at a resort for listening to our sales pitch" meetings.  The majority of their focus was on this waterless, greaseless cookware that was really nice.  Although they were not intentionally being "green" in their show, it appears to me that there is an advantage to this type of cookware, even if it is pretty pricey.

 

It is all very nice stainless steel with some other fancy metal layers on the inside, they have special whistle lids that notify you when your food has reached the ultimate temperature to kill germs but not the nutrients. The lids also create a seal so that after the whistle sounds you can pretty much turn the burner off and your food continues to cook, so you never use a setting above med-high.  Another cool feature is that it is all uniform thickness for even distribution of heat which means you can stack the pots on top of each other and cook several things on one burner.  And as mentioned before, you can cook without water or grease added.  (although for veggies it works best if your vegetables are frozen)

 

Now I know that sounded like a sales pitch too, but I think these features are really nice.  I have heard a lot of talk about the dangers of non-stick and aluminum.  In fact, I have even heard that the US is one of only a few countries that haven't made selling aluminum cookware illegal.

 

So I wanted to start this forum to discuss what you have heard about different types of cookware, what is dangerous to our health, what saves energy, water, and time?  Are there any other cool things you have heard of?

post #2 of 6

In 1978 I was headed to Argentina for work and saw on a news cast that char-broiled could cause cancer and should not be consumed.

 

That was the last straw. That was after the sweetner scare (can't spell the word), cranberry scare and a few dozen others.

 

I decided to turn off all contemporary stories about the dangers of the world. I still stick to the same plan - until some real science is brought forward, not just word of mouth or results of a couple poorly conducted studies, I have no interest.

 

Whatever I find about aluminum cookware falls into the 'of no concern' catagory. Lots of old wives tales but nothing more. One gov site even warned about not overheating a pot and letting the molten aluminum burn you or cause a fire - really! I would have never thought of that! If one is silly enough to handle an alumimum pot which is hot enough to melt they deserve whatever they get. 

post #3 of 6

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by srj0385 View Post

 

It is all very nice stainless steel with some other fancy metal layers on the inside, they have special whistle lids that notify you when your food has reached the ultimate temperature to kill germs but not the nutrients. The lids also create a seal so that after the whistle sounds you can pretty much turn the burner off and your food continues to cook, so you never use a setting above med-high.  Another cool feature is that it is all uniform thickness for even distribution of heat which means you can stack the pots on top of each other and cook several things on one burner.  And as mentioned before, you can cook without water or grease added.  (although for veggies it works best if your vegetables are frozen)

 

Wow, that cookware almost sounds futuristic!  That's really cool that there's a whistle to let you know when the food has reached a certain temperature.  I have a bad habit of accidentally forgetting my veggies are on the stove and over cooking them a bit.  Something like a tea kettle alert would definitely be handy.

 

Did you get to taste anything cooked in them?  I'm curious how things came out without water or grease.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by srj0385 View Post

 

So I wanted to start this forum to discuss what you have heard about different types of cookware, what is dangerous to our health, what saves energy, water, and time?  Are there any other cool things you have heard of?


I actually just tested out a skillet last night that's supposed to be eco-friendly.  My mom gave it to me about a month ago and it's been sitting with the cardboard on it, waiting for a trial run.  It's the Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hand Anondized Skillet.  All in all, it's a very nice skillet just from a cooking perspective.  It's also pretty cool because they use 70% recycled stainless steel. 

 

In terms of what's dangerous to our health, along the lines of getting rid of plastic bottles (or at least ones with BPA in them), there's the issue of plastic tupperware and avoiding microwaving anything in them.  I still have some plastic tupperware (and who knows where half of them came from) and they're most likely not BPA free.  But I am slowly trying to get rid of all of these and use Pyrex containers instead.

post #4 of 6

Hi Stins - Actually the point they make about recycled stainless is a bit bogus. About all steel is made using the maximum scrap possible. It is cheaper to melt scrap and make new steel than to melt ore. The steel maker only uses adequate new material to dilute the level of any contaminants to acceptable levels.

 

What I am saying is that more than likely most cookware contains recycled stainless as what is used in most household items is a lower quality of materials than industrial grade materials and cheaper to process - for example any of the 400 series of stainless contain less expensive alloy than  the 300 series. 

 

Does sound like good cookware though.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I was so impressed with it I bought some of it actually.  I have been using it for about a couple of months now.  At first I was really frustrated because I couldn't get the temperatures right and I kept wanting to check on it or stir it, which defeats the purpose of the lid that "seals" itself. Things kept burning or sticking to the pan. But after reading through the manual a few more times and watching some tutorials (I know this sounds so silly - a tutorial on how to use a pan) I finally got the hang of it.  I have completely stopped using my nonstick cookware.  I also eat a lot more veggies now too.

 

It is literally like learning how to cook again and it definitely took some dedication to get it right. 

 

I was surprised that the flavor was good.  It is amazing to taste what vegetables taste like by themselves for ex. carrots, squash, even corn and broccoli (which I have hated since I was a child).  I haven't really tried anything that tasted bad or that I thought, "that would be better covered in olive oil"  :)

post #6 of 6

I noticed a line of eco-friendly cookware at JCPenney's recently but don't remember the brand name...

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