Griddles And Pans: Vegetable Cooking Made Easy

What is it about healthy food that stops us from cooking it?

Vegetables and fruits are mainly made out of water, so technically we’re eating less food molecules. That’s why we feel full after eating a plate full of them but that’s not it. They have an image of having lackluster taste, being bland, and difficult to cook. We have visual indicators of when something is done when we’re cooking meat. It's an easy process to follow. Cook the meat until brown to keep the juices in, then slightly lower the heat and when blood starts to rise to the surface, you have medium-rare.

Simple, easy-to-learn, and easy to get consistently right. However, with vegetables, we needs a little more help. They are mostly water so they begin to create a lot of steam when they’re really cooking. But mostly, we feel that charring them or getting them really soft are the fail-safe options. We know they’re cooked because only a seared vegetable would have less water content and thus, the flesh is cooked. We boil them until they’re soft so they’re easily chewable. But these two ways don’t allow creativity. Some kitchen equipment you can buy, would make your life easier in this respect.

Faster ways of cooking

Surprisingly, even though meat also has a lot of water content, it takes less time to cook than a vegetable does in terms of proportion. This is because meat has a lot of areas for the water content to escape or simply merge with the fat and blood to create the juices we know. However vegetables are stubborn, they need more time to cook properly and reduce the water content enough to get an intense flavor. What we all love about barbecues is how vegetables can cook simultaneously with the meat. Have you noticed how they take just as much time to cook as the meat on the grill?

This is because they have room to release their water above and below when cooking. For your kitchen you should consider getting or grill or griddle pan to recreate this effect in your kitchen. A cast iron griddle pan absorbs and retains a lot of heat, therefore you can cook on low heat. You don’t have to lose money on cooking bills and have the cooking process be time-consuming for vegetables either with this kind of pan. You simply need to oil the pan and mush down and smear the vegetable when you first put them on so they get a coating of it. You only need to turn the vegetables once or twice rather than moving them around with a wooden spoon like you would have to with a normal frying pan. Perhaps the best plus of a cast iron griddle pan is, you can also put it in the oven and roast your vegetables.

An age-old classic

Copper has been in use for thousands of years. It's cheap to produce, cheap to maintain and has the ability to be flexible with heat. It can expand easily and not lose its shape when cool again. Copper conducts heat around five times better than iron does which makes it awesome for flash frying. You’ll find copper pans in use all over the world, especially in Mediterranean countries that quickly fry vegetables and meats together. A high-quality copper fry pan is usually cheaper than iron or steel as well, so you win on efficiency, controllability, longevity and price. Bacteria cannot manifest itself on copper, because it's toxic to them therefore you won’t get sick from dried up dirty water. The copper pans can be circular, square and with lids so you can steam vegetables without having to put them inside a crock pot. Copper pans can also be made to have deep bases, which is great for cooking stews. These kinds of pans make short work of any vegetable, which in turn makes you actually want to have a healthier meal. As soon as the fuss is taken out of cooking foods with high water content and you can actually enjoy the intense flavor of the vegetables.

Kitchen equipment is never something you should skimp on and try to just go for a cheap as can buy. Real quality always shows, and it lasts. Cast iron griddles are great for getting that barbeque taste all year round and cooking the vegetables quicker. A copper frying pan is marvelous for a quick flash fry, when you want to cook something only for a few minutes and serve immediately. Copper conducts heat much better than iron, so you can use a copper pan as a replacement for an iron wok or skillet.