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Tips in Buying Cooking Materials

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Cooking is already hard as it is without having to deal with defective cooking materials and equipment. Besides, not only will you slow down the cooking process when you buy substandard materials, you will also put your family and your house at risk of fire and other injuries that defective appliances and cooking materials may cause.

Good cooking equipment need not be expensive. Just as the ingredients that you use for your meals, cooking materials don’t always have to be the top of the line. You can make do with the cheaper versions as long as you make sure that the quality is good and it is new. Below are some shopping tips when buying cooking equipment for your home.

Buy new things. Yes. You can support thrift shops but you can support them in other ways without having to sacrifice the health of your family and also their safety. Cooking equipment from thrift shops are often from homes that have been either sold because the owner died or have been donated because they have served their purpose well in the household. In other words, they are worn, dirty and old. The only exception would be cast-iron. With a little TLC, you can score with these classic icons in cookery.

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Go for Sales. If you want cheap prices and yet have new stuff to use, watch out for mega sales and discount sales on the items that you want. They often cut their price down when they have new models that are coming out or have a lot of stock that they have to get rid of. Factory outlets are also great place to find great bargains. You just have to have the patience to hunt for the items that you really really need.

Use an alternative. If a cooking material is outside your budget and you just cannot afford to buy a new one, you can always use an alternative. If your mixer broke down, use the old-fashion way of mixing- with a spoon! Measurements need not be done with measuring cups and spoons. You can always use the cups that you have in the pantry or the teaspoons and spoons that you use for eating. Be imaginative.

Test it. One common mistake of people is to not test an item before buying it because they feel that they can return it anyway if it does not work. But because of their busy schedules, most people will not bother to go there and return the item. The money they paid for the item is actually the same as the gas money that they will spend if they go to the store. So if you do not want the hassle anymore, try it out first. It will not cost you anything but a few seconds.

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Metal is better hands down, if you have the money to spend, go for equipment that is metal:

Stainless Steel: Is more durable than other cookware. It is physically strong and not easily dented or leaky. It can be used in cooking unlimited kinds of dishes and can easily be cleaned. It odes not need to be seasoned and you can use soapy water and a scour pad. It is naturally non-stick and is non-toxic. The surface will always appear new if well cared for.

Cast Iron: One major benefit of cast iron pans is their unique cooking ability. Cast iron is an ideal heat conductor. Unlike steel and aluminum pans, cast iron heats the cooking surface evenly and consistently. Other kinds of pans tend to heat unevenly and therefore cook food unevenly. Many professional cooks depend on cast iron cookware for precise control of cooking temperature.

Cast iron pans are also highly sought after because of their longevity. With a little bit of care, a cast iron skillet, grill or pan can outlast its owner. These pans are often passed down as family heirlooms because of their ability to maintain quality – generation after generation. These pans are cost effective, durable and long-lasting. They are non-toxic and actually add iron to your diet just by cooking in them.

They do, however, need to be seasoned and cared for in a special way, but it is well worth it.

Aluminum: We highly recommend avoiding cooking with aluminum. Aluminum is dangerous and toxic to the human body. Cooking with high heat, spicy or acidic ingredients causes the aluminum to leach metallic toxic contaminates into your food. The body can eliminate some toxins, but buildup over time can create incurable disease. this warning also includes aluminum foil, so opt for butchers paper, parchment or plastic wrap.

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Teflon: Pots and pans marked as “non-stick” are a real value. At first. They are cheap and easy to use. But CAUTION: They have a short life span. To be perfectly clear, Calphalon & Teflon are  safe to use. Though PTFE coatings in general do begin to degrade at higher temperatures and are toxic if used with metal utensils. The questionable metals and toxins leach from scratched pans into your food and are toxic to the human body. We recommend making the investment into stainless steel or cast iron pots, pans and utensils.

If you do have your heart set on a copper this or diamond that, check your metals. Know what layers the pan contains and what utensils need to be used. First sign of ware and tear, ditch ’em!

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Some other materials for common kitchen gadgets:

Plastic: Is a favorite in most kitchens. Opt for high heat tolerance, microwave safe plastics and you should be alright.

Wood: Wood bowls and utensils are used commonly in kitchens the world over. Wood does not scratch pans, however, if you are using wood as a cutting board, be WARNED: Wood has a wax coating when new, but over time, the coating wears off and the wood becomes porous and absorbs water and bacteria from foods like chicken and pork. If possible, opt for bamboo!

If you are currently stuck with wood, occasionally blast it with some bleach and wash it with soapy water, especially after cooking mushrooms, chopping cheese or butchering meats.

Bamboo: Bamboo is Eco-friendly and Highly Sustainable. Like wood, it is light weight, durable and non-scratch. And it is stain and odor resistant and its just as affordable as wood.

Ceramic: Its ingestion can cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system and it is especially dangerous for babies and small children. Ceramic cookware is liable to contain lead that may leak into and contaminate food.

Remember, your Cooking Materials are just as important as your Cooking Ingredients. Take your time learning to cook well for your family and they will give you a lifetime of appreciation.

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