What is Waterless Cooking?
Waterless cooking is a method of cooking in an almost entirely waterless environment. The food cooks in its natural juices and fats instead of adding grease or extra water.
In some cases, you may need to add a very small quantity of water. Foods like vegetables can be cooked in their natural juices. On the other hand, foods like rice and other dry foods require a small amount of water to get cooked, e.g. 1/8 cup of water.
Waterless cooking works by converting water into steam, which requires a special kind of cookware. As the heat increases, the liquid in the cookware starts to turn into steam. When you rinse the food and put it in the cookware, there will be enough remaining drops of water to produce steam. This small amount of water in addition to the natural juices is enough to ensure that the food is properly cooked. As long as you keep the waterless cookware covered, your food can get cooked without the use of additional water.
What is Special about Waterless Cookware?
This type of cookware is made to ensure that food can be cooked without adding extra oil or water. In order to work properly, waterless cookware is made of materials that can retain heat inside the cookware. This cookware also must have the capability of rapid heat transfer and even heat distribution.
Typical waterless cookware is made up of several layers. The cooking surface consists of high-grade stainless steel that prevents the transfer of metallic taste to your food. Some manufacturers use surgical stainless steel which is the highest grade of steel available. The heating surface of waterless cookware is made of copper or aluminum layers packed with stainless steel layers. An iron core may be inserted to help retain heat longer.
A special steam-release valve lid seals the moisture inside the cookware. The main function of the lid is to prevent the escape of moisture from the food. It works by forming a seal with the pot. As the heat increases and vapor forms, the food gets cooked without added water and without drying out. An advantage of this method of cooking is that the food won’t lose its nutrients and flavors. The iron core helps to maintain a steady temperature inside the cookware, resulting in a faster cooking process.
Some waterless cookware has a steam control valve built-in to regulate the amount of steam in the cookware and also to detect when steam rushes out of the valve. The cookware emits a whistling sound that ensures the user knows when to turn the temperature down. This helps save energy and ensures that the food is cooked at a regulated temperature.
The Benefits of Using Waterless Cookware?
The major reasons why people opt for waterless cookware include the fact that it saves money, energy, and time and it also encourages healthy cooking. Other reasons are addressed below.
The cooking surface of waterless cookware is safe for contact with foods. The surgical stainless steel prevents the leaching of harmful heavy metals into the food from the pot due to its impermeable nature. The stainless steel layers ensure that aluminum does not have any contact with your food. The cookware is resistant to corrosion, so the rust from the pans won’t get into your meal.
Better Nutrients Retention
This style of cooking results in healthier and more tasty meals than traditionally cooked foods. With the traditional cooking method, the food loses nutrients, flavors, and texture. Waterless cooking helps to retain over 90% of the food’s nutrients.
The heat in waterless cookware is evenly distributed, which prevents sticking and burning of the cooked food. By relying on steam, the need for adding fat is eliminated. This can make meals healthier, saving you from high cholesterol and heart diseases.
Better Taste and Appearance
Waterless cooking also makes the food more appealing. By using waterless cookware, the texture, color, aroma, and flavor of the food are enhanced. This makes your meals more enjoyable.
Reduced Cooking Time
Waterless cookware makes cooking faster. In some cases, the cookware sets are made in the form of stacks of pots that can be heated with a single stove or burner. The stack cooking option ensures even cooking and also saves time and energy.
Waterless cookware is designed to cook food economically with low heat, thus saving energy. The materials used in the cookware also ensure that the cooking partially can be done while the stove is turned off.
Easy to Clean
Usually, waterless cookware pieces are very durable, easy to clean, and can be washed in a dishwasher. Stainless steel waterless cookware may be more expensive than other cookware materials, but it usually comes with a lifetime guarantee.
What are the Downsides of Cooking with Waterless Cookware?
- This type of cookware is more expensive than other types of cookware.
- Waterless cookware is heavy when compared to other cookware types.
- The lids are not dishwasher safe and cleaning the valves could be a hassle.
- The lid mustn’t be removed from the pot during cooking as this would allow the heat and moisture to escape.
- You should be near the kitchen to be able to hear when the steam valve whistles.
- You need time to adjust to the new cooking method and learn how to convert recipes from a traditional cooking method to a waterless cooking method.