What does Waterless Cooking Mean?
This is a method of cooking in which the food is prepared in an environment that is almost entirely waterless. The natural juices present in the food in the form of fats and water are used to cook the food instead of adding grease or extra water.
In some situations, you may need to add water to the food being cooked but only use a very small quantity. Foods like vegetables can be cooked in their natural juices, therefore you do not need to add more water. On the other hand, foods like rice and other dry foods may require water to get them cooked, e.g. 1/8 cup of water.
This cooking method works by converting the water into steam, which requires a special kind of cookware. As the heat increases, the liquid in the cookware starts to vaporize. When you rinse your food before placing it in the cookware, there will be enough water left on the food to produce steam, which in addition to the natural juices in the food, will ensure the food is properly cooked. As long as you keep the waterless cookware covered, your food will get cooked without extra water.
What is Special about Waterless Cookware?
This type of cookware is specially made to ensure that food can be cooked without adding extra oil or water. In order to work properly, waterless cookware needs even heating, rapid heat transfer as well as a material that can retain heat inside the cookware.
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 is usually placed between them to serve as a better conductor of heat; it also retains heat longer and distributes heat more equally than other materials.
In order to seal the moisture inside the cookware, a special steam-release valve lid is used. The function of the lid is to prevent the escape of moisture from the food while it’s being cooked. It works by forming a seal with the pot as the heat increases and vapor is formed, thus resulting in the food getting cooked without water and without drying out. An advantage of this method of cooking is that the food will hardly lose its nutrients and flavor because it gets cooked in their own natural juices. Due to the iron core, a steady temperature will be maintained inside the cookware and the food will get cooked faster.
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 or put the stove off. This has the advantages of ensuring that the food is cooked at a regulated temperature and also saves energy.
Why should you Use Waterless Cookware?
The major reasons why people opt for waterless cookware include the facts that it saves money, energy and time and it also encourages healthy cooking. Other reasons are addressed below.
The materials used in making the waterless cookware add to its safety. 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 and so, the particles of corroded parts of your pot will not get deposited in your food.
Better Nutrients Retention
This style of cooking results in meals that are healthier, taste better and look better than traditionally cooked foods. Waterless cooking has the capacity of retaining over 90% of the food’s nutrient. With the traditional cooking methods, the foods lose nutrients, flavors, appearances, and even its texture.
Less Fat and Oil
When food is cooked with evenly distributed heat as in waterless cookware, it prevents sticking or burning. Also, by relying on steam, the need for cooking oils is eliminated, thus making the food healthier and saving you from high cholesterol, heart diseases, and obesity.
Better Taste and Appearance of Cooked Foods
Waterless cooking also makes the food more appealing. By using waterless cookware, the texture, color, aroma, and flavor of the food are enhanced. This ensures that your meals are made more enjoyable.
Reduced Cooking Time
Waterless cookware makes cooking faster, and 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. This will ensure that you have an even cook and also save time.
Waterless cookware is designed to cook food economically with low heat, thus saving energy. The materials used in the cookware also ensure that most of the cooking can be done while the stove is turned off.
Easy to Clean and Maintain
Usually, waterless cookware pieces are very durable, easy to clean and can be washed in a dishwasher. Stainless steel cookware may be more expensive than other cookware, but they usually come with the guarantee of a lifetime.
What are the Downsides of Cooking with Waterless Cookware?
- This type of cookware is found to be more expensive than other types of cookware.
- Waterless cookware is heavy when compared to other 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 will allow the heat and moisture to escape.
- You should be in the kitchen when the steam valve whistles to turn the heat down.
- You need time to adjust to the new cooking method and learn how to convert recipes from a traditional cooking method to a waterless method.