How to recognise a good pan and what to look out for when buying:
How to recognise a good pan and what to look out for when buying:
Before I joined Berndes in the online marketing team, I was firmly convinced that it would be enough if I had a 28 cm all-purpose pan in my cupboard. Whether scrambled eggs on Sunday, vegetable pan or steak - with me everything ended up in this one pan. I accepted that the vegetables didn't get really crunchy and the scrambled eggs stuck in the pan. To prepare myself for my new job, I got some tips from my sister, who is a trained cook. Since then there are two new pans in my cupboard and I explain here gladly why and which Tipps I considered with the purchase.
1. What does the pan contain today?
For my sister it is unthinkable to have only two pans, because she likes to handle utensils in the kitchen that are intended exactly for the purpose. By the way, she cooks daily. For me, the kitchen sometimes stays cold - so two pans are enough for me and they are exactly to my taste.
1. For the beginning and the everyday life:
- Frying pan: The classic in the kitchen, for frying vegetables, meat, tofu or egg dishes.
- Sauté Pan: The pan has a significantly higher rim than the frying pan. This is particularly advantageous for dishes in which liquid is added, such as goulash or ragouts.
- Serving pan: The two handles make handling easier and therefore this pan is very suitable for serving food at the table. If the handles and the pan are made of heat-resistant material, the serving pan can of course also be used in the oven.
2. For advanced cooks:
- Sauté pan: It is similar to the stewing pan and is also characterised by a high rim. Sautéing is a special form of short frying. Especially if you want to fry chopped or thinly sliced vegetables at high temperatures, a sauté pan should not be missing in the equipment.
- Grill pan: Meat lovers will get their money's worth with this pan. In the grill pan there are grill ribs which leave nice grill strips behind when roasting. In addition, there is a very practical reason, because the juice of the barbecue food flows into the gaps when roasting, making chops, steaks and burger patties nice and crispy. At high temperatures, the fat burns in the gaps, creating a slightly smoky taste. This pan is also ideal for grilled vegetables.
3. for special cases:
- Crêpes pan: Who has actually claimed that only crêpes may be prepared in this pan? Through the flat rim you can turn pancakes, omelettes, tortillas or wraps in the twinkling of an eye. And if you're looking for a partner who prepares the perfect scrambled egg, you've found it now.
- Wok: Wok preparation is an indispensable part of Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. A wok is characterized by a small floor area where the heat is concentrated. Despite the high heat, vegetables remain crunchy on the raised wall because the heat is better distributed
2. What material should the pan be made of?
You have decided which pans should not be missing in your kitchen? Great, then we come to another important point when buying a pan: Which pan material is suitable for which needs? The material is super important, but the subject is also very extensive, so here I present the advantages and disadvantages of the common materials.
- Advantage: Light, but still very robust and with excellent heat distribution and heat storage. Cast aluminium pans therefore combine the robustness of a cast iron pan with optimum weight. All models have a coating.
- Disadvantage: Similar to cast iron, you have to be patient when heating up the pans. The material is thicker, but you save energy once the pan is hot.
- Advantage: Berndes only manufactures stainless steel pans with an internal seal. So everyone gets along very well with these pans and you profit at the same time from the longevity of stainless steel.
- Disadvantages: Stainless steel is a bad heat conductor, so the heat distribution is somewhat worse and needs more energy. The Berndes pans compensate for this with a thick base that continuously releases energy/heat to the pan body.
- Advantage: Similar to cast aluminium pans, the cast iron models impress with very good heat distribution and heat resistance. There is also no classic sealing here that is subject to a certain amount of wear. They are super well suited for fried potatoes, steaks or stews.
- Disadvantages: The non-stick effect can diminish over time, so never compare a ceramic pan with a normal non-stick coating. Always work with a little fat or oil when preparing the dishes. My tip: Use nut oil, sunflower oil or rapeseed oil.
- Advantage: Ceramic-coated pans are much more robust than normal non-stick coatings, and are also much more heat-resistant. You can use the pan for steaming, braising and frying.
- Disadvantage: The non-stick coating will wear off over time, but the addition of fat will not prevent you from continuing to prepare crispy dishes. To the sharp sear better: Nut oils, otherwise also sunflower oil or rapeseed oil goes.
3. What's your stove at home?
A frequently asked question: "Is this Berndes pan also suitable for an induction stove?" It is a very important question, because if you cook at home with induction, then you need a pan made of a magnetic material or a pan with a magnetic base. A simple test to see if your pan is suitable for induction is if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Requirements for an induction cup:
- At least the bottom plate of a ladle should be made of a ferromagnetic material - only then will it work on induction stoves. The material of the ladle body is therefore often of secondary importance (and can therefore also be made of aluminium, for example).
A good pan base is decisive for induction efficiency and energy efficiency. A slight buzzing or humming can occur at high power levels.
Electric, glass-ceramic or halogen fields
On these stoves you can use any pan that lies flat on the stove. For this purpose, the bottom of the pan is always pre-stamped slightly concave and expands towards the source of the stove when heated. This is the only way to ensure that the bottom lies flat later on. Only then can the heat be distributed evenly and efficiently. But it is also a safety aspect: the pan should not tilt or dance.
You can also use any cooking utensil with a gas stove. If you are using cookware with an external seal, you should nevertheless make sure that it is approved for use on gas.
4. Put it in the oven?
If you not only want to prepare a dish on the stove, but also put the pan in the oven for baking or cooking, then heat-resistant pans are the right choice. Of course, this also means that the handle or handles are also made of heat-resistant material or can be removed.
5. Size of the pan
To be completely honest, there are dishes that I could plaster a family portion of. With other dishes, however, large pans are simply oversized. The usual pan sizes are 24 cm or 28 cm.
For a single household it is a good idea to have a small pan 20 cm and a medium-sized pan 24 cm in the cupboard. With a family household, it may be also somewhat larger and there comes then already rather a large pan 28 cm or also a very large pan 32 cm to the use. In the following I would like to show you some examples for the use and the optimal size of a pan:
- 20 cm:Sufficient for the single household, the small hunger and for the preparation of side dishes or fried eggs,
- 24 cm: The perfect pan size for 1-2 people,
- 28 cm: The most common pan size, ideal for two to three pieces of meat. This pan size should be found in any family kitchen, ideal for 3-5 people,
- 32 cm: A large pan suitable for portions of approx. 5 - 7 persons. This pan size should only be used when a lot of frying surface is required.
And which pan won the race?
In my kitchen two new Berndes pans have completed the existing cookware:
1. Serving pan/pot made of cast aluminium with glass lid: As I like to combine fresh seasonal vegetables with noodles and potatoes, a serving pan is very suitable for preparation. The pan also looks very good directly on the table and due to the cast-on handles it can also be used in the oven without restrictions.
2. Frying pan/grill pan: With this pan I had to get used to the shape - but who said that a grill pan must always be round? We like to prepare steaks, tofu or vegetables in this grill pan (just put big pieces into the pan - very tasty). The bridges in the pan create an unmistakable grill pattern and the smell when roasting is definitely not to be surpassed.
The pan is from the Berndes series "Bonanza" and can be recognized immediately by the rustic stem of Sauerland ash. Attention: There are extra models which are also suitable for induction.