'pans' on Serious Eats

Equipment: How to Buy, Season, and Maintain Cast Iron Cookware

Having just adopted a French bulldog named Dumpling, I'm quickly finding out that taking care of a puppy is very similar to taking care of a good cast iron pan, and in some ways, almost as satisfying. They both require a little work, a little patience, and a whole lot of loyalty. The main difference is that in return for my investment, my cast iron pan gives me golden-brown fried chicken, sizzling bacon, corn bread, apple pies, charred hash, perfectly seared steaks, bubbly pizzas, and, yes, crisp dumplings. Dumpling the puppy, on the other hand, gives me mostly licks, chews, and a whole lot of poop. You do the math. More

Gadgets: Pizza Stick Pan from Williams-Sonoma

[Photographs: Williams-Sonoma] More Gadgetry Yogurt Maker by Waring Pro » All Gadgets reviews » All the pizza talk around here has really intensified now that the Super Bowl is coming, and I'm jumping in full force. Though I'm sure most of you know the benefits of using pizza stones for your homemade crusts (they suck out moisture giving you that awesome crunchy browning), I wanted to try a rather unconventional approach. Williams-Sonoma makes this crazy pizza stick pan ($24.99). Would it work well without a ceramic base or coating? I made my dough and used the provided cutter to get it into the right shapes. This part worked like a charm—the edges aren't sharp so there's no danger in... More

Video: How to Preheat Your Pan

You might have learned how to tell when your pan is hot enough in home-ec class: just observe a water droplet or two on the pan's surface and wait for it to bead up and roll across the hot pan. But did you know this trick has a name? It's called the Leidenfrost Effect. Ideally, you want a mercury-like ball of water to hover over the pan, which happens at 320°F or the Leidenfrost point. The water should evaporate more slowly than it would at lower temperatures but if many tiny bubbles form, that means the pan is too hot. This neato two-minute video from Rouxbe, the online cooking school, explains the very good life knowledge. Watch it, after... More

Gift Guide: For the Asian Food Lover

Our gift-guide marathon continues. Still looking for that special something? Try our full complement of lists. —Ed. Zojirushi 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker: Not only does this model have a larger 5-cup capacity, but it also comes with more features than the 3-cup model. White rice can be set to be "regular," "softer," or "harder." Sweet (glutinous) rice and semibrown rice are additional options. This model also happens to be the only Zojirushi rice cooker that's equipped with the "reheating cycle." Available online at cooking.com, $194.95 Bamboo Steamer: Those who have only steamed with stainless steel racks or inserts will appreciate the difference a bamboo steamer makes. Wicking off excess moisture, the wood naturally absorbs the droplets of water that... More

The Original Muffin Top Tin

Well, it's about time. A pan dedicated to the only part of the muffin that matters: the top. Available for $19.95 on spoonsisters.com. Related Photo of the Day: Cupcake vs. Muffin Muffin Films Muffins for Easter: Cadbury Creme Egg Muffins... More

In Gear: How to Season Carbon Steel Pans

Though I rarely used it to make crepes, for which it performed rather poorly, I had always appreciated the design of my flimsy, nonstick crepe pan. As it was, it mostly just made for a great quesadilla toasting pan, its short sides making it easier to maneuver and flip without losing filling. But in my mind’s eye—much heavier and made of a material capable of maintaining heat—the pan’s wide, shallow form became a stage on which perfectly cooked pancakes flipped and crisp-skinned fish fillets sizzled. When, a few weeks ago, I found myself in a kitchen shop looking right into the expansive face of an inexpensive carbon steel crepe pan, there was no resistance.... More

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