cookware is hot
steel cookware set
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GREAT POTS AND PANS take the heat and come
back for more, as proven by my 10-year-old Costco
Kirkland Signature stainless steel and hard-anodized
nonstick aluminum cookware sets.
With the latest generations of both sets available
in warehouses and at Costco.com, and my soon-to-be
daughter-in-law asking for kitchen-out;tting advice,
it seems like the perfect time to see what’s cooking in
Kirkland Signature cookware.
;e vast majority of cookware continues to be
made of either aluminum or stainless steel.
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Aluminum is the most common cookware
material. It is fast to heat and maintains a consistent
temperature throughout the cooking process.
Within this category, the favorite is hard-anodized aluminum cookware. It is two times harder
than stainless steel and does not react with food.
And if a nonstick coating is applied to hard-anodized aluminum, the result is a nonstick surface
that lasts, on average, three times longer than plain
nonstick aluminum. Little, if any, oil is required for
cooking. Cleanup is simple, with just soap and water.
Nonstick, hard-anodized aluminum is a great
choice for casual or novice cooks as well as for busy
professionals (such as my daughter-in-law-to-be)
and parents who relish fast meals and easy cleanup.
Stainless steel cookware is beautiful, strong, non-
60 ;e Costco Connection AUGUST 2010
reactive to acidic foods and dishwasher safe. Quality
is determined by the amount of nickel and chromium in the stainless steel. Nickel adds brightness,
durability and rust resistance, and can range up to 10
percent. Chromium is an added rust protector.
;e best stainless steel pots and pans are 18/10,
meaning 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel.
Stainless steel by itself doesn’t heat food uniformly. ;is is why the addition of heat-conducting
aluminum and even-heating copper discs sandwiched on the bottoms of stainless steel cookware is
imperative. (Some branded sets appear to have a
copper disc, but it’s a thin, decorative veneer.)
I’m a foodie, so stainless steel is my cookware
material of choice. I appreciate the intricate food
;avors created by “sucs” (the browned bits that stick
to the bottom of the pans), the need to add only a
little oil or butter so food doesn’t stick, and the ability to cook hot and fast.
Other cookware features to consider include
weight, as a heavy hard-anodized pan distributes
heat better and a heavy stainless steel pan is more
durable and will not warp. Snug-;tting lids and
comfortable, heat-resistant, riveted stick handles
should also be on your radar.
The Kirkland Signature legacy continues
Costco’s housewares team of Erin Medved and
Sam Haugen report that the basic foundation of