Best results are obtained when pan is at least 2/3 full. If you use a smaller quantity in a large pan, add a few tablespoons of water to assist in making the water seal. Always be sure to use the cover designed to fit the pan.
The diameter of the range unit should be about the same as the diameter of the pan. If cooking on a gas range, the flame should not extend up and around the sides of the pan. Note to gas range users: If your low flame does not go low enough, see a qualified specialist and have the "Low" flame adjusted on your stove. Most gas stoves have an adjustment that is quick and easy for someone familiar with the procedure.
Fresh vegetables and fruit contain enough natural moisture to cook without adding water. Simply place vegetables in utensil and cover with cold water. Pour off quickly. The moisture that clings to the food is enough for cooking. Vegetables which lack sufficient moisture (such as corn-on-the-cob) require about a 1/4 cup or less of water for cooking. Remember that some water is also necessary for dried fruits and cereals, etc. Meats can be cooked in their own natural juices, too. When cold meat is placed in a preheated utensil it will stick at first, but as the meat browns and fat is released, it will loosen. Add liquid or shortening only if specified in the recipe. A small amount of cooking oil may be necessary when preparing foods which do not contain natural fats, such as eggs. Just enough to cover the cooking surface is sufficient.
Put food in pan and cover. Place on range unit over medium heat. In about 3 to 5 minutes, vapor will begin to escape from beneath the cover and the cover will be hot to touch. Give the cover a spin, but DO NOT lift it. If it spins freely, water seal has been formed. After a few minutes there will not be any vapor escaping and the proper cooking temperature will be reached. If vapor continues to escape from cover, the heat setting is too high; reduce to the lowest setting. If cover locks on pan, heat setting is too low; increase heat slightly to loosen cover. Since temperature settings vary from one range to another, a few days of careful practice will tell you which heat settings are right for minimum moisture cooking, see finding the right temperature for your stove below..
To insure the success of minimum moisture cooking, it is very important that only medium to low heat be used. Always begin cooking over medium heat, then reduce to low for the remainder of the cooking period. High heat will cause moisture to be driven out of the utensil. This will prevent the water seal from forming, and will result in shrinkage, sticking and burning of foods.
All stoves vary, so an important step in learning to use waterless cookware correctly is to find the correct temperature for each burner on your stove. Here is how we do it:
Put the burner on what you would think is medium-low. (On an electric stove with numbers try 3 ½ to start.)
Preheat the pan for about 2 minutes on the burner.
Drip water from your fingertips into the pan, it should sizzle and evaporate. This says the pan is hot enough, how do you tell if it is too hot? See the next step.
Spray 100% pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the pan, if it smokes it is too hot, cool down the pan, turn the stove down a little and start over. If it does not smoke go to the next step. (Note: you could use bottled Extra Virgin Olive Oil and pour it in for the test but it goes in much heavier. We are using the Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a temperature indicator because it has a low tolerance for heat, approximately 375 degrees, when using a spray the oil goes on much thinner and more evenly.)
Crack an egg and put it in the pan after adding the Extra Virgin Olive oil. The egg should start to turn white and cook immediate but not so fast that the edges of the egg start to get crispy brown. If you found got the temperature so that it cooks correctly, memorize or mark the spot for each burner on your stove. Then next time you want to cook just turn to that temperature and for many cooking applications you have the right temperature for your stove.
Some cooking styles or recipes may require a higher or lower temperature, but this procedure should get you started on what we call a Medium heat.
Some people have told us that their gas stoves will not go low enough. We switched from electric to gas at our home and LOVE cooking with this cookware on a gas stove. First off we found out from the person that installed our gas stove that on most all stoves the “low” flame is easily adjustable for a lower “low” flame. You may want to look up the instructions on your stove and talk to a qualified technician. If all else fails people have told us they purchased a “flame diffuser” (essentially a metal plate) and this worked fine.
Please note that on all recipes that are put on this website by us, when we say MEDIUM what we mean is the temperature on your stove as found in this example.
When frying or baking on the stove top, always pre-heat the pans before use.
To retain heat and moisture, do not remove cover during cooking as this will break the “water seal” and lengthen the cooking times. Remove cover only near end of cooking time to test for doneness. However if you suspect food as “boiled dry” or has finished cooking in less time than estimated, remove cover to check. If food has not finished cooking, quickly add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and reset heat to medium. When vapor escapes from cover, spin cover to check for water seal, and reduce heat to low for remainder of cooking time.
Another convenience of this cookware is that cakes and breads may be baked on top of the range. When preparing batter, follow the recipe or package instructions. However, slight adjustments may have to be made in baking times. Preheat well-greased skillet or saucepan over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Quickly pour batter into utensil. Cover, reduce heat to lowest heat setting and bake for specified time. To remove excess moisture from food, tilt the cover during the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. The browning on top of the baked goods will be slight.
Oven temperatures up to 350 F will not damage the phenolic handles and cover knobs, provided the broiler unit is not on. The direct heat from the broiler unit in either a gas or electric oven will cause the handles to blister. Before placing utensil in the oven, make certain that the oven is completely preheated. Preheating is necessary because the oven heat required to reach the desired cooking temperature can exceed 350 F during the pre-heat period.