Cooking foods in water often results in the loss of nutrients and flavor and can also change the appearance of the food, often making it less visually appealing. With waterless cookware, the natural juices of food is converted into steam which cooks the food. Of course, some dry foods like rice will require some water added since it needs to absorb additional water to make it edible, but most foods have adequate amounts of their own juices or retained liquids to create enough steam to enable cooking without any additional water being added.
The benefits of waterless cooking as compared to conventional methods
Waterless cooking results in the food not only retaining more flavor, but also that vitamins and minerals are not lost, thereby making it healthier. Food cooked in waterless cookware also keeps its natural colors and textures, which makes the food more visually appealing and enables crisp foods keep their crunchy texture.
Waterless cooking works on the principle of evaporating foods’ natural juices which turn into steam and forms a seal along the edges of the specially designed lids thus preventing any of the vapors from escaping and enabling the food to stew in its own juices. The steam continuously rises to the top, condenses and falls back onto the food, ensuring that it stays moist and juicy. This allows the food to cook at a constant temperature and the vessel’s heat retention ability means less heat is required resulting in energy savings.
Waterless cookware is made from high grade stainless steel, often of surgical quality which is unaffected by heat, so there is no chance of any metallic taste entering the food. Stainless steel is durable and rust resistant. Since steel is a poor conductor of heat, layers of copper or aluminum, which are good heat conductors, are sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel enabling the vessel to heat quickly. An iron core is added to the vessel so that it can retain heat for a long time. Since the various layers ensure that heat is spread evenly all over the vessel, no hot spots develop so there is no burning of food meaning oil does not have to be used, and no burnt residue, which makes cleaning much easier.
Things to keep in mind when buying waterless cookware
1. Waterless cookware will have either a thermometer to indicate the heat in the vessel or a valve that allows steam to escape when a specific pressure has been reached. Waterless cookware with thermometers is cheaper, but they require constant monitoring to keep an eye on the heat. The ones with the pressure valve direct the excess steam into a whistle which alerts the cook that the required temperature has been reached and either reduce the heat or turn it off.
2. The thicker waterless cookware is because of the greater number of plies, the better. More layers mean that the heat spreads evenly throughout the vessel ensuring there are no “hot spots”. The thickness also reduces the chances of the vessel warping. Good waterless cookware will have at least 5 plies. Cookware with a greater number of plies is also available, but the more the plies, the heavier it is and this may cause problems for the frail or those with physical disabilities.
3. Waterless cookware can be expensive, often costing over $1000, but it should be kept in mind that it will produce healthier food and money will be saved because of the lower energy consumption and reduced cooking time.
4. The best option is to buy waterless cookware which has a lifetime warranty. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and maintenance to keep the warranty valid.
5. Some cookware sets have a carbon steel layer making them suitable for induction cooking.
6. Look for waterless cookware that allows you to stack cook, which means you can cook different dishes at the same time, by placing the dishes like a stack, one on top of the other, which saves both time and energy.
7. You can buy either single vessels or complete waterless cookware sets which comprise of saucepans, roasters, skillets, egg cups, utility racks, stockpots, sauté pans and so on. Buy a waterless cookware set that has only the utensils that you will use. You can add to the utensils later on if you feel the need.
8. Among the well known manufacturers of waterless cookware are NatureSeal, HealthSmart, Maxam, BelKraft, World’s Finest, Chef’s Secret and West Bend.
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15 thoughts on “Waterless Cookware – Choosing the Right Waterless Pots and Pans for Your Kitchen”
Hey – you forgot one of the oldest cookware manufacturers’s in America! New Era – formally Volrath – which produces Pro Health Ultra & Vital Nutrition lines of waterless cookware. It’s a vapor lock system that whistles, has 7 plies, and an unconditional double lifetime warranty. Plus, it’s made in AMERICA – in Clarksville, TN to be exact – which is pretty awesome that an American factory is still alive and thriving these days if you ask me.
Seriously, it’s the best cookware ever! I can’t even eat vegetables at restaurants anymore because the ones I make at home are sooo much better! I’ve also lost about 80 lbs this year by sticking to just eating at home, with food made in the cookware – not having vitamins and minerals from my veggies and adding grease to cook all my meats was really adding up and I didn’t even realize how much! There is absolutely nothing like chicken cooked in this cookware – it’s sooo juicy plus it has LESS fat that when I put it in ther b/c the cookware actually pulls out fats and juices from the meat to cook it – yummm! Definately going to have some tonight now that I’m talking about it! :)
We write about waterless cooking all the time on our blog – all the recipes on there are actually written for it. Simplicitybridesblog.com – come check it out and leave your waterless cooking recipes and ideas too – we love them! You can chat with me anytime about waterless cookware and cooking too, anytime: [email protected]
Thank you very much for your comprehensive comment. I think it will be useful for our readers.
Thank you again.
You can get it WAY cheaper! I found a ton of waterless pots and pans and complete sets for a lot cheaper than a $1000 bucks. It’s at a site called, justsmartliving.com
Yes, the products seem cheaper. I am wondering if these waterless pots and pans are of the same high quality as those ones from the well known manufacturers of waterless cookware, such as World’s Finest.
Anyone know the direct customer service line for Maxam? i can’t find it anywhere? What good is a product if you don’t know who sold it to you when you have a question about it. That’s what I get for buy cheap foreign crap.
I am not sure I can help. Why don’t you ask the seller you have bought your Maxam cookware from?
Excellent post, Ganka. I was looking for waterless cookware information for a long time. I also check constantly your kitchen blog and I’m impressed! Thank you.
Ganka, it’s usually hard to find knowledgeable people on the waterless cookware topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thank you.
Waterless and greaseless cooking is the best method of cooking if you want to eat healthy and keep all the nutrients and vitamins of your food intact. Not to mention you will also be avoiding all the harmfulness of other types of cookware such as non-stick, aluminum, glass and cast iron. But just regular waterless cookware doesn’t do the job, you have to make sure it’s made of 316 surgical stainless steel, this is the safest type of metal that won’t react with the acids in your food. The best type of waterless cookware with 316 surgical stainless steel and titanium out there is Nutriply not to mention they are the most affordable cookware company who carries these kinds of pots and pans. They also have a lifetime warranty so you pretty much buy once and enjoy for the rest of your long life if you change your method of cooking to waterless and greaseless cooking with Nutriply.
I just sat through a cooking demo for SaladMaster. Before tonight I had never heard of waterless cooking. I am very interested but the price of the SaladMaster set forced me to do more research this type of cookware. Thank you for your informative review. I am curious as to why SaladMaster is not listed as a brand given they report to have been around since the 40’s. Would you have an opinion as to whether their cookware is worth the cost?
I don’t know much about SaladMaster but here are some links that might be useful:
I noticed that SaladMaster was never mentioned as a choice for waterless cooking and not seen in Amazon for sale, does this mean it’s not a good product?
Hi tseng tseng,
No, it doesn’t mean it is not a good product. Please take a look at my comment above.
Thanks for sharing such an informative post. I need to buy cookware set for my kitchen.