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Glossary of Cooking Terms

Ways of cooking:

Induction – energy is transferred directly and instantly to the cooking vessel. The pot itself gets hot, which in turn heats the food. The cooktop itself stays cool. Direct energy transfer means the pot gets hot quickly and foods cook faster.

  • Induction cooktops have a copper coil under the burner which creates an electromagnetic field of energy when the burner is turned on.
  • Induction-capable cookware must be perfectly flat and the bottom must have iron content. All new KitchenAid cookware is induction-capable. To test if cookware is induction capable: if a magnet sticks to the bottom, it will work.

• Conduction – heat is transferred to the food by direct contact with the heat source. The burner gets hot, it heats the pan, and the hot pan heats the food.

  • Traditional gas and electric cooktops use the conduction method of cooking.

Cookware terms:

• 18/10 Stainless Steel - the steel material contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Chromium increases corrosion resistance and nickel adds hardness and shine. It is considered the finest quality stainless steel since it is durable, shiny and scratch-resistant. 18/8 is 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

• 304 Stainless Steel is a T 300 Series Stainless Steel austenitic, which is very corrosion resistant.  It has a minimum of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, combined with a maximum of 0.08% carbon.  Grade 304 is the standard "18/8" stainless that you will probably see in the cookware industry.

• Aluminum – metal used for cookware; lightweight, impermeable, and does not leach into foods. Excellent, even conductor of heat, but aluminum can scratch and dent. Pure aluminum reacts with acidic foods, so it is often used with other materials or anodized to render it non-reactive as well as scratch-resistant.

• Anodized – the process of depositing electrolytes onto metal (most often aluminum), creating a surface coating. Anodizing seals the surface and makes the aluminum neutral (non-reactive) to foods and makes it resistant to corrosion, while retaining the excellent heat-conductive properties of aluminum.

• Bar Stock – 4mm metal rod used to create a stronger and more sturdy rolled edge. KitchenAid bakeware is designed using bar stock.

• Basting Dots – raised bumps or dots on the underside of a lid which collect steam as it rises during cooking. This creates droplets of moisture that drip back into the cooking vessel, basting the food evenly.

KitchenAid Traditional and Streamline Cast Iron products have basting dots.

• Cast Iron – material is a good heat conductor, holds heat very well, is very durable and versatile. Pieces can be used on any kind of cooktop surface, in an oven or even over a campfire. Over time the piece acquires a seasoning which functions as a nonstick coating.

• Ceramic – ceramic cookware is made from a clay mixture that is fired at a high temperature. Then, a glaze is applied and it is fired a second time.

• Clad – bonding dissimilar metals together. It is done to produce cookware with the advantages of multiple metal types OR to negate a disadvantage.

• Colorfast finish – A silicone polyester coating which resists fading and discoloring over time

• Copper – because it’s the best conductor of heat among cookware materials, copper cookware is very responsive (heats up and cools down fast). However, it  reacts with foods and copper will leach into foods, so cookware is usually lined with stainless steel or tin (called “tinning”). Copper is also a softer metal and dents easily. It needs to be polished to retain its beauty. KitchenAid copper cookware is induction capable.

• Corrosion resistant – means the material resists corrosion (rust is the most common example of corrosion). KitchenAid nonstick bakeware is corrosion resistant.

• Crazing – a network of fine cracks on the surface of a material, for instance in a glaze layer. Crazing does not affect the structural integrity of the item.

  • KitchenAid Ceramic cookware resists crazing.

• Dishwasher safe – the item can be washed repeatedly in the dishwasher with no adverse effects to the item.

• Dishwasher durable – the item can be washed in the dishwasher but, to increase longevity of the product, hand washing is recommended.

• Drawn – the metal forming process in which steel sheet metal is “drawn” into a forming die by gradual pressure applied by a mechanical punch. KitchenAid rounded bakeware products (i.e., pie pan, round cake pan, muffin pan, etc) are drawn.

• Enameled Cast Iron – adds an enamel coating to cast iron. Enameled cast iron pieces don’t need to be seasoned, and they do not rust because the enamel covers all metal surfaces. Pieces are durable and retain heat well. These pieces work well on induction cooktops due to their ferrous metal content. KitchenAid cast iron is enameled.

• Forged – the process of heating a material and forming it into a desired shape. Both KitchenAid hard anodized lines are forged.

• Green pans – so-called green pans are coated with a nonstick ceramic-based coating that is PTFE/PFOA-free. However, many users say these coatings do not last very long, and the pans are prone to scratching just like other nonstick pans. They are not dishwasher-safe. (Sources: consumerreports.org, cooksillustrated.com)

• Hard Anodized – the anodized coating is far thicker and harder, so hard anodized products are more durable than regular anodized. Hard anodized aluminum is more abrasion-resistant than regular anodized, and it is twice as hard as stainless steel.

  • KitchenAid offers two lines of hard anodized cookware: hard anodized & professional hard anodized.

• Helper Handle – an additional, short handle added to a skillet or pan. A helper handle is an aid in distributing the weight of the pan more evenly, especially when it is full of food.

• Laser Etched – permanently engraved using a laser. Lasers can be used to etch words or designs onto almost any surface, including plastic, metal, glass, wood, and even food. Laser etching is very smooth compared to other means of etching and stamping.

  • KitchenAid cookware products are laser etched on the underside of the cookware, creating a smoother surface that is less likely to scratch cooktops and countertops.
  • Select KitchenAid cookware products are laser etched on the inside as well (i.e., etched measurement markings)

• Nonstick – a coating applied to reduce or eliminate food sticking when cooking. Most are chemical compounds; newer “green” coatings are ceramic-based.

• Porcelain Enamel – created by fusing powdered glass onto metal at high temperature. Pieces are durable, nonporous, and stain resistant. Color will not fade as it is fused onto the metal.

• PTFE/PFOA free – PTFE (the original Teflon) is polytetrafluoroethylene, a synthetic compound. When a PTFE-coated pan is overheated it releases fumes that can be harmful to humans and animals. PFOA – perfluorooctanoic acid – suspected carcinogen used in making Teflon.

  • All KitchenAid cookware is PFOA free. All KitchenAid bakeware is PTFE & PFOA free.

• Rivet – a short metal pin or bolt for holding two pieces of metal together. Rivets are often used to fasten a handle to cookware, which creates a strong bond.

• Silicone – inert synthetic compound that is stable, has low toxicity, and is very heat resistant. Silicone has a rubber-like texture that has many diverse uses. Very few things stick to silicone and it will not leach into foods. It is added to cookware handles to give a more secure handgrip. Silicone can become hot to the touch but cools down quickly.  

• Stainless Steel – iron + 1% carbon = stainless steel. Stainless Steel has excellent structural properties – it is strong and does not react to acids in foods - but it is not a very good heat conductor. 

• Tempered Glass – created by a process of heating and cooling a piece of glass; it is 5 to 10 times stronger than regular glass.

• Thermal shock – a sudden change in temperature that can cause damage in some materials. Putting ice cubes into water often causes them to crack due to thermal shock.

• Vitrified – vitrified ceramics have been fired to a higher temperature, creating a very dense, glass-like product. Vitrified products are strong and nonporous (does not absorb moisture) and are considered very high quality.

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