What dishes simply must be in your life?
If you have ever tried food cooked in a real cauldron, then you have definitely noted for yourself the unsurpassed taste and aroma of such dishes. This is due to the fact that dishes cooked in a cauldron differ significantly in taste characteristics!
In the cauldron, you can cook authentic dishes of Central Asian cuisine, such as Uzbek pilaf, lagman, shurpa and much more.
But how to choose a cauldron for home use? What to pay attention to first of all?
Types of cauldrons
A cauldron is a traditional oriental metal utensil used for cooking over a fire. Kazans differ:
1. Round bottom
Due to the rounded shape of such cauldrons, not only the bottom, but its entire surface is heated. The food is evenly heated, languishing, thanks to which the taste is incomparable. And due to the thick walls — there is no burning. This type of cauldron is great for an open fire, stove, barbecue.
2. Flat bottom
A cauldron with a round bottom can be used on gas stoves. For the rest, unfortunately, this option is not suitable. Therefore, for cooking on other types of stoves, the ideal option is a cauldron with a flat bottom.
By material (composition)
1. Cast iron
The main advantages of cast iron cauldrons:
— Heats up evenly. Due to the thick walls, the food in it does not burn, it languishes for a long time, gradually filling up with unforgettably bright tastes and aromas.
— Cools down slowly. This metal is distinguished by its ability to retain heat for a long time, all the same thanks to its thick cast-iron walls.
— Suitable for all types of hob, including induction. Many people now choose induction cooktops. But, unfortunately, for her most often you have to buy suitable dishes. A cast-iron cauldron is also suitable for a gas stove and for electric and induction. Thus, even if you change the stove, you do not have to change the cauldron. Also, if you buy a cast-iron cauldron as a gift, then you don’t have to worry whether the stove is suitable for those to whom you are going to give it. In any case, it will fit under any stove.
— Service life at the correct operation is estimated in decades. Such a cauldron can easily be turned into a family heirloom. Since the cast-iron cauldron is always polished and calcined, it is difficult to damage it. What can not be said about the non-stick Teflon coatings of modern cookware.
Disadvantages of cast iron:
— Prone to chipping. Despite the fact that cast iron is a very strong metal, it turns out to be brittle under shock loads.
— Slightly heavier than other options. A very conditional drawback, since, as a rule, such cauldrons are used for stationary use.
The main advantages of aluminum:
— Relatively light weight. Therefore, such a cauldron is convenient to take, for example, on a hike.
— Low price. It is ensured due to the fact that aluminum cauldrons are made by stamping and from a relatively inexpensive material.
— Heats up quickly. With a limited amount of time — this is undoubtedly a plus.
The disadvantages include:
— Cools down quickly. Since this cauldron heats up quickly, then, accordingly, it cools down just as quickly. And the food in it gets cold just as quickly.
— Food may burn if there is no special non-stick coating.
— Soft metal. Therefore, unfortunately, dents can easily form if used carelessly.
— Products are oxidized. If stored for a long time in an aluminum container, this reaction may occur. Which is absolutely unsafe for health.
— Not compatible with induction cookers.
Popular in East Asia. The most common version of a steel cauldron is wok dishes.
Advantages of these cauldrons:
— Safety. In it, unlike aluminum, products do not oxidize.
— Relatively light. It is light in weight, but definitely heavier than aluminum.
The disadvantages include:
— High price. This type of cauldron is one of the most expensive.
— Susceptibility of non-stick coating to scratches. And, accordingly, a short service life.
This cauldron is a classic for the countries of the East. Its production is most often done by hand.
The main advantages of copper:
— Heats up quickly due to thin walls. It is suitable for cooking many meat dishes, poultry. But it is a minus, for example, when cooking pilaf.
— Relatively light weight, also due to thin walls.
The disadvantages include:
— Toxicity of copper compounds, which is unsafe for health.
— Quickly cools itself and, accordingly, the food in it cools down also quickly.
1. Non-stick coated
It is necessary for steel and aluminum cauldrons, because without it, food can burn. But this coating is very easy to damage. Metal skimmers and spatulas are not suitable for such cauldrons. When stirred, they can easily chip or leave scratches.
Well-polished cast-iron cauldrons do not need additional coating. In such cauldrons, food does not burn precisely due to the uniform heating of thick walls.
3. By size
Cauldrons come in different sizes — from the smallest to the largest. Orientation to the following proportions will help you choose a cauldron: 1.25 liters of volume per person.
So an 8 liter cauldron is perfect for the house. For cooking in the country, on an open fire, you can purchase models of slightly larger volumes, for example, 10 liters. or 12 liters. Depending on how many people you are going to feed.
In this article, we examined the main types of cauldrons, their advantages and disadvantages. Which cauldron is better — there is no definite answer to this question. For use in different conditions, with different budgets — different people can choose one or another option. But the fact remains undoubted that the most popular all over the world, due to all their advantages, are cast-iron cauldrons. Well, we, in turn, hope that our article will help you decide on a cauldron. And you will be able to enjoy the unsurpassed aroma and taste of dishes cooked in this unique oriental dish.
Uzbek pilaf recipe