Low temperature and steam at low prices: The 21 healthiest cooking utensils this 2017
After the hangover on New Year's Eve, what is it that stars in the first days of the year? Apart from the Roscón, of course: the good resolutions and the sales. Why don't we combine both ideas to start cooking healthier this year? Whether you diet or not, betting on a healthier diet is always a good idea, and there are some kitchen appliances that can be of great help. We can also take advantage of the discounts on these days to equip ourselves well and discover new culinary techniques.
To eat healthy there is nothing like home cooking, but you also have to know how to prepare it. Good technique is essential to achieve maximum flavor by taking advantage of all the nutrients and reducing fat and empty calories. Today we are going to focus on two processes that open up a new world for us when we begin to master them: steam and low-temperature cooking. Keep in mind that the prices we indicate correspond to offers of these days and could vary in the future.
Traditional steamers pots
The lifelong way of steaming has been with accessories that usually include pot sets. It's the one my mother had, although I have to admit that due to laziness she didn't take it out of the closet and it was rarely used at home, until I rescued it. Major kitchenware brands also offer steamers and loose accessories for steaming, with sales these days. For example, the Bra set for steaming with a lid is a good investment, reduced at Amazon to 52.93 euros, or the three-piece Bra Terminox model on sale at El Corte Inglés for 50.36 euros.
Also interesting is the offer of the Lacor steam set reduced to 73.85 euros, or the three-story in purple by Morphy Richars for 43.98. If we prefer a loose basket, at Amazon we have the Bra for only 9 euros, or the folding option of Sonile's mesh type for just 2.70 euros. Of course, they are good options for small kitchens in which many more gadgets no longer fit.
Bamboo and silicone baskets
In recent years, other materials have become popular to incorporate steam cooking into our homes, which curiously are a bit opposite by contrasting ancient tradition with modern technology and materials. I'm talking, of course, about Asian-style bamboo baskets and silicone utensils. I admit to having both types, and I use both frequently.
The bamboo baskets are something more junk to store but they weigh very little and they seem very beautiful, as well as essential if we are passionate about Asian cuisine. At Amazon we have several models, for example the Ibili steamer at 10.90 euros, the Kitchen Craft Pure Oriental in two levels for 17.24, or the Ken Hom steam cooker at 18.28 euros.
As for silicone, there are many different models that even adapt to specific products such as popcorn or rice, although I prefer to invest in a universal one that works for almost everything. The good news is that they take up little space, are easy to wash and can be used in the oven or microwave. The foldable steamer with a lid from Lékué reduced to 23.98 euros, the large case with an offer tray at 32.50, or the large container of Ibili with a capacity of 2.5 liters for 32.52 euros can be good purchases.
Sous-vide, cooking at low temperatures
We move on to the higher leagues with the sous-vide technique, low-temperature cooking and vacuum preservation of food. My partner Pakus already explained to us in great detail recently what this revolutionary way of cooking consists of and why it is becoming fashionable, so it may be a good time to take it home.
Leaving aside the more professional appliances, we have many increasingly affordable domestic options, although they require some investment. For example, we find on Amazon the popular Severin vacuum cooking oven reduced to 138.82 euros, and the great offer of the professional Klarstein Tastemaker that has lowered its price from 229.90 to only 99.99 euros. At the same price we find the Garhe domestic sous vide oven model.
If these gadgets seem a bit clunky to you, you can opt for the immersion circulators. They are smaller appliances that are attached to pots, pans and other kitchen containers, keeping cooking at the desired temperature. The most popular right now is the Anova Culinary, priced at € 179 including shipping. We also have the Lacor portable circulator for 260 euros in Alembic, a tad more expensive right now in Amazon.
To use these devices and cook food correctly at low temperatures, we must complement them with vacuum packers. They are machines that extract the air and seal the bags in which they will be cooked, and that also serve to preserve products at home. We find very clever domestic packaging machines such as Lacor Luxe 120 W, reduced to 79.84 euros, or Jata 9 liters at 95.82 euros.
There are many vacuum packing machines on the market and all are well adapted to a domestic kitchen, with a wide range of prices depending on the use we want to give them. Among the offers of these days, the 12-liter Proficook model is also interesting, reduced to 67.99 euros, or the semi-professional Case Design model, at 195.99 euros. Most already include storage bags but in the long run you will have to add the expense of buying extra parts.
Are you signing up to cook healthier this new year? With steam and sous-vide cooking we will also gain a lot of flavor, since they are techniques that better respect the texture and properties of food, also preserving its nutrients to the maximum. Take advantage of these sales days to get good deals, remembering that the prices indicated here may vary out of season. In any case, investing in health and good cooking is always a safe bet.
Here are some very healthy recipes to get inspired:
- Steamed salmon with old-fashioned mustard sauce and cider.
- Asian style steamed trout.
- Confit Skrei cod loin.
- Low temperature eggs with potatoes and ham.
- Veal skirt cooked at low temperature with oriental lacquer.
- Low temperature beef tenderloin with mushrooms and crispy kale.