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Cooking with Xtrema Ceramic Cookware

04.05.13 Cooking with Xtrema Ceramic Cookware

making a skillet

Since Teflon pans have been relegated to the very back burner, this leaves many folks wondering "what's the alternative?" And "how do I know which product to choose?" We certainly understand this confusion and the hesitation about switching to a new way of cooking. It's a common feeling that we grow attached to certain methods of cooking, our cooking tools and the way our favorite foods taste.

You've probably heard of clay pans (yup, we're giving one away below but keep reading about why you'd want one!) making their way into kitchens as a healthy replacement for Teflon. More and more, people are replacing non-stick cookware (which is lined with harmful chemicals - read here for more info on Teflon) for non-reactive cookware made of inherently safe materials like clay and glass. Ceramic cookware is inert and emits a far-infrared heat, an effective and beneficial heat for cooking, enabling a full range of subtle flavors to emerge.

Non-stick surfaces are metal pans (typically aluminum) coated with a synthetic polymer (PTFE i.e Teflon) and labeled with a warning to consumers to AVOID cooking at high temperatures. Why? Cooking in Teflon at medium to high temperatures releases a harmful toxic gas called PFOA that can easily kill a pet bird (if kept in the kitchen) from the fumes. Honestly, how would you really know if the heat was high enough to be releasing toxic fumes? And who wants to be thinking or worrying about this while making your family's dinner?! 

What are the benefits of cooking with ceramic cookware?

  • Healthy: Zero trace metals or chemicals leaching from cooking surfaces like PFOA.
  • Versatile: Oven, stovetop, broiler, freezer, barbeque grill, microwave and dishwasher.
  • High Temperature Cooking: withstands temperatures up to 2700 degrees F.
  • Green: Made using natural gas, clay and water.
  • Durable: Cannot be scratched even by metal utensils and industrial wool.
  • Practical: Foods stay hotter longer and pans are easy to clean with smooth surface.
  • Tasty: Ceramic cooking enhances food flavor.

The Skillets: Xtrema has 2 different sized skillets. The smaller, 6.5" ceramic skillet is perfect for individual servings and is relatively lightweight making it a terrific go-to skillet for everyday cooking. The larger 10" ceramic skillet comes with a silicone sleeve on the handle. Both skillets are made in a press mold where the air pockets (in clay) are compressed, making the skillet durable.

It takes 20 days to complete the production cycle of a skillet and the skillet itself is taken through a multitude of steps (by many skilled artisans). This process begins with an initial press molding, followed by a slow air-drying, a careful cleaning to smooth out any imperfections in the clay, the 1st firing (called a bisque firing), a follow-up sponge bath so the skillet is absolutely free of any dust for the glaze to adhere correctly, 2 layers of non-toxic glaze applied; both dipped and sprayed, a 2nd glaze firing to a higher temperature and a final 3rd firing at a lower temperature for the brand's label and a glaze application to the bottom of the pan. 

The Sauce Pots: Xtrema makes 2 different sized saucepans. The 16 oz. ceramic sauce pot comes with a cover and is the perfect size for making or heating up sauce without any chance of heavy metals leaching in. Because Xtrema is extremely versatile, it can be taken straight from the freezer to a cooking source. The 3.5 quart Xtrema sauce pot with cover is ideal for making soups, stews, pasta dishes and more. And these beauties can come straight to the table and won't cause a headache trying to clean afterwards, especially because they are unscratchable! And the glaze makes for easier surface to scrub.
Tea + Cake: The 2 quart Xtrema teapot functions both as a teapot and as a tea kettle, boiling water without any harmful trace metals that can be potentially toxic and unhealthy for your body's immune system. This teapot can be used on gas, electric or a glass top stove, the microwave and even go through the dishwasher. The teapot is also able to retain heat for awhile so a pot of brewed tea will stay warm. And the 8" square ceramic pan is the perfect all-purpose pan for baking - perfect for making baked desserts, lasagna and potatoes. Made for use in the oven, under the broiler, freezer, microwave, even on the stove top and barbeque grill. And then into the dishwasher.
Now, Xtrema has one potential downfall: it can break, just like any other ceramic object. It's certainly not paper-thin porcelain but it's still fired clay and able to break. But with care, these pieces will last a very long time.
Have you ever tried cooking in clay? What have you made?

 

And YES, we have a 3 pc skillet to GIVE AWAY! The giveaway includes a 10" ceramic skillet, a tight-fitting ceramic lid and a silicone skillet handle.

ENTER HERE!

Giveaways at MightyNest: There are 7 ways to enter this giveaway via Rafflecopter below.

  • Join the MightyNest Newsletter (if you're already on this list, you can still claim these points. Don't worry; you won't get multiple emails from us!)
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