By Eric Capstick
It’s difficult to overstate the gratification that a person can get from quality cookware chosen for the kitchen. If you like to cook, take pride in crafting wholesome and delicious meals virtually every day of the year, your pots and pans – essential cookware – will be akin to a cherished and trusted companion. For many of us the act of cooking is a solitary activity and also, for me at least, a therapeutic exercise. I often find that the stress of the day begins to lift at the moment I begin to get busy in the kitchen. There may be music playing in the background and that can lift the spirits and mood of the moment, but tunes don’t really add much to the meal or the actual cooking process. The tools of the kitchen, however, can be essential and when the prepping is complete and it’s time to turn on the heat there is nothing more important than having the right piece of cookware for the task at hand. And so it is that I take a great deal of personal pleasure from the old and new friends that I have come to know so well over the years, the pots and pans that line the walls and fill the cupboards of our little powerhouse of a kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen.
In fact, it was about twenty-four years ago when the few remaining old timers of the kitchen joined our family of cooking implements. A high-end collection of cookware that we bought back in 1989 were the best pots and pans that I had ever owned, and they served us well over the years though many have just recently moved on to the recycling graveyard. Over time there were two issues that came to plague those pots and pans, and ultimately, undermine the love I had for them. Weight was one of the problems as the pans were so heavy that I would sometimes worry about my wrist giving out when I handled them. I’m over six feet tall and quite fit but I still had trouble handling those large sauté and fry pans whether they were empty or in use. The other more troubling problem concerned the nonstick technology of the cookware in question. They were designed with thin circular ridges on the metal cooking surface that was coated with some sort of long-lasting compound. It took years for the nonstick surface to break down and fleck away (into our meals and down the drain) but in the end the black surface of the pans and particularly the cooking area became whitish silver, and much more difficult to clean after use. Of course, many millions of people have suffered the same fate with their nonstick cookware as not only the durability but the toxic composition on nonstick surfaces has vexed a number of manufacturers for decades.
The industry has evolved and today there are a host of new technologies for nonstick cooking, the most impressive being the Consumer Reports’ number one ranked company in the nonstick category: Swiss Diamond. There is much to applaud in Swiss Diamond’s extensive cookware line and I have had the pleasure to use several of their pans on a regular basis since last summer. The patented diamond-reinforced nonstick cookware line produced by Swiss Diamond is both revolutionary and progressive in its design and manufacture. The aspect of design that is absolutely key to the long-lasting quality of their products is the fact that they’ve accomplished the nonstick part of nonstick cookware by using real diamonds in formulating the cooking surfaces of their pots and pans. There’s a reason that we all have a certain phrase on the tips of our tongues: diamonds are forever. That’s not only because diamonds have become a symbol of long-lasting eternal love in western society but also because of the extremely hard natural composition of the diamonds themselves. Diamonds are the hardest material known to man and each Swiss Diamond pan contains up to 200,000 diamond nanoparticles in the nonstick composite cooking surface. The use of real diamonds in the unique Swiss Diamond manufacturing process not only improves strength and durability but impacts functionality as well. Diamonds conduct heat better than any metal (three times better than copper!) and that allows Swiss Diamond pans to brown food with little or no oil in a manner similar to stainless steel but without all the soaking and scrubbing after the meal. All of the pans in the Swiss Diamond line boast unsurpassed nonstick performance and easily release food during cleanup, even melted cheese and stubborn crusted tomato sauce. Diamonds give these pans naturally nonstick qualities that are superior to titanium surfaces and will really, truly give customers a lifetime of exceptional cooking experience.
Swiss Diamond manufactures all of their products exclusively at their eco-friendly plant at the base of the Swiss Alps. The pans feature cast aluminum construction that provides superior heat distribution with no warping and an extra thick, perfectly flat base. This means your Swiss Diamond pans will never spin or shift unexpectedly when you’re in the middle of cooking a meal. All raw materials and manufacturing processes are strictly controlled by the Swiss government and the company has reduced its impact on the environment by using recyclable aluminum while deriving a significant amount of the energy required from clean, hydroelectric local power. Swiss Diamond also sources all materials and mixes all of the nonstick coatings at their Swiss Alps facility in a completely PFOA-free production process. The manufacturing integrity and environmental stewardship demonstrated by Swiss Diamond has produced the highest quality nonstick cookware in the world and provided a model of corporate responsibility worthy of great respect.
I’ve had the exquisite pleasure of getting to know three different Swiss Diamond products these past months including the 11” Sauté Pan with a tempered glass lid that has an unusual and useful adjustable steam vent, and is extremely well-balanced and easy to handle. I have used the pan for many dishes, most recently to whip up a divine white clam sauce that I mixed with thin linguine and grated parmesan in the pan. After each meal I’ve cooked with this and other Swiss Diamond pans the cleanup was a breeze, taking mere seconds to wipe the pan clean and place on the drying rack. The pans are all dishwasher safe as well so whatever your preference these products absolutely live up to their world-class nonstick reputation. All of the Swiss Diamond pans have “stay-cool” ergonomic handles and are oven-safe up to 500º F, including the lids which are sold separately but are indispensable to achieve maximum control over the cooking process. Because of the heat distribution qualities of the diamond-infused coating and the cast aluminum construction Swiss Diamond pans are designed to be used on medium-high to low heat, so you can use less electricity or gas and brown your food at the same time. And because these pans work so well with little or no oil, they are endorsed by the American Vegetarian Association for healthy cooking, and can be an aid in weight-loss cooking regimens. Swiss Diamond also supports the gluten-free community with recipes and demos on their website.
Another Swiss Diamond product that we’ve welcomed into our family like a long lost relative is the nonstick 8.5qt Stock Pot with Lid that has become a workhorse in my kitchen. I use the pot for soups, stews and casseroles and particularly appreciate the versatility of Swiss Diamond pans to cook a meal on the stovetop before finishing it in the oven and then setting it on the dinner table. Using one pot or pan in this way is a great way to go and helps to reduce the number of pans sullied while cooking to an absolute minimum. I employ a similar strategy when cooking Asian noodle dishes in our new and trusty 12.5” Swiss Diamond Wok with Lid, which is of course, nonstick. When prepping the ingredients I use the wok to boil water for the udon or rice noodles that I will use in the recipe. After I rinse off the cooked noodles with cold water it’s time to cook the stir-fry portion of the meal and I confess to using a few drops of sesame oil at this point for sizzle and flavor. Swiss Diamond has found that their woks provide equal or better results than carbon steel woks when using the proper medium-high to low heat settings, and this has been borne out in my own personal experience. When the stir-fry is ready, usually finished for the last minute or so with the lid in place, I toss the noodles with the vegetables in the wok and bring it out to the hungry masses waiting at the table. My sixteen year-old daughter has recently had a yen for tempura and I’m going to give that a shot in the coming days. Three of the four woks sold by Swiss Diamond come with a stainless-steel tempura rack that fits over the wok and makes it much easier to drain deep-fried foods.
Swiss Diamond ethically produces the highest quality nonstick pots and pans in the world and we are ecstatic to welcome a small collection of their excellent products into our home. The top sellers for the company include fry pans (12.5”) and sauté pans (11” with lid), with exciting new items such as the 10.25” crepe pan and the convenient double-burner griddle that dispenses with problematic electrical cords found on many of the griddles on the market. For holiday cooking, Swiss Diamond’s most popular items include the 11×11” Square Casserole Pan with Lid and the 4.6qt Roasting Pan with Lid. All of their products come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty covering manufacturing defects and you can check out the full line on their informative and well-conceived website below. Though these premium Swiss Diamond products may seem somewhat costly, these excellent pots and pans actually represent long-lasting value that will pay for itself in service, ease and satisfaction many times over the years. In the end, there is no substitute for quality and when it comes to equipping one’s kitchen for the all-important task of cooking the meals we need for health and sustenance Swiss Diamond pots and pans will be a tried and true companion for the ages.
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