When I left home 20 years ago my mother gave me my first set of “good pots”, and over the years they’ve prepared hundreds of meals for family and friends. I’ve added to these over the years, but I’m actively looking at buying some new pots and pans.
I’m currently completing 2 certificates at George Brown College - Culinary Arts and Baking Arts. Each week I use some seriously functional cookware and bakeware that can stand up to the rigours of student cooking and baking. My “good pots” are functional, but I’ve been looking to add some brightly coloured pots and pans that could also function as serving dishes.
Then along came the Food Blogger of Canada conference and 3 Nordic Ware pans.
To be honest I didn’t know that Nordic Ware made cookware, I thought they only made bakeware. In the past, I’ve used a couple of their molded Bundt pans for cakes that I've baked. The bakeware has served me well in the past, so when I got the Nordic Ware Pro Cast Traditions 3-quart Dutch Oven, the 4.5-quart Braiser and the Chicken Leg Griller I was quite eager to try them all.
Since getting them in February, I’ve used the Dutch oven to make a pork roast, a beef roast and the Braiser to make Braised Beef in Red Wine, a Fish stew, and a Mushroom and Lentil stew for a cottage pie. I’ve also used the Griller to make Prosciutto Wrapped chicken legs, which I’ve reviewed here. It’s safe to say I’ve given all of the pieces a proper workout since I got them.
Both the Dutch oven and the Braiser are enameled in a cranberry red, which looks stunning when sitting on the table. They are also surprisingly quite light, which is quite surprising considering its relative size. The Dutch oven weighs less than 4 pounds and the Braiser weighs less than 6. The cranberry colour covers the entire pot including the bottom of the both pots, and the handles.
At the bottom of both pots, I found a series of small “discs” which form an air cushion bottom that’s supposed to improve the heat distribution when cooking. I cook on a gas stove, and it worked beautifully. I’m interested on trying it on my sister-in-law’s glass cooktop to see if there is any difference when cooking on that.
Both pots come with lids that sit tightly on the pots to create a tight seal while cooking, I found this locked in the flavour, and it seemed to be that the roasts cooked faster. Every time I made a roast, I seared it on the stovetop, covered it with the lid before putting it in the oven. It was brilliant it because everything was done in one pan - only one pot/pan to clean. My kinda cooking!
The insides of both pots are coated with a black, pre-seasoned nonstick finish, which prevents the meat from sticking while I seared it, or veggies from sticking to the bottom of either pot. While I’ve used it a few times with success, I'm intrigued to see how the finish weathers over time.
Cleanup with the non-stick finish was easy. Below is a picture of the brasier after cooking the lentil and mushroom stew. I was able to wash the pot by hand, although you could put them in the dishwasher, a quick dry later they were back in the cupboard.
I’m glad that I got these pots. Not only has it opened my eyes to Nordic Ware, but it’s also encouraged me to expand my search for pots away from the popular but extremely expensive, brightly covered European brand. The Nordic Ware pots are moderately priced, and I think that they’re good value for money. I have already recommended these to a good friend of mine who enjoys cooking as much as I do. I've suggested that he get the midnight blue so that we’d have a beautifully colourful table when we get together to eat.
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