Debra Lynn Dadd

soapstone cookware

QUESTION:

Dear Debra,

Thank you for sharing the amazing information on a variety of cookwares. After reading your My New Cookware section, I was very interested in the soapstone pots so I went on to greenfeet.com and bought two. However, I do have a simple question that I am sure you can answer because you have been cooking in them for a while now.

When the pots first came, there was a litte note inside the pots saying that NEVER to heat the pot when it's empty, always make sure to have food or water in it. I am a bit confused by this message. Does that mean I cannot preheat the pot before I do my stir-frys or scramble eggs? How do you use yours? I cannot imagine putting cold oil in the cold pot and then put the food contents. I have always preheat my pots or pans to medium before I add oil. Can you please give me some advice on this? and can you tell me more on how to use these pots? I love cooking rice in cast iron pots but the rusting some times drives me nuts, I would love to cook in clay too but they are porus....

Thank you so much for your time and your great work!


POSTED BY ARIEN :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 02/02/2007 6:14 AM


DEBRA'S ANSWER:

Well...I thought I had read all the instructions, but I didn't see that little slip of paper, so I have been preheating my soapstone pots with no ill effect. Especially since one of the characteristics of these pots is that they are slow to heat, so I always preheat them before I put in the food.

One of the best things to use these pots for is scrambled eggs. They just taste better and have better texture than in metal skillets. I heat the pot, then add the butter, let it melt, then add the beaten eggs.

I also love to use my soapstone pots to make soups and stews, and they would be great for things like rice.

I just went and looked at the actual printed instructions brochure from the manufacturer and not only does it not say anything about not preheating, it says, "A pre-heated griddle or pan make even tabletop cooking possible, turning out sizzling steaks and seafood."

So I have no idea why yours came with a slip of paper saying never heat without food. Call greenfeet and ask them and let us know.

Debra :-)


COMMENTS:

Hi Debra,

I actually called greenfeet first to ask about it but their answer wasn't very clear so I ended up emailing you. They basically told me it's best to follow the manufacture's advice and to have something in the pot to prevent thermo shock. So I think they just want to caution people not to heat the pot when it's empty to a very high degree and then add cold food to it because that way, it might crack. So from a retailer's perspective I can understand why.

The little slip was by itself and it was in bright orange color. But if you have been preheating the pots I am sure it's fine then. My husband actually cautioned me about it too (he thought I was crazy buying all those stone looking pots!), saying, "did you read that note, it says not to heat when it\'s empty, you sure they are for cooking?" ha ha ha.

I am curing them as I typed. I coated them with avocado cooking oil and left them sit in the oven for about 12 hours now in 100 degrees. The instruction says in a warm place, so I hope it's okay. I can't wait to cook rice in them. I got so sick of the taste of rice from rice cookers (and I never found out what the insert of the rice cookers are made off...it seems to be a nonstick coating. do you know?).

Thanks Debra! Your comments/advice are always appreciated!

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: I think the rice cooker liners are aluminum..


POSTED BY ARIEN :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 02/02/2007 11:33 AM


Regarding pre-heating pans:

Whenever I pre-heat a pan, I put a bit of water in it first. When the water evaporates, the pan is warm. That way, you won't overheat.

POSTED BY CINDY :: NEW JERSEY USA :: 02/06/2007 5:55 PM


I purchased some soapstone cookware after consulting w/you and I LOVE it. I did purchase, however, some enameled cast iron stovetop diffusers, because the first soapstone piece I got cracked being placed directly on the stove eye.

Have you tried refrigerating your soapstone? I refrigerated some hummus I made overnight that I was taking to a shower the next afternoon, placed it in one of those silver keep-cold/keep-hot thermal bags (from Publix), and it was STILL very cold at 2 p.m. (I left home around 9 that morning).

Thanks for all the good into on your site.

POSTED BY GINGERLOU :: WISCONSIN USA :: 10/15/2007 3:13 PM


The two soapstone pots I bought cracked when I put them directly on the stove ring too. But the manufacturer was nice enough to replace both of them for me. and I am not going to use them until I get a stove diffuser then.

POSTED BY ARIEN :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 10/16/2007 7:32 AM


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