Evaluation of Waterless Cookware on an Induction Cooktop
Michelle Coyle, Michelle Fontana, Alaina Knaak,
|COOKING METHOD RESULTS||HQ Induction||HQ Stovetop||MP Induction||LC Stovetop|
|Mean (SD)||Mean (SD)||Mean (SD)||Mean (SD)|
|3.5 (.71)||3.6 (.70)||3.1 (.74)||3.0 (.67)|
|4.3 (.48)||3.4 (.84)||3.8 (.79)||3.5 (.71)|
|Appearance (scale 1-5)||4.6 (.97)||3.3 (.95)||2.6 (1.14)||4.2 (1.03)|
|Percent shrink loss||37.50%||27.66%||35.04%||60%|
Figure I.Taste panel texture scoring
Figure 2. Taste panel appearance scoring
Three different types of cookware were used in this research project. Cookware products were provided by two companies who manufactured waterless cookware—one company also manufactured the induction cooktop—and the University foods lab. The high quality stainless steel cookware was used on an induction cooktop and an electric cooktop. The manufacturer’s waterless cookware was used on the induction cooktop, and cookware from the University foods lab was tested only on the electric cooktop, due to the fact that the cookware was not appropriate for use with induction cooking. Cookware that is 7-ply has seven layers of stainless steel, making it heavier, more durable, and a compliable product to work on an induction cooking system.
High Quality Stainless Steel Waterless Cookware
The high quality stainless steel cookware (HQ) used in this study was a waterless product made by Americraft. The cookware was a 7-Ply T-304 surgical stainless steel. T-304 stainless steel was part of the austenitic group which was composed of chromium 18% and nickel 8% (18/8); it has good corrosion resistance due to high molybdenum contents and the addition of nitrogen. The austenitic group can withstand temperatures of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. The high-end stainless steel cookware pan used in the experiment had a diameter of 6.5 inches and weighed two pounds. The pan also was completely flat on the bottom and constructed of appropriate material for use on an induction cooktop. The chicken prepared in the high quality stainless steel cookware on the induction stovetop was scored the highest by the taste panel for texture and appearance. Chicken prepared in this cookware on the electric stovetop exhibited the lowest percentage of shrink loss.
Cookware Provided by Induction Cooktop Manufacturer
The manufacturer makes a 1200 W induction cooktop that is made of electric and induction heating components to create a magnetic current on cookware compatible with induction cooktops. When a 1200 W induction cooktop is sold, the manufacturer includes a waterless frying pan (MP). The pan, appropriate for induction cooking, is made from a certain grade of aluminum that is brazed by a heavy stainless steel, and coated by Teflon for product protection and utilization. Teflon, provided by DuPont, is a coating that does not bond with water, therefore creating a non-stick surface. Teflon is a non-reactive agent and should not cause any harm during the cooking process. Like the quality stainless steel cookware, the manufacturer’s waterless pan is completely flat on the bottom for induction cooking. The pan weighed 1.6 pounds, and had a diameter of 7.2 inches. Information is not available regarding the type of stainless steel and aluminum used in this cookware. The taste panel participants found the induction cooktop manufacturer’s cookware to be the second best choice for texture and appearance. This cookware on the induction top had the next to lowest shrink loss percentage (e.g., about 35 %).
University Foods Lab Cookware
The cookware provided by the University foods lab (LC) is over 25 years old and information regarding the composition of the product was not available. This cookware had the lowest score on taste, and close to the lowest score on texture. This could be due to oil that was required for this cookware so the chicken breast would not stick.
According to the results, the cooktop and cooking method with overall acceptability was the high quality waterless cookware on the induction cooktop. It is assumed that this overall acceptability was due to the material and quality of the pan and the method (i.e., waterless on induction) as this method received the highest or close to the highest (although, not necessarily significantly higher) score on each outcome, taste, texture, and appearance. The tight seal cover of this pan’s lid allowed all moisture to remain in the pan during the entire cooking process resulting in a tender product. Although induction stovetop manufacture makes a waterless pan for induction cooking, we believe its product was less acceptable by the panelists due to the fact that its cover was made of glass and had a steam release opening. This opening allowed for moisture to escape and resulted in a product that was less juicy and tender than the HQ product. The other cookware provided by the University foods lab (LC) produced low results in two of the three outcomes (i.e., taste and texture). It is noteworthy that LC stovetop scored relatively low on taste and texture, but second highest on appearance. In this instance, frying on an electric stovetop may look acceptable (but not as acceptable as HQ induction) but not taste as well nor have as tender a texture as the other methods.
Taste Panel Bias
Consumers have complex and varying preferences in their food choices. For example, some consumers may prefer a “blackened effect” for chicken rather than the golden brown color as the desired end point. The oil used in the method with the regular cookware (LC stovetop) may have affected the taste of the chicken and the taste panelists’ decisions. Also, every member of the taste panel was female. If there had been males the results could have been different.
The thermometers used were not calibrated before the first half of our results. There was some difficulty getting the chicken to the correct temperature even though the chicken was cooked thoroughly, which may have increased the cooking time, and led to an overcooked, drier and less tender chicken breast.
There were limited instructions (if any at all) for the cookware. The manufacturer’s induction cookware (MP) had no information on how to use their product correctly and efficiently. For the high quality stainless steel cookware (HQ) there was no information on how to properly cook a plain chicken breast with their product or on the induction cooktop.
It was noted during the cooking trials that once the lid from the waterless cookware was removed, it took longer to achieve the correct internal chicken breast temperature. The increased cooking time led to over cooked, drier, and less tender chicken. The manufacturer’s induction cookware came with a clear lid so the cooker can observe their product which made cooking a litter easier, whereas the high quality stainless steel cookware had a metal lid and observation was more difficult.
Number of Trials
The study would be more accurate if more trials were performed. We perfected our method of cooking before we recorded our actual trials, but more trials are necessary to further validate our research results.
Skinless and boneless chicken breasts cooked in a high quality, waterless cookware such as the high quality stainless steel cookware tested in this study, on an induction cooktop, gave chicken breasts a desirable appearance and texture. When the results of different cookware were compared, it was found that the high quality stainless steel cookware on the induction cooktop produced a product with the highest appearance rating according to the consumer taste panel. The high quality, stainless steel cookware tended to receive the highest scores when used in both cooking methods—induction and electric stovetop. In this study, induction cooking, in addition to cooking food more efficiently and using less energy in a safer manner, produced the highest scores for taste, texture, and appearance.
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