By "Chef" Pete Updike, Authorized Saladmaster Dealer
You’ll find that, unlike other types of cookware, you only need to know four heat settings with Saladmaster:
- Medium: Medium is where the bulk of the cooking is done. On an electric stovetop this is normally one-half way around the dial. On a gas stovetop this is a half-way flame (this is where the flame comes up half way toward, not on, the pan).
- Low: This is normally the lowest setting on your electric range. On a gas range the flame is barely glowing around the burner (not curling up at all). Hint: When cooking and you’ve turned the burner to low, the Vapo-Valve™ should stop clicking and a partial vacuum forms holding the lid down. If the Vapo-Valve™ is still clicking, you have not turned the heat low enough. It is extremely rare, but you may need a heat diffuser (flame-tamer) which acts as a metal hot pad above your burner and broadens your heat range to accommodate the lower energy saving temperatures that Saladmaster allows for. Your Saladmaster representative will be happy to help you find where this can be purchased, but as I said, this is extremely rare.
- Medium-low: This is used when turning your Saladmaster cookware into a slow cooker or crock pot type cooking. Typically, this is used to create the “fall-apart” type of meats or to tenderize thick foods like whole baked potatoes. This is done by bringing heat first to medium until the Vapo-Valve™ clicks and then reducing heat to the point where the valve clicks only every few seconds. This allows food to continue to cook and tenderize without drying out (just make sure that what you are cooking has natural juices, etc.). In the case of encapsulated foods like a whole baked potato or eggs in the shell, put about ¼ to ½ cup of water in the bottom of the pan so the valve is activated as per instructions above. In the case of hard boiling eggs a wet paper towel in the bottom is also sufficient.
- Medium-high: This is only used when searing in the juices of such meats as thicker bone-in chicken thighs, breasts or steaks. Medium-high is typically one notch higher than medium on an electric stove or where the flame of a gas stove is barely “kissing” the bottom of the pan on a gas range. Once seared the heat is reduced.
Keep in mind that all stoves are different as you read suggested heat and time instructions on recipes, and the altitude at which you’re cooking comes into play too. Don’t be discouraged, learning about your new Saladmaster cooking system may take just a little practice. Making mistakes is one of the best things you can do when first using your Saladmaster 316Ti cookware because you'll quickly realize the adjustments that need to be made - usually lowering the heat slightly.