Sunday, September 23, 2007
I love finding new, cool kitchen gadgets. One that I've encountered recently is the HotPan, produced by Kuhn Rikon in Switzerland, and in Sweden, sold by Roswi. In effect, this is a two-part pot. Innermost, a normal pot with a tight fitting lid, in stainless steel. It has a very thick and heavy bottom to ensure good heat distribution throughout. Outermost, a melamine bowl. The cool thing about that is that it works like a thermos.
So - what you do is put everything you're going to eat in the pot. Bring it to a boil, but only boil it for about a third of the time you normally would. Then place it in the bowl, and voila - it'll cook on its own, until finished. It will also keep warm for up to two hours, so you can cook something until it's finished, and then it'll wait until you're ready to serve it. Nice for dinner parties!
The main attraction here is definitely energy saving, but it's also convenient in general as you need to spend less time actively working in the kitchen, and the same time waiting for the food to be ready. An added bonus? I'd say the bright colors, they're really quite pretty.
I got to borrow an orange one from Roswi to try out, and I've been really pleased with it. Granted, I haven't tried a ton of things, but what I have tried has turned out very nicely. I've had great success with a lentil soup, and I did some long-cooked broccoli that was just excellent.
The drawbacks? It's not perfect for everything, of course. I'd say it's best for things where you can put all in at once, and just let it meld together. Like stews, or soups. It'd also be good for things that steam, like rice or cous-cous, and probably bulgur or wheat berries too. And I *think* it'll work really well for poaching things like salmon or chicken, but I haven't tried that yet.
So, do I want one of these? Yeah, kinda, sorta, I think so. I'll certainly miss the one I'm trying out! However, the biggest drawback is the price. These are expensive. Really. I'm not completely sure of the cost, but it's about the same as Le Creuset, if that tells you anything. They're also sold in fairly few places in Sweden so far, but I think you'll see them in more places soon. After all, energy saving is very popular, and I think that's the main feature these pans really have.
The HotPan comes in orange, black, blue, green and red, and with matching utensils and a special cookbook. There are five sizes - 1, 2, 3, 4.5 and 5 litres.
For exact information on price and where to buy, contact Roswi or if you're not in Sweden, Kuhn Rikon for information.