This method of cooking allows you to cook more than one thing at the same time using the same heating unit. In this vertical method of cooking, the lower utensil (large skillet and stockpots) cooks the foods that have the most weight and volume, like roasts, long cooking vegetables and casseroles. The steamer rack provides you with another heating unit that utilises heat otherwise lost. Putting it on top of the lower utensil and also taking advantage of the double boiler insert, you can bake a pudding, cook more vegetables, heat rolls while your roast or casserole recipe cooks. The pan on top of the steamer rack is always covered with a dome cover (or another pan inverted) that provides a warming surface on its top.
Choosing the Right Utensil
For this stack cooking method you will learn to choose your pans carefully. The lowest pan will naturally be the largest of the stack. Pieces which will fit over the top of these and form a water seal, will soon become familiar to you. Until you have thoroughly learned which utensils fit into which, use the directions given with the recipe that follows. You will soon reach for the right ones automatically. Use the sketches on the following page as a guide.
Important things to Remember
- Before placing a smaller utensil on top of a larger one, heat the smaller utensil on another hotplate until the whistle tone is heard and is closed.
- Use the upper utensil for foods that have less weight and a shorter cooking time.
- The upper utensil is ideal for cooking fresh and frozen vegetables, fruit, sauces and puddings, or melting butter and chocolate, reheating leftovers, or keeping foods warm.