Tag Archive: tri-ply

  1. Cooking with Copper: A Brief History

    Leave a Comment

    It is no secret that copper is currently experiencing a huge upsurge in popularity. This is mainly thanks to its beautiful colour featuring heavily in the ranges of countless homeware retailers. There is, however, far more to this lustrous metal than just its appearance.

    For example, it has a greater level of thermal conductivity than any other metal (except silver); roughly 60% higher than aluminium and 3000% higher than stainless steel. This means copper is capable of heating up very quickly when compared to other metals.

    Perhaps a less commonly known property of copper is it being inherently antimicrobial. A wide range of harmful microbes are unable to survive for more than a couple of hours when in contact with a surface made of copper or one of its alloys (brass and bronze). This has led to it often being used for frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, push plates and taps.

    A seemingly perfect material for cooking, it is therefore no surprise that it has been used in kitchens for millennia. But exactly when did we learn to utilise copper and its valuable assets?

    Origins

    It is hard to pin down an exact date when copper cookware was first introduced. Pieces discovered in regions of the middle east were dated as far back as 9000BC, suggesting cooking with copper began during the Neolithic period (≈10000-2000BC). As civilisations became increasingly capable in metallurgical techniques, metals such as copper became more widely used. It would have been around this time that copper replaced stone as the material used for making tools and cooking vessels.

    The use of copper is also well documented in Ancient Egypt. Not only was it used to produce water and oil containers, but it was also used to in medical practices. The antimicrobial nature of copper was exploited long before the concept of microorganisms was fully understood. The Smith Papyrus, a medical text written between 2600 and 2200BC records the use of copper in sterilising wounds and drinking water.

    Tin Lining

    Although copper is essential to many processes within the human body, it can become toxic if consumed in excess. It was this knowledge that gave rise to lining cookware with tin, a technique used for hundreds of years to prevent copper leaching in to food.

    These tin linings would eventually wear out and during the 18th and 19th century, it was common for people to send pans away to be re-tinned. This practice is becoming increasingly rare, as are the craftsmen who perform it. Despite this, there are still manufactures producing tin-lined copper cookware who also offer a re-lining service. Perhaps the best known of these is Mauviel, a French manufacturer who have been making this type of cookware since 1830.

    Tin has now largely been replaced by stainless steel as an interior cooking surface. Not only is it more cost effective, but the high grade of stainless steel used in premium cookware (typically 18/10) is highly resistant to corrosion and more durable than tin.

    Copper Base

    Another way in which the virtues of copper have been combined with those of stainless steel is in copper base cookware. A base plate made from a layer copper and aluminium is fused to a stainless steel body. This is done using a process called impact bonding using 600 tonnes of pressure.

    The high conductivity of copper means the base of the pan will heat much more evenly, reducing the formation of hot spots. Modern 3 ply copper cookware effectively extends this base construction up the sides of the pan also.

    Tri-Ply

    As manufacturing processes advanced it became possible to combine different materials to produce cookware made up of three distinct layers, each possessing their own unique properties. These are as follows;

    1st Layer – Copper

    Very high thermal conductivity allows the entire outer surface to heat rapidly and evenly.

    2nd Layer – Aluminium

    Provides a lightweight core with excellent thermal retention.

    3rd Layer – Stainless Steel

    An inert and highly durable cooking surface.

     

    Copper Tri-Ply Construction

    It is this type of construction that is used by ProWare to produce our Copper Tri-Ply cookware. You can find out more about how these pans are made here.

  2. Char Sui Pork – Chinese Barbecue Pork

    Leave a Comment

    This recipe is something of a favourite in our household, the mix of sweet, the savoury and richness of the pork is something that is very hard to beat. The pork fillets don’t hang about too long when they’re put on the table. It is much easier than you would imagine but it does take some forward planning to allow enough time for the marinade. The versatility of the pork once it is cooked is fantastic, you can serve it many different ways, plus if you’ve got any left overs you can throw them into a fried rice dish or serve on top of some soup noodle etc.

    It also feels like a good debut of our new stainless steel tri-ply roaster!

    Serves: 4

    Prep time: 10 minutes plus minimum 2-3 hours to marinate

    Cooking time: 40 minutes


    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon runny honey
    • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
    • 2 pieces of pork fillet approximately 500 grams

    ProWare Char Sui Pork Ingredients

    For the marinade

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons runny honey
    • 3 tablespoons hosin sauce
    • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
    • 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
    • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 inch (2 cm) knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

    Equipment

    • Knife
    • Chopping board
    • Large ziplock bag or similar for marinating

    Cooking Method

    1. Measure all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and whisk to combine.

      ProWare Char Sui Pork Preparation 1

    2. Place the pork into a large ziplock bag or similar and pour in the marinade. Mix so the pork is coated and seal the bag. Place in the fridge to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
    3. Bring the pork back to room temperature before you plan to roast it.
    4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
    5. Whilst the oven is preheating pour the marinade into a sauce pan and add the additional sugar and honey and bring to a simmer and reduce a little, this is for glazing the pork whilst in the oven.
    6. Place a sheet of foil, roughly double the length of the pork fillets, in the roasting tin. place the pork on top of the foil and fold the foil over loosely. Then place into the oven
    7. Place the pork in the oven for 25 minutes.

      ProWare Char Sui Pork Preparation 1

    8. Turn on the grill setting of the oven, and remove the foil, glaze the pork liberally with the reduction every couple of minutes. Whilst glazing keep an eye on the pork and do not let it crozzle too far.
    9. Remove the pork and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes on a chopping board, loosely covered in foil.

    We like to serve the pork sliced finely in some freshly steamed boa with hoisin, crisply fried shallots and garlic fried choy sum. Enjoy!