Each Thanksgiving, Americans eat about 535 million pounds of turkey (that’s 45 million turkeys). A typical turkey has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat. One way to significantly enhance the flavor is by using a meat injector.
“Everyone knows the benefits of basting turkeys, but few people take advantage of the big taste benefits of using a marinade injector,” explained Jeff Schweppe, president of Lombard kitchenware retailer, Schweppe, Inc. “It’s a very simple procedure with no learning curve.”
Meat injectors are basically a syringe with a large needle. Cooks use it to place small amounts of liquids into thick parts of the meat before cooking—this is the best way to get an abundance of moisture and flavor into your turkey.
Start with a thin, clear liquid that won’t clog the needle. This means, avoid flaky herbs, crushed garlic, etc. Instead consider seasoned vinegars, oils, and wine with finely processed spices. Remember that the goal is to enhance the turkey’s flavor, not overpower it; so avoid strong spices and hot sauces.
Because you’ll want to get the liquid into as many places as possible, distribute the injection sites evenly across the bird and direct the needle to the center of the meat. It’s a simple process that makes a difference in taste your guests will notice.
Aluminum is light, non-toxic, and easy to cast into cookware. Next to copper, it’s the best heat conductor. But compared to copper, it’s also less expensive and stronger. Aluminum can be easily treated in the factory to reduce sticking or covered with a non-stick surface. Like cat iron and copper, aluminum is a reactive metal and shouldn’t be used for cooking acidic foods. Following are 3 common types of aluminum cookware materials:
Rolled aluminum is the most common cookware material currently in use. It’s light weight, heats quickly, and retains heat well. But if it’s too thin, it doesn’t distribute heat evenly.
Anodized aluminum is electro-chemically treated in the factory to increase corrosion resistance, increase abrasion resistance, and for aesthetic reasons. Even though anodized aluminum has a very hard, durable surface, it’s susceptible to scratches, so special utensils have to be used. Also, this type of cookware generally can’t be washed in a dishwasher; some newer versions can.
Because cast aluminum, like cast iron, is porous it requires seasoning. Cast aluminum heats relatively quickly and requires only a low to moderate heat source. It also retains heat longer than some other materials (including rolled aluminum). The downside to cast aluminum is that it doesn’t distribute heat as evenly as some other materials and it’s more brittle (prone to cracking if dropped).
My best advice is not to get caught up in trends and aesthetics. Instead, choose cookware made of materials that are geared toward the type of cooking you are doing and buy the best that you can afford.
While the days get shorter and the air gets colder, it’s important to find a bit of warmth to brighten your days.
Come and join Schweppe for our Demo Days event! We offer you a holiday afternoon filled with hearty food, informative product demonstrations, warm beverages, and so much more.
Demo Days are on:
- Friday, November 19th, from 11:00am to 2:00pm
- Friday, December 10th, from 11:00am to 2:00pm
So bring your family and friends, you’re sure to have a good time!
Basic stainless steel is an iron alloy that, when combined with chromium and other metals, becomes corrosion resistant. It is a poor heat conductor and requires constant attention during use to ensure even cooking. Sometimes manufacturers add a layer of more conductive material, such as copper or aluminum. For stovetop cooking, look for pans with thick, heat-diffusing bottoms.
Despite the conductivity issues, cooks love stainless steel because it doesn’t react to acidic foods and the attractive appearance only requires a minimum amount of care; it won’t chip or rust.
Copper is the best heat-conducting material used in cookware. It heats quickly and evenly, and requires only low to moderate heat. By comparison, copper has about 10 times the heat conductivity of stainless steel and glass, and twice that of aluminum. The downside to quick conductivity is that copper loses heat quickly (it doesn’t make great serving ware).
Since copper is a soft metal, look for a heavy gauge or hammered style (creates strength), increasing the life of the pan. Like cast iron, copper reacts to acidic foods, which is why it’s often lined with another material, most commonly tin. There is a misconception that copper is high maintenance, but there’s no reason other than aesthetics that copper needs to be kept bright and shiny. In fact, some cooks like the lived in look of older copper pans. Like all other cookware, it just needs to be sanitary.