Waterless cookware, as its name implies, lets you cook your food without using water. It even fries foods without added oil or butter. These pots and pans, made of surgical-quality stainless steel, can help you to gain all the benefits of the food you’re cooking.
When you boil food, you cook away some of the vitamins and minerals they contain. According to Kitchen Craft, makers of waterless cookware, boiling removes more of these nutrients than waterless cooking. This manufacturer compared the nutrients in 12 vegetables cooked both ways.
For example, these 12 vegetables retained 94.4 percent of their calcium when cooked without water, and only 77.8 percent when boiled. Iron retention was 90.4 percent for waterless cooking, and 76.7 for boiling. The manufacturer’s test also measured levels of phosphorous, thiamine or B1, riboflavin or B2, niacin, ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, and carotene, all with similar results.
Although some users questioned the use of stainless steel for cookware, Kitchen Craft references a study by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist in the United Kingdom. This study found that stainless-steel cookware is safe.
This cookware makes waterless cooking possible because it uses less heat to cook your food. The pots and pans are constructed with seven layers, alternating stainless steel, and alloy steel, with one layer of magnetic steel. According to Kitchen Craft, this produces an “oven-like effect” wherein lower heat cooks your food as efficiently as high heat.
Cooking foods at a lower heat destroys fewer of the nutrients they contain. It also makes it less likely that food will stick to the pan, eliminating the need for water or oil. When you fry foods without oil, you aren’t adding extra fat and calories. In addition, heating fats can cause changes in their structures, which has sometimes been linked to cancer and heart disease.
Of course, there are some foods that have to be prepared by cooking them in water. Rice, beans, and pasta, for example, simply can’t be cooked in any waterless way. These foods are dried, and they absorb water while they cook. When cooking other foods, such as eggs, you might need to use a non-stick cooking spray.
In addition to their health benefits, waterless pots and pans can be washed in a dishwasher. If you have a set of heat-control valves on the lids, though, it’s best to wash them by hand.