A braising pan is a secret to preparing restaurant-quality food every time.
Whether you are a seasoned chef or rarely cook, you will find it easy to work with a braising pan.
But what is a braising pan, anyway, and what makes it so special? Let’s find out!
What Is a Braising Pan?
Typically found in commercial kitchens, a braising pan is extremely versatile cooking equipment.
In the culinary world, it goes by various names, including frypan, tilting skillet, or simply, braiser.
While it is often included in the list of commercial cooking equipment, many at-home cooks use a braising pan at home to prepare delicious meals easily and swiftly.
Here is a braising pan in action:
What Is a Braising Pan Used For?
The uses of braising are extensive as it can be employed for a variety of jobs around the kitchen. Common recipes prepared in a braising pan include stews, pot roasts, and pasta.
You can use it to braise, fry, or boil. It is also an excellent choice for poaching, thawing, or blanching food. As braising pans feature a lid, you can also use it to simmer the food without losing moisture.
Perhaps, the most distinctive quality of the braising pan is that it can be tilted a few degrees to drain the oil or fat away from the food as it cooks in the pan.
This technique works like a charm when it comes to braising or griddling meat.
You can also use the braising pan to steam food. Simply fill around an inch of the water in the pan and set to boil.
Use a perforated tray, pan, or rack to hold the food above the boiling water. Cover the pan with its lid. Your food will be steamed in just a few minutes!
Proofing can be done in the same way. The only difference is that instead of boiling water, fill the pan with hot water.
It also doubles as a proof box or a hot bakery to store cooked food and baked goods. The ease of use and versatility of the braising pan makes it one of the most useful kitchen equipment, especially when the kitchen space is limited.
This is mainly because a single braising pan can substitute various other equipment in the kitchen. Let’s take a closer look at the braising pan to learn more about it.
What Does a Braising Pan Look Like?
A braising pan is large in size, with a flat bottom. It is generally rectangular in shape.
However, a square braising pan may also be available. It has high sides, which is why it is the ideal choice for braising, boiling, frying, and even roasting.
It usually features one or two handles that make it easier to handle the pan while cooking. The pan can be tilted by a few degrees as required to simplify the cooking process.
Why Every Seasoned Cook Must Own a Braising Pan
If you enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, it is best to invest in a braising pan. A braising pan offers various advantages over ordinary pans.
Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent advantages of using a braising pan.
Unmatched Ease of Use
Braising pans are extremely easy to use. They are designed to streamline the process of cooking via various cooking methods. It comes with a lid that is extremely easy to manipulate.
Moreover, you can tilt the pan as required to remove the fat and oil from the meat or whatever you may be cooking.
You can also adjust the heat setting as per your requirement to make sure you prepare delicious dishes every time.
Considering everything, a braising pan is one of the easiest pans that you can use even for more complex cooking procedures, such as braising and poaching.
Even a novice cook can use the pan with maximum ease.
The braising pan is extremely versatile. They can be used for a variety of cooking techniques.
Whether you want to braise, boil, fry, simmer, roast, poach, thaw, blanch, or even store cooked food — the braising pan can do it all.
So, if you want to stock your kitchen with new pans and pots, instead of buying different kinds of pans and pots for different purposes, a feasible solution would be to invest in a braising pan.
Perfect for Commercial and Home Cooking
Braising pans are generally considered to be commercial cooking equipment.
However, it is also perfect for home cooking, especially if you like hosting parties or cook large quantities of food at a time.
Types of Braising Pans
These pans are typically large and bulky, but they are available in different types and sizes. There are three basic types of braising pans:
Pressure braising pans is another option. These pans are becoming increasingly popular in restaurants as they allow for pressurized cooking, reducing the cooking time considerably.
The only downfall to using pressurized braising pans is they tend to overcook the food quickly if left unattended.
Plus, you need to be extra careful while cooking with these because if the lid is left unlocked, the pressure buildup may remove the lid, leading to injury.
Braising Pan Capacity
In size (capacity), these braising pans range from 10 to 40-gallon. This means you can choose the best cooking pan for yourself based on your requirements and personal preferences.
If you want to buy a braising pan for home cooking, it is best to opt for a 10, 12, or 16-gallon pan.
On the other hand, if you plan on using your braising pan commercially, it is advisable to invest in a larger pan, around 30 to 40 gallons.
How to Clean a Braising Pan
While it may not look like it at first, a braising pan is extremely easy to clean.
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to clean your braising pan in just a few minutes.
Step 1 – Prepare the Unit
The first thing you need to do is to prepare your braising pan for cleaning by turning it off.
Give it an adequate amount of time to cool down completely. Once the unit is cool to touch, you can begin the cleaning process.
Step 2 – Remove the Drain Screen
The next step is to remove the drain screen from the unit. Wash it with soap and water separately in a sink. You can also stick it in the dishwasher if the drain screen is dishwasher safe.
However, it must be noted that not all braising pans come with a drain screen. So, you can skip this step if your pan does not have a draining screen.
Step 3 – Prepare Cleaning Solution
Typically, you do not require any special cleaning agents for your braising pan.
Simply combine warm water with a mild detergent or dishwashing liquid in a bucket, and you are good to go. Avoid using chloride-based cleaners, especially if your braising pan is made of stainless steel.
Step 4 – Clear the Braising Pan
Remove any food particles that may be inside the pan.
It is advisable to use a nylon brush for this purpose. If the food is stuck or baked-in and scrubbing does not help, pour the liquid solution you created in the pan and let it soak for a few minutes.
If your braising pan is particularly hard to clean, you can use a water-based solution of baking soda, vinegar, ammonia, or similar alcohol-based substitutes to soak your braising pan.
Let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub again. The food particles will come off without much elbow grease.
Step 5 – Rinse and Dry
Once the braising pan is thoroughly cleaned, drain the unit and add more water to rinse the pan.
Rinse it with clean, warm water a few times to remove detergent residue. Use a towel to dry the surface of the braising pan.
Step 6 – Clean the Exterior
Now that you are done with cleaning the inside of your pan, it’s time to clean the exterior. You can use the same warm water and detergent solution to gently scrub the exterior of the pan.
To clean stubborn stains, you can use baking soda or ammonia. Rinse your pan with water once it is thoroughly cleaned and dry using a clean towel.
Like any other pan, a braising pan needs to be seasoned after heavy cleaning. Cover the bottom with oil to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
It will also make the cleaning process easier. Refrain from spraying water on the mechanical components of the braising pan as you clean the inside and interior of the pan.
The Bottom Line
With increased ease of use and reduced cooking time, a braising pan can simplify cooking for you. However, you must be careful while purchasing a braising pan and be wary of its size.
For example, you cannot move a 40-gallon braising pan through a 32-inch door without disassembling it. It must be noted that disassembling your braising pan can be time-consuming and costly.
Now that you know everything about braising pans, you can get one for your home or restaurant to enjoy cooking like never before!
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