Waterless Cooking

The Vapor Seal Method

Mother nature designed food to give us everything we need—naturally. Food contains abundant flavor, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and color. However, many cooking methods can rob food of its natural qualities.

Fortunately, Vita Craft's vapor seal, waterless, greaseless cookware saves money, work, time, energy, flavor, vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

"Waterless, greaseless" cooking is possible because a vapor seal is created around the lid; and heat is distributed evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the cookware.

This process cooks food in its own natural liquids for nutritious, flavor-filled meals. Food shrinkage is greatly reduced, making waterless, greaseless cooking more economical than ordinary cooking methods. The vapor seal is maintained by using low heat. Thus, Vita Craft is the most energy efficient cookware on the market.

The vapor seal method retains the nutritional value of your food by eliminating the processes that drain food of its natural goodness. Peeling fruits and vegetables removes the vitamins and minerals directly beneath the skin. We do not recommend you peel these foods; a good scrub is all that is necessary.

Boiling sterilizes food, dissolves water soluble minerals, and destroys both the flavor and color. The vapor seal method cooks food completely in in its own natural moisture, without added water and without boiling.

High temperature destroys vitamins and minerals and causes food shrinkage. For example, when you smell a roast cooking in the oven you are really smelling the natural meat juices that have been transformed into vapor. The high temperature combined with open cooking greatly adds to meat shrinkage. The vapor seal method cooks meats on medium to low heat, retaining the natural juices which tenderize and flavor the meat. This method also retains the natural juices and flavor and greatly decreases meat shrinkage.

Oxidation of food occurs when cooking without a cover exposes food to the air, greatly reducing the quality of the food. These qualities are locked into food when the vapor seal is formed, keeping the aroma in the pan. For example, you will not know if broccoli or cabbage is being cooked until the cover is removed from the pan.

Lastly, grease—adding fats and oils in food preparation makes food seven times harder to digest, as well as adding excessive calories. Using the vapor seal, the foods' natural properties keep them from sticking. Plus, the vapor seal retains natural flavors. The need for added butter and oils after cooking is not necessary to restore flavor.

Vapor seal cooking is very different from traditional cooking because you do not need to add moisture or fats. Everything else you already know about cooking applies, once you know the vapor seal basics.

The Simple Basic Rules
Always use the correct size pan, one that the food most almost nearly fills. Cooking with a pan too large for the food quantity can destroy vitamins and minerals, dry your foods, and possibly cause your food to burn.

Create a Vapor Seal
Fill a pan with fresh or frozen vegetables. Rinse in cold water then drain. Enough water clings to the food to combine with natural juices to cook food in its own moisture. Cover the pan, place on a burner, and turn burner to medium heat. When lid is hot to the touch, or vapor escapes around the lid and the lid can be spun freely, the vapor seal has formed. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking on low until done. This is the waterless part of this new cooking. If you cook several vegetables together with no water there will be no interchange of flavor. Each vegetable will be full of its own flavor and valuable nutrients.

Control the Heat
Waterless, greaseless cooking is a low-temperature method that can be used on any type of stove. Lower heat retains moisture and keeps food from burning. The following are general rules for heat use.

MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT
• For heating utensils to brown or sear meat
• For re-moisturizing dried foods by steaming over water until the water boils
• For pan broiling thick steaks or chops (3/4" or thicker)

MEDIUM HEAT
• For pan broiling thin steaks, chops, hamburgers or chicken breasts
• For starting fresh fruits and vegetables until vapor seal forms
• To start direct top-of-range baking

LOW (OR SIMMER) HEAT
• For cooking roasts after browning
• For cooking fresh vegetables and fruits after vapor seal forms
• For re-moisturizing dried foods by steaming over water after the water boils
• For cooking less tender cuts of meat after browning all sides
• For finishing top-of-range baking after pan cover is hot

Don't Peek
Resist that urge to peek: When the cover is removed during the cooking period, heat and moisture are allowed to escape and the vapor seal is broken. This lengthens cooking time.

Be Specific
Follow time charts, recipes and general instructions for meats, vegetables, etc, under their specific headings.

Many cooks put a lot of pressure on themselves when it comes to preparing a meal. They must have a recipe to follow and it must be followed to a tee. Although the stores are full of cookbooks, there are not many on waterless/greaseless cooking. To be able to enjoy the recipes available and receive the benefits of cooking without water and added fats, you will need to learn to adapt recipes. The easiest way to do this is to understand and trust your cookware.

Use Lower Temperature Settings
One of the benefits of Vita Craft cookware is the way it conducts heat - on low. One common mistake is using a heat setting that is too high. Keep this in mind - a perfect cake can bake in Vita Craft on top of the range on LOW. To bake the same cake in the oven would require 350ºF (180ºC)! Because of the aluminum core across the bottom and up the sides of the pan, heat conducts evenly, requiring lower temperatures. Think of a pan and cover as a mini-oven on top of your stove. Leave the cover in place, the same as you leave an oven door shut. To bake cakes, spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray (or lightly grease) - fill the pan half full with batter, and cover. Start cooking on medium heat for five minutes, then reduce to low heat. Cook accordingly to time listed on recipe directions.

Understanding Waterless Cooking
Rinse and freshen vegetables. Pour off excess water, cover utensil, set on low heat, and remember not to peek. Every time you raise the cover you allow the moisture to escape. Be sure you are using the correct pan. The vegetables should fill or almost fill the pan. Too much air is like a sauna in a ballroom - it does not work.

If the food has moisture like vegetables you can retain the moisture—if it is dried, such as rice, pasta, or dried beans, you will need to add some water.

Enjoy Greaseless Cooking
You may prepare your foods WITHOUT added oils and fats. Remember, you are cooking on a stainless steel surface. To prepare steaks, preheat the utensil on medium to medium-high heat until water drops "dance" when sprinkled on the pan. Place steaks in the pan (take care in placing your steaks as they will immediately begin to sear, temporarily sticking to the surface, and you should not move them until they are ready to turn). After 4-5 minutes try to lift a corner of your steak, do not force, the meat releases itself. When that side is seared, turn and cook to your steak preference.

To sauté onions and garlic, simply use medium-low heat and cover the pan — they sauté in their own moisture...no oil is needed. If olive oil is added, it's added for the flavor so often less is used. Most meats, chicken, chops, and fish have natural fats and oils, so you do not need to add them. Eggs have no natural oil — you need to spray the pan with vegetable cooking spray or use a small amount of butter or margarine.

Practice Regular Cleaning
Use a stainless steel cleaner regularly. Your Vita Craft cookware performs best when very clean.