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    The Art of the Sear: How Stainless Steel Can Elevate Your Home Cooking

    caraway shoot HZ

    This is Caraway Month, and all month long, we'll be dishing out the secrets of our favorite food creators. Stay tuned for weekly deals, surprises, and inspiration to take your home cooking to the next level.

    This week, recipe developer Shawn Williams of @kitchenswagger is serving up his hottest tips on using Stainless Steel. Want to try it? Our Stainless Steel Set is 20% off this week!

    Could you tell us a bit about your background? How did you become a recipe developer?

    I’ve always loved food and cooking. My mom is a fantastic cook and was always cooking and baking at home. I grew up cooking and wasn't afraid to experiment with different ingredients and spices. It built a solid foundation for the cook I am today. After college, I started cooking all of my own meals and built a basic PDF cookbook to organize all of my own recipes. I got tired of updating it and decided to start a food blog for fun. I had no idea it would turn into the business it has become today.

    Shawn Williams Headshot

    How would you describe your approach to cooking?

    Simplicity is key for me. While I occasionally like to cook more demanding recipes, I’ve found the combination of using fresh whole ingredients and keeping things simple yields really delicious results. For my own cooking, I like simplifying more complex recipes or steps down to the basic fundamentals and seeing what I can come up with. For example, it’s really hard to beat homemade pasta paired with a simple homemade tomato sauce. It’s a scratch-made dish where you can really taste the difference, yet you’re really only talking about 5-6 basic ingredients.

    What are your essential tools in the kitchen?

    Similarly to how I keep my recipes simple, I could survive alone on sharp kitchen knives and a few nice pans. My Stainless Steel Set from Caraway gives me the versatility to cook all of my favorite recipes with ease. I could not survive without my Stainless Steel Fry Pan, Dutch Oven, and a cast iron skillet.

    Searing Fish In Stainless Steel Pan

    How do you decide when to use stainless steel vs. ceramic vs. cast iron? Is there a cheat guide to understanding best use cases?

    All three pans certainly have their pros and cons.

    • Stainless is versatile, great for just about everything, especially acidic sauces. Plus, it has great searing/browning capabilities.

    • Cast iron is great for replicating grilling indoors or cooking at very high temps in the oven or over an open fire. It’s indestructible, but it can be a pain to clean and maintain at times.

    • Ceramic is non-stick, so it's the easiest pan to pick up and use without any learning curve. It’s the best option for light searing or cooking delicate foods such as scrambled or fried eggs.

    What advice do you have for someone looking to try cooking with Stainless Steel for the first time?

    Don’t be intimidated! You have to treat it a little differently than non-stick, but with the right techniques, your Stainless Steel Set is going to outperform your other pans, no question. I’d say after a few weeks of consistent cooking you’ll be well on your way to being a Stainless Steel pro.


    What is it about Caraway’s Stainless Steel Collection that sets it apart from other cookware that you’ve used?

    These pans are lightweight, yet very heavy duty. They have a nice feel to them and don’t feel flimsy or cheap. I've had some cheaper versions and it’s night and day in terms of thickness and performance - they’re more forgiving and I don’t run into any sticking or weird hot spots. Performance aside, I love the smooth rounded edges on them, as they make cooking and cleaning easier.

    Any final words of wisdom or inspiration for aspiring cooks wanting to level up their game when cooking at home?

    Don’t be afraid to fail and always follow a recipe with your heart. Recipes are great, but there is always room to make adjustments and add your own creativity. This is what sparks new ideas and keeps things fun and exciting. There are so many talented cooks on social media sharing new ideas. Watch and learn from their techniques and incorporate things as you feel comfortable.

    Lastly, salt is a magical seasoning and will unlock so much flavor when used properly. Don’t be afraid to salt your food throughout the whole cooking process!

    Our Stainless Steel Set is 20% off until this Sunday, 6/9 at 11:59PM ET. and don't forget to check back to see what we'll be serving up next during Caraway Month.

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