Health Craft Cookware
Q: This is just too conincidental! I was at the Wisconsin State Fair this past Saturday (in Milwaukee) and they had HealthCraft Cookware demonstrations. My husband and I sat through one (it lasted about 45 minutes) and we were impressed. The cookware is touted as being waterless and I think, greaseless. The waterless part means that you can cook vegetables without boiling them in water (like frozen veggies) and without all the water that steaming requires. What you do is cut up your veggies and just run them under water. Shake the excess water from the veggies and just put them in the pan. The lid has a steam vent on it, but for veggies you keep the vent closed. This way the nutrients, etc., in the vegetables isn't lost into the water that they were steamed/cooked in. About 12 minutes later, the vegetables are cooked and their color is still wonderful. The man doing the demonstration put a piece of wax paper with some salt on top of the veggies before they were cooked. When the veggies were done, he took the lid off of the pot and the salt was still in the wax paper. It was done to show that since the salt wasn't "cooked" into the vegetables, that other nutrients aren't lost. There was also a demonstration on cutting a potato in half and just placing it in a pan with the lid on. It was set on a medium heat for about 12 minutes. The potato was done just like a baked potato. The person said that when you boil potatoes, a lot of the nutrients are leeched into the water, and they're lost. When you make the potato without the water, the nutrients stay in the potato. Cooking a potato on top of the stove is a lot easier (and cooler) and turning the oven on and baking it. HealthCraft also has an electric pan. A skinless chicken breast was just placed in the pan (without any oil, margarine, etc.) It cooked for about 10 minutes and then it was turned over. The chicken was nicely browned without any added fat. It was turned over and browned on the other side. Like I said, my husband and I were quite impressed with the cookware. They also had a slicing/cutting machine. We were also impressed with the man that did the demonstration. He was very clear on the instructions and he was also honest. He told everyone straight out that the cookware was very expensive, but that it was guaranteed to last a lifetime. If anything was damaged, it would be replaced for free by the company. He also said that most people don't need the WHOLE cookware set, just some of the pieces. He knew that not everyone would want to spend the money to buy quality cookware. My husband and I were interested, but we don't have the money right now to spend on cookware (I didn't look at a price sheet). We just bought some normal Revereware or something like that a year ago, so it should last a while. Once we pay off our student loans, etc., I'm sure we'd think more seriously about the HealthCraft cookware.
A: My husband and I went to a demo such as this at a friend's house, where they fed us all dinner. I was not very impressed. The worst was the chicken you mentioned. It looked fine, but since they just slapped it on the pan to cook it, the outside layer of meat was hard as a rock and totally inedible as far as I was concerned. I would never want to cook like that. The vegetables were okay, but nothing special. The meal was followed with a fairly heavy sales pitch, and some not terribly convincing arguments about the worth of the products. Several hours later, when we escaped without buying anything, we both noticed that we were already hungry again! Those cooking methods may be healthy, but they are not filling. My overall impression was that they were good quality products , but way over-priced (I believe this was a different company, I don't recall the name). I particularly liked the oil-core electric fry-pan, but I didn't have $500 to spend on a pan at the time (or ever, I would imagine). Now that I've heard the explanation, It occurs to me that you can do all of these things in regular pots and pans, using regular lids. I cook frozen, individual hamburgers all the time in a dry, cast iron skillet, leaving a lid on and then removing it at the end. Reminds me of the "thawing" thinggie that any piece of metal does as well. Actually, I saw a two burner, top of the stove, cast iron griddle that had a new band on its box, proclaiming that the griddle was also an "Instant Thaw".
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