Vapor Cooking is easy yet unlike any other cooking method you’ve used before. We know first hand how unusual Vapor Cooking will seem at first so, to help you master it quickly, easily, and deliciously, we’ve developed a special collection of recipes specific to this unique way of cooking. As counter intuitive as some of the instructions may sound, it’s very important that you follow our recipes step-by-step and word-by-word. The 360 Test Kitchen has tested and re-tested each and every recipe and written them in a language that’s easy to understand. We also recommend that you watch the instructional videos in our video library at least once—they're designed to help walk you through the basics of Vapor Cooking. These few simple steps will make you a 360 Vapor Cooking master chef in no time at all:
• Follow our Vapor cooking recipes exactly as written to best learn the unique cooking technique
• Ingredient lists and cooking times will be shorter than your accustomed to but we’ve tested and re-tested all our recipes and promise you delicious meals if you follow each recipe as written
• Medium and low heat is really all you need when Vapor Cooking (Remember, most stovetops are quirky so get re-acquainted with medium and low heat on yours.)
Our recipes will teach you to trust the Vapor Seal—if the lid is spinning freely your food is cooking
Select the right size stainless steel cookware – Select a cookware piece that will be at least 2/3 full with your selected food. Cooking a small quantity in a large utensil will produce inferior results and reduce energy efficient cooking. Be sure to use the cover designed to fit the utensil.
Use the right size burner - The diameter of your stove’s burner should be about the same as the diameter of the bottom of the cookware. If cooking on a gas range, the flame should not extend outside the flat bottom cooking surface.
When using the Vapor® Cooking method, use little or no water - Fresh vegetables and fruit contain enough natural moisture to cook without adding water. Simply place them in your 360 Cookware and cover with cold water, then pour off quickly. The moisture that clings to the food is enough for cooking (though some vegetables, dried fruits and cereals lacking sufficient moisture may require a small amount of added water). Meats can be cooked in their own natural juices. When cold meat is placed in a preheated pan it will stick at first, but as the meat browns and fat is released, the meat will loosen. Add liquid or oil only if specified in the recipe. When preparing a food whose fat or moisture does not liquefy in heat, such as eggs, a small amount of cooking oil or butter may be necessary to prevent sticking.
Forming the vapor seal - Place your food in the correct size 360 Cookware utensil, cover and place on a burner over medium heat. In about 3 - 5 minutes vapor will begin to escape from beneath the cover. Give the cover a spin and turn the heat to LOW. If it spins freely, a vapor seal has formed, do not remove the lid at this time. After a few minutes vapor will no longer escape and the proper cooking temperature will be reached. If vapor continues to escape, the heat setting is too high; reduce to the lowest setting. If the cover locks on the pan, the heat setting is too low; increase heat slightly to loosen the cover. Since temperature settings vary from one range to another, a day or two of practice will tell you which heat settings are right for vapor cooking.
Use low or moderate cooking temperatures – 360 Cookware requires only medium and low heat. Always begin cooking over medium heat, then once the vapor seal is achieved, reduce to low for the remainder of the cooking period. High heat will cause moisture to be driven out of the pan. This will prevent the vapor seal from forming and may result in shrinking, sticking and burning.
When using the Vapor® Cooking method, avoid lifting the cover during cooking to retain heat and moisture. Doing so will break the vapor seal and lengthen cooking times. Remove the cover only near the end of the cooking cycle to examine for doneness. If food has not finished cooking, quickly add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and reset heat to medium. When vapor escapes from the cover, spin the cover to check for a vapor seal, then reduce heat to low for the remaining cooking time.
On the stovetop: Another convenience of this stainless steel Vapor® Cookware is that cakes and breads may be baked on top of the range. Preheat well-greased skillet or saucepan over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Quickly pour your batter into the correct-size, 360 Cookware utensil. Cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting and bake for the standard time indicated in the recipe (slight adjustments to baking times may be necessary). To remove excess moisture from food, tilt the cover during the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking.
In the oven: 360 Cookware is safe for oven use.
As with any new stainless steel cookware set, always wash before first use.
Clean after every use
Wash your cookware in warm soapy water with a sponge, dishcloth or plastic pad. Your cookware can also be cleaned in an automatic dishwasher.
Removing heat tints and food stains
Gold brown or blue heat tints may result from persistent overheating and/or mineral residue. (Sulfur-dried fruits should be cooked with the cover removed to prevent staining.) To clean, make a paste with water and a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner such as Americraft Stainless Steel Cleaner. If you do not have our cleaner, you can simply use baking soda. DO NOT USE A CLEANER THAT CONTAINS CHLORINE BLEACH. Apply paste with a sponge or cloth to cookware while it is still warm and rub lightly in one direction. Wash again, rinse and dry. Click here to see a Heat Tint Guide.
Removing minor scratches
During the first few times of use, bright metal marks may appear on the inside of stainless steel cookware. Remove with a non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner following the steps above. Avoid hitting metal kitchen tools against the rims of stainless cookware, and do not cut or chop foods against the stainless steel surface. Any metal will scratch if gouged.
Special tips for using salt
Although stainless steel is very durable, it is not indestructible. Pitting may result if un-dissolved salt is allowed to remain in the bottom of a pan. Do not allow acidic foods or foods that have been seasoned to remain in your 360 Cookware for long periods of time.
Click the button below to download the 360 Cookware Use & Care Guide. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access this document. If you do not have this software installed on your computer, click here to download a free copy.