As fantastic and versatile as range cookers are, there is normally always room for a bit of improvement. Quality cookware will enhance the cooking features of your range and add a touch of aunthenticity to your dishes.
Griddles are a popular and particularly useful add-on, and are available either smooth or ribbed. Some mid to high end range cookers have griddles as standard – universal griddles are available, however, that sit over two of the gas burners on the hob and will generally fit any gas or dual fuel cooker.
Ribbed griddles - sometimes referred to as steak griddles - transfer heat optimally to the food whilst at the same time allowing juices to run freely from the food along the troughs. They also sear the food with an authentic cross-hatch pattern that adds a nice aesthetic touch to the dish being prepared.
Smooth griddles offer the same performance as the ribbed alternative – although without the fat run off or sear-marks – and are ideal for everything from Teppenyaki style cooking of meat or veg, to drop scones or pancakes, and back to the humble fried egg. If your range doesn’t already have a griddle, we would heartily recommend purchasing one to add another dimension to you cooking. A quality cast iron, vitreous enamelled griddle will last well and provide years of faithful service.
Wok supports, or wok cradles, are another excellent piece of cookware available as standard on some models and also as a universal accessory. As the name suggests, these cradle, or support the wok, which is particularly useful in the case of round bottomed woks. The cradle also raises the wok to the optimum height in the flame for stir frying food. As with a decent griddle, a high quality cast iron wok support will last a lifetime and prove a worthwhile investment, particularly if you enjoy Eastern cuisine.
In addition to hob-top cookware, oven cookware and accessories will extend the auntheticity to baked dishes. Pizza stones lend a rustic Italian air to a simple feast – terracotta has been used for thousands of years as a material for cooking bases, and cooks uniformly and without the need for oils and fats. The pizza can be placed directly on to the pizza stone and into the oven – the 'heat channels' in the stone distribute heat perfectly and allow for a perfectly crisp pizza base and more authentic texture. Not just for pizzas either – a pizza stone can work wonders when used for scones, bread, cookies and biscuits. A wooden baker’s peel, or shovel, makes the job of transferring the pizza on and off the stone pleasingly simple, too.
There is a plethora of other accessories available for your range cooker, from trivets to utensil rails, and what you’ll benefit from largely depends on what you mainly use your cooker for and the style of cooking you do most often. We’d love to talk you through the options and offer recommendations – call us on 01244 402 975 and speak to one of the Rangecookers.co.uk team.