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Waterless cookware

JuniorBalloon Sep 20, 2011 03:50 PM

I have never heard of such a thing. Then in some of the threads I found here on chowhound Allclad and others were said to be waterless cookware. Here is a link to some waterless cookware - http://waterlesscookwaresystem.com/

Is it worth getting? Are there other cheaper alternatives?


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  1. kaleokahu RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 20, 2011 04:06 PM

    Hi, JB:

    Beware the snake oil claims these manufacturers and their shills make. They've been fleecing folks for a long time. When it's pointed out that there's nothing special about "waterless" cooking (it's merely steaming after all) except the *exorbitant* prices charged, the defense is usually either: (a) "Well you CAN cook in it"; or (b) "They replaced my broken handle for FREE!"

    For a laugh, search out "Zepter" or "Zepterware" on this Board. If you can figure out and explain what "Zepter technology" is, you're smarter than Mr. Zepter.


    1. e
      E_M RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 20, 2011 04:54 PM

      I asked this question here once and someone posted, "yeah, you can cook without fat or oil, but why would you?"

      I tasted the goods from a demonstration at a county fair. The poster was correct. It is basically steam cooking. There are cheaper ways to steam vegetables, and as for the chicken...well, it wasn't worth eating.

      1. Chemicalkinetics RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 20, 2011 08:59 PM


        Remember me? One of the person who recommended the Messermeister knife. To answer your question here: No, it is not worth getting in my opinion. It is nothing but low temperature steam cooking, which you can actually do so in most cookware. Moreover, if you cook the way they advertised (without adding oil and adding water), you can stick your foods to the pan big time. Have you ever cook meat on a stainless steel surface without any additional water or additional oil? Try it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          Dave5440 RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 20, 2011 09:27 PM

          I never add water ,,except to rice even then its stock so i have waterless cookwear already

          1. re: Dave5440
            ipsedixit RE: Dave5440 Sep 20, 2011 09:41 PM


            How do you boil eggs?

            Cook pasta?

            Or, gulp, make coffee?

            1. re: Dave5440
              Chemicalkinetics RE: Dave5440 Sep 21, 2011 04:28 AM

              If you don't add water and you don't add oil, then you are "Bi-winning"


          2. dcrb RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 21, 2011 10:49 PM

            JB - Waterless cookware is a cooking vessel like any other pot or pan. The major difference, hype aside, is the design of the pot rim and the lip or flaring of the lid. Any waterless cookware site can show this. Basically moisture from the food becomes steam and is somewhat trapped between the lip of the lid and the pot rim, forming a seal, more or less. And some of the cookware may exhibit a somewhat convex bottom interior. You can spend in excess of $2000 for a set of All Clad or 360 waterless cookware, both made in the USA, so to say one is more expensive than the other is sort of moot. You can also spend less as well as more. We have had a modest set of "waterless" for nearly 40 years (lustrecraft) and use it like we use our other "non-waterless" cookware: a vessel in which we cook our meals. Oil, butter, water, whatever we feel like. Cookware and the food that goes into it is a matter of taste (no pun intended) and budget.

            1. m
              Maximilien RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 22, 2011 10:32 AM

              lol, that is funny!!!!

              waterless cookware, but it uses "vapor" what is vapor if not water!!!!

              Looking at the amazon link, you can buy the pots for $215, 79% off regular price!!! I'm certain they still make a hack of a profit on those tin cans.

              In 1 word : Worthless.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien
                JuniorBalloon RE: Maximilien Sep 22, 2011 02:13 PM

                I don't know if worthless is the right word, but overpriced for sure. They seem, by design, to be somewhere between a pressure cooker and a regular pan. The thickness of the metal and the lid that fits a bit tighter than a regualr pan seem to be the features.

                I'm not interested in cooking without water per se, it was just a novel approach. And when they say waterless they mean adding additionla moisture beyond what you're cooking already has. I like Max's take and if I ever bought or more likely have willed to me, as I'm unlikely to pay these prices, I'd use whatever seemed to work the best and make the tastiest food.

                Hey CK, I haven't forgotten about you. I am still using and loving the Messermeister. I hone it every time I use it, but it is starting to lose a bit of it's edge. The Epicurean Edge, where I bought this, will give me one free sharpening and I think it's time to take advantage of the offer. I am still a bit nervous to try out my neophyte, sharpening skills on such a nice blade. Next time.


              2. kaleokahu RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 23, 2011 01:57 PM

                Went to the Western Washington State Fair last night, and there were SEVEN booths from the same "waterless" cookware hawker there, giving demos and making the hardsell. The deluxe set *only* cost $4,300 ("Fair Special, don't'cha know!").

                The graphic showed the stuff is supposed to be 7-layers, but none of the seven vendors could tell me how thick the layers were. The graphic just appears to show 7 equal layers. They all looked at me like I was a space alien when I asked to look at a cutaway ("A cut-A-WHAT?"). I looked at THEM like they were the Seven Dwarves.

                The good news? The four-pan starter set is iny $1,950! "Step right up, get your waterkless cookware right here."


                4 Replies
                1. re: kaleokahu
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: kaleokahu Sep 23, 2011 02:37 PM

                  "I looked at THEM like they were the Seven Dwarves."

                  Don't be mean.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    kaleokahu RE: Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2011 07:54 PM

                    Hi, Chem:

                    Well, I tried not to be mean, I really did. The folks I talked with were all franchisees, not carnies hired for the demo booths, so they should have (a) known better; and (b) come prepared. Nobody knew the thicknesses. What really got my goat was the put-on air of cooking superiority: "Well, the folks who're unhappy with our ($4,300!) pans just didn't learn to cook in them." The best I could do is get the phone number of "The Engineer" who supposedly can answer real questions (It may be the Wizard of Zepter himself). I'll try the number and report back.

                    It *was* quite heavy, which I thought boded well (fat copper interior?). But nope, the two conductive layers are "pure aluminum" and "aluminum" I could tell by handling them the bottom thickness was appreciably less than Demeyer Apollo, which means they're mostly steel.

                    On the learning side, I did get one thing figured out (if not answered). The inner- and outermost layers are claimed to be 304 SS. This alloy I believe is not ferritic, yet the pans are claimed to work well on induction. The layercake graphic identified "magnetic steel" as comprising the penultimate layer. So...however thick the bottom 304 layer is (and I'm guessing quite thick, given the pans' weight and the cheapness of 304), someone has decided that the induction field is capable of working through that incompatible layer.

                    Final observation? Pairing a $3,000 induction stove with a $4,300 set of compatible pans to do waterless, fatless cooking must make sense to someone. Ow and ick.


                  2. re: kaleokahu
                    JuniorBalloon RE: kaleokahu Sep 23, 2011 03:06 PM

                    Funny that you should mention the Puyallup Fair. It was a co-worker, that had just been to the fair, that mentioned this whole idea to me. Said he saw the demo and thought, "Hey, I have a pan like that at home, think I'll try it out." He cooked a cut up chicken with some onions, carrots and potatoes and really liked the way it came out. I think I could do the same thing in my dutch oven.


                    1. re: JuniorBalloon
                      kaleokahu RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 23, 2011 08:07 PM

                      Hi, JB:

                      I say give it a whirl. If it works, you saved $4,300! "Slow and low" works for a lot of things.

                      There is also a cool old cooking technique, whereby you form a rim of pastry crust around the pan/lid juncture to hold in vapor. This dough probably does a better job than the "hermetically sealed" waterless pans' DOUGH.


                  3. j
                    jshawn2 RE: JuniorBalloon Sep 23, 2011 02:55 PM

                    First thing I noticed were the plastic handles. Plastic handles means they are NOT oven safe. This means their cookware is a joke.

                    Their shapes and design look very old fashioned. I don't want my guests thinking I still use cookware passed down from my grandparents.

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