Pots and pans
Who knows what kind of cookware one can use in a brick oven?
I have a range of pans I like, each of which gives a different effect:
Glazed terra cotta pans. I have a range of sizes and shapes for
roasting meat and fish, veggies, potatoes and slow cooking. I have a
covered one for beans and lentils, and use an oval for fish.
Stainless steel 3 ply. I have an All-Clad-ish round with a long steel
handle for rice, fire-in-the-oven appetizers, shrimp and anything
that likes it hot above and below. I also use it for hot oven
potatoes roasting. You can preheat this one for faster potatoes.
Cast iron grill pan (with raised grill). I use this for sausages,
whole fish, and grilling eggplant and peppers. It has a steel (not
wood) handle. You can pre-heat it before putting on the food and cook
whole fish without turning.
Steel one ply paella pan with handles on the sides. For Spanish
paella (don't move the rice after it sets!)
Aluminum one ply pan with handles on the sides. The bottom gets hot
very fast. I use this one to brown eggplant for eggplant parmesan,
but it seems to do about the same thing as the stainless 3 ply.
Regular round or rectangular steel baking pan for focaccio and
sciachiatta. They conduct heat better than terra cotta for bread.
I cracked a few white porcelain pans, so I stopped doing that.
Looking forward to hearing other idea.
I like Bob's idea of using the pan that holds the chicken upright.
I've heard (but not tried) you can put garlic and herbs in a little
water in the dish itself, which carries the flavors up into the
chicken with the steam.
For cooking surrounded by flames I use one of those stainless steel
pans that are used by caterers in warming/steam tables. I just saw
them for $12 at my chef's supply house. They're about 12"x18"x3".
I also use Italian terra cotta pots I found at a different chef's
supply place. These are very good for stews, etc. I've used this in an
oven with the fire burning & in the residual heat of one after bread.
Also, a baked bean pot (like the Boston Baked Bean type) works great.
Of course cast iron is great too.
For fish, try a couple of cedar shakes. Soak 2 in water for an hour or
so. Then lay them on top of each other so the tapered end of one is on
top of the thick end of the other (that way you end up with an even
thickness along the whole thing. The fish is laid on this, slid into
the oven and cooked surrounded by fire. When you're done you can let
the shingles finish drying out and use them to start your next fire. A
large bundle of 2nds (common not clear grade) was something like $15
from Home Depot. (I saw they're selling cedar planks now for cooking
on the grill for almost that much for a single plank...sheesh!)
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