What is waterless cooking?
Waterless cooking was introduced in the 1920's as a healthier, more efficient and faster way to cook food without adding water. It was considered healthier because the alternative of cooking foods and vegetables in water will sap essential nutrients from the food. Not only is water not required, one does not need to add additional fats and oils to the food being cooked. It is more efficient and faster because the stove does not need to remain on for the entire cooking process and because food is essentially cooked in a vacuum, it will cook faster than foods cooked where steam is allowed to escape.
The secret to this kind of cooking is the special lid. As the heat increases during cooking, the lid will seal tight with the pot. Once the steam valve on the top of lid starts to whistle, the stove can be turned off and the natural food juices and heat inside the pot will continue to cook the food.
Normally, this type of cookware is made of high-grade stainless steel or surgical-grade stainless steel and is considered easier to clean than other types of cookware.
The original waterless cooker was marketed as being able to cook one entire meal in one hour with only one main pot. The original design had additional pans within the main pot and a lid that utilized clamps to prevent steam from escaping. The flat bottom of the design allowed heat to be even distributed. It is no longer being manufactured in its original design, but can be purchased in new designs.
It is highly reputed that the success of the West Bend waterless cooker, among other investments, not only allowed the company to remain open during the great depression, but also to remain profitable.
The West Bend waterless cookware is dishwasher safe, but can also be cleaned with soap and water.
Most consumers who have used the West Bend waterless cooker and those who lived in homes where this cookware was used rave about the efficiency and healthiness of this cookware. However, new consumers are more difficult to sell to, primarily because the cookware is more on the expensive side and the product is not sold in the retail market.
Where to purchase
Although West Bend waterless cookers can be purchased online, West Bend touts itself as a direct sales industry. In most cases, in order to purchase this cookware, one must contact an authorized dealer who will then invite the prospective consumer to a home party. At the home party, consumers will receive instructions on proper use and maintenance of the cookware as well as be able to cook sample dinners and snacks.