“ Keep your oven and baking trays clean. Healthier baking without the use of oils and fats. „
How does a £90 new "Grilleration," fat grill model suit you? Well, after the small success so far of my own Baby George Foreman grill, my mum was particularly impressed with its size and decided that she would go the whole hog and not bother with the more old fashioned type plates which need to be oiled up each time it used. George Foreman has the answer in their latest family range flagship. But rather than spend £90 is there a cheaper way of oiling up plates on a grill machine if you intend to lead an oil free life? There is and it only costs 99p for a single pack...
Made by the same company who make Toastabags, Cookaliners are exactly the same product in waxy, unscented non-stick paper but double folded out in a single sheet for use in the oven, hot plates and health grills that need oil to cook the food. In its place of oil on a baking tray for example you can use a single Cookaliner sheet instead. It seems silly that for a healthy life you need to apply oil anyway onto food before its cooked. Cookaliners solve that very problem.
In terms of cooking parchment, Cookaliners take some beating. As with Toastabags, but not so clearly evident until removal from your toaster, Cookaliners soak up any eventual oil that the intended food product may leak through the cooking process as well as providing a remarkable lay flat surface technique where the edges don't crinkle up. Included in the single pack I found nestled between spare Toastabags at my local Poundstretchers branch in Edinburgh, the pack mirrors the same green and yellow packaging with a circular sticker on the top left hand side showing the price for a single pack (did I say 99p against £90!?). There is also a fold out paper size chart / template that show three standard circular cake tin sizes that the liner itself can be cut to; 7, 8 and 9 inches included. One Cookaliner sheet for example measures 33cm by 25cm.
But it's not just its use in fat grills that Cookaliners can be used;
In the microwave for example if you like cooking light and fluffy cakes, place the circle in the desired dish of your choice before adding the ingredients. No greasing needed, no oiling, just put the contents in. After use, the circle (as with Toastabags) can be used again and again - up to 50 times infact - and it can be washed either under a tap or put in a dishwasher. The same cleaning aspects apply to all kinds of cooking.
Frying is also possible with the desired shape of your Cookaliner. I couldn't believe it when I tried a fried egg and bacon. I placed the circle in on my small non-stick frying pan, hit the egg off the side of the pan and watched in amazement as the egg cooked on the paper. The silence of oil frying was a slight welcome but as the egg cooked, turning it didn't prove to be a problem due to the fact that the liner remember, is waxy and non-stick itself. So what's left out of a fried egg are the only bits, just like frying which come off the sides of the white of the egg. The bacon was cooked to perfection but without oil accompanying the taste! So far I've been "dry frying" onions and stir fry vegetables in old stainless steel non-stick free frying pans which have left food packed with nutrition. As for cleaning, the Cookaliner was left to soak in my sink basin whilst the frying pan required no cleaning. if you feel like you are missing some oil on your food, spray or add some on after cooking! The choice is yours after all!
And in the fat grill (I bought two packs) I used the whole sheet to line the Baby grill with only a small part of the paper poking out once the two plates had been brought down together. As they show in the pack it is better to just fold the paper over the food so that it looks like an open envelope. The result? Cooked seared chicken (the plate imprints come through the paper as normal), juicy, succulent and oil free. As with any normal cooking, you can still apply any herbs or additionals through the cooking process, but only remembering to put it on the food directly before the paper comes back down on it.
There are a couple of downsides: Sadly in use the single pack means one sheet and that can be a downside if you want to do multiple cooking tasks such as frying in circular pans and use in square or rectangular cooking trays and pots. The sheet can also withstand temperatures up to 260°centigrade that is fine for most cooking preps. Heavy cooking i.e. seasoning steaks and adding ingredients can over-stain the paper and makes it impossible to clean sometimes. However this does not ruin its general versatility to cook with again.
The more apparent downside is that so far these products - together with Toastabags - are only available to buy at branches of Poundstretchers. I find this product better to swallow than justifying a lot more money, particularly with the versatility this sheet offers and despite the extra cleaning afterwards generally a good product for a healthy consumption of oil-free life. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008