How to Take Good Care of Your Cookware
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If you have invested your hard-earned savings on new cookware, you’ll want to keep it looking nice and new for as long as possible. Here’s a collection of tips and pointers that will help you preserve your cookware as best as possible.
Always check the manufacturer’s washing instructions
It is important to note that the type of care each article of cookware will require is dependent on its specific materials and features. You will find that most pots and pans come with care instructions from the manufacturer and should always be carefully studied. For example, metal utensils should not be used with a non-stick coated pan and you should learn how to properly season a good quality skillet before using it.
Some cookware is dishwasher safe and others should not be washed with detergents. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
Make sure to store your cookware correctly
Another important pointer will be to store your cookware in a proper pot rack rather than piling them in the cabinet or oven. This will keep them from suffering dents and scratches that slowly diminish their useful life. If you will be stacking them anyway, you can place a cloth or towel between each one for a little protection.
Turn down the heat!
Using moderate temperatures is another good way to preserve the life and beauty of your cookware. Sometimes high-temperature cooking is needed, but not always. For boiling-water a medium heat will do just fine. The more temperature your cookware endures the most strain on its structural integrity. This may cause non-stick cookware to lose its effective coating or cause aluminum cookware to become deformed. Furthermore, high temperatures will increase the risk of food stains on your pans.
Be sure to properly remove all food stuck to your cookware before using it again, this diminishes the chances of food stains.
How to care for cookware depending on its material
Here are some important pointers for maintaining pots and pans made of various materials:
Anodized and Uncoated Aluminum pans are not for the dishwasher. These should always be washed out by hand with mild soap and water. If big black stains do begin to develop, try cooking something especially acidic inside the pot, like a sliced lemon in a little water.
Uncoated cast iron cookware should not be washed in the dishwasher, but many of these do have enamel coatings or interiors. Cast iron cookware should be brushed with a small layer of vegetable oils to avoid rust.
Copper will react with many types of foods so often has an interior of tin or stainless steel. Copper cookware that does not have this lining is for decoration only. Copper should be washed in a solution of warm water and mild soap. Every so often a special copper polish must be applied to keep them looking good.
Before using your non-stick pans, wash them, rinse them well and let them dry. New non-stick coating must be properly seasoned by brushing the insides with vegetable oils. You will see instructions on how to re-season your pans after each washing. After each use, remove all small bits of food and carefully clean all non-stick surfaces. Never use metal utensils on your non-stick cookware.
Steel can be washed in the dishwasher or by hand. As the rainbow markings develop, these can be cleaned off with a proprietary stainless steel cleaner. Using especially high heat will also begin to mark up your stainless steel pots but this can also be removed with stainless steel cleaner.
By keeping these pointers and tips in mind you will significantly increase the longevity of your cookware. Happy cooking!