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Investing in high-quality stainless-steel cookware is always a good decision as it is known for its superior heating performance, attractiveness, conductivity, but most importantly its durability. Stainless steel cookware will last for decades; however, there are certain guidelines that you must follow when it comes to usage, storing and cleaning of the cookware.
In this article, we will be discussing some guidelines about how to use stainless steel cookware properly so that you can get maximum value for money from your investment.
Also see our review of the Top 5 Stainless Steel Cookware sets.
Table of Contents
Prepping Your Stainless-Steel Cookware
Before you start using your stainless-steel cookware for the first time, you must perform certain actions to ensure that there isn’t any residual manufacturing oil on the surface.
Mix ¼ cup of vinegar and soap in warm water and wash your new stainless-steel cookware thoroughly. Once they are completely washed, dry them with a soft towel to ensure that the residual oil is completely off.
If you have nonstick stainless-steel cookware, then you can use vegetable oil to prepare it for use. Take 1 tsp of vegetable oil and spread it throughout the cookware and then wipe it off using a clean cloth. This conditioning also works well for food that gets stuck to the pan, which is why you must perform it after every 3 months.
An important thing to note is that you mustn’t use nonstick sprays on any of your nonstick pans. These nonstick sprays lead to invisible buildup that causes food to stick to the pan.
Cooking in Stainless Steel Cookware
There is also a subtle art to cooking in stainless steel cookware to preserve its look. If you scorch your food in the pan, it will discolor the surface and damage the nonstick coating as well.
When it comes to nonstick stainless-steel utensils, you should try your best to use only low to medium heat. The center layer of stainless-steel cookware has a tri-ply layer that has aluminum at the center, an excellent conductor of heat. This is the reason why you mustn’t use high heat too often. The stainless-steel layer that surrounds the tri-ply holds the heat very consistently at your desired levels.
If you preheat the pan before putting the food into the cookware, then a good way to test the temperature is by adding a few drops of water on the pan. If they evaporate or start bubbling, it means that the pan is heated too much.
Stainless steel cookware also works well when cooking in the oven. Majority of the stainless-steel cookware is safe for cooking in the oven in temperatures up to 500 degrees, which is around 260 degrees C. However, the silicone or wooden handles may not actually remain cool once the pan is put into the oven, this is why you should always use covers when taking out the pan.
Cleaning the Stainless-Steel Cookware
When it comes to cleaning, you must let your stainless-steel cookware cool down before putting it in water. If there are any sudden changes in the temperature of the utensils, the metal may warp and result in the base becoming uneven. Therefore, you must always avoid putting cold water or even frozen foods into a hot stainless-steel pan.
The best thing about stainless steel is that it is extremely convenient to clean after use. All you need to do is rinse the pan thoroughly with soapy water.
However, if the stains are a little too stubborn, or if there is excessive discoloration on the pan, you can use a mixture of water and stainless-steel cleaner.
Stainless steel cookware can be washed in a dishwasher easily. However, if you want to retain the finish of the cookware, then it is recommended that you clean the pans with your hand.
Also see our article on how to clean your stainless steel cookware.
TOP 5 Stainless Steel Cookware Sets Reviewed
Read our review on the Top 5 best stainless steel cookware sets.
Common Problems in Stainless Steel Cookware
Other than discoloration and residual food sticking on the surface, there are certain problems that homeowners often face with their stainless-steel cookware. Here are some ways to deal with these problems:
If you have a lot of hard water supply in your home, then you may find small white patches forming on your cookware. These patches are often quite difficult to wash away, even after thorough scrubbing and washing.
The easiest way to get rid of these white patches is to put vinegar on the spots and let it sit for several minutes. Then use a scrubber to wipe the white patches away.
Water spots are again caused by hard water supply and can be pretty tricky to get rid of even after regular wash.
The best solution to getting rid of these water spots is to put some vinegar into your soap solution and wash the spots as soon as they are formed. The more you let the spots sit, the more they will become harder to wash away.
A rainbow hue is formed when the stainless-steel cookware is overheated on the stove. This hue can become permanent if it is not dealt with straight away.
Pour vinegar on the rainbow hue and let it sit on cookware for about 5 minutes. Then thoroughly wash and rinse the cookware until the rainbow hue disappears.
Pitting is when small holes are formed on the surface of the cookware. This usually happens when the salt is added to water when the water hasn’t actually come to a boiling state.
Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the pitting once it has occurred. This is why you must be careful when adding salt into any dish and wait for the water or any other liquid base to start boiling before the salt is added.
Burnt food leaving black matter on the surface, which is almost impossible to remove even after endless scrubbing. We’ve all been there.
Luckily, there is a solution that may actually remove the burnt matter off your stainless steel without leaving scratch marks on the surface. Immerse the pan in hot water for about five minutes and then sprinkle baking soda on the burnt matter.
You may also put some water on the baking soda in order to make the baking soda pastier. Baking soda doesn’t cause abrasion on the surface and makes the burnt matter soft enough to easily remove it from the cookware.
You may also be interested in our article, ‘Is stainless steel cookware safe’?