Are you the type of cook that whacks on the high heat every time?
You probably have a drawer full of dodgy pots and pans. Burnt. Stained. Discoloured. Nothing to be ashamed of, we’re all guilty of it! Maybe it’s time to learn how to take care of your cookware.
Whether you have finally made the jump and decided to invest in some quality cookware, recently moved out and been gifted a new cookware set or maybe you just want to bring your old pans back from the brink — Read on! We’re here to rescue you.
Is It Getting Hot in Here?
Surely if the recipe says to simmer for 15 minutes you should be able to put it on high heat and be done in 5, right? The only problem is that it ruins your pans.
High heat combined with non-stick pans is a recipe for disaster. It wears them out quickly and is much more likely to stain.
It’s time to turn down the heat in the kitchen, relax and take a minute. Plus, it gives you more time to prep all those other elements and sneak in a little kitchen boogie while you’re cooking up a storm. Saving that extra 5 minutes just to eat a slightly singed dinner and have a blackened fry pan isn’t really worth it — embrace slow cooking.
If your cookware is already blackened, don’t worry! You can bring it back from the brink with a little TLC. Fill your frying pan with water and a cup of vinegar and pop it on the boil. Once boiled, put on some baking soda and scrub with a non-abrasive cloth to get rid of any stuck pieces. This works great for any stubborn food on your casserole dishes and cooking pots as well!
Time for Some Elbow Grease
The most important part of pan care is knowing what type of cookware you have. Here are the most common types of pans and how they should be cleaned.
Non-Stick and Aluminium
They hate being dunked under the tap! Always let your non-stick and aluminium pans cool or they can warp. No one wants wonky pots or pans! Make sure to hand wash them and resist the urge to pop them in the dishwasher (tempting, we know). Ditch the harsh scrubbers, especially for your grill pans and sauté pans and use a washcloth instead.
Despite this, they are by far the easiest pans to cook with! They’re made for healthier cooking (no oils required) and are super burn resistant — perfect for cooks who might be a little distracted by their phone.
You’d think it would be stainless, right? Given the name... Sadly it certainly does stain. Luckily these types of stainless steel pans are super durable and hardy and it doesn’t take much to bring them back to their shiny glory. If you’ve managed to ruin one, break out the vinegar and baking soda. If you’re looking for a kitchen allrounder, it’s pretty hard to go past stainless steel.
Put Down the Metal!
The biggest mistake you can make is using metal utensils on your pots and pans! They can scratch and nick, ruining that protective layer in your cookware. This means no piercing your food with a metal fork, or using a knife to try and pry off any baked-on foods.
Investing in a quality selection of silicone and nylon cooking utensils makes all the difference. Plus they are specially designed to withstand heat.
No More Stacking
It’s tempting to stack your fry pans, casserole dishes and cooking pots in the drawer and call it a day, but this actually damages your cookware and can make them lose their non-stick abilities. This is especially important for any woks you have. You can’t stir-fry with a sticky pan! You could try, but the results might be… interesting.
If you can, store them in a hanging rack. If you don’t have the room or are living in a rental, just place a buffer between your pots and pans when you store them. Even a tea towel will do!
Feeling confident yet? Then it’s time to unpack the shiny new cookware set and ensure they last and last.
We’re not saying clean, shiny pans make you a better perfect cook — but it sure helps.
Just remember to turn down the heat!