How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans and Cookware

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans and Cookware

Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware can sometimes be a hassle. And if you are reading this page you are probably staring at a frypan full of some fried mess from last night’s dinner. Or perhaps you stepped away from the stove to answer a phone call and ten minutes later the smoke alarms went off! Whatever the circumstance, you need help with a common problem in the kitchen.

We love our stainless steel, but it’s not as forgiving as the non-sticks. There are two approaches to the problem that will be explored here. How to clean up the problem when it occurs and how to keep food from sticking in the first place. Stainless steel actually has excellent food release properties when used properly. You may also need some help keeping your stainless steel beauties looking bright and shiny, may it be your favorite tea kettle for gas stove or the frypan. We will give you a few tips on that as well.

Cleaning Up the Mess

The best method for safely cleaning stainless steel cookware with burnt residue is to boil water in the pan and then let it soak until the water cools. Clean with a soft sponge and detergent and repeat. Unfortunately, a bit of elbow grease is required. It may take several cycles to get the pan clean.

How to Prevent Sticking

Most sticking occurs when moisture is cooked out of food as a result of a too high heat setting. Using low to medium heat and paying close attention to your cooking will prevent most sticking. The best way to clean a pan is to get it while it is still blazing hot. You may have seen cooking shows where they “deglaze” a pan by adding a little wine to the bottom and make a sauce with all of the flavorful food bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. The same method should always be used to clean a pan after use.

Keep a bottle of tap water by the stove. Once you’ve removed the food from the pan just pour a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan and watch it go to work! Almost all of the stuck on food bits will quickly release from the bottom of the pan. Then just wipe out the pan with a bit of soap and water. Waiting until later to clean the pan will always make the job harder. And never, never, let the mess sit overnight.

Tips on Keeping the Shine

If your pans are looking a little dingy or have white spots inside from hard water or salt there are a couple of things you can do. The first is a simple home remedy. Boil 1 part vinegar and 6 parts water in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. Cool and rinse. Sometimes just rubbing with a piece of lemon can also work. We also recommend using a little Barkeeper’s Friend or another cleaner or polish in powder or liquid form to make them shine like new again.

One last tip on cleaning stainless steel cookware. Always hand wash. Dishwasher detergents are too harsh and will eventually make stainless steel start to look dull.

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