Caring for your cookware
Even the best quality pots and pans won't last long if you don't take good care of them. Follow these practical tips to keep your cookware performing well for years to come.
Pots and pans that last a lifetime?
Good cookware is often expensive. But despite that saying that nothing lasts forever, if you take good care of your pots, pans and kitchen essentials, they just might surprise you!
Before you start
- Remove any residue left behind from the manufacturing process by washing in warm, soapy water.
- Condition your frypan before its first use by wiping oil onto the non-stick surface and rubbing away any excess.
While you're cooking
- Avoid cooking oil sprays on non-stick cookware. These sprays can burn at low temperatures and leave behind an invisible build-up of residue that could affect the performance of the non-stick surface.
- Never heat fat or oil at maximum temperature in the pan to the extent where it overheats. You might run the risk of harmful toxins being released – or cause your pan to bubble and blister, rendering it barely usable.
- Don't overheat an empty non-stick pan or leave it unattended on the cooktop. Non-stick cookware should only be used on low to medium temperatures and never on high heat, unless you're bringing liquid to the boil.
- Only use wooden or plastic utensils to avoid scratching your non-stick pan.
- Add salt to boiling water only, as adding salt to cold water could cause pitting of the base.
Cookware cleaning tips and tricks
- Let your cookware cool before immersing it in water to prevent the base from warping and damaging non-stick coating.
- Wash by hand. The 'dishwasher safe' label merely indicates the item's made of stainless steel — it's no guarantee that the shiny exterior of your saucepans won't dull and the non-stick surface of your frying pan won't deteriorate because of harsh dishwashing detergent.
- Use a soft sponge rather than a harsh scourer when cleaning your non-stick cookware.
- Clean when warm. It may be easier to clean off stubborn residue when the pan is still slightly warm. Soaking the pan in hot water can also make it easier to wipe it away.
Smart kitchen gadgets
Look for a grater that has few crevices for easier cleaning and few attachments for easy storage, assembly and disassembly. Most graters can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Wooden chopping boards
Wash wooden chopping boards in warm, soapy water. To deodorize and disinfect your board, rub a lemon over the surface.
These often require immediate cleaning and it can be a real nuisance to get the garlic out. Go without and use a knife or microplane grater instead.
Clean your masher or ricer straight after using – rinse it under cold water to remove any leftover potato, then wash in warm soapy water. Potato is a starchy food, and using hot water bakes the starch onto the masher, making it more difficult to clean.
Before using it, put the rolling pin in the fridge and dust with flour. This should stop the pastry sticking to the pin.
Silicon bakeware – easy to clean and store
Most brands of silicon bakeware still need to be greased with every use to ensure the baked items come out easily. They can be rolled up, folded or stacked for easy storage and are dishwasher-safe.
Follow our tips, and your cookware should last you for a long time. Do you have any great cookware tips? Leave a comment and let us know.