Cast Iron Cookware
First Cleaning: to start off, wash every new cast iron pan with soap and warm water. This helps clean off any iron residue or rust off the surface.
Keep it seasoned: Seasoning is the most important aspect of using a cast iron cookware. Not only does seasoning improve the non-stick performance of your cast iron pan, it also protects the pan from rusting. Seasoning is a process that needs to be repeated from time to time for best performance and long life of the pan. Head on here to check how you can achieve perfect seasoning.
Avoid frequent use of soap: you heard that right! Avoid soap until absolutely necessary as soap will break down the carefully developed layer of seasoning. Washing under warm water and with soft scrub usually does the trick.
Do not allow the pan to sit in water for too long. Also, completely dry the pan after each wash. This prevents rust formation.
Avoid dishwasher: since long contact with water and harsh chemicals can damage the cookware and remove the seasoning layer, cast iron should never be washed in a dishwasher.
Make sure to re-season: in case of heavy cleaning (with soap, and/or with a metal scrub) make sure to season the pan again immediately before storage.
Tough spots: Coarse salt can be used to easily clean stuck food particles. In case of rusting, metal scrubs can be safely used to clean the surface. As always, make sure to season the pan after each tough cleaning.
Storage: after the cast iron pans have been cleaned, dried and seasoned, they need to properly stored. It is recommended to use paper napkins between two cast iron pans if stacking, although storing separately is preferred. The cookware should be stored in a dry place always.
Allow the pan to pre-heat: it is recommended that some time be allowed for the pan to preheat to optimum temperature before you start cooking. This helps in even and perfect cooking.
Start off with fatty foods: during the first few days of use, cooking of food items rich in fat or oil content is recommended, as the oil from the food helps in developing the seasoning layer.
Never use cast iron cookware for storing food, particularly acidic foods, as they can damage the cooking surface and the seasoning.
Stainless Steel Cookware
Pre heat the stainless-steel cookware on medium heat before use. This ensures even and perfect cooking. Under heating the pan may cause the food to stick to the surface, while overheating may cause the food to burn.
While stainless-steel cookware is very smooth, it is not completely non-stick. It is recommended to use a little bit of oil while cooking your food.
Cold food items should be left as is for some time so that they reach room temperature. Cold food items should not be cooked directly.
Always use silicone or nylon tools while cooking. Metal utensils may cause scratches to the cooking surface.
It is always recommended that salt be added only after the water in the pan has come to a boil. If salt is added too early, it settles at the bottom of the pan and causes pitting corrosion.
Always cook on low to medium heat, high heat may cause the food to burn and black burn marks can appear on the cookware. Cleaning such marks is easy. Apply vinegar on the spots, keep the cookware aside for a while. Scrub and rinse to clean your cookware. Similar results can be achieved by using baking soda as well.
High heat cooking or dry boiling the pan can cause yellow, brown, dark purple, blue or rainbow tints on the stainless-steel surface. Solution: To remove this discolouration, use a stainless-steel cleanser and a non-abrasive cleaning pad. Wash with warm soapy water, rinse and dry.
Allow hot pan to cool off before washing: washing a hot pan under cold water can cause the cookware to warp. It is recommended that the stainless-steel pan be allowed to come to room temperature before it is washed.
White spots can build up sometime on Stainless steel cookware. This happens due to hardness (dissolved minerals) present in the water. Adding a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water to the pan, allowing it to boil and then washing and drying after the pan cool down can remove the white spots.
Cleaning up is very easy. Avoid harsh chemicals and metal scrubs. Hand washing with warm, soapy water can give the perfect cleaning results. Make sure the pans are washed timely and dried completely after every wash.
For tough to remove food particles, just boil the pan filled with soapy water for a while, then scrub off with a non-abrasive soft sponge. The particles should come off easily.
First Cleaning: to start off, wash every new non-stick pan with soap and warm water. This helps clean off any oil, residue etc.
Non-stick pans heat up very fast, and do not need to be preheated. Kindly ensure cooking at low-to-medium heat. Repeated heating to high temperature can damage your pan’s non-stick coating.
Use very less oil: kindly use as minimal amount of oil as possible for your cooking. This oil also helps in extending the life of your non-stick coating.
Silicone or Nylon Tools are recommended: metal tools can damage your cookware and are the biggest threat to your non-stick coating. Scratches left by metals tools can grow over time till the whole non-stick coating peels off. To avoid that, only use high quality silicone or nylon tools.
Do not use non-stick cookware for storing food. Chemicals present in the food can react with the non-stick coating and cause damage to your health and cookware. Once done cooking, ensure that the food is transferred to a proper storage container.
Avoid rapid temperature changes: do not wash a hot non-stick pan immediately under cold water. Allow the pan to cool down and then wash it. Sudden exposure to temperature change can cause permanent warping damage.
Simple, hand wash: do not use hard chemicals, metallic or rough scrub to wash your non-stick pans. Hand wash your non-stick pans with warm soapy water and soft sponge. Avoid washing non-stick cookware in a dishwasher.
Store with care: always use a separator or tissue paper if nesting your non-stick cookware. Hanging or storing the pans separately is recommended. Storing without care can result in scratching and damaging the non-stick surface.
Do not use non-stick aerosol sprays on your non-stick cookware. Chemicals present in the sprays can damage non-stick coatings and make them sticky.
For removing burnt, tough stains simply apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), leave for 15 to 20 minutes and then simply wash and dry. Similar results can be obtained by sprinkling salt on the burnt surface, leaving it aside for a while, washing it with a soft sponge and then drying.
Always cook on low to medium flame: ceramic cookware cooks highly efficiently on low flame, eliminating use of high flame for cooking, thus saving on cooking gas as well. Repeated overheating may cause cracking.
Use a little oil: though ceramic cookware has a highly smooth structure; it is always advised to cook with a little quantity of oil for best results. Oils with low smoke point and aerosol cooking sprays should be avoided.
Avoid sudden temperature change: practices like allowing frozen/ cold food to come to room temperature before placing them in ceramic cookware and allowing a hot ceramic cookware to cool down before washing in cold water also enhances the life of a ceramic cookware.
To protect the ceramic coating of your cookware:
- Avoid dishwashers, hand wash with warm, soapy water and soft scrub is recommended.
- Use silicone or nylon tools, using metallic tools is not recommended.
- Hanging or storing pans separately is recommended. Avoid stacking while storage, always use separators or napkins etc. between nested cookware.