Caring for stainless steel pots and pans
Stainless steel is a fabulous material to use in the kitchen : it is durable, healthy, perfect for high-temperature cooking, and low-maintenance.
We can find both stainless steel kitchen utensils (pots, pans, plates...) and accessories (tongs, spatulas, ladles, knives...). In all cases, name brand stainless steel is high quality steel, often also called "surgical steel ."
These utensils can last you many years in the kitchen. There are only two drawbacks with them in my opinion:
- You have to get used to cooking in them, because it is easy for food to stick . In this sense, I invite you to see the recommendations that we give in the post that we made to learn how to use stainless steel pans .
- Although one of the advantages is that they do not rust and are easy to maintain, if they are used improperly they can present some cleaning problems that are difficult to solve (despite the fact that the possible stains that may appear do not hinder its proper functioning at all). ).
Today we are going to address a recurring question in the store: what precautions should be taken when using stainless steel kitchen utensils, and how to remove certain stains.
Care when using stainless steel utensils
- Before using them, remove all the labels and wash with a sponge with hot soapy water, to remove any dirt that may come from the factory.
- When heating the pot or pan that you are going to use, make sure that the flame or the disc of the vitro or induction is not bigger than the base of the utensil.
- Do not leave empty utensils on a heat source (unless you need to heat it for a few seconds before adding the oil).
- When removing the saucepan, pot or pan from the heat, make sure to leave it on a suitable surface for it.
- If you need to throw salt, always dissolve it in boiling water: add it when the water is hot and stir, to ensure that it does not settle on the bottom. If it does not dissolve properly, it could leave whitish stains on the bottom.
- Avoid leaving food in pots and pans for a long time, because the salt that they incorporate could leave stains.
- If it is still hot, do not put the utensil in direct contact with cold water to avoid deformation.
- Avoid cleaning them with a scouring pad, to avoid scratches on the surface (although, if there are any, they do not affect its proper functioning).
- They can be washed perfectly in the dishwasher, they do not rust. Although washing with a sponge is always recommended to maintain its original shine.
- Try to clean pans, saucepans and pots immediately after use, to ensure that water and food remains do not leave stains.
- Ideally, dry the utensils after cleaning them (otherwise, the remains of water can cause limescale stains).
How to clean stains from stainless steel
As we have mentioned, it is relatively easy for stains to appear on stainless steel. These can be produced by salt, minerals that the water carries, substances contained in food... In no case will it affect the proper functioning of the utensil , but for aesthetic reasons we often want to know how to eliminate them.
Removing some of those stains is not easy. But we can try some of the following recommendations:
- In the case of encrusted food , leave the utensil to soak in hot water with dish detergent for several hours, you will see how after that time you can easily remove the remains with a sponge and soap. You can also use hot water with vinegar.
- In the case of highly encrusted food , after the soaking time you can help yourself with a brush to clean dishes or a harder sponge. Avoid using scouring pads to avoid scratching the surface.
- In the case of stains caused by starch left by certain foods during cooking, such as pasta or rice, you can easily remove them with a sponge and soap, or with a cloth dipped in lemon juice or vinegar.
- It is easy for water stains to remain, produced by lime and other minerals that the water incorporates. You can remove them with a little baking soda: add a little baking soda, rub it with a damp cloth, rinse and dry immediately. You can also clean them with a little vinegar and a soft cloth.
- Salt is one of the main reasons why stains appear on stainless steel, and removing them is not easy, because it is abrasive and may have deeply penetrated the steel (despite it continuing to function properly). You can try removing those white salt stains with vinegar. If they don't come out, try making a baking soda paste: With the pan or pot dry, place a generous amount of baking soda on the bottom, and add a little water to make a paste. Leave to act for a few minutes and rub with a dry cloth or sponge.
- In case of burn marks , you can remove them with baking soda as you will have seen in the previous point, making a paste. Then scrub with a damp sponge and rinse thoroughly. If those burns are on the bottom of the pot or pan, you can also try tomato juice, as the natural acidity of tomato juice can help remove them. In this case, put the tomato juice in the utensil and put it on the fire, make it chup-chup for a few long minutes. Rinse afterwards with soap and water normally.
- To remove fingerprints from the outside of saucepans and pots , use a cloth with glass cleaner, or you can also use a stainless steel cleaner (do not use it on the inside of the utensil, or if you do make sure to rinse it well afterward).