In the same way that a carpenter is only as good as their tools, your cooking skills will only ever be as good as the cookware you use. That's why you should always have some stainless-steel cookware on hand. When using and cleaning this type of metal, there are specific things to do and steer clear of, just like with other specialty cookware. Learn how to cook with stainless steel like a pro by using the advice from our experts.
Regulate the heat to prevent sticking
Stainless steel pans can cause food to stick, but with the right skills, you can cook practically anything, even delicate delicacies like fish or eggs. You must regulate the heat if you want to prevent sticking.
Adding oil to the pan or pot is one way to keep food from sticking, but only if the oil is heated to the proper temperature. The likelihood of food sticking increases if the pan is too cold or if you add too much food at once and the pan cools. You want the water to evaporate as soon as the food touches the pan. This creates a cushion of steam that keeps the food from sticking. Before adding oil, sprinkle a few water droplets into the heating pan to see if it's hot enough. The water droplets should not quickly evaporate but slide and bounce around the pan instead.
But cookware that's too hot will be just as disastrous as one that's too cold. Food cooked on a too-hot pan may burn and stick, ruining the flavor. Maintaining a firm grip on the flames is essential to having a productive day in the kitchen.
Do not add salt to water before boiling
Before boiling the water in a pot made of stainless steel, it's not a good idea to add salt. Doing so can damage the cookware and cause pitting.
Pitting can permanently harm your stainless steel cookware, degrading its beauty and functionality. The little rust spots are, in fact, irreversible, but preventing them is simple; wait for the water to boil before adding the salt.
Cookware handling: use caution
To get the most out of your cookware and make it last longer, you need to know how to handle it properly. Keeping it in excellent shape also enhances the quality of the food you prepare, making the cooking process more fun overall.
- Durability: Taking good care of your cookware will help it last longer and reduce the risk of damage that might shorten its life.
- Performance: Keeping the surface of your cookware in good shape lets it work at its best, making heating more consistent and preventing food from sticking.
- Appearance: When you keep your cookware clean, dry, and free of scratches and discoloration, it helps it maintain its sleek and attractive look.
- Health: If you take care of and clean your stainless steel cookware well, microbes and other harmful substances won't stick to it. It makes it safe and healthy to use for preparing and serving food.
Grilling and microwaving with stainless steel cookware
Cookware made of standard stainless steel and tri-ply stainless steel can only withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit when used correctly. When stainless steel pans are used on a grill, they will heat up considerably more than this, perhaps warping the metal. Using cookware made of stainless steel in a microwave oven may form electrical currents inside the metal. This very unsafe practice can cause sparks to fly within the oven.
Do not cut food within pans
Cutting food in a pan leaves behind stains that are hard to eliminate and leave food residue over time. This is especially true for stainless steel cookware.
Using steel scrubbers to clean
Steel scrubbers may make food stains easier to remove, but you shouldn't use them to clean stainless steel cookware. When cleaning stainless steel pans, always use a scrubber with a brushed finish since it is softer and won't leave scratches.
Even though some manufacturers don't tell you not to put their pots and pans in the dishwasher, using detergent all the time can damage stainless steel cookware. Since most dishwashing detergents are corrosive, they will eat away at the steel, weakening the layers of tri-ply stainless steel pans and letting the aluminum core show. It will damage mental health even further.
Cleaning stainless steel cookware
Professional cooks use stainless steel cookware because of its durability and adaptability. However, as a home chef, you might be worried about the food clinging to the surface or the cleaning process. Here are some tips for fixing common problems and keeping your stainless steel cooking tools in the best shape possible:
- Stuck-on or Burnt Food: Do not worry; solving this problem is not as complicated as it sounds. Fill the steel pan or pot with warm or hot water and add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Use a non-metal spoon or spatula to loosen the food after 15 minutes of soaking. If it fails to work, boil some water, turn off the heat, and give it another go. Alternatively, wait for the water to cool and clean the pan as you usually would, or use a bamboo scraper.
- Chalky White Spots: Pour a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water into the pan. Put the pan or pot on the fire and bring the contents up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, take it off the heat and let it cool. Once the pan has cooled, wash it with soap and water as you usually would.
- Iridescent (or Rainbow-like) Spots: Overheating is the most common reason for spots that have an iridescent or rainbow-like appearance. To avoid the formation of such spots, avoid overheating your pans and pots. However, you can try making tomato-based dishes in the pan or boiling a solution of water and vinegar if they do appear.
- Pitting or Pockmarks: These are brought on by the interaction between salt, water, and chromium in stainless steel when salt is added to water before it is brought to a boil. Pitting that already exists can be challenging to remove, but you can prevent it from happening in the future by adding salt only to boiling water.
When it comes to cooking, stainless steel cookware is a safe and dependable option; yet, if you are accustomed to working with non-stick surfaces, switching to stainless steel may be scary. But if you follow the tips in this article, you can keep food from sticking to your pans and keep them in great shape. Cleaning stainless steel is simple enough. So, go ahead and make some delicious meals on stainless steel cookware, and have fun doing it!
Lexi Home cookware and decor can help you eat and live a healthy lifestyle.