How to cure & care for stainless steel cookware

How to cure & care for stainless steel cookware

 How to cure & care for stainless steel cookware!

Controversial cookware: busting the myths of stainless steel

Robust, long lasting and incredibly sleek, stainless steel cookware is an excellent choice. In fact, it’s preferred by chefs because of its outstanding non-reactive, non-toxic surface that won’t rust or break down. But with its highly revered, bold characteristics, come many opinions on how to best use and care for it. So much so, we’ve compiled this handy guide to solve the most common stainless steel conundrums. Whether you own stainless steel, or if you’re shopping for a new piece, you’ll no longer feel conflicted about this popular cookware option.

Myth: stainless steel pans cause sticking

There’s one easy way to stop food from clinging to your stainless steel pan: preheating. Letting your pan reach a medium heat before adding any oil or butter enables the metal to expand, and the pores on the surface of the steel to gradually shrink. If you add food before the pan has heated up and its pores have shrunk, food will get pinched in the contracting pores and it will stick. Any oil should be added after the pan has preheated and the oil also needs to heat up before you then add food.

To find out if your stainless steel pan is properly preheated, carefully drop a small amount of water onto the hot pan. If the water beads up and glides over the surface, your pan is ready to go. Another hot tip is to always make sure the food you are cooking has come to room temperature before putting it in the pan. Large differences in temperature between your food and the pan increases the likelihood of food sticking.

One of the biggest advantages of stainless steel is its ability to sear meat and vegetables at high heat to create a delicious crust. During this process, it’s natural for small, caramelised fibres to stick to the pan. Not to be mistaken for burnt bits, this is called fond and can be deglazed using vinegar, citrus juice, stock or wine to create a flavour packed sauce.

Myth: stainless steel pans need to be seasoned

Let’s make life easy; stainless steel pans don’t need to be seasoned! Food shouldn’t stick if your pans are preheated following the steps above. While seasoning can add a little extra security, it disregards the convenience of stainless steel which is designed for immediate use. Plus, the seasoned layer is removed from stainless steel when washed with soap, so seasoning the pan every time you cook can become unnecessarily labour intensive.

Myth: caring for stainless steel is complicated

Like any good piece of cookware, stainless steel needs to be cared for, but no more than other surfaces. Hand wash your stainless steel pans lightly with a non-abrasive sponge to avoid scratching. To get rid of burnt residue, letting the pan sit in soapy water works a treat. If you’re looking for a quick solution, fill the pan with soapy water and simmer it on the stovetop while gently scraping the surface to lift sticky food bits. If your pan develops any white spots caused by calcium buildup, tackle it with a simple solution of vinegar and water, and dry your pans immediately after washing to eliminate water marks. Specialised stainless steel cleaners like this cookware cleaner from Bar Keeper’s Friend offer a tougher approach, designed to carefully eliminate stubborn stains and tarnish marks to keep your pans looking as good as new.

Adventure awaits!

Cook confidently with these simple techniques and explore the versatile searing, roasting and baking capabilities of stainless steel. With an expert selection of local and international brands, an extensive collection of stainless steel cookware awaits at Kitchen Warehouse.