How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans


The arrival of a brand new set of chrome steel cookware is a joyful event. The second you lay eyes on it—all shiny and pristine—you’re already dreaming of all of the searing, caramelizing, and sautéing you’ll be doing. However in the identical breath, you additionally suppose: Man, I actually hope I don’t destroy this gleaming piece of perfection. As a result of as a lot as chrome steel pots and pans conduct, distribute, and keep warmth superbly, and are an absolute pleasure to have across the kitchen, additionally they want your care and a spotlight.

Let’s face it: bits of meals will stick on, water spots will (too reliably) seem, and dings will occur. Fortunately although, there are useful options for all this common put on and tear. Defend your valuable pots and pans from discoloration, injury, and debauchery by following these tips for cleansing and for caring.

  • The trick to forestall these reasonably annoying water spots is to really get to drying as quickly as attainable, aka, instantly. If you aren’t getting to it quickly sufficient, and the spots seem, merely dampen the floor of the pot or pan, rub it with a moist sponge that is been sprinkled with baking soda, and rinse as common.

  • Solely salt water as soon as it has already come to a boil. When water is salted pre-boil, “pitting corrosion” can happen, which leaves tiny however irreparable pockmarks, as if from a nail, within the backside of the pot. So salt your pasta water, sure, however solely as soon as it is boiling.

Picture by Mark Weinberg

  • At all times warmth your pan earlier than including on the oil. After which, add the meals as soon as the oil is scorching. In line with Meals Community, including oil to the pan when it is scorching causes the metal to grow to be “static,” which creates a quickly nonstick floor. At all times watch the oil to determine if it is scorching sufficient to begin cooking: If it’s shimmering, you’re able to toss in your components.

  • Take the chilliness off of chilly meals. Chilly meals is extra more likely to stick with a scorching pan, because the metal will contract when it is available in contact with a cooler temperature. So, for those who’re cooking meals like meat, rooster, or fish straight from the fridge, enable them to sit down at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Earlier than cooking, ensure to dab with a fabric or paper towel to take away extra moisture.

  • To find out whether or not your pan is scorching sufficient for the oil, do that easy water check: Drop a tiny quantity (about 1/eight teaspoon) water within the pan. When the water, instantly upon hitting the pan, comes collectively right into a “ball” that glides and dances throughout the floor, your pan is preheated completely—now, you possibly can add the oil! Be aware that that is previous the purpose at which the water sizzles when it hits the pan’s floor: When the pan is correctly scorching, the water should not “sit” on the floor in any respect.

  • Don’t rush the preheating course of by utilizing excessive warmth. Since high-quality chrome steel is efficient at holding warmth, preheating on excessive may result in overheating your pan (and burning your meals).
  • Permit the pan to chill fully earlier than washing it. Submerging or soaking a scorching chrome steel pan in chilly water may very well be the reason for irreparable warping.

  • Solely use non-abrasive cleaners and sponges. Coarse scrubbers and harsh cleansing options like bleach or family cleaners can scratch your chrome steel and injury its end. And though baking soda and extra abrasive scrubbers (like nice metal wool) will be helpful in cleansing a burnished pan, beware that utilizing these merchandise may void your guarantee.

  • Persist with a routine. Clear your chrome steel pans and pots after every use (even when it would not get very soiled), to keep away from a buildup.

Picture by James Ransom

  • For cleansing chalky white spots (which might end result from calcium buildup within the water): Deliver an answer of vinegar and water (suppose 1:3) to a boil within the pan, let it cool, after which wash and dry as regular.

  • For basic buildup: Fill the pan with scorching soapy water, and let sit a number of hours, earlier than scrubbing with a non-abrasive sponge.

  • For stuck-on meals bits (which might end result from including chilly meals to a scorching pan—see above!): Scrub the pot with a non-abrasive sponge to get off any meals bits you possibly can, then fill the pot or pan with sufficient soapy water to cowl the meals, convey to a boil, and scrape (the meals ought to come away simply). It’s also possible to do that by changing cleaning soap with a pair spoons of baking soda. Deliver it to boil (however watch intently, as it’ll bubble up), after which scale back it to a simmer. Utilizing a wood spoon, scrape off the bits of meals, which ought to come off fairly simply. When you’re happy with the outcomes, flip it off and let it cool (however do not let it get completely chilly). Take it to the sink and use a long-handled brush or scouring pad to wash off your mess (however remember to dry instantly!).

  • For discoloration (typically rainbow in look), which might happen from overheating: fret not, for an answer is properly in sight. Here is what you do: Splash a bit of white vinegar diluted with water into your pan, swirl the combination round, and use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe away the rainbow stains. Vinegar’s acidity will assist break down that skinny oxidized rainbow layer whereas nonetheless being light in your pans. (Alternatively, a sprinkle of Barkeeper’s Good friend, which is equally acidic but non-corrosive, will even do the trick.) Rinse, dry, and…voila! Your chrome steel can be gleaming good as new.
  • For hard-to-clean burnt or burnished pans:

    If in case you have Barkeeper’s Good friend: Pour a small quantity of water within the pan or pot, add a number of shakes of B.Okay.F., and create a paste or slurry by mixing the 2 collectively. Scrub with a non-abrasive sponge to take away the stains.

    If you do not have Barkeeper’s Good friend: Fill the underside of the pan with water, then add 1 cup of vinegar and convey to a boil. Take away from the warmth and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda (beware that this may void your guarantee!). Empty the pan and scrub (some individuals even suggest utilizing 0000 very nice metal wool, which mustn’t scratch). For cussed spots that also will not budge, you can also make a paste of baking soda and water and depart it utilized to the issue areas for a couple of minutes after which scrub and rinse off.

    Look to a cleaner our neighborhood recommends: We have had success with Ajax, S.O.S. pads, Chore Boy Scrubbers, and Hagerty Stainless Metal Polish.

What have we missed? Tell us within the feedback under.

This text initially appeared on November 30, 2015. We’re re-running it as a result of we love our chrome steel cookware.


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