Stainless steel is beautiful to look at and adds to the aesthetic of your kitchen. But, it’s a hard task as most of us don’t know how to keep the stainless steel utensils as usual. Over the time, stainless steel can acquire brown spots or discoloured areas due to regular use. It does not remain stainless once food sticks to it. So, it is a daily headache of most of our households that how can we prevent food sticking. You cannot get away with this problem and make your steel utensils look bright with the routine dish washing. Hence keep reading this article to get the ready made tips you can apply to get your work done effortlessly.
Benefits Of Stainless Steel
People not only prefer steel for its attractiveness but also like to have it for the advantages it provides. It’s healthy to cook in steel utensils because the metal does not react with acidic foods, such as tomatoes, yogurt, rhubarb, and wine. As a result, it is safer and healthier than modern non-stick utensils. Moreover, steel helps to dissolve the caramelization and makes sumptuous sauces by the Maillard reaction.
Some More Advantages Of Having Stainless Steel Cookware
Steel utensils are more durable than utensils made of other metals as it is corrosion resistant. You can use stainless steel appliances for several years without any signs of wear and tear. Stainless steel contains the most environmentally friendly materials and high recycled contents. It is resistant to fire and can retain strength at high temperatures as well.
Moreover, they are resistant to water damage and rust as well. Many of you may be unaware of the fact that stainless steel expands or contracts depending on the temperature.
Limitations Of Stainless Steel
Steel concentrates the heat at its centre and cannot distribute the heat evenly throughout the food. Hence, it cannot cook the food evenly. Many food items get stuck to the steel, and it becomes difficult to remove them. It happens because this metal is not nonstick. Delicate foods like eggs and fishes often set apart when you put in on your steel pan.
The greatest drawback of stainless steel is that it requires more cleaning as they show even light smudges and marks. Furthermore, stainless steel is the most expensive material for households. The stainless steel appliances look dirty afterwards if you do not remove your fingerprints with a stainless steel cleaner.
Why Do Foods Stick To Stainless Steel?
Foods stick to steel when it forms a chemical bond with the metal. As protein-rich foods, such as meat and fish form complexes with metal atoms, they are more prone to sticking easily. Food particles can stick to your steel cookware due to too much heat or too little heat. When you add foods to your steel pan, you hear a sizzle. It states that the pan is hot enough to cook the food. But, if you do not hear any sizzle, then you will need to heat the pan for some more time.
Quick Tips To Prevent Food From Sticking
It is most irritating and arduous to deal with burned-on food and hard water stains. Therefore, we are discussing below the most convenient and effective tricks to prevent food from sticking to your stainless steel cookware. All the methods are equally effective to solve this critical problem. So you can choose the one that seems to be more suitable and accessible for you to apply.
Make sure that no food particles are sticking to the steel utensil. If you want to cook frozen food, then let them come to the room temperature and let them dry. Do not put in the food unless the oil in the steel pan becomes hot. It would be better if you make add oil only when the pan has turned hot enough. Add the food to the pan before the oil starts to smoke.
If you apply a few drops of water, then it will turn to steam as the pan is hot. It helps you to understand that it is the right time to add the food. Since steel cannot cook foods evenly, add small quantities of food at a time and cook in small batches. If you need to add more oil, then heat the oil each time you add the oil. If you find the food to stick to the steel pan, then lower the flame and the food will release on its own.
Put on the fire and put the steel pan on the oven. Then, add one tablespoon of coconut oil and a little salt to the pan and allow it to melt. Swirl the oil evenly throughout the pan and removes extra oil. After that, sprinkle little amount of salt on the pan.
Then, use a clean paper towel to rub both the oil and salt all over the pan. Now, add the food and see whether it can cook without sticking to the pan or not. Remember that this is a temporary solution. So, you will have to repeat this trick every time you are going to cook.
Once you are done with your cooking, do not let the food particles stick to the steel cookware. Now if you are using unseasoned cookware, then wash them with dish washing soap and hot water. If required then you can use a scrubbing pad and rub the stains on your steel cookware.
Whereas, if you are using seasoned cookware, then simply wash them with water and avoid soaps. If still, the cookware is not looking stainless, then remove the excess grease with a tissue paper.
Also, before using any cleaning product, make sure that it does not contain ammonia. Otherwise, it can react with the cookware and cause damage to it. Try not to wipe the steel cookware dry by your hand to prevent water spots. Instead of that, you can use a dry cloth or paper towel.
Once you season your stainless steel utensils, you can avoid foods sticking to it. To do that, heat the stainless steel pan on a burner over medium-high heat. The pan will become hot after one or two minutes. Then, remove the pan from the burner, add a tablespoon of edible oil, and swirl it around the pan.
Place the pan again on the burner and heat up the oil until it begins to smoke. As you heat the oil, it melts and the molecules on the stainless steel pan start expanding. As a result, this process embeds the oil into the pan and forms a non-stick surface.
Now, turn off the burner and wait for the oil to cool entirely. If the interior surface of the pan becomes reflective, then you have successfully seasoned your pan. When the oil is cool, pour the oil from the pan into a bowl. Wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel.
Then, even if you wash the pan with dish soap, the non-stick surface lasts for some time. Still, we would recommend you to put some extra oil into the pan while cooking. If you see that the surface of the steel pan is turning yellow or brown, then follow the same process. It will help to season the steel pan and avoid food particles from sticking to it.
How To Clean Stainless-Steel Cookware
Although stainless steel cookware are really useful, cleaning them can be a hectic job. If you are thinking how to clean stainless-steel cookware and pans to keep them as good as new, then here are the solutions.
Set aside the scorched and crusty pan and let it cool down. Then, do not use steel scrubbing pads to clean the steel pan. It’s because of the reason that these scrubbing pads are too hard for steel utensils. They can thereby lead to scratches on your steel utensil.
When the pan is cool and dry, add distilled vinegar to it so that the bottom of the pan is covered with it. Keep it like this for half an hour and then wash out the vinegar. Now, use detergent and mild hot water to clean the pan.
Add vinegar and water to your steel pan in 1:3 ratio. The water comes to a boiling position and you will need to wait until it comes back to the room temperature. Then, throw away the mixture and clean the pan by using detergent and normal water. Then, dry up the pan with a clean towel.
Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it on the burned on spots on your steel pan. After twenty to thirty minutes scrub it with a sponge and use a proper dishwasher to clean the steel pan. Alternatively, you can dip the scrub in the mixture and then apply the scrub on the steel pan.
You can use the barkeepers friend that comes in the form of power, liquid, soft cleanser, and foam. The soft cleanser is less gritty than the powder. Smear around the chemical on the pan with a sponge. Then wash the pan with a proper detergent and water.
After the steel appliance has become dry, sprinkle a little amount of baking soda on it. Then, take a dry cloth or sponge and rub the baking soda around the appliance. If you feel you can add some water to the baking soda and then apply the paste to your stained appliance. Rub the paste for half a minute and then wash it properly with water and liquid soap.
You can buy stainless steel polish from the market and apply some of the polish to a clean cloth. After that, Buff the polish onto the cookware and it will shine as before. You might often find small scratches on the exterior or interior of your stainless steel appliances.
There is also a simple trick to get away the scratches. Only form a paste of water and a non-abrasive cleanser such as baking soda and apply it to your appliance. A paper towel or a soft cloth is quite useful to remove fingerprints or water spots from your steel utensils.
Things To Remember While Using Stainless Steel Cookware
- Do not mistakenly mix baking soda and vinegar. If you do so, then they will neutralise each other and do not have any cleansing power. Besides this, the mixture produces carbon dioxide and can be toxic for your health.
- Never use ammonia on steel utensils because it can discolour the metal.
- After washing the cookware, rinse it with a towel so that water does not accumulate on it and creates spots.
- Chlorine bleach is also not suitable for stainless steel utensils.
- If you do not have time to clean the steel utensils immediately, then soak them in water. As long as the utensils are soaked into the water, the food particles won’t get dry and stick to the utensils.
- Do not mistakenly use hard scrubbing pads and make scratches. So, try to use nylon-net scouring pads or plastic or nylon brushes for this purpose.
- Stainless steel polish is the most effective ingredient to wash steel utensils.
- Vinegar or baking soda is very beneficial to clean steel knives.
- Wear gloves before using any of the solutions mentioned above in this article. Otherwise, it can affect your skin and cause severe damages if your skin is very sensitive.
So, apply the tips discussed in this article so that you can retain the modern and attractive appearance of your stainless steel cookware. And thereby makes your kitchen more appealing to others. Only keep in mind that do not use any soaps that are not recommended for cleaning stainless steel.
If none of the solutions given in the article are able to retain the brightness of your stainless steel cookware, then you can go for other products. You can thereby prefer ‘Carbon Off,’ ‘Value Brand Cola,’ and ‘SOS’ scrubbing pads and try to get your work done. Buying stainless steel cookware involves a good investment. Therefore, you will need to take adequate care of your stainless steel pans and pots before and after use.
With an incredible passion for cooking, she completely understands the value of kitchen appliances for every chef and home cook. She has mastered all styles of cooking solely through her unique talents and learning aptitude. And through her journey, she has also become skilled at using different appliances to perfection. And she thanks the stars for giving her this passion for cooking that makes her happy along with those around her.