Non-stick cookware. Almost every household has it. And many of us can’t imagine cooking without it. And let’s admit it. These pots and pans do give us chef-level results with half the effort and oil! But are we using them as they should be used? And caring for them, the right way?
Here’s a quick read on all you’d ever need to know about using, storing and enjoying your non-stick cookware for longer and the right way!
Before You Use New Non-stick Cookware
Before you use your new non-stick pan, wash it with hot, soapy water, rinse thoroughly and wipe it dry with a soft cotton cloth. After this comes the important step of ‘conditioning’ your pan. Apply a few drops of cooking oil, spread it on the pan, heat it on the stove for a bit and wipe the oil clean with a tissue.
How Often Should You Clean Your Non-stick Cookware?
No, don’t just keep your pan back in the shelf after making that quick dosa!
You should clean your non-stick cookware after every single use. Logical isn’t it? If there’s grease or food leftover on the surface, it’ll only cause the food you try to cook on it the next time to stick to the pan. But most of us ignore this instruction. So, wash your nonstick pots and pans, every time you use them, even if they don’t appear dirty. The cooked-on residue is not easy to see, but is very much there!
Let your non-stick cookware cool completely before you begin to wash it. Trying to wash it while it is still hot will ruin the coating.
And you can’t just stick it in the dishwasher and forget about it. The heat inside the dishwasher will ruin the coating soon. Non-stick cookware needs to be washed by hand, with a gentle dish-detergent and a non-abrasive scouring pad (no steel wool please) like a nylon sponge or a nylon net-wrapped scouring pad. Remember, no matter how stubborn the mess, it can be handled with these. (Of course with an appropriate amount of elbow-grease!)
Once you’ve washed your pots and pans and rinsed them thoroughly remember to dry them off with a clean cloth, before you store them away.
How Should You Store It?
It is important to store your non-stick cookware the right way to avoid damage. And what’s the right way? Just make sure the non-stick surface doesn’t rub against any bare metal. And the best way to avoid this is by hanging your pots in a hanging rack. If this isn’t feasible in your kitchen, you can just stack your pans together inside a cabinet, making sure you layer a piece of soft cloth between two pans.
How Can You Make It Last Longer?
Extending the life of your non-stick cookware is in your hands. All it needs is careful cleaning after every use, proper storage and a couple of other precautions.
The first important thing to remember with nonstick cookware, and something all of us are aware of, is to never use metal ladles while cooking. Ladles and spoons made of materials like wood, silicone, rubber, nylon work very well. It’s also important to remember never to cut into the food that you’re cooking with a knife. (We do it, don’t we, to see if what we’re making has cooked or not!)
It’s also a good idea to use slightly lower temperatures than you do with your standard cookware, while using non-stick pots and pans. A lot of people use what’s called the ‘butter test’, which involves heating the pan on a medium flame and adding a pat of butter to it. If the butter bubbles immediately, the heat is just right, and if it browns or starts to burn, the heat is too high and you then turn the stove off and start over at a lower heat setting, after cleaning the butter out.
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