Making It Last – 5 Easy Ways to Get the Most out of Your Cookware
Pots and pans are a high use item, but many of us don’t spend much time thinking about how to get the best performance and longest lifespan from our cookware. However, the way that you use, clean and store them will have a significant impact on their longevity. We have put together five top tips to help you get the most from your cooking equipment:
Invest in Quality
There are some product categories for which higher price does not always equal superiority. Items such as face cream or shampoo are prime examples of this. However, cookware is not one of these. It is worthwhile to spend the extra money to invest in a quality set of pots and pans because they will perform better and last longer. The primary determining factor in cookware pricing is the materials used to manufacture the product. This then dictates how well it conducts heat, how responsive it is to changes in temperature and how durable it is likely to be.
Cook on Medium Heat
If you read the fine print, you will discover a little-known fact about cookware: most are designed to be used over medium heat. Even those pots and pans that are suitable for stove to oven cooking frequently have a top recommended temperature of around 360 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius. But don’t be concerned – you can still sear your meat and get those beautiful golden brown caramelized edges on your food with medium heat, you just need exercise a little patience until the pan reaches the desired heat. Cooking on medium heat has the added benefit of avoiding hard baked-on crusty food on your pots that is difficult to remove.
Don’t Use Metal Utensils
Unless you have stainless steel or hard anodized cookware, steer clear of metal utensils. Using a metal spoon or spatula on a non-stick, ceramic or copper pan could damage the surface coating. You are best advised to stick to wooden or silicone utensils.
Protect from Scratches in the Cupboard
Have you ever wished that you had less storage space in your kitchen? Nope, neither have I! Most of us find that kitchen cupboard space is at a premium, and the most common way to store your pots and pans is to stack them inside one another. But if you want to be sizzling up a storm in those babies for years to come, you might want to reconsider. Stacking can easily scratch or damage the cooking surface, so it is far preferable to hang them from wall or overhead hooks, place them in deep drawers or use a soft cloth between each stacked pan.
Understand the Material
Different cookware materials require different care approaches, so make sure you know the specifics of your pan. For example, copper cookware should be dried thoroughly straight after washing to minimize tarnish. You will also need to buff and polish the copper surface if you want to maintain the brightly polished look.
Certain materials like cast iron, cast aluminum, and steel need to be seasoned to protect against oxidization that can cause rust or pitting. Seasoning may sound intimidating but is actually quite straight-forward. Wash and dry your pan thoroughly, then spread some oil around the internal surface. Peanut, grapeseed and canola oil are often used due to their high smoking point. Then, heat over the stove or in the oven. Wipe off excess oil and your pan is ready for use.
If you invest in high-quality cookware and look after it well, you can make it last for years to come.
Feature image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Thank you for reading this article!