Are you thinking about tossing out your nonstick cookware with Teflon coating and instead use stainless steel pans and pots? Well, stainless steel is a real kitchen workhorse and can be useful in the preparation of just about any type of food.
This cookware is excellent for marinating, preparing pasta sauce, braising, and even browning meat.
If your culinary skills are well-polished, your stainless steel pots can help deliver beautifully cooked meals.
The secret is keeping the cookware seasoned properly and cleaned using the correct methods.
In this post, we will learn how to season and clean stainless steel pans.
Also, I’ll share a few proven tips on how to clean a seasoned stainless steel pan and ways to get rid of stubborn stains.
Ready? Dive right in!
Stainless Steel Pre-Seasoning Cleaning Steps
First things first, why bother to season a stainless steel pan? The answer is simple. Seasoning your pan will naturally turn it into nonstick cookware.
This means you can practically cook anything with it without worrying about your food getting stuck at the bottom or at the sides.
Usually, new stainless steel cookware is not seasoned. You should, therefore, get it seasoned before use. you can check the Budget cookware set under $200.
We will go through the steps for seasoning the cookware but first, here are the simple pre-seasoning cleaning steps to follow:
Preheat water with your pan until its warm. Add several drops of mild dishwashing liquid and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes.
Because you don’t want to bruise your new pan, you must avoid using a scouring pad or steel wool. Instead, use a sponge or soft washcloth.
Your pan is ready for rinsing. Use running water, and then flip it over to release excess water.
Next is to wipe the pans dry with a clean kitchen cloth.
How to Season Stainless Steel cookware?
There are two common ways of seasoning stainless still cookware to turn them into nonstick frying pots and pans.
Seasoning Stainless Steel on a Stove
Use a generous amount of oil with a high smoking point and smear it on all the internal surfaces of your pan. Use an oil brush, paper towel, or your fingers to ensure all areas are well coated with oil.
Use medium heat to heat the pan. You can swirl it from time to time to ensure the oil coating covers all internal surfaces.
When the oil starts smoking, turn off the stove and allow the pan to cool down for a few minutes.
Drain out the excess fat and wipe the rest using a paper towel. Voila! Your stainless steel cookware is seasoned.
Seasoning in an Oven
Seasoning a stainless steel pan in an oven is harder. However, the seasoning lasts longer, making your efforts worth it.
Preheat your oven at 300-350℉.
Place your pan in the oven until it is warm.
Remove the pan from the oven and smear 1-2 tablespoons of oil that have a high smoking point.
Spread aluminum foil on your oven shelf to help catch any dripping oil. Place the pan inside the oven in an upside-down position and let it bake for an hour.
Once the oven goes off, let the pan sit inside for another 30 minutes. The idea is to allow it to cool down naturally.
Take your pan, wipe off the oil with a paper towel and you are done!
It is not necessary to season your stainless steel cookware after each use.
To maintain the nonstick properties of your pans, avoid washing them with soap. You only need to wipe them clean using a paper towel.
In case your pan has stuck-on food, scrub it gently with oil and salt using a wooden or plastic spatula. After this, wipe it clean using a paper towel.
Each time you have to use soap, you need to re-season your cookware using the above steps.
How to Clean Problem Areas?
Several surefire ways can help you keep your stainless steel cookware looking as good as new for years. Let me guide you through the recommended methods for cleaning problem areas.
Chalky White Spots
Stainless steel pots can develop chalky spots because of calcium buildup in the water. To remove these unsightly blemishes, use vinegar and water at the ratio of 1:3. Boil the solution in your pan and let it cool.
Next is to clean the cookware as usual and dry it with a soft cloth.
Fill your stainless steel pan with hot soapy water and leave it for several hours. The idea is to let the stuck-on buildup to smoothen.
This makes it unnecessary to use abrasive cleaners or a tough scouring pad to scrub it out.
A soft sponge will do the trick after you have soaked your pot in hot soapy water.
To avoid the risk of always getting stuck food bits, avoid adding cold food to a heated stainless steel pan.
For Marks and Discoloration
With time, your stainless steel cookware can adopt a rainbow appearance that is not entirely pleasing to the eye. This is often a result of overheating the pots.
Removing the rainbow appearance is easy-peasy. You could wash the pan with vinegar or just use it for cooking high-acid foods such as tomato sauce.
In case your pots have burnt marks, you can easily remove them using boiling water mixed with baking soda.
I also find soda to be quite effective at removing stubborn stains and stuck-on substances. Cola, just like tomatoes, contains acidic properties that do an excellent job of removing tough stains.
General Care for Stainless Steel Pans
It’s always a pleasure maintaining your favorite pans looking shiny and as good as new.
Here are a few tips to commit to memory:
- After washing your pots, dry them immediately to prevent nasty water spots.
- In case your pans get light water spots, rub them with a damp cloth and baking powder.
- Always add your salt to boiling water to prevent pitting corrosion. If the water is not boiling, the salt can leave small holes on the sides and bottom of your pan.
- Heat your food to room temperature before adding it to your pan. This will help prevent stuck-on messes.
- Another simple way to prevent sticking is to preheat your stainless steel pans before adding your ingredients. Eliminating cold or hot spots ensures the food cooks more evenly.
- Never use cold water to clean hot stainless steel pans. The difference in temperature causes warping.
- Always use mild cleaners and a soft sponge to protect the stainless steel surfaces from unsightly scratches.
Stainless steel cookware is an invaluable asset in the modern kitchen. These pots and pans are designed to effectively distribute heat, making them some of the most useful tools in both commercial and residential culinary settings.
Our post provides all-rounded information about how to clean a seasoned stainless steel pan, how to re-season it, and also how to keep your cookware looking clean and shiny.
These simple tricks and tips will not only extend the lifespan of your cookware but also help you keep them looking like new.