Must read: a quick tutorial on how to prevent damage to your new stainless

By Bradford Malt
May 20, 2020
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Using proper technique can go a long way with regard to retaining your stainless steel cookware's initial beauty and performance over the long term. Stainless steel pans can require a bit more TLC than non sticks, and making sure you understand how to care for them can save you a lot of time later on.

Already have an aesthetic issue? Check out our blog post on fixing spots and stains on your stainless steel cookware.

How to Prevent Damage

Tip #1 - Always Cool Your Cookware Before Cleaning

As cool as it looks to create a steam room in your kitchen, always allow your pot or pan to cool before dunking it under the faucet. Although we use durable steel and the chances are low, placing a hot item under cool water could cause warping.

Tip #2 - Avoid Abrasive Brushes and Cleaners

Steel wool, scouring pads, oven cleaners, bleach, or strong abrasive cleaners — although seemingly effective — can scratch your pan. We recommend using Scotch-Brite all-purpose pads or something similar to keep your pots and pans looking new.

For cleaners, if you do not own our Make It Like New Cleaner we recommend making a paste using baking soda and water. Simply add water to baking soda in your pot or pan until you achieve a pasty consistency, wait 15-20 minutes, and then clean your cookware with a sponge or non-abrasive scrubber. Hack: An old toothbrush can function as a good scrubber.

Tip #3 - Heat the Pot or Pan Before Adding the Oil or Fat

Adding oil or fat to an already-heated stainless steel pan can reduce food sticking and burning to your pan (and therefore the cleanup after). So heat the pan properly (generally over low-to-medium heat for 2-3 minutes), add your oil or fat, and then add your food. Remember, our pans are very good at retaining heat, so you probably don't need to jack up the heat as much as you are used to.

Tip #4 - Bring Your Food to Room Temperature Before Cooking

Allow food to sit out for 10-20 minutes to warm up before cooking. Cold food sticks to pots and pans more easily, which can lead to a longer cleanup.

Tip #5 - Don’t Overheat Your Cookware

Some cooks try to cut down on prep time by heating their pan over high heat. Stainless steel is exceptionally good at holding heat, so doing this could cause you to burn your food and oil and leave you scraping residue off your pots and pans. If your oil is smoking, then your heat is generally too high. Most stainless steel first-timers will end up overheating their pans before they get the hang of it, so don't worry if this happens to you! We recommend starting with low-to-medium heat and working your way up.

Tip #6 - Dry Your Cookware After Cleaning

Your water source most likely contains calcium. Drying your pans fully immediately after cleaning can prevent water spots and white dried calcium spots from developing on your pan.

Tip #7 - Salt the Water After it Comes to a Boil

Adding salt to water is key for pasta recipes. However, salt should be added after the water has come to a boil. Adding salt prematurely can cause pitting.

Having any problems with your stainless? We created this guide to help fix any issues you may be experiencing with your stainless steel cookware.