Almost every type of cookware is used differently. Cast irons are used for high heat, non-stick pans require little to no oil, and stainless steel kitchenware needs to be heated properly before using. Knowing how to use your stainless steel pans and pots properly ensures that they last and that the food is cooked perfectly every time.
So if you’re wondering how to use kitchen utensils like a professional, continue reading. We’ll shine some light on cooking techniques, how to maintain your cookware, and ensure it lasts for a lifetime.
The first rule of cooking is to heat the burner before placing cookware on it. You can’t just leave a pan on a cold burner, and add food and ingredients and wait for it to cook. The reason behind this rule is simple – you don’t want to soak your ingredients in oil and butter before thermally processing even begins.
Another important tip when using steel cookware is to start with low or medium heat. There’s no need to turn the burner on high from the start. You’ll eliminate the chance of having hot spots this way. Also, if you accidentally leave the pan without adding oil or butter it will discolor and you’ll end up with a ruined pan.
Preheat the Cookware
Another great tip to ensure your food cooks properly and that it doesn’t stick is to preheat the pan or pot in which you’re preparing the food. Start with low-heat and leave it for a couple of minutes. Stainless steel kitchenware has great heat distribution properties due to the aluminum base.
Once the pan is preheated, you can turn the burner up a notch – medium or higher (not maximum). Now you can start cooking and preparing all sorts of delicacies. In general, it is advised that you use low to medium heat when cooking with stainless steel cookware. This will ensure that your food doesn’t stick or burn.
If you’re using quality stainless steel cookware, you won’t need to use too much oil. The meat will stick immediately upon placing it but will loosen after the juices are released. This will create a nice layer of browned food residue. You can deglaze it later or just wash it away.
Great cooking tips when using stainless steel
- Avoid storing acidic foods in these pots
- Don’t cut meat in it or use steel utensils
- Always start with low heat
- Maintain it regularly
When it comes to deglazing in stainless steel pots and pans you don’t have to do it any differently than you would with other cookware like cast iron for example. What you should be careful about is storing and cooking acidic food in this kitchenware.
Acidic food ( tomato juice, salsa, tabasco sauce, lemon juice, etc.) can cause leaching and adding dangerous amounts of minerals from the pan in your food. So if you’re preparing a huge tomato sauce for pasta, try not to store it in stainless steel cookware. Simply pour it in another pot, and store it as you would.
Use Silicone or Wooden Kitchen Utensils for Stirring
Using steel or metal utensils isn’t strictly forbidden when using these cookware sets. However, there’s always a chance that you’ll damage the finish. You can also scratch the pan which will result in leaching. So to avoid all this, simply use silicone, plastic or wooden utensils.
This way you won’t be able to damage the cookware in any way. Also, be sure not to keep plastic utensils inside the pot while cooking food. You don’t want it to melt or start to dissolve as it will definitely affect the taste.
There’s another reason for not using steel utensils. Steel conduct heat pretty well, so you might get burned if you leave it on the pot or resting on the handle. So to avoid any accidents when cooking, just stick with plastic, silicone, or wooden utensils and you’ll be fine.
Seasoning the Cookware
This one is completely optional and up to you whether you do it or not. If you’re not familiar with seasoning pots and pans here’s a crash course. Seasoning is applying a layer of special oil to cookware, followed by exposure to high temperatures to “smoothen” the existing finish on the cookware.
To start, use peanut or olive oil and apply it on the entire surface of the cookware. This means sides, the back, front and base. You don’t need any fancy tools you can use your fingers to apply the layer. Once that’s done, turn your oven on high-heat and leave the cookware for one hour. After that’s done, wait for it to cool down completely and remove excess grease with a cloth. Use a paper towel if you don’t want to waste cloths.
This will help with cooking food that sticks every time no matter how you adjust heat or season the meat. Your pan should have enhanced non-stick properties and cooking becomes fun once again.