Knowing how to properly use and care for utensils can do the same for the life of your food as well as know how to cook. But remembering the rules for which types of pots are cleaned, how it can feel arbitrary when you don’t understand why. After struggling and learning some of the sciences behind the different types of cookware – non-stick ceramics, cast iron enamel and stainless steel – and how they conduct heat, it became much easier for us to understand all of this. The basic tips are below (we’ve spared you unabridged versions of the lecture on thermal shock), along with some of our favorite recipes when you’ll be ready to perform your favorite pan.
Most non-stick containers are traditionally made with synthetic plastic coatings, such as Teflon. But there have been many concerns about toxic PFOAs penetrating food if the pan gets too hot or if you scrape the coating with metal utensils.
Fortunately, non-stick ceramics are different. Ceramic is a sand-based coating that is applied to a container and then hardened to achieve a non-stick finish. This coating is permanently adhered and will not evaporate, peel off or peel off.
How do I use it?
Ceramics are an excellent conductor of heat, so you don’t need to use more than medium heat for serious cooking. If you use heat at the higher end, try oil with a higher smoking point, such as avocado, coconut or sunflower oil – it is less likely to burn from oil or fat with lower smoke points. Also, avoid any spray oil, either aerosol or even pump spray. When you spray oil, it grits on the surface of the pan and can lead to carbonization (burning). Metal utensils are not recommended, although unlike the traditional non-stick agent, it is not due to potentially toxic elements – it only damages the surface of the dish over time. If your ceramic nonstick has an oven-safe handle, you should also be able to go from oven to oven. In addition, use it as usual to use non-stick: it is great for all kinds of everyday cooking projects, and is especially useful for anything sticky or delicate like eggs,, grilled cheese, i Pancakes.
How to clean it?
Before cleaning, wait for the pan to cool completely. This will help you avoid thermal shock – when you shock a hot pan with cold water, which can lead to damage and distortion. Then wash your hand (while the dishwasher is basically unsafe for non-stick ceramics, most detergents are quite abrasive and can damage the non-stick coating over time). Use warm soapy water and a gentle sponge. If you take proper care of them, your non-stick ceramic dishes should last for at least five years.
If you notice that your pan starts to stick more and there are stubborn stains on its surface, you might suspect that the coating has decomposed, but this is actually due to carbonation. This happens when the pan gets too hot and the oil basically burns out and sticks to the non-stick ceramic coating. You can avoid carbonation by being careful never to use more than medium heat and if you are using oils with a higher smoke point. If soap and warm water don’t cut it, you can try gently heating a little water in it over low heat to release some oil from the surface. If that still fails, a melamine sponge should do the trick.
In our kitchens
CAST IRON ENAMEL
You can enjoy cooking with cast iron. This is probably best in business when it comes to heat distribution – meaning the entire surface of the pan will be evenly heated without inconvenient foci – and heat retention. Plain cast iron is rustic and can look nostalgic or almost romantic if, say, you inherited your grandmother’s perfectly spiced and maintained pan. However, it is not without challenges. That layer of spice – which is similar to non-stick when properly maintained – needs maintenance. And the best way to clean cast iron is the source of many discussions – just search for it on Google and see how many articles with different tips will pop up. Cast iron can take on the taste of soap if left to soak. Or rust if it doesn’t dry properly. There are also some acidic foods that react with the unfinished surface of iron, such as tomatoes, wine, citrus and vinegar. None of this is an insurmountable problem, but commitment is needed. If this seems small to you, there is an easier way: Cast iron with enamel coating.
You get all the benefits of cooking from cast iron – that distribution and heat retention – and nothing from the hassle or speculation. Even better, choose a cast iron with matte enamel, like Staub. The other enamel finishes are smooth and glossy, but the matt finish of the Staub mimics the surface of traditional cast iron, making it ideal for sanding. Glossy enamelled finishes also show any scratches and can be easily painted – Staub’s black matte look looks chic even after years and years of use.
How do I use it?
Similar to non-stick ceramics, cast iron enamel does not need maximum heat because it is so good at retaining and distributing heat. Medium to medium high should do the job. Besides, there are so many ways to use it. Fast and warm cooking like baking or grilling steak or
vegetables, a long squeak stews, slow and slow heat,, miracles with one potand dishes from the stove to the oven cassoulet all work well in enamel enamel. Wooden accessories are desirable to maintain the integrity of the matte enamel surface as long as possible.
How to clean it?
Clean enamelled cast iron dishes as you would normally wash anything – with warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge. You can soak up heavy clutter without worrying about whether the rust or pan will take on the taste of soap because the enameled coating protects the cast iron. It’s always a good idea to let the dishes cool before you wash them, to avoid thermal shock, no matter how firm your pieces look. In the end, while Staub cast iron enamel is technically safe for washing dishes, this is one of those scenarios just because you can’t, and it doesn’t. Washing your hands is a better way to protect and preserve enamelled cast iron dishes.
There really aren’t many troubleshooting issues here if you follow the above steps for use and care. The matte enamel coating eliminates most of the whims of traditional cast iron, so you don’t have to stress about maintenance.
In our kitchens
High-quality stainless steel cookware usually has an aluminum or copper core – which makes them even better conductors of heat. Chefs and home cooks love stainless steel because it is strong and durable: there is no need to worry about chopping or breaking. It’s a real workhorse. It can handle high temperature cooking, although again a good aluminum or copper core will ensure that it is a good enough conductor of heat that it does not need to be pushed further than medium high.
How do I use it?
Stainless steel is incredibly versatile – use it for sautéing vegetables as simply as in this one pasta sauce or seamlessly transfer from oven to oven when chicken in a pan. It’s not a non-stick surface, but you can achieve near-non-stick performance by properly heating the oil in the pan before adding other ingredients and ensuring your ingredients are close to room temperature. Cold food is more likely to stay in a hot pan.
How to clean it?
Allow the dishes to cool before washing your hands with soap. You can let the heavier mess soak up in warm water or simmer on low heat for a few minutes and loosen the stuck parts with wooden spoons. Stainless steel cookware is usually dishwasher safe, but there is disagreement among experts about the long-term abrasive effects of dishwashing detergents. As a rule, if your manufacturer says it’s okay (it’s done by people from the Kitchen Brigade!), You’re probably fine. However, hand washing has no harmful effects on dishes.
The problems that often occur with stainless steel are cosmetic. It is prone to watermarks, the accumulation of chalk in the form of chalk and a slight change in color. In most cases, this can be avoided by drying the dishes immediately with a cloth instead of drying drop by drop, and using a gentle cleanser like Bar Keepers Friend on annoying problem areas.