We treated ourselves today to some new pots and pans for the kitchen. I say treated ourselves, but given how often we cook, I really don’t think that decent cookware is an extravagance and we have been soldiering away for a bit with pots in various states of repair. One has the surface coming away another is just no longer non stick and has become a real pain to use.
We got a bit frustrated recently, spending another unneeded half hour trying to get scrambled eggs off a non stick pot and we questioned why recently ( the last 5 or so years) pots just don’t seem to last like they used to. Unfortunately the kelpies from the washing up bowl failed to give us an answer and instead we decided we’d just go buy some new cookware.
It was in buying this, and reading all the labels that we learned some really important things about non stick cookware and why it was actually our fault that nice things weren’t lasting, so we are sharing what we learned with you, in the hope that you can make your cookware last.
5 tips to keeping your non stick, well non stick
Metal Cooking Utensils
Non stick is a coating that is applied to the pot, damaging that coating will lesson the life and may cause other problems so avoid things which are sharp or hard enough to cause damage, like metal knifes, forks, spoons etc.
This is the really obvious tip that everyone knows, but even if you think, I’ll be super careful, you just shouldn’t risk it. Just a small nick in the coating can lead to food sticking, water causing rust and even for your coating to start to flake off (and get into your food). Stick to wooden and plastic or silicon for your spoons, spatulas etc.
Be careful about taking your prized cookware to dinner parties etc, even if you are being super careful, it doesn’t mean others will be.
Stacking your pots inside each other
Just like metal utensils can easy scrape and ding your pots, other pots can too, so avoid stacking your pots inside each other to save space, or if you do at least put a tea towel or pot saver device inside to protect them.
Cleaning With a Scouring Cleanser Pad
Don’t use Brillo pads for cleaning, if something is stuck on that badly, slap the cook…. no of course not, don’t be mean to the lovely person who cooked for you. Instead, soak the pot in warm soapy water for an hour and then even burnt on nasties should wipe off easily with a soft sponge or cloth. Brillo pads will scour away your non stick coating, hence the name scourer.
Temperature Changes and shocking your non stick
This seems appropriate after mentioning steeping your pots in water. It’s also one of the 2 last tips we are going to give you and its 2 things we didn’t know. Do not take your very hot pot straight from the cooker and plung it into your dish water. The shock can damage the non stick coating over time and cause it to deteriorate. We confess to not knowing this and being very guilty of it.
This last one came as a complete surprise to us and we confess it is how we killed our lovely pots. It also explains why we felt things have deteriorated quicker over the past 5 years or so. Cooking on too high a heat. Non stick is designed for cooking on low to medium temperatures. Cooking on a high heat not only damages things, but it can actually cause the coating to release harmful chemicals (the recommendation is stay below 260 celsius). We have been blasting our non stick on the wok ring, blasting! Ah, mystery solved.
Something to be aware of though, as much as Orran and Innes can look forward to inheriting our cast iron cookware, non stick is not something you will be passing down to other generations. It is only going to last 3 to 5 years, even with lots of care. Guess that makes granny’s cast iron griddle all the more luxurious now.