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Cookware buying guide

How to Care for Your Cookware: Tips for Keeping Your Pots and Pans in Top Shape

How to Care for Your Cookware: Tips for Keeping Your Pots and Pans in Top Shape

Cookware is an essential part of any kitchen. Without it, it would be impossible to whip up your favorite recipes and create delicious meals for your loved ones. Since cookware plays such a crucial role in the kitchen, it’s important to keep it in top shape. Here are some tips for maintaining your pots and pans so that they last for years to come:

Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

If you have cast iron cookware in your kitchen, seasoning it is essential to keep it from rusting and to maintain its non-stick surface. To season your cast iron, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating up, clean your cast iron with hot soapy water and a stiff brush. Rinse the cookware with hot water and dry it thoroughly.

Once the oven is heated, rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or melted shortening onto the cast iron. Make sure to coat the entire surface. Place the cookware in the oven and let it bake for one hour. Turn off the heat and let the cast iron cool in the oven before removing it. Your cast iron is now seasoned and ready to use!

Deep Cleaning Your Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware is great for cooking eggs and other delicate foods. However, it’s important to take care of it to maintain its non-stick properties. To deep clean your non-stick cookware, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in the pot or pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Rinse the cookware with hot soapy water and dry it thoroughly.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners and Metal Utensils

Abrasive cleaners and metal utensils can damage the surface of your cookware, making it more difficult to cook with and less durable in the long run. Instead, use non-abrasive cleaners and soft sponges to clean your pots and pans. When cooking, use silicone or wooden utensils, which are less likely to scratch the surface of your cookware.

Storing Your Cookware

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the quality of your cookware. If you have limited storage space, stack your pots and pans inside each other with a paper towel or pot protector in-between. This will prevent scratching and ensure they stay in good condition. For hanging storage, use pot racks or hooks that are sturdy enough to support the weight of your cookware.


Taking good care of your cookware is essential for maintaining its quality and durability. Seasoning cast iron, deep cleaning non-stick, avoiding abrasive cleaners and metal utensils, and storing your cookware properly are all steps you can take to keep your pots and pans in top shape. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your cookware for years to come.

FAQ: Cookware Care Tips

1. How should I clean my cookware?

Most cookware can be washed with warm water and dish soap. Non-stick and cast iron cookware should never be put in the dishwasher, as this can damage the coating or seasoning. For stubborn food residue, soak the cookware in warm, soapy water for a few hours before washing.

2. How do I prevent scratches on my non-stick cookware?

Avoid using metal utensils on non-stick cookware, as this can scratch the coating. Instead, use silicone, plastic, or wooden utensils. Avoid stacking non-stick cookware on top of each other to prevent scratches from friction.

3. Can I use metal utensils on stainless steel cookware?

Yes, stainless steel cookware is sturdy enough to withstand the use of metal utensils. However, be careful not to scrape the surface too hard with metal utensils to prevent scratches.

4. How do I remove stains from stainless steel cookware?

Baking soda is a great natural cleaner for stainless steel cookware. Make a paste with baking soda and water, apply it to the stains, and let it sit for a few hours before washing. You can also use a stainless steel cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to remove stains.

5. Can I put my cast iron skillet in the dishwasher?

No, you should never put cast iron cookware in the dishwasher. This can damage the seasoning and cause rust. Instead, use hot water and a brush or nylon pad to clean the cast iron skillet. Avoid using soap, as this can strip the seasoning.

6. How do I season my cast iron cookware?

To season your cast iron cookware, rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or melted shortening over the surface of the cookware. Bake the cookware upside down in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Let it cool in the oven before taking it out.

7. Should I preheat my cookware before cooking?

Yes, you should preheat your cookware before cooking to ensure even and consistent heat distribution. This is especially important for stainless steel and cast iron cookware. Preheat your cookware on low to medium heat for a few minutes before adding oil or ingredients.

8. How do I store my cookware?

When storing your cookware, make sure it is completely dry to prevent rust. Cast iron and stainless steel cookware can be stacked on top of each other, but make sure to put a protective layer in between to prevent scratches. Non-stick cookware should be stored separately to prevent damage to the coating.

9. Can I use abrasive cleaners on my cookware?

Avoid using abrasive cleaners on your cookware, as this can scratch or damage the surface. Instead, use a non-abrasive cleaner or a natural cleaning solution such as baking soda or vinegar.

10. How often should I replace my cookware?

The lifespan of your cookware depends on the material and the frequency of use. Non-stick cookware should be replaced every 3-5 years, as the coating can begin to flake off. Stainless steel and cast iron cookware can last for decades with proper care.

Cookware Care Tips

Proper care and maintenance of your cookware can extend its life and ensure the best cooking results. Here are some tips and products that can help:

  • Use the Right Cleaning Tools: Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can scratch and damage your cookware. Instead, opt for soft sponges, non-scratch scrubbers like the Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrubbers, or cleaning brushes like the Full Circle Tenacious C Cast Iron Brush for delicate surfaces.
  • Season Your Cast Iron: Cast iron cookware can last a lifetime if properly seasoned and maintained. To season your pan, apply a thin coat of oil to the surface and bake it in the oven for an hour. Repeat this process a few times to create a natural non-stick surface. You can use oils like vegetable oil, flaxseed oil, or seasoning blends like the Smithey Ironware Company Cast Iron Seasoning.
  • Use Heat-Resistant Utensils: Metal utensils can scratch and damage the surface of your cookware, especially non-stick coatings. Silicone utensils like the OXO Good Grips Silicone Spatula Set or wooden utensils like the Totally Bamboo Spatula Set can be used safely on any cookware surface.
  • Dry Your Cookware Thoroughly: Excess moisture left on cookware can lead to rust and corrosion, especially on metal surfaces. Use a clean towel or paper towel to dry your cookware thoroughly after each use.
  • Store Your Cookware Properly: Avoid stacking your cookware on top of each other, as this can lead to scratches and damage. Instead, use a pot rack or hanging system like the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Pot Rack to store your cookware and keep it easily accessible.
  • Protect Your Cookware during Storage: If you need to store your cookware for an extended period, consider using protective sleeves or covers like the Camco Stack-A-Pot Protector Set to prevent scratches and damage.
  • Clean Your Cookware Regularly: Regular cleaning can prevent buildup of food residue and grease, which can lead to stains and odors. Use a gentle dish soap like the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dish Soap and a non-abrasive sponge to clean your cookware after each use.
  • Take Care of Your Non-Stick Cookware: Non-stick cookware requires special care to protect the surface from damage. Avoid using metal utensils or abrasive cleaners, and only use low to medium heat to prevent overheating. Consider choosing a ceramic non-stick cookware like the GreenLife Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set for a healthier and more eco-friendly option.
  • Invest in High-Quality Cookware: High-quality cookware can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Consider investing in durable and versatile options like the All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set, which offers superior heat distribution and long-lasting performance.

Pros&cons of Cookware Care Tips

  • Pros:
    • Longer lifespan for cookware: Taking care of your cookware will prevent it from rusting, being scratched, or getting damaged. Therefore, it may prolong its lifespan and save you the cost of constantly replacing them.
    • Better cooking performance: A well taken care of cookware can evenly distribute heat, prevent your food from sticking, and help your food to cook faster.
    • Improved food safety: Keeping your cookware free from scratches, cracks, and holes will prevent harmful bacteria from growing inside the cookware and contaminating your food.
    • Cookware looks better: A well maintained cookware will not only perform better, but it will also look nicer in your kitchen.
  • Cons:
    • Time-consuming: To keep your cookware clean and maintained, it can require a bit of effort and time. If you have a busy schedule, you may not want to invest too much time in cleaning and maintaining your cookware.
    • Cost: Some cookware materials, like copper, require special care products which may add to the cost of maintaining your cookware.
    • Requirement of some precautions: When cleaning your cookware, you may need to wear gloves or use protective equipment to avoid injury.
    • Not following the correct procedures can cause damage: If you don’t take care of your cookware correctly, it can lead to damage or contamination of food. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and practice safe techniques when cleaning and maintaining your cookware.

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