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Caring for Pots and Pans

It may seem a little silly, but I only recently learned the true value of pots and pans. Anyone can see that they cost quite a bit of money by walking down the aisles at any store. However, the monetary cost of pots and pans is not where the true value lies. That true value lies in how a great set of pots and pans can make all the difference in how a meal turns out.

Learning to properly care for your pots and pans is the first step in protecting a valuable asset and an investment in your kitchen. These guidelines will help you learn everything that you need to know to care for your pots and pans. Use them, and your pots and pans will have a long and productive life in your kitchen.

  • Directions. The first step in caring for your pots and pans is to read the directions that come along with them. Yes it's pretty basic, but by reading your directions you will be made aware of any special care instructions that the manufacturer thinks that you need to know. This may include information about such things like proper storage, maximum temperature ratings, and cleaning.
  • Seasoning. Cast iron pots and pans typically need to have some type of seasoning before they can really be used. To do this heat the item to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and then coat the inside cooking area with bacon grease. You don't want to use cooking oil, since it leaves a sticky residue behind. After coating, continue to heat (or cook) the pan for another two hours. When cleaning seasoned items, do not use soap or water since it will ruin the seasoning and allow the cast iron to rust. Simply wipe away the dirt and grime with a paper towel.
  • Heating. When cooking with oil or other liquid, make sure that you put the liquid in the pan prior to heating. With all other ingredients, unless otherwise directed by the recipe, heat the pan or pot prior to adding the ingredients.
  • Cooling. Before cleaning and washing your pots and pans, you need to allow the item to cool down to room temperature. This prevents any spattering or scorching to the pans.
  • Washing. When washing your pots and pans, make sure that you completely clean off all burned food and other cooking grime. Not only does this help prolong the life of the pots and pans, it will also keep them as hygienic as possible.
  • Storing. Using a storage rack as opposed to using cabinetry will not only save cabinet space but also protect the cookware from dents, dings, and other kinds of damage. When properly used, hanging cook racks can add a wonderful accent to any kitchen.
 

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