How to Clean an Expensive Pot Set

How to Clean an Expensive Pot Set

Congratulations! You’ve officially leveled up your pot set for your kitchen. It could be your first ever house and your very own kitchen that you get to outfit as personally as you want, or maybe you’ve been teaching yourself how to cook on those old hand-me-down pots and pans that came from an older sibling, a parent, or maybe even an aunt, uncle, or grandparent. Regardless of where they came from, they’re a bit aged, over-used, and ready to be replaced. So you’ve gone ahead and got yourself a brand new, top-of-the-line home-chef pot set. Or maybe someone got it for you as a gift. 

As you jump around your kitchen with glee and unbox your shiny new pot set, it may dawn on you that you want these to last. After all, your new pots and pans weren’t cheap, and you’d like to get as much use and life out of them as you can. Before you jump into cooking with your new pots and pans, you may want to do a little bit of research on proper cleaning and maintenance for your cookware. 

This way, you’ll be sure that you’re taking care of your new pots and pans properly, and you can help extend their life significantly through proper maintenance routines. The following information will help you keep your new pots and pans just as clean and shiny as when you pull them out for the very first time. 

It Depends on the Material

One of the most important things to realize about cleaning cookware is that not all pots and pans are made equally. You probably know this already after acquiring a brand new pot and pan, but this information is important to internalize. It isn’t only the quality that differs between pots and pans, it’s also the actual construction material that can vary from maker to maker or between product lines. 

For instance, stainless steel pots and pans are typically far easier to clean and maintain than cast iron cookware. 

Cleaning and Treating Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware is one of the most finicky materials when it comes to maintenance. Although cast iron is one of the most durable materials with which pots and pans can be made, it is also the hardest to maintain properly. 

Firstly, because cast iron is made from iron, the cooking process is different from most other pots and pans that use either aluminum, ceramic, or copper as their main heating core. With aluminum, ceramic, or copper as the core heating element, the pot or pan gets a lot hotter a lot faster. Meanwhile, iron will take a lot longer to heat up, but can reach a higher temperature safely, and can hold that heat for a longer amount of time. This makes cast iron ideal for slow cooking and is also what makes it such a versatile material in terms of the cooking environment. 

Cast iron is really the only cookware material safe for in-oven, stove-top, grill-top, charcoal heat, and direct campfire heat. It can truly be used anywhere. 

However, in order to maintain cast-iron, it needs to be treated after every single use. This can simply be done by heating a bit of oil over the dry surface. However, if done regularly, a piece of cast iron cookware can absolutely last forever and ever, for generations and generations and generations. 

Tips for Cleaning Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pots and pans, as mentioned above, are quite a bit easier to clean and maintain than cast iron skillets or other cookware made with cast iron. This is one of the main benefits and selling points of stainless steel, actually. 

Many times, the easiest way to clean a stainless steel pot or pan is to use soap and hot water in combination with a sponge, or other cleaning pad that isn’t very abrasive, as you don’t want to scratch or scrape the stainless steel finish. 

Not only that, but many modern stainless steel cookware sets are even dishwasher-safe. Though some experts say the best way to extend the life of the pots and pans is still a gentle hand wash with soap and water. 

Ceramic and Copper Pots and Pans

While most stainless steel pots and pans actually make use of an aluminum or copper core, there are also specific copper and ceramic pots and pans. These, too, are best-taken care of with soap and water, while some brands, makes, or models may be dishwasher safe. 

A few Final Words

No matter what type of material your cookware is made from, the best bet for regular cleaning will likely be a non-abrasive scrubber and soap with hot water. However, it’s also important to note that you should always let your pots and pans cool down before exposing them to water. If you don’t, the drastic change in temperature (called thermal shock) can warp the pots and pans cooking surface, and effectively turn your cookware non-functional.

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