Cookware Care Tips: How To Help Your Cookware Last Longer

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Durability is still something that people value in products. The weight that the average consumer places on durability varies slightly based on the actual product in conversation, but at large, the longevity of an item matters greatly. For instance, while a consumer might not place that much value on the durability of their college-closet-organizational bins and baskets, the durability of say, their roof-replacement would be something of great value and consideration. This is also reflected in the longevity and durability of cookware. Consumers and at-home chefs would rather spend additional time and energy ensuring the proper maintenance of their cookware, so that they don’t have to replace them year after year. Between purchasing high-quality cookware from the get-go, and performing regular maintenance on that cookware, consumers can make their kitchenware last a lifetime. 

That said, however, the proper maintenance of your cookware depends greatly on what type of cookware you’re using, the materials it’s made of, and the actual use of the cookware itself. Keeping your cookware clean is more than just a chore, as the proper care can greatly extend the lifetime of your pot set or any of your kitchenware.  

Different Types of Cookware Mean Different Types of Care 

One of the most important things to take into account when cleaning and caring for kitchen and cookware is the material that it’s made from. This is because different materials require different levels of care. Some require more attention more often, while others are easier to care for in the grand scheme of things. Regardless though, the improper cleaning and storage of cookware can ruin it completely. This is why using the proper maintenance techniques on the various materials that cookware is made with is so vital in any kitchen.  

Caring for Cast Iron 

Cast-iron is one of the most needy materials out there. It requires attention before and after every single use, and it can take some time to get used to the process. However, where it demands attention in the care, maintenance, and storage, it makes up for with a wide range of cooking versatility to offer the user. Cast-iron can be used on a stove-top, in an oven, or even with direct-flame. This makes it by far one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that continues to move through the market. Additionally, cast-iron skillets, when cared for properly, truly can last a life-time and make for some of the most delicious meals that are out there. Plus, with direct-flame-compatibility they make an excellent addition to any camping trip.  

Getting into the details of the care though, cast-iron is pretty easy to clean requiring soap and water. One of the things to stay away from when cleaning a cast-iron skillet, however, is steel-wool scouring pads. Steel-wool will ruin the coating, or ‘seasoning’ of the cast-iron skillet, causing further complications and will even diminish the lifespan of the cookware.  

Seasoning is also where cast-iron requires more attention than cookware material alternatives. Seasoning a cast-iron skillet is the process of repeatedly heating and cooling oil on the surface of a cleaned cast-iron skillet. This creates a slick coating that both prevents flavor-altering and creates a semi-non-stick cooking surface. Failure to season a cast-iron skillet before use will result in meals with altered-flavors as well as the ruining of the skillet itself. 

Keeping Stainless Steel Stainless 

Stainless steel, in contrast to cast-iron, is one of the easiest materials on the market to maintain and care for. The generally accepted best rule-of-thumb when it comes to washing and maintaining stainless steel is to wash immediately with hot, soapy water. Some stainless steel cookware manufacturers claim that their products are dishwasher safe, but this is a point of contention among experts.  

As such, the best route to take when it comes to caring for stainless steel is to hand-wash with hot, soapy water and to hand-dry with a soft cloth. Be careful when scrubbing stainless steel as you don’t want to use any scour pads or cleaners that are excessively abrasive. This can scratch and scrape the stainless steel finish, which degrades the material and lessens the lifespan.  

Another good procare-tip when it comes to stainless steel pertains to keeping the shine looking as brand new as possible. If you notice the shine beginning to dull, you can use a bit of baking soda on a wetted stainless steel surface and scrub gently with a non-abrasive scour pad. This will return the shine and have your stainless steel cookware looking brand new for years to come. 

Wrapping Up on Cookware Care 

When it comes to caring for your cookware, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the material matters the most. Whether it’s stainless steel, copper, aluminum, ceramic, cast-iron, or some combination of the above, heed the manufacturers advice and instructions when it comes to suggested and proper care techniques.  

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