7.11.2011

stainless steel pots and pans

In the early summer I bought a brand new set of pots and pans.  I had been wanting a new set for YEARS.  I knew about the grossness of Teflon and/or the other non-stick coatings.  They like to come off and get into the food we eat.  Not good, folks. Not good at all.  Those are some pretty toxic chemicals and they're slathering themselves all over the food we eat.  Trying to completely immerse our family in the traditional way of eating and preparing food also lead me to my purchase.  I did some research and found the best set for the best price.  I found the CuisinArt Multi-Clad stainless steel 14-piece set.  Its beautiful.  Its shiny.  Its a pain in the a** to get food off of.  

Pardon my French, but, all of you out with stainless steel sets are giggling and nodding your head in agreement with me.  Going from non-stick to stainless steel is not a gentle transition.  I was pretty frustrated at first.  I dreaded cooking!  Developing tennis-elbow from scrubbing dishes is just not right, right??  (Just kidding about the tennis elbow, kinda funny though, huh?)

I had some thoughts floating around in my crazy head about how to get this stuck-on-gunk off of my pans with at least a little more ease.  I thought about possibly using baking soda and vinegar to sort of bubble the stuff off, and then thought maybe vinegar might damage more than help.  I was sort of stumped for a bit.  Then, my hubby came home one night after doing some research of his own and said he had read about this chemical cleaner that a lot of SS users buy to help scrub their pots and pans.  I looked at him with the look that said, "Are you serious?".  He knew it wasn't going to fly in our house.  So, I took to the internet to see what I could find.  Lo and behold: baking soda!

Here is what happened:  
I went to the kitchen to find a completely "ruined" frying pan.  Someone had tried to make a sandwich or something.  It was black, chunky, and I think there was some sign of cheese as well.  I had been soaking this pan in the hottest, soapiest water imaginable for SEVERAL DAYS and all that would come up were small pieces of crust still stuck to the bottom.  I dumped out the soap water, grabbed the box of baking soda, dumped about 1/4 cup in the bottom of the pan and with my damp/wet wash cloth I began to just wipe.  Not scrub.  Wipe.  It was M-A-G-I-C-A-L.  I honestly couldn't (and still can't) believe how amazingly well this works.  It totally obliterated the crud that had taken residence on my beautiful, shiny pan.  In less than a minute it was clean and with little effort, too!

This method of cleaning does wonders for the discoloration that is typically found on the bottom/sides of stainless steel pots and pans as well.  Although, the outside is generally more difficult to get off than the inside stains. 

Every time I find a new use for baking soda I just fall deeper and deeper in love with it.  There is nothing it can do and nothing it can't clean.  I'm still a believer!

6 comments:

  1. Isn't baking soda great? I used it to get all the yucky egg mess that had run down the side of our stove. I gave each tiny kid a sponge covered in baking soda and in about 5 minutes that thing *sparkled*.

    I hear you about the cookware...my sweet MIL bought me a new cookware set at Christmas, and now i'm wishing it was stainless instead of non-stick. I'm still trying to figure out how to wean my family off the George Foreman grill. The stuff that's coming off the grill is getting in our food, people! EWW!

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  2. I'm really glad to have come across this post! I am searching for a nice set of pans to register for and have been dreading it because I don't want that crappy non-stick stuff. Having an easy way to clean stainless has really incouraged my decision.

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  3. I'm glad it helped you! I was so happy when I discovered that I could use something other than a lot of elbow grease to clean my cookware. But, really stainless steel is the best for your health and for food preparation.

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  4. My pots are stainless steel but I use cast iron for my skillets - I grew up with some great cured cast iron so I kept trying to buy cast iron after I got married but some of the new cast iron out there is terribly hard to cure - finally I found some good cured cast iron at Goodwill - love it!! Properly taken care of - cast iron doesn't need to be washed with soap and doesn't stick.

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  5. Thanks for the post about stainless steel pots and pans. My wife has been telling me that we really need some new pots for our apartment, but I honestly have no idea which ones are the best. Someone told me that copper has a good heat distribution. Do you know if any companies make a copper/stainless steel pot?

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  6. Hey Gary,
    Glad you liked the post. I LOVE my pots/pans. They're awesome. :D I have heard the same about copper. Unless you are wanting to spenad $1000 plus dollars I would check out Calphalon's TriPly set for about $320.00.

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