How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans

March 5, 2021
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How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans. Stainless steel cookware is a preferred option for people wishing to avoid non-stick cookware. Though modern non-stick surfaces are deemed harmless to users, some people still prefer to use iron or stainless steel to prevent any chance of chemicals contaminating their food.

Stainless steel is a robust material and ideal for manufacturing cost-effective quality cookware that will last for decades with proper care. The downside is, you will realize why non-stick pans are so popular.

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Viking Contemporary 3 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set 10 Piece

Viking Contemporary 3 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set 10 Piece
Viking Contemporary 3 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set 10 Piece


There is a knack for cooking with stainless steel cookware, and although you will initially have to experiment a little early on, many people do end up preferring cooking with stainless steel.

Some of these tips include:

  • Cooking with lower temperatures
  • Ensuring the pan is preheated
  • Oiling after Preheating

Stainless steel cookware is often the choice of professional chefs as it is affordable, versatile, robust, and has excellent heat retention.

Most quality stainless steel pans have a copper or aluminum core in the base, which provides even heat distribution and prevents hot and cool spots where food is over or undercooked.

Stainless steel pans and pots are an excellent investment that can last a lifetime; however, they require a little more care to keep in good condition.

Below we will look at how to clean stainless pots and pans and give some tips on how to best care for them. Read on to learn more.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Pans

Even though you will learn some tricks to minimize food sticking to a stainless steel pan over time, you will inevitably get some foods sticking to the pan.

Although stainless steel pots and pans are dishwasher safe, people who have invested in more expensive cookware often clean by hand. This way, they can ensure all food remanence is removed from around the handles and rivets for hygiene reasons.

Use a Little TLC

Here at Kitchenairy, we find that if you show a little kindness towards your stainless steel cookware, it will be kind to you.

Before we get to the best way to clean stainless pans, there’s one common mistake people make that drastically reduces your cookware’s life expectancy, and that is rinsing a hot pan underwater.

The sudden extreme temperature change, called thermal shock, can warp your cookware and possibly render it useless.

Cleaning Your Pan

Once the pan has cooled, scrape the excess oil out with a spatula ( need a new spatula click here) or paper towel ( need paper towels click here) to remove the excess oil.

Put your cookware back on low heat and add a small amount of hot water to the pan to deglaze it. If you have any stubborn brown bits, called fond, use a little elbow grease and a handled dish brush.(need a new brush click here)

Cuisinart 733-30H Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Cover, Silver

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans
How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans


Once the fond is loosened, you can then use a mildly abrasive sponge to finish cleaning, and here is where the secret lies.

If you follow this protocol, there is no need for harsh chemical and metal scouring pads. Metal scouring pads can be too abrasive for good quality stainless steel and can create unsightly scratches, damaging the pan and reducing its life expectancy.

A scratched stainless steel cooking surface will also create raised spots that food is more likely to stick to when cooking, making your job increasingly harder.

If you do have some particularly stubborn bits of fond, then it best to use a finer grade scouring pad like a Scotch Brite non-scratch scouring pad. It is best to clean your pan in small circular motions rather than long hard strokes. If you need to use soap, it is best to use mild, eco-friendly dish soap.

Time To Get Tough

If you find burnt food on your stainless steel pan (like maybe forgot you were cooking something? Just saying!), you may need to get a little tough.

There are some excellent abrasive pates on the market, like Bar Keepers Friend and Cif. Still, if you want a more chemical-free and eco-friendly alternative, most stains can be removed with a paste made of water and bi-carb soda.

This may take a little time and hard scrubbing, but you will eventually get back to clean metal.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pans? Taking It To The Next Level

If you have really done a number on yourself by burning an entire meal, or if you have inherited some stainless steel cookware that has seen better days, all hope is not lost.

The trick is that you will need a bigger pot than the one you’re trying to clean. If this is an option for you, or you can borrow one, you are winning!

You will need enough water to submerge your pan. Boil the water with a generous amount of bicarb soda, around a quarter to half a cup. Rinse your pan under hot tap water to reduce the chance of warping.

Carefully place your pan into the boiling water and bi-carb mixture, turn the heat down to simmer and allow to bubble for 15-30 minutes.

Using oven gloves or tea towels to protect your hands, lift the pan out and scrub with a hard dish-brush. If you have stubborn build-ups in the rivets and around the handles, a toothpick can help you clean around the crevices.

If there is still build up left, repeat the cycle until you obtain the desired result.

The team here at Kitchenairy is always here to provide hot tips on caring for your kitchenware, like cleaning stainless steel pans. Or perhaps you would like advise on your copper ware cookware set clink this link as we have you covered !

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