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Stocking your kitchen is a big deal, and if done right, it’s no small investment. Getting your kitchen set up with high-quality, durable items, like those from Tuxton Home, helps ensure the consistency of your cooking. Properly using, cleaning, and storing kitchenware means you won’t have to replace items anytime soon. Here’s how to care for your kitchenware to give it as long a lifespan as possible.
The first step in stocking your kitchen one time (and one time only) is investing in high-quality, durable items. From the place settings to the cookware, these items should be built for long-term use. It’s easy to balk at the prices, but items that resist cracking and chipping, and cookware with durable finishes will pay for themselves in the long run when you don’t have to replace them every few years.
It might seem like common sense, but always avoid using metal utensils on coated, nonstick pans. This includes everything from metal whisks and spatulas to knives or pizza cutters. Plastic, silicone, or wooden utensils are your best friends here, and they will help keep the surface of your coated nonstick pots and pans pristine. (However, it is perfectly safe to use metal utensils for your full-steel products, like those in the Duratux line.) Avoid drastic temperature changes with your nonstick pans as well. If you’ve been cooking at a high temperature, don’t plunge the pan into cold water. This can warp the surface and create uneven heat distribution during future use. Ceramic-coated nonstick pots and pans shouldn’t be cooked over super-high heat, as it can damage the coating.
High heat works well for cast-iron cookware, but be sure to season the pan after each use, even after the initial seasoning. This can be done by drying the cast iron thoroughly, then heating it over medium-low heat until the pan is completely dry. Add a small amount of oil, then use a paper towel to coat the entire surface. Wipe the pan until it’s glossy and evenly coated, and no obvious liquid oil remains. Cool the pan before storing. Duratux triple-clad stainless steel cookware is also an excellent option for the high heat—and it’s dishwasher safe.
Cracking, chipping, and damage to finishes can occur on everything from your pans to your mugs if the items aren’t stored properly. If you have space, store nonstick pots and pans by hanging them with room between each one. Additionally, be sure to store items away from sharp edges or utensils. Look to buy restaurant-grade, highly durable ceramic or porcelain dishes. They will last longer than the typical kitchenware targeted for home use—and you won’t have to handle them with kid gloves worrying about scratches and damage.
Just like different cook surfaces and dishware have various purposes for cooking, the materials need different treatments during cleaning. Here’s a basic rundown of cleaning tips for common kitchenware materials.
Nonstick: Don’t use rough scouring pads, harsh cleaners, or steel wool on your nonstick pans. Clean gently with a sponge and mild dish soap. Avoid soaking the nonstick items, and be sure to wait until they’re completely cooled before washing.
Ceramic: Ceramic dishware is fairly easy to clean and care for, and many items are dishwasher safe. However, light-colored dishware can get stained by coffee or tea. Stains can be removed by squeezing lemon juice into the stained mug, letting it sit, then scrubbing away. Coarse salt or sugar mixed with a small amount of water will also work well to scrub stains, or you can add some vinegar to your dishwasher and let ’er rip.
Stainless Steel: Soak stainless steel cookware in hot, soapy water after use. Some items are dishwasher safe, but be sure to read the care instructions, and it’s never a bad idea to wash and dry by hand instead of subjecting them to a dishwasher cycle. Like nonstick pans, it’s not a great idea to use abrasive cleaners or steel wool on your stainless steel cookware, though it won’t have the same detrimental effect it would on a nonstick coating.
Cast Iron: Keep your cast iron in top shape by wiping off the cooking surface with paper towels after use, which will get rid of food scraps and excess cooking fats. You can use a metal spatula to scrape stuck-on food remnants. If you need to go further, use hot water and a small amount of soap—if you need to—but the less you mess with the cast-iron cooking surface, the better. Do not soak or leave your cast iron wet, as that’s a surefire way to build up a nice coat of rust. Stubborn food can be removed with coarse salt and oil, using a paper towel and the abrasion from the salt to remove the food. You want your pan to stay nice and oiled, so be sure to season your pan after use, as mentioned above.
Taking good care of your quality cookware ensures that you’ll have years to enjoy both how it looks and performs in the kitchen. Just taking a few minutes to understand the basics can make a big difference toward a better stocked—and more enjoyable—kitchen.
Written by Matcha for Tuxton Home.