Discolouration, damage, debauchery – stewing and simmering pasta and soups sometimes come at a high cost.
And when that happens, the joy you experienced at the arrival of a new stainless steel saucepan jumps out the kitchen window. But a part of you secretly prays, hoping you’ve not caused permanent damage to the brilliant piece of perfection.
Thankfully, there are ways to maintain stainless steel saucepans that help retain their pristine shine for years to come. Keep reading to learn tips you may not have known before.
1. Steer Clear of the ‘Pitting Corrosion’ Effect
Do you habitually add salt to pasta water before the water has come to a boil? Stop that practice going forward!
Did you know that salt may be abrasive to stainless steel? Adding salt to pre-boiling water leads to what is known as pitting corrosion. When this occurs, tiny white spots may develop at the bottom of the saucepan, much like dots from nails.
Though tiny, these pockmarks are usually irreparable.
2. Let the Pan Cool down Completely
When? Before washing! Even if you’re in a hurry, never dip hot saucepans into water (the same holds for room temperature water).
This is because stainless steel, when hot, reacts with cold water. This can lead to warping issues, also known as shape distortion.
In most cases, warping is also irreparable.
3. Adopt the Right Method of Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning stainless steel (saucepans and otherwise), it is best to use something other than an abrasive sponge. Such a sponge may scrape the pan’s surface.
Use a mild liquid cleaner or a few teaspoons of baking soda to clean the surface gently. Then, add water to the pan (mainly if there are spices or food pieces stuck to its walls) and allow it to come to a boil.
Let the water simmer on low flame for a couple of minutes, then allow the pan to cool down. Once cooled, you will find it easier to remove food pieces stuck to the sides.
4. Set Discolouration Right
First, identify if discolouration has occurred by checking for a rainbow-like appearance on the pan. If yes, then follow some crucial steps to correct it.
Add a few drops of white vinegar to the pan. Now, add a couple of drops of water to dilute the mixture. Then, use a non-abrasive sponge to clean the surface (focusing efforts on the rainbow).
Vinegar’s acidic nature will help gently remove discolouration without causing further damage. Remember not to overheat stainless steel saucepans, as this is the most common cause of discolouration issues.
5. Don’t Let Water Unleash its Full-Blown Attack
Have you ever been annoyed that your stainless steel saucepans developed water marks or spots at the bottom despite thorough washing?
If yes, then you just experienced the potential of water to cause damage, especially when this happens over extended periods. To avoid water marks from appearing, air-dry the pan immediately after washing.
If you find water spots, take a clean damp cloth sprinkled with some baking soda and immediately wipe the surface and sides. Do not leave the pan for too long, allowing the water spots to settle.
Keep Your Saucepan Spick-and-Span!
With the above-mentioned tips, you can easily maintain your saucepan’s original sheen for years. And if you need some inspiration, here are nine sauce recipes that every saucepan owner should know!
The longevity of the utensil also depends upon the make and quality, so ensure you purchase from a reliable supplier.