Beginners’ Guide: Caring for Your Kitchen Tools & Cookware

caring-for-kitchen-tools

Everything in our domestic life needs maintenance and upkeep—and kitchen tools and cookware are no exceptions. We can’t stress this enough: it’s important to care for the very pots, pans, graters, spoons, and cutting boards that enable you to whip up salads, pasta sauces, soda breads, casseroles, and all of your favorite recipes and comfort foods with ease.

Stainless Steel Pots and Pans
Skip the dishwasher and start scrubbing stuck-on food by hand with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad, hot water and your go-to non-abrasive cleaner. The hotter the water, the more effective it will be, so make sure you’re wearing your kitchen gloves for protection.

Knives
Don’t have the budget for a Whetstone or a sharpening stone? Head to your local butcher and have them sharpen knife edges (for a small fee, of course).

Wooden Spoons, Cutting Boards and Tools
Oil your wooden spoons, utensils and cutting boards regularly to keep them from cracking or warping. We recommend a good scrub with hot water and soap immediately after using. Depending on how often you use your wooden accoutrement, oil the boards and spoons monthly, twice a month, or even on a weekly basis with food grade mineral oil.

To start, the boards and utensils should be clean and dry before oiling; the oil should be left to soak in the boards and utensils for as long as possible. Wipe off any excess oil a few hours later and you’ve got yourself a clean and solid set of wooden spoons and boards.

Cast Iron Skillets, Pots and Pans
There are different schools of thought, but the most popular cleaning method for cast iron skillets, pots and pans is to sprinkle the surface with coarse salt immediately after using, scrub the salt around the pan with a paper towel, wipe the pan clean, and store it in a dry place. Others simply wash their cast iron cookware in warm water after each use (using mild soap when necessary). (Your kitchen, your cleaning method!)

Grater
Clean your grater immediately after use by running it under water and wiping it with a sponge (wiping with the direction of the blade). Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to dislodge small pieces of food and you’ve got yourself a clean grater.

Nonstick Pots and Pans
To clean nonstick pans, fill the pan with water and add a half-cup of white vinegar, bring to a boil, and allow any food residue to float to the surface. Then with a paper towel, wipe off the residue, pour out the liquid, wash the pan in soapy water, and scrub with a nonabrasive sponge.

 

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