I have found one of the best investments you can make as a home cook is in quality cookware. The available options are as varied as your taste in food. Once you get it home, treat your cookware well and it will last for decades. A few tips:
- Don’t spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray. It can ruin the nonstick surface, and the whole point of nonstick cookware is being able to cook without oil of any kind.
- Use only nonstick utensils with nonstick pans to preserve the cooking surface.
- A cast iron pan can last a lifetime – and even be handed down – with proper treatment. The secret is to clean it by soaking it in warm water. Then scrub it without soap with a scratchy pad. Wipe dry with a paper towel. This technique prevents rust and seasons the pan, creating a surface that heats evenly.
- Don’t put your cookware in the dishwasher. The harsh chemicals of automatic dishwashing detergent can pit the surface.
- Avoid harsh abrasive cleaners when washing cookware. For stubborn residue, fill the pan with an inch of water and boil it on the stovetop, using a spatula to scrape away the food as it loosens. Let cool, then hand wash the pan in the sink.