Just like cast iron, stainless steel pans are superior to cook with, but hard to clean. Although they’re extremely durable and yield better cooking results than cheap non-stick pans, stainless steel pans can develop stains and burn easily. Even though
Navigating how to clean stainless steel pans can be a headache. If simply scrubbing it with soap or throwing it into the dishwasher isn’t enough, you might have to tackle that pot or pan with one of the many stainless steel cleaning hacks that you might not know about.
Why Deep Clean Your Stainless Steel Cookware?
If food burns onto your pan, it’s leaving grease and bacteria residue, ultimately leaving the item dirty and potentially contaminating your other cookware. Burnt-on food can actually bring rodents, bugs, and other creatures to your kitchen. But don’t fret — even the most experienced cooks have scorched stainless steel cookware, whether it’s from a sauce gone wrong or meat seared at a high temperature.
Plus, stainless steel pans can cost a pretty penny, so you’ll want to make sure that your existing ones last as long as possible. A big part of that is figuring out a foolproof cleaning regimen.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Pans
Here’s how to clean stainless steel pans — there are various methods to get that steel shining again. These are the best ones.
1. Boil water in it
This method requires you to fill your pan or pot with water, bringing it to a boil for 10-15 minutes. This will loosen food and burnt material, but if it’s really stuck on, consider letting the hot water sit for 30 minutes before emptying it.
2. Mix baking soda and water
Baking soda is somewhat of a cleaning miracle ingredient and an extremely affordable cleaning method. Fill your cookware with water, and add 1/4 cup of baking soda. Let this mixture heat until it boils, then simmer for 15 minutes. Let the liquid sit for 30 minutes, and then scrub off.
3. Alka Seltzer
Why deal with messy baking soda when you can use pre-formulated Alka Seltzer tablets? Fill your cookware with water until it boils. After the water has rested for a few minutes, add five Alka Seltzer tabs and let soak for an hour. Those bubbles help lift burnt matter and make scrubbing it off easier.
4. Mix baking soda and vinegar
This method is a step up from using baking soda alone and should work better on stubborn grease. Add water and a cup of vinegar to your pan or pot and heat until it comes to a boil. Take it off the burner and add a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda, resting for 30 minutes as with the other methods. Repeat if any residue remains. Vinegar is also a solution for fixing discoloration.
Stainless Steel Pot and Pan Basic Cleaning Maintenance
Let your pan cool. Even though you might want to immediately soak the gunk or burn comes off, putting it in the sink immediately can warp and damage it.
After it’s cooled, wash with warm water and dishwasher soap. Use a scouring pad that’s non-abrasive to scrub off food. Avoid steel wool at all costs. Soak in warm, soapy water if necessary.
Dry immediately after washing it. This will prevent water spots. If water spots do occur, wipe down with a damp paper towel that has been sprinkled with a tiny bit of baking soda. After, rinse to remove the banking soda.
Stainless Steel Cooking Tips
- Let food from the fridge sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, since too-cold food will stick to a hot pan.
- Heat the pan before adding oil, and only add food when the oil is sufficiently hot. When oil starts to shimmer, it should be at a high heat. To test, add a drop of water to the pan and see if it sizzles.
- Don’t preheat at too high a heat — doing so can overheat the pan and burn your ingredients.
Don’t add salt to water in your stainless steel cookware unless it’s boiling. Doing so causes pitting corrosion, and dents your pan.
1. Crown Choice Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Kit
If DIY cleaning hacks aren’t your cup of tea, buy a pre-formulated stainless steel cleaner like this one, which even comes with its own non-scratch scourer cloth. This cleaner and polisher revives old, burnt, stained, or rusted pots and pans, and can be used in your bathroom to renew surfaces and reduce hard mineral buildup. The sponge also lasts much longer than a regular sponge and requires less scrubbing.
Crown Choice Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Kit
2. Alka Seltzer Original Effervescent Tablets
If you don’t regularly carry baking soda in the house or despise the powdery mess it can create, consider using an effervescent powder solution like Alka Seltzer, which doesn’t just help with indigestion, but with dislodging burns and stains from your stainless steel pans. If it’s not breaking up the stains, just add another tablet. These can also be used for cleaning toilet bowls and unclogging drains.
Alka Seltzer Original Effervescent Tablets
3. AVO Distilled White Vinegar
This all-natural cleaner will work on pretty much anything in your home. This will allow you to skip the expensive and chemical-filled stainless steel cleaners sold at stores. You can keep this natural sanitizer in a spray bottle for easier usage, and use it on other stainless steel products like fridges, dishwashers, and more. Although there’s a faint smell, it shortly disappears after cleaning.
AVO Distilled White Vinegar
4. All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet
This stainless steel skillet has a 3-ply bonded design and a hefty aluminum core, ensuring the heat is distributed evenly and reducing hot spots. No matter what kind of stove you have, this 18/10 stainless steel has a 10% nickel content, which adds durability and longevity to your stainless steel pan and ensures that your pan won’t react with foods.
All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet
5. All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Saucepan
If you’re looking for a pot rather than a pan and want the durability of 18/10 stainless steel, consider this brushed stainless steel saucepan, which will reduce the likelihood of burning sauce or reductions with its 5-layer constriction and drip-free rims that reduce further messes. Handles are oversized to make this pot more ergonomic.
All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Saucepan
$194.95 - $139.96
6. Mepra 1950 Stainless Steel Cookware
The rounded shape, reinforced bottom, and chic handle loops make the Mepra Italian Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware line a best-seller. Whether you’re looking for a saucepan or a stockpot, these high-quality pots and pans have a rustic look but are very sturdy. One buyer even calls it their “forever cookware.”