Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Tip - Non Stick Cookware

Todd and I had discussed about a year ago how we should get some new pots and pans. Nice ones that will last like my skillet did. We watched for sales and picked this set up the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Here is a picture of a couple of my new pots and pans. I just love them! Aren't they pretty? Even the lids are pretty.

I know it may be silly to some to see a grown woman excited over pots and pans. I am a not materialistic at all, however, when I do get something nice or brand name I feel like I won the lottery and want it to be new as long as possible. This is my first beautiful set of pots and pans that are nice. I have had affordable pots and pans from Wal-Mart and they have worked fine. The skillets burned meat for some reason. My mother had bought me a nice skillet from Younkers one year about 8 years ago and I loved that skillet until about year ago. Now meat sticks and it does not cook things as well. I think a lot of it is the age as well as the other cooks in the house do not use the proper utensils when cooking. I have found metal spatula next to it several times all because the two plastic spatulas are dirty. Instead of washing the plastic spatula they will grab the metal one. (Not any more. I hid it this way none of my potware or the griddle that has been ruined as well.)

We planned on opening them up and using them Christmas Eve when we had his family over to celebrate Christmas. While I waited to use them, I did some research on how to keep them nice. (Like I said I want them to last.) Here is what I found:

1. Always use plastic or wood utensil --- Knew this one. Metal can scratch the non stick surface.
2. Never place in the dishwasher. Extreme hot temperatures and harsh detergents will ruin the coating. --- I never knew this.
3. Never cook on the highest setting. Again Extreme hot temperatures will ruin the coating. Hand wash only. --- Again who knew? Not me.
4. Never use cooking spray on them. It will eventually build up some sort of sticky residue and will not wash off. --- I did not know that and that would explain what happened to our griddle after Kera started to use it regularly for her sandwich melts.

After this wealth of knowledge I thought to myself, I do not want the kids to use my new pots and pans but then that would be selfish, so instead I told the boys and Todd told the girls on the proper care of the new pots and pans. I think they thought we were crazy.

Due to the circumstance with Todd's mother we chose to use the pots and pans about a week before Christmas. Coincidentally Yahoo posted an article on how to make your non stick pots and pans last. (Well she was specifically talking about a griddle she borrowed from her son.) I learned a couple of other things by reading this article. Everything I stated prior plus a couple of additional.

1. Only use cooking spray that does not contain Lecithin from Sybeans . She listed Bakers Joy brand is acceptable. --- Hmm, I think I will stick to not using any at all. I really do not like the gummy surface on my griddle. (BTW we are getting a new one of those as well. I did purchase one on BF but the grease trap was broken, so I had to return it.)
2 One should season the cookware prior to using, by rinsing the cookware off and lightly coating the surface with a small amount of vegetable oil. She claimed you should lightly coat your cookware with oil or butter prior to cooking while the cookware is cold as well. --- I am learning a lot here.
3. If mild detergent does not remove the cooked on food, one can try baking soda as well. --- Interesting.
4. If you are going to stack your pots and pans, she recommends placing a paper napkin under one to prevent scratching the surface of the other. --- Well that makes sense. I thought a little on this, instead of using a paper napkin maybe a cloth or a remnant of a material, this way I can wash it and reuse it. I am thinking this is going green idea.

They say the average pot and pan life of a non stick cookware is 5 years and of course the quality of the cookware can make it less or longer. My skillet from my mom was 8 years old and I the only thing I did right was not use metal utensils. I hope I get at least 8 years out of this set. We plan to add a few more pieces once we see it on sale. I am still thrilled with the new cookware. Now I need a new stove, the oven does not cook thoroughly and two of the four burners (the large ones of course) do not work all the time, matter of a fact one of them has not heated up at all the past two days.

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