How to Clean and Use Stainless Steel Cookware, Non-stick Cookware and Bakeware

Keep every piece of stainless steel cookware and cast aluminum cookware working flawlessly and looking as good as new for many years to come. This guide will get you there, from prep to stovetop cooking, to cleanup!

For Bakeware Use & Care, click here.

Before Initial Use

Stainless Steel: Wash cookware in warm soapy water with a ¼ cup of vinegar to remove any traces of manufacturing oils, then rinse and dry.

All Non-stick: Wash cookware in warm soapy water with a ¼ cup of vinegar to remove any traces of manufacturing oils, then rinse and dry. After cleaning, it is best to condition your cookware before using it for the first time. With a soft cloth, wipe the interior of pan with 1 tsp. (5 ml) of vegetable oil. (Note: Olive oil should not be used as it will leave residue.) This process should be repeated every 2 to 3 months or if food starts sticking to the pan.

Please do not use non-stick sprays because they actually make food stick to non-stick pans over time. They cause an invisible buildup that will impair the non-stick release system, causing food to stick to the pan.

Read our helpful guide to cooking with stainless steel and non stick cookware from American Kitchen.How to Cook with Stainless Steel Cookware

Understanding how to cook with stainless steel cookware will allow you to get those great results you dreamt of when you first unboxed your new pots and pans.

For most cooking, you will only ever need Low to Medium heat. The center layer of the tri-ply construction is aluminum, which conducts heat extremely well. Starting your recipes at a lower temperature will prevent the high heat from scorching or burning your food, discoloring the pan, or damaging the non-stick coating. The stainless steel layers will hold the heat at the level you choose.

For stainless steel skillets, preheat the pan thoroughly on a low to medium heat – until water drops slip easily across the surface (not bubble or evaporate). Then add your food. In many cases, additional oils are not necessary. Your meat or poultry may initially stick to the pan, but will loosen as the juices are released. You can then turn the meat or poultry to continue browning and cooking until your food reaches the point where you feel it’s done.

Best utensils for stainless steel and non-stick cast aluminum cookware: Metal utensils can be used on stainless steel. It is always best to use silicone, wood, or plastic on non-stick surfaces, but Eterna® non-stick coating is extremely durable, so using metal tools should not affect the non-stick properties of your cookware. Sharp utensils can damage the interior of your cookware, so all cutting or carving should be done on a cutting board.

Stainless Steel and Cast Aluminum Safety Notes:

  • The stainless steel stay-cool handles and cast aluminum handles/knobs are designed to remain cool-to-the-touch under most stovetop cooking conditions. However, all handles may get hot under extended stovetop use or when using the cookware in the oven.  We, therefore, recommend that you always use pot holdeCovered12inCasserole_800rs when handling hot pans or covers.
  • For your safety, please ensure that all handles are secure before each use.
  • Also, as with any pan, never leave cookware unattended on a heated burner or place an empty pan on a hot burner.
  • When stacking cookware pieces, place cookware protectors or a cloth between each piece to help prevent chipping or scratching the surface.

Can you Put Stainless Steel in the Oven? 

Uncoated stainless steel is oven-safe up to 500 degrees F (260⁰ C). Our non-stick cookware and glass covers are oven-safe up to 400 degrees F (204⁰ C). Handles and knobs on the cast aluminum products (phenolic) are oven-safe up to 350⁰F (177⁰C). For your safety, you should never place cookware in the microwave or put a non-stick pan, tempered glass cover, or phenolic handle/knob under a broiler.

Caring for your Tempered Glass Covers:

Do not place glass covers on a burner, in a toaster oven, under a broiler, or in the microwave oven. The heat will weaken the cover. Be careful not to strike the glass cover when coking, storing, cleaning or serving and do not use them if chipped, cracked, or severely scratched. Do not attempt to repair them if chipped or broken and never reverse the glass covers when storing as the knobs may damage the non-stick interior.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

Knowing how to clean your stainless steel cookware will keep your investment functioning (and looking) like new for years to come!

Your cookware is dishwasher safe; however, we recommend hand washing to preserve the beautiful finish. Remember always to allow cookware to cool to room temperature before cleaning* and follow these guidelines:

  • To remove stubborn stains or stuck-on food, first rinse pan with water and wash in soapy water.
  • Make a paste of water and a non-abrasive, non-chlorine stainless steel cleanser such as Barkeeper’s Friend®.
  • Using a damp paper towel, rub cleanser paste in a circular motion.
  • Wash in warm soapy water, rinse and dry.
  • For discoloration: Using excessive heat can cause heat tints of blue or golden brown on stainless steel. These can be removed with a stainless steel cleanser, as mentioned above.

How to Clean Non-stick Cookware

To remove stuck-on food from your non-stick cookware, soak in warm soapy water and use a plastic scrubbing pad. Remember always to allow cookware to cool to room temperature before cleaning*. Metal scouring pads and abrasive cleansers should not be used on non-stick surfaces on the inside or outside of the pan. To remove water spots or minor stains, wipe with vinegar or lemon juice. Rinse thoroughly with water and dry with a soft cloth to maintain the high luster of your cookware.

* Sudden changes in temperature may cause any metal to warp, resulting in an uneven bottom. It’s best never to put cold water or frozen food in a hot pan or plunge a hot pan into cold water.

How to Clean and Use Bakeware

    • Before first use and after each subsequent use, hand wash bakeware in hot soapy water, then rinse and dry. Dishwasher use will diminish the release properties of the non-stick coating, so it is not recommended and will void your warranty.
    • Pans work well with parchment paper, silicone baking mats, and also traditional butter or shortening and flour methods. If you choose to use a spray release, please ensure that it is specifically made for baking and contains flour.
    • Nylon, wood, or silicone utensils are recommended. Metal utensils and scouring pads will scratch the non-stick on your pan and are not recommended.

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