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Consumer Reports: Taking care of cookware

Posted at 9:58 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 11:58:15-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Former chef, Kasey Hinckson, loves to cook for his family and he doesn't mind the clean up so much either.

"I treat my cookware very well it's the other people that I live with that do not," says Hinckson.

Sound familiar? Consumer Reports says it's not always as easy as soap and water but its experts have a few tips to keep it simple.

"Overall the sooner you tend to the mess, the easier it is to clean; however, different materials require different types of care," says Consumer Reports Home Editor, Sara Morrow-Harcourt.

When it comes to cast iron, a little effort after cooking goes a long way. Rinse with plain water and dry thoroughly.

"For tough messes you can add water to the pan, simmer for a minute and then wipe clean, or scrub the pan with coarse salt and a little water," says Morrow-Harcourt.

No matter how you clean it, you want to make sure your cast iron is dried thoroughly to prevent rust. And once it's dry, rub the cooking surface with a little vegetable oil to keep the pan properly seasoned. For stainless steel and porcelain enamel coated cookware, CR says to avoid abrasives and instead use a nylon sponge and some dish detergent.

"Cleaning stainless steel immediately after you're done using it really does help reduce the chance of stains and water spots building up," says Morrow-Harcourt.

You can also use a stainless-steel cleaner to remove that rainbow -like discoloration that can sometimes happen. You should have an easier time when it comes to non-stick cookware.

Most nonstick fry pans are labeled dishwasher-safe but we've found cleaning by hand with hot soapy water is a cinch," says Morrow-Harcourt.

And when it comes to clean up take a tip from Kasey.

"I clean as I'm going along that way at the end of the night there's not a lot of things to clean up and the kitchen is mostly clean. So, when we finish cooking not one person is stuck cleaning up the whole mess," says Hinckson.

You can clean up your bakeware like a pro, too, says CR. It's usually best to simply wash bakeware with detergent and a damp sponge. Soak in a solution of water and a little baking soda to loosen stubborn deposits; if they remain, remove them with a plastic-edged scraper, not a knife. Avoid steel wool and abrasive cleaners.