WHEN those "easy care, easy cook pans" don't last as expected, you may be unintentionally damaging your cookware. Here are some tips to avoid damaging non-stick pots, pans and baking trays.
Avoid hot water and a scrubbing brush
Non-stick cookware typically has a surface that is specifically treated to cope with heat and food, but it can be damaged if you poke at it.
Heated water can be a problem too, so unless your pots are certified as dishwasher safe, avoid machine washing. The best cleaning solution is to use a gentle soap and soft sponge.
Buy a wooden spoon
Just as washing a pot with a wire brush will damage the treated surface, so will scratching it with metal implements while you're stirring and turning. Substitute metal tongs, spatulas and cooking spoons with wooden utensils for preference or specially made soft materials.
Greasing is good
Before you cook, rub the surface or the pan with a bit of butter. Even if it's oil-free, it doesn't hurt to give the surface a bit of extra help. It is important to rub the pan when it's cold because if you wait until it's hot, the fat is more likely to go straight into the food instead of lying on the cooking surface.
Store pots with layers of tea towels
When you stack one pot on top of another, they can scratch and damage their neighbours. The easiest way to protect them all is to hang them up. But if you don't have space, stack them up in a neat pile and put a clean tea towel between each one.