Fare Thee Well, Ye Old Teflon Pans!

My husband and I have been married for 13 years and we have recently experienced something that makes me feel like we have been married a good long while. I remember growing up when I would ask my mom about a certain avocado or deep orange colored Tupperware dish and where it came from and she would tell me, with almost misty eyes, that that was a wedding gift from “so and so” and they’ve had it for over 20 years! You’ve gotta love the 70’s and the amazing colors of dishes and cookware from back then :)

I remember thinking how sweet it was that she was so nostalgic about these special dishes--sometimes she could even remember exactly who gave the dish to them, which is impressive! I couldn’t wait to experience that myself. My grandma gave my husband and I a nice set of non-stick pots and pans from Costco and unfortunately, they have lived their life! It is time to bid them adieu and move on to something else.

I decided to go with stainless steel this time because to be quite honest, I probably held on to my Teflon pots and pans way too long, as some of the Teflon bits were occasionally coming off into our food :\ Yikes! I really like stainless steel and it seems relatively easy to care for, especially when using one of my favorite kitchen products, Bar Keeper’s Friend to shine them up and get rid of any discoloration that comes.

I thought I would share some tips I learned in my research of how to take care of nice pots and pans, no matter what they are made of. 

Avoid Stacking.

It is best to actually hang your pots and pans on hooks, if possible, because they can leave scratch marks when stacked inside each other. If you are not able to hang them, I have used a towel, hot pad, or even thin piece of styrofoam to add a layer of padding in between each pot to avoid scratching and this works well for me. You could also stack them sideways, with one of the cool organizers that allows them to do this.

Never Use Metal Kitchen Tools.

Metal spatulas and other metal kitchen tools scratch almost every type of pots and pans, so it is best to stick with wooden or silicone alternatives instead. Pans with a coating, such as ceramic or Teflon non-stick coating can actually chip away, so it is particularly important with coated pots and pans.

Hand Washing is Best.

As much as I really don’t enjoy hand washing, it really is the best way to clean and care for your pots and pans, no matter what they are made of. Of course it is absolutely necessary with cast iron, but even ceramic, stainless steel, and non-stick pots and pans will all last a lot longer when washed and dried by hand immediately after use.

I know this is so true because my sister got married just 6 months before me and received the same set of pots and pans, and she has religiously hand-washed them all these years and they still look great. You would never know we got these pans at the same time. Mine look a decade older than hers.

Avoid Soaking For Long Periods.

Try to avoid soaking your pots and pans for more than a few more minutes, as there might be iron in your tap water that can cause rust. Try to wash immediately after use with soap and hot water. If you do get any rust on your stainless steel pots and pans, you can use Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove it.

Well, now that I know these tips that I need to follow to get the most from my new pots and pans, I have no excuse to stick them in the dishwasher or to “accidentally” use a metal spatula on them. I want these shiny beauties to last forever so I’m going to publicly vow, to add some accountability, to take a couple steps to ensure they do. I vow to wash these news pots and pans by hand after each and every use--without griping--and to follow these other simple tips to ensure I can use these for decades, and hopefully cook things for my grandkids in them. 

Do you have any special dishes you still have from wedding presents from more than a decade or two ago? Or do you have any additional tips for best practices for caring for quality pots and pans? Please share in the comments below.

  •   www..apartmentguide.com
  •   www.flickr.com
  •   www.pixabay.com

    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

Subscribe to Cook'n Premium and get newsletter articles like this each week!

blog comments powered by Disqus