Cast Iron

How to Care for Your Favorite Kitchen Tools

January 21, 2015

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Scrub-a-dub-dub, all pots and pans in the tub. Er, sink. Here's how to take care of your most beloved kitchen tools. 

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Your favorite tools: The ones that you reach for every day, the ones that get used more often than any other. You and you alone know which ones are the most valuable, the most useful. Maybe it's your beloved hand-cranked coffee grinder, or that gleaming copper pot you picked up on your last trip to Paris. Maybe it’s that Pyrex bowl set straight out of the 70s, the one you smuggled out of your Nana's kitchen when no one was looking. Or it's the first wooden spoon you bought when you moved into your first apartment.

Keeping our tools clean is hands-down the most important thing we can do for them. Believe us: Your kitchen will thank you.

  • Freshly ground spices are a cook’s best friend. They amplify and embellish the flavors of our favorite dishes, but their teeny-tiny particles clog your spice grinder, and their oils leave an invisible residue on the surface. Who knew that cleaning it is as easy as a handful of rice? 

  • Copper pots and pans are what kitchen daydreams are made of -– the ne plus ultra of kitchen gear. With just a little know-how and elbow grease, you can keep them from tarnishing. Show ‘em off and make ‘em shine.
  • And then there’s cast iron. Once it’s treated, there’s almost no other pan that will work harder or last longer. There’s a lot of confusion out there about what works and what doesn’t –- here are tried-and-true ways to keep it clean, for both regular and enameled pans. 

  • Face it: Washing dishes at the end of the night –- or the morning after –- is a drag.  But it’s even more of a bummer if you wash haphazardly, only to later find them sporting leftover grease tracks and smelling suspicious. Put your best dishwashing skills forward, and you can do it right the first time, with both your regular dishes as well as your Tupperware.
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Mei Chin

Written by: Mei Chin

Let's have dinner sometime. There will be champagne and ice cream for sure; everything else is up in the air.


FoodieDawn January 21, 2015
How about cleaning stainless-steel plans like All-Clad? Mine seem to get cloudy little spots that are hard to remove.
christy January 21, 2015
I clean my stainless-steel pans with Bar Keepers Friend. It gets rid of those cloudy spots and they shine like new.
Posie (. January 21, 2015
Derek, our test kitchen manager, told me a great trick -- he buys inexpensive thin plastic cutting boards in bulk and labels them for pork, poultry, fish, etc. That way, you help eliminate some of the cross-contamination and make clean up a bit easier.