I just watched the video on Amanda and Merril making the red pepper confit and saw their shiny stainless steel pan. How is everyone's stainless steel cookware so shiny except mine?! Some stains - esp the outside - never seem to come off!
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Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
We use a copper "Chore Boy" ... and elbow grease!
I am only worried about the inside, and mine are spotless, the outside is character.
Chore Boys, Ajax or Comet Cleanser, 409, Barkeeper's Friend, SOS pads, assorted sharp implements used as scrapers--they all work. Unfortunately, none of them work without the elbow grease mentioned by Amanda. Unfortunately, "elbow grease" isn't something offered for sale in the food52 shop.
thirschfeld, I'm stealing your line. I called it "patina," but I like "character" better.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Stainless steel polish under the venerable brand name Hagerty. It's formulated specifially for stainless steel and chrome. Personally I wouldn't use "sharp implements" or steel wool pads unless you want to add scratches to your stains. I would recommend always using a soft cloth to finish the job.
If there is grease deposited on the inside or outside and I cannot stand to look at it, use dishwasher detergent and soak in REALLY hot water overnight. Makes it much easier to remove with a Choreboy or other abrasive pad. But don't soak anodized pans or All Clad Masterchef - only on all stainless. If your inside gets that blueish or cloudy discoloration, Lime Away or CLR gets it right out. Just wash well afterward.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Amanda, doesn't the Chore Boy scratch your pans? I bought one for a really nasty burned-on (disaster recovery) scrubbing project and was surprised by the results . . . I ended up deciding that scratched was better than burned, but perhaps you use a special type of Chore Boy that doesn't scratch so much? Do tell. Thank you. ;o)
I haven't had a problem with it scratching my pans, but I definitely don't use it on enamel or an sensitive surfaces, just stainless steel.
Ok, so to add to the mix, again, there are three options in my mind. One is 0000 steel wool, you can find it at hardware stores. It is finishing wool that is used to polish steel and even wood finishes before the final coat of varnish is applied. It is good for stainless steele and won't scratch. Carbon off is a product sold at restaurant supplies, most of them sell retail too, and it is potent stuff that should be used at your own discretion but it will get the stuff off. Finally for those cast iron enameled pots, your oven is enameled, or at least most are, and you use easy off. Coat those enamel dutch ovens with easy off, put them on an old sheet tray you don't care about and through them in the oven at 200 degree for 20 minutes. Remove let cool and then wash them off. Repeat as necessary cause sometimes it takes more than once to remove years of goo.