One of the frequent questions we get here at MetroKitchen customer service is “My stainless steel cookware has become discolored. How can I restore its luminous finish?” Or various iterations of the same question.
Before we get into the solution, let’s talk about some of the reasons your stainless steel cookware may become discolored or end up with a bluish hue:
When cooking with stainless steel, we recommend that you use lower heat to cook your food. While this technique may seem basic to some of you — cooking on high heat can burn food and give you less flexibility as you cook — stainless steel will discolor from constant high heat. This discoloration is sometimes known as “bluing.”
Over time, oils can accumulate on your pan. Avoid using cooking sprays as their formula can accumulate on your pans over time and leave a tacky surface causing all cooking surfaces, especially non-stick cooking surfaces to loose its non-stick characteristics, not to mention that they darken the look of your cookware. Butter and other vegetable oils are much better for good results and the appearance of your cookware over time.
Don’t worry. If you’ve discolored your cookware or have burned your pot, here’s how to restore it’s finish:
First, if you haven’t done so already, purchase a can of Bar Keepers Friend. It is available on our site and readily found at your grocers everywhere, next to the Comet and Ajax cleansers. Unlike Comet and Ajax (which we do NOT recommend as they are chlorine based cleaners that will ruin non-stick cooking surfaces), Bar Keepers Friend is an acid based, bleach-free cleanser that will quickly restore your cookware to its original luster.
With Bar Keepers friend in hand, apply the cleanser to the surface or to a wet cloth or sponge. If you decide to apply to the surface, be sure it is wet before applying. Rub in a circular motion to loosen bits or oils. No need to rub hard, as the solution should do all the work. If the stain is difficult to remove, turn the powder to a paste and leave for one minute. Once you’re done, clean the cookware with warm soapy water so no residue is left behind. Warm soapy water is recommended for the daily cleaning of your stainless-steel cookware. Every now and then, Bar Keepers Friend will bring back the original finish.
So, to recap:
- Cook your food on lower heat to prevent discoloration of your stainless cookware.
- Use only butter and oils for cooking — avoid cooking sprays.
- Keep your stainless cookware clean and stain free by regularly using Bar Keepers Friend followed by warm soapy water.
Whether you own All-Clad, Viking Cookware, J.A. Henckels Classic Clad, Mauviel Stainless or other brands of stainless steel cookware, we hope these tips will help you keep your pots and pans bright and clean!
Do you have any tips on how you keep your stainless cookware shinny? Leave them in the comments!