Sunday, 15 July 2012

Is your cookware dishwasher SAFE?

"Is this cookware safe to put in the dishwasher?" One of the most common questions I get from customers. Why is it a concern? In the dishwasher, the water is hot and the soap is strong. Plus, pots and pans tend to "bang around" while being cleaned. You do not want those factors killing your brand new pans.

How does a cookware manufacturer determine if a pot or pan is dishwasher safe? It comes down to the metal, also known as the "vessel." Are you concerned about non-stick coatings? Most of them are OK to put in the dishwasher, you just have to worry about the metal.

*Remember: We need some sort of heat conduction from a metal when cooking. Stainless steel, by itself, heats uneven. It is lined with aluminum because it is abundant, conducts heat well, and pretty easy to mold. Or, we can cast, stamp, or hard anodize aluminum and line it with a protective coating.

- Stainless Steel cookware (Even with non-stick coating in the exterior)
- Hard anodized aluminum non-stick with a protective exterior (like non-stick or color coating) and base (like a stainless steel or rings.)
-Glass lids
-Stainless steel lids and tools
-Nylon/Silicone-handled tools

-Hard anodized aluminum (if your non-stick pans have zero protection on the exterior or bottom, you cannot put these pans in the dishwasher.)
-Cast aluminum cookware/bakeware (Cast aluminum needs to be treated and seasoned like cast iron.)
-Pure/Straight aluminum cookware/bakeware
-Full cooper or cooper-lined cookware (Even if there is a small amount of exposed cooper on the pan, it is not dishwasher safe.)
-Procelain enamel-exterior/lined cookware

Q: So, what happens if you put your "not dishwasher" cookware in your dishwasher?
A: You just voided the warranty. Remember you have to follow the cookware manufacture's direction to keep their warrany valid.
-Cooper: Will tarnish and turn blue-grey.
-Hard Anodized aluminum: Will turn bright white. (This is most common!)
-Cast Aluminum and Pure Aluminum: Discolor lightly and eventually warp.
-Procelain enamel: Dull over time.

What is your best bet? HAND WASH. Use regular dish soap with a soft yellow or green sponge. Please avoid metal scrubbies (they also void cookware warranties).

Here are some simple tips for cleaning your cookware:
-With stainless steel: In your pot/pan, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Pour out the mixture and let cool. Use a polish to detail any stains.
-With non-stick: Make a paste with water and baking soap. Rub it on your pan, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash as you would. Repeat if the stain is bad.
*Note: Remember when you are cooking, you are exposing some sort of metal to direct heat. It is natural for the bottoms of  your cookware to discolor fast. I recommend polishing your cookware (with my tips above or a cookware polish) once a month.

Happy Baking,

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