Cleaning a pot is a pretty standard task in the kitchen. Lately, though, there has been a trend in the home-kitchen movement towards pots and pans that require no water for cleaning. These pots and pans are called waterless cookware, and they have become increasingly popular.
Unfortunately, some of these pots and pans can be difficult to clean because there is no water—a major component of any good dishwashing process. Here are some tips for how to keep your cookware looking its best with little or no water.
What Is Waterless Cookware?
Waterless cookware can be described as cooking vessels that require no water, such as nonstick or enameled cast iron cookware, stainless steel cookware, or aluminum cooking utensils. Instead, these cookware retain their nonstick properties even when they are coated with food, and they are virtually indestructible. As a result, waterless cookware can be used for difficult and long-lasting cooking tasks. Some common tasks where waterless cookware can be used include:
- Grilling or smoking
- Frying and sautéing
But the high levels of durability and durability-compatibility can cause concerns for home cooks who are new to waterless cookware, especially those who cook on a daily basis and often use cast iron cookware. But these concerns are unfounded.
The Benefits of Waterless Cookware
There are a number of benefits to using a waterless cookware. This type of cookware is safe to use with nonstick cookware and many sticks and bake recipes. What makes waterless cookware so unique is that there is no need to rinse or sanitize your cookware after cooking. Waterless cookware has a higher cooking temperature, so it helps you avoid overcooking food. The nonstick coating of waterless cookware helps with scraping the pan and sticking to pans, so you can avoid burned food and broken food and even food that can’t be cleaned. Lastly, waterless cookware does not trap or transmit odors, so there is no smell to clean up.
How to Clean Your Waterless Cookware:
Before you begin, you will want to make sure that you remove any rust or corrosion on the outside of the pan. Sand the outside of the pan, or use a mild iron. Once the exterior is clean, you will want to give the pan a good scrub with a mixture of 1/2 cup mild, coarse-ground black pepper and 3 tablespoons white vinegar. Be sure to be gentle when scrubbing. Rinse the pan well, and allow it to air dry thoroughly.
The best method to clean any waterless pot and pan is the classic method: use a cup of white vinegar to soak the pan in. Toss a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup warm water into a clean bowl, and mix to dissolve the bowl. Pour the solution into the bottom of the pan, and stir. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then pour out the solution.
Essential Equipment for Cleaning:
The first thing to remember about cleaning your waterless cookware is that you need some specialized equipment. Unlike traditional pots and pans that have large gaps between the handles and the rim of the pot, waterless cookware often has no handle and no edge. There are a number of tools that are specifically designed to clean these types of pots and pans.
- Stainless steel spoons, specifically designed to clean waterless pots and pans
- Large wooden spoons for scrubbing with stiff bristles, the hardest possible type of bristle you can find
- Several rags and cleaning cloths to help ensure that you don’t run out of paper towels
- Cleaning the Solids and Melting Away the Stains
- The next thing you need to know is how to clean waterless cookware.
The Steps to Clearing Your Pot or Pan
To get the waterless cookware clean, you need to remove any of the “nasties” that were built into your pot or pan from the main dishwasher cycle. And that means wiping everything down with some plain old dish soap and water. For the first cleaning step, place a pot or pan into the sink or tub of water so that you can rinse off any soap that may have built up on it.
While that is drying, you can use hot water, but it’s recommended that you run it only for 30 seconds to an hour to ensure that it doesn’t harm the materials in your pot. Then, rinse with hot water.
For any remaining food or other such nasties that are sticking to your pot, you can use baking soda or, if you’ve got some, lemon juice to scrub off the grime.
If you need to keep your cookware looking clean, then you should consider investing in a few waterless cookware options. Not only are they better for your wallet, they make your kitchen look, and feel, like something you might buy in a boutique kitchen store.