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Cast Iron Cookware

,cookware sets,Cast Iron Teapot,nonstick cookware,Carbon Steel Cookware,frying pan,dutch oven,griddle,casserole,muffin pan,skillet,Enamel Cookware,Aluminum Cookware,loaf pan,Bakeware,cake pan,etc.

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Home > Hocin Industries Company Limited | Cookware Useful Info

Things to Consider

When purchasing cookware for your kitchen, there're questions that a cook should ask before committing to a product.

Here're a few key things to consider:

Budget - How much can you afford to spend on the pots and pans you purchase? You should purchase the best quality that you can afford. It will be well worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you will find yourself replacing them in a short time.

Cooking Habits - How much will you be cooking? Do you eat out a lot and buy convenience food or do you like to prepare meals from scratch? Will you be entertaining a lot?

Cuisine - Will you be making a lot of pasta, soups, or stir-fries? There are special pots and pans that assist in preparing these types of food.

Quantity - Will you be cooking for 1, 2 or several? Having the right size cookware will be important when preparing your food.

Material - there are reasons, and prejudices, for choosing some kinds of materials over others. We will share the pros and cons with you and you can decide which is “best”.

Cleaning and care - most folks don’t want to spend 20 minutes cleaning a pan that was used for 2 minutes. Also, to keep a pan in tip-top shape can be easy or demanding. We’ll try to share what wisdom we have here.

Safety - will this break easily or release bad stuff into the food?

Cookware Material

Cookware is made from many different materials. Understanding the differences will assist you in making the best choice for your needs. Some of the most common cookware materials are shown below with a description and pan care instructions for each.

Aluminum cookware is fairly inexpensive in comparison to cookware made from other materials. Aluminum is lightweight but fairly strong. It is a good conductor of heat and does not easily distort when exposed to high temperatures. Aluminum works well for sauteing and frying foods because if its heat responsiveness. The drawback of aluminum is that it reacts to acidic and alkaline foods, causing it to corrode and affect the taste of the food being cook. Aluminum is generally used as a core heat conductor, or coated with stainless steel or an anodized coating to protect the food.

Anodized aluminum 
Anodizing is one of the oldest and most reliable ways of protecting aluminum. It is anodized for corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, and stick-resistance and esthetic reasons. This special coating has been added to the aluminum to help make it reduce the effects that regular aluminum cookware might have on certain foods. It is a good choice of material for most any type of cooking. Pots and pans made from anodized aluminum are not dishwasher safe and can be dark in color making it hard to see slight color changes in the food being cooked. When washing by hand, it's generally advised not to use corrosive detergents or scrubbing tools as that will likely damage the anodized finish. Anodized aluminum has had the naturally occurring layer of aluminum oxide thickened by an electrolytic process to create a surface that is hard and non-reactive. It is used for sauté pans, stockpots, roasters, and Dutch ovens.

Cast Iron
Cast iron cookware is inexpensive to moderately priced. The major advantage of cast iron is its capability to retain and evenly distribute heat. It heats slowly but once it is hot it holds the heat well. This makes it good for browning, deep frying and slow-cooking and baking various materials, cast iron also reacts with foods and can absorb the flavors of what was cooked in it unless the cookware is seasoned. Cast iron cookware can be used on top of the stove and in the oven. Another type of cast iron is enameled cast iron cookware. Enameled cast iron has a hard porcelain enamel coating that provides a permanent finish to prevent the cast iron from reacting with food. It also comes in many colors and doesn't require seasoning.

The non-stick cookware has had a coating applied to them that prevents food from sticking and makes clean up easier. These surfaces are excellent for frying or grilling foods. Modern metal cookware is frequently coated with a nonstick substance in order to reduce the possibility of food sticking to the pan surface. Nonstick pans should not be used at high temperatures though. The result is less food being burnt. In order to preserve the nonstick coating on a pan, it is important to never use metal implements in the pan while cooking nor use harsh scouring pads or chemical abrasives when cleaning. The fundamental thing to realize is that these nonstick surfaces are coatings. They have little influence over the cooking efficiency of the material. While these surfaces are very durable, they are subject to wear and tear.

Carbon Steel
Carbon steel is an excellent heat conductor. It is suitable with all heat sources, including induction. It is a high density metal and therefore doesn't retain odors. It withstands high temperatures and allows for longer preheating. Carbon steel cookware also needs to be seasoned before the first use, and it requires a little more work to keep it in good shape. After being seasoned, it acquires natural non-stick properties that won’t chip, scratch or peel off. Unlike non-stick cookware, it is safe to use at high temperatures, as well as with metal objects, such as knives, forks or spatulas. It is compatible with all heat sources, including induction, and is oven proof. Carbon steel cookware is also inexpensive, it requires minimum care, but is not dishwasher or microwave safe.

Stainless Steel
The stainless steel cookware is easy to clean and requires little maintenance, exceptionally durable and light, it won't corrode or tarnish and its nonporous surface is resistant to wear. It also doesn’t react with either alkaline or acidic foods. The one problem with stainless steel is that it does not conduct heat well. Quality stainless steel cookware will usually have heavy bottoms with a core of copper or aluminum sandwiched between layers of steel. Stainless steel is an iron alloy containing a minimum of 11.5% chromium. Blends containing 18% chromium with either 8% nickel, called 18/8, or with 10% nickel, called 18/10, are commonly used for kitchen equipment. Stainless steel cookware is very popular because of its moderate price and its versatility.

Cleaning All Types of Cookware

Cleaning Non-Stick Cookware
Non-stick cookware is by far the easiest to clean up, but it’s the hardest to maintain and has the least amount of durability due to the fact that it’s coated. Only use plastic or wooden utensils when cooking on a non-stick surface. Every once in awhile, though, you may experience the occasional burned food item if you let the sauce boil over or another similar kitchen catastrophe happens.

Here are the ways of how to care for non-stick cookware:

DO soak burnt-on messes in a solution of equal parts baking soda and water. The water will turn brown as the soda dissolves the stickiness and that’s how you’ll know its working. The burnt food should just lift right off the pan or griddle after about 20 minutes.

DON’T use aerosol cooking sprays on non-stick pans as they are slightly porous and the tiny oil droplets can get stuck in the finish resulting in a nasty build-up that tastes bad and reduces cooking and non-stock efficiency.

DON’T place non-stick cookware in the dishwasher. It will corrode and dry out the non-stick surface.

DON’T use a non-stick pan in the broiler. The heat is too high and the pan will be ruined.

DO wash and dry your non-stick cookware in warm, sudsy water immediately after cooking.

DO dry right away to avoid water spots and discolorations.

DO clean discolorations from bottoms of your non-stick pots, pans and griddles. Use a cookware cleaner formulated for the type of metal base used in your collection of nonstick cookware. Mix with water to form a paste and rub in a circular motion until stains are gone.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel cookware is by far the easiest-to-care-for cookware, however it has no non-stick properties whatsoever, so be prepared should the occasional scorching happen.

Sometimes stainless steel can be susceptible to discolorations from cooking highly acidic foods or heat marks on the exterior can show up from cooking with a scalding temperature. Here’s how to keep your stainless steel cookware “stainless” for years to come:

Always wash stainless steel pots and pans immediately in hot, sudsy water using a nylon scrubber or soft brush.
Never use steel wool, alcohol, abrasive cleaners, bleach, oven cleaners or metal implements to scrape stainless steel.
Stainless steel pans may be washed in the dishwasher. Always, follow your manufacturer’s instructions however.
No matter how you wash, always dry immediately to avoid water spots and stains.
To remove heat marks or discolorations, make a paste of non-abrasive stainless steel cookware cleaner mixed with water on a soft cloth. Rub with a circular motion to remove.

Cleaning Hard-Anodized Aluminum Cookware
Anodized cookware is made from aluminum, which is specially treated to make it extra hard and durable. Despite this, however, anodized, non-stick cookware can be scratched. You should keep this in mind when cleaning these types of pots and pans. It is not difficult to clean this kind of cookware. But gentle, frequent cleaning is best. You will make things easier on yourself, and extend the life of your anodized cookware, if you clean them as soon as possible after you use them.

Fill the kitchen sink with warm water and a couple tablespoons of dish soap. Agitate the water with a sponge to mix the soap with the water.

Place one piece of the anodized cookware set into the water. Washing one piece at a time prevents scratches that result from dishes rubbing against each other.

Wash the interior of the piece with a soft kitchen sponge. If food particles are stuck on, add a little more dish soap directly to the sponge, and wipe this over the stuck particles.

Gently wash the bottom of the cookware with a synthetic scouring pad. This will remove any grime that might have transferred from the stove to the bottom.

Wash the rest of the exterior with a sponge. Rinse in warm water, and dry with a dish towel.

Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is at its best when it is seasoned or cured, which means it has developed a baked-on patina of oil which helps prevent rusting and also gives the cooking surface nonstick properties. To clean cast iron cookware without removing the seasoning, use a stiff brush, hot water and no soap or detergent, which can eat away at the seasoning. We recommend loosening stuck-on food by boiling water in the pan for a few minutes. After washing, you should dry the pan (air-drying can cause it to rust) and lightly coat it with a little vegetable oil while it's still warm. If your cast iron cookware develops rust spot, these can be scoured off with fine-gauge sandpaper or steel wool, and the pan can be re-seasoned.

Cleaning Porcelain Enamel Cast-Iron Cookware
Porcelain enamel over cast-iron cookware has been around for a long time, and for good reason. This kind of cookware has many benefits. It is durable, it does not rust, it spreads heat evenly over the surface, making it perfect for slow cooking. In addition, the slick finish means foods don't stick as easily as they can on bare iron or metal pots and pans. The porcelain enamel finish also has another quality that makes it a favorite amongst many cooks---it is easy to clean.

Fill your sink with warm---not hot---water, adding regular dish washing liquid while the faucet is still running. Place the cookware into the water.

Let the cookware soak for a few minutes. Note that you cannot wisely do this with bare cast-iron cookware. The porcelain finish keeps water from the iron and, therefore, prevents rusting.

Wash the inside areas of the cookware with a soapy, wet sponge. Then, wash the handles and the outside of the cookware.

Drain the sink and run warm water. Rinse the cookware under this stream of warm water.

Dry the cookware off with a dish towel or let it air dry. Unlike un-enameled cast-iron cookware, air drying won't harm these types of dishes.

How To Clean a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets are desirable for their long life, durability and supplementation of iron to foods. Although cast iron requires a certain level of preventative care, it quickly recovers from general misuse. If left in water, cast iron rusts. However, you can clean rust from a cast iron skillet and easily re-season the cookware.

Scrub the skillet/dutch oven with hot water and steel wool to remove the rust. Depending on the severity of rusting, this process may require considerable physical pressure and lengthy scrubbing.

Thoroughly dry the clean cast iron skillet/dutch oven with paper towels.

Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the entire surface of the skillet/dutch oven, using a basting brush. If you do not have a basting brush, use oil soaked paper towels.

Bake the basted cast iron skillet/dutch oven in a 350-degree oven for one hour.

Remove the skillet/dutch oven from the oven---use caution, it will be extremely hot---and cool on the stove top. Store the newly seasoned cast iron in a dry place.

Cleaning Carbon Steel Cookware
Carbon Steel Cookware usually heat up very quickly and are used with a very high heat (at least initially). However, always buy a pan of the thickest material you can find – it will cook better. After each use, please clean and store it in cool, dry place. Here’s the way of how to clean and maintain.

One way: Just hot water and a sponge, nylon scrubber or non-abrasive pad. Thoroughly dry, wipe a thin coat of oil onto the cooking surface, then you can put it up.

Another way: Just wipe out with a paper towel and put away when cool.
Can NOT be washed in the dishwasher. If you absolutely have to, mild soap and hot water can be used. But if you do this, you will have to re-season.
Store in a cool, dry place.
Place a folded paper towel between lid and pot, for air circulation.

How To Clean Burned Pots And Pans
As careful as we try to be when cooking, burnt-on food and scorched cookware can happen to the best of us! Mostly this happens when the heat or flame is set too high for the amount of ingredients in the pan. Other times, it happens because we have too many things going on at once or we walk away while food is cooking.

Here’s how to clean your burned pots and pans:

Plunge the pan bottom into cold water to lessen the burnt taste and reduce the temperature immediately.

If there is a burnt-on, caked-on coating or film of food, try to boil it off buy adding 1 teaspoon baking soda or washing soda or even cream of tartar for each cup of water. The food should float free after about 20 minutes. Then wash as usual.

If it’s not a stainless steel pan, cover the burnt inner bottom with baking or washing soda, and then add just enough water to cover the soda. The soda dissolves the “stick” and usually the burnt food will release in an even layer. Sometimes this can be an overnight process.

DO wash cookware immediately after cooking.

DON’T put most pots and pans in the dishwasher unless the manufacturer’s directions specifically allow.

NEVER use bleach, steel wool, oven cleaners, abrasive cleansers or scrape with metal implements to remove burnt on food.

Importance of Non-stick Thickness
Nonstick performance and durability are determined by the pan's thickness and the quality of nonstick coating. Overheating and utensil abrasion are the two factors that most affect nonstick durability. A superior coating on a thin pan makes no sense as the pan will overheat easily. The resulting "hot spots" will damage even the best nonstick coating. Therefore, pan thickness is essential to nonstick longevity.

General Care and Use Tips
Before using for the first time, carefully remove all labels and wash in hot soapy water to remove any manufacturing lubricants on new cookware.
Never leave cookware on heat source without food or liquid inside.
For safety and to prevent warping, allow cookware to cool before cleaning or immersion in water.
Direct contact with salt can cause pitting, add salt to boiling water to dissolve it.
Salt solutions, acidic products like tomatoes, disinfectants, or bleaches can corrode cookware. Never store these items in cookware and avoid prolonged exposure.
All cookware will last longer and look better if washed by hand with hot soapy water. Always scrub in the direction of the material grain. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry completely.
Use of plastic, wooden or rubber utensils is recommended.
If label adhesive remains on cookware, wipe off with WD-40 and clean with warm soapy water.
To remove white film caused by starch or water minerals, rub with sponge that has been dipped in lemon juice or vinegar, then wash with hot, soapy water.
To remove food burnt to the bottom of cookware, boil a mild solution of vinegar and water for 10 minutes to dislodge food particles.

Care and use of cast iron cookware
Before first use
Carefully remove all paper and labels.
Before first use, it is sufficient to clean the cookware in hot soapy water to remove any manufacturing lubricants on new cookware, then rinse and dry thoroughly

Enameled cast iron should always be heated up at low to medium temperatures. If you put cookware in enameled cast iron on high heat, the enamel might get damaged.
Cast iron has the great advantage of retaining heat very well. As a result, the cookware might become very hot, so always use an oven mitts when holding the cookware.

After use
Putting cast iron cookware in the dishwasher is not recommended, since the water can cause oxidation on non-enameled parts.
Avoid the use of abrasive and aggressive detergents.
Use soft sponge for cleaning is recommended.
Always dry the cookware well after washing to avoid oxidation. For optimal protection, you can coat e.g. the rims with some kitchen oil.
It is recommended to season your cast iron cookware from time to time. Seasoning creates a natural, non-stick finish and prevents rusting. You season your cookware by washing it in hot, soapy water first, rinsing it and drying it carefully. Then you coat the cookware inside and outside with some kitchen oil. Afterwards place your cookware on the top shelf of your oven at 250°C. Put some aluminum foil under it to catch any dripping.

Non-stick coatings
When you rub the non stick layer with some oil from time to time, the non stick will last longer.
Do not overheat the pan! Always cook medium heat.
In case something is burned, just leave your pan with some water for a few hours.
Never use steel wool to clean your pan.
Always use a wooden or plastic spoon.
Allow non-stick coating to cool before cleaning.
Hand wash in hot soapy water and dry immediately to preserve appearance.
When stacking pans, place liners between pans to avoid scratching non-stick surfaces.

Care and use of stainless steel cookware
Before first use
Carefully remove all paper and labels
Clean new cookware with hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
It's also recommended, to 'season' your cookware: apply a small amount of vegetable oil to the cookware, then wipe clean with kitchen paper. 'Seasoning' should be done 3 to 4 times a year.

After use
Always let cookware cool before placing in the water.
Wash with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
Alternatively you can use a dishwasher to clean your cookware.
Always dry your cookware carefully (+ rims, handle, rivets,...)

Never use
Chlorine cleansers or bleach as these could attack the stainless steel layer very hard.
Steel wool or sharp objects to remove stubborn bits of food, as it will scratch the surface.
Never add salt to cold water. Wait until the water is hot, to prevent pitting of the stainless steel surface.
Never leave an empty pan on a heat source or allow a pan to boil dry.

Care and use of hard anodized aluminum cookware
Before first use
Remove labels, wash, rinse and dry the cookware thoroughly.

If use electric heat sources, do not allow the heat source to extend beyond the base of the pan.
In case of a gas cooker, the flame should be held inside the diameter of the pan. This prevents overheating of the handles.

After use
Always let cookware cool before placing in the water.
Wash cookware in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
Always dry your cookware immediately and pay particular attention to the rims, handle rivets and other small spaces where water might collect.
Dishwasher use is not recommended.

Never use
Chlorine cleansers or bleach.
Steel wool or sharp objects to remove stubborn bits of food, they will scratch the surface.

Care and use of carbon steel cookware
Pans are shipped with mineral oil applied to the pan. Wipe down oil and clean the pan using hot soapy water. Dry immediately. After each use, clean and season. Wipe the inside and outside of the pan with unsalted cooking oil or shortening to prevent oxidation. The pan will turn a dark color as seasoning occurs after repeated use.