Unlike traditional metal pans, stone cookware is a type of clay that is fired at temperatures that exceed 2000 degrees F. When it is cured, it becomes quite hard and resistant to the much lower temperatures that are generated by your stove. This means how to clean stone cookware is going to be different compared to standard metal cookware.
However, the basic goal is the same compared to metal pots and pans. The focus is on proper cleaning so that there is no residue leftover between uses. That means stains should be addressed quickly to avoid any potential issues.
Tips on Cleaning
The first tip is to wait until the stone cookware cools before you wipe it down with a paper or cloth towel. Stone cookware can be cleaned just like metal cookware in the sense that wiping away the residue is fairly easy.
Just be sure to clean your stone cookware after every use. A few seconds of wiping it down will prevent any residue from hardening and becoming stuck to the surface. But what if you burn the cookware? It can happen to the best of chefs, so here are a few tips on removing stains.
Dish Detergent & Hot Water
Fill the pan with hot water. Just enough to cover the surface and any stain that has appeared. Add three to five drops of dish detergent. Then place the pan on the stove and bring the water to a boil.
Let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes. The soapy water will penetrate the stain and lift it from the surface. Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Then rinse and wipe away all the residue from the cookware.
Salt: You may be surprised that simple kitchen salt can do wonders in cleaning stone surfaces such as your cookware. Pour a glass of warm water into the pan and then add a handful of salt. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Add some dish detergent and scrub the stain with a soft sponge until the stain is fully removed.
If the stain persists, boil the mixture for a few minutes. Remove from the stove and let it cool before you start scrubbing again.
White Vinegar & Baking Soda
It seems that many cleaning solutions involve white vinegar and baking soda and for good reason. Both products are quite good at removing stains.
Start by adding warm water to the pan, just enough to cover the stains. Then add a glass of white vinegar and stir. Turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 10 minutes before adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda. The reaction will cause the stain to bubble up to the surface.
After a few minutes, remove the cookware from the stove and pour out the mixture into the sink. Let the pan cool and then clean the area with hot water and dish detergent. A brush or soft sponge should remove the remainder of the stain.
If the brand of stone cookware has instructions for cleaning, you should consider that first. It may be that you need to use a special cleaner or cleaning product. Follow all instructions as to how it can remove stains from your cookware.
Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between glazed and non-glazed stone cookware. Such differences tend to be small, but it may be that your brand of stone cookware will require a special cleaning product depending on whether it is glazed or non-glazed.
Care & Maintenance
There are a few simple rules to follow that will help you understand how to keep stone cookware in good condition.
Do Not Allow the Ingredients to Burn
The best way to keep your stone cookware clean is by not allowing any ingredients to burn in the first place. Of course, it may be impossible to avoid burning the food that is being cooked.
After all, it is quite easy to get distracted or simply not notice that the ingredients are burning. But if you can avoid burning, do so as this will save you considerable time in cleaning your stone cookware.
Wipe After Every Use
Most discolorations start small and build their way up over time. By wiping down the stone cookware once it has cooled, you can keep the discoloration from building in the first place.
Don’t just toss it into the dishwasher, wipe it down first. That way, you can ensure your stone cookware stays clean.
Clean Every So Often
Pick a regular time to clean your stone cookware. Wiping it down after every use is a good start. But you should use dish detergent or other approved cleaner once a week for stone cookware you use daily. And less often for stone cookware that is used every once in a while.
Is Stone Cookware Safe?
Because the cookware uses clay from natural stone, it does not contain any toxic elements. This means that stone cookware is safe to use. The only danger comes from any residue from what you have cooked that might cause some issues. But that is a rare occurrence.
When properly maintained, stone cookware is quite safe. This means that you should wipe down the cookware after it has cooled.
Plus, use some of the tips to remove any stains to keep your stone cookware clean and in like-new condition.
Can You Use Stone Cookware in the Microwave?
Stone cookware is normally safe for microwave use unless the product’s instructions say otherwise. Most stone cookware products will be listed as “microwave safe”, so you should have little issue with using it in the microwave.
It is recommended that the cookware not touch the door or sides of the microwave when in use. Be especially aware when the product is on a turntable. Simply put the cookware in the center, look to see that it will not touch the sides or door, and then turn on the microwave.
Understanding how to clean stone cookware will help keep your pans shiny and in great condition for many years to come.