Stop Burning Your Pots and Pans with These 5 Tips

No matter how much of a culinary genius you think you might be, chances are something in the kitchen will still trip you up now and then.

You might over-boil an egg, say, or find yourself at a loss when it comes to pan-searing a sole fillet to perfection. Or you might find that your pots and pans always come away burnt when you take them off the gas hob, leaving behind unsightly black marks.

If scorching your cookware almost every time you use it is your particular kitchen kryptonite, don’t despair. There are many relatively simple precautions you can take to protect your pans and keep them pristine longer. Read on, and you’ll be more than prepared when the next time comes to turn up the heat.

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1. Get to Know Your Metals

The specific metal your pot or pan is made of will determine how quickly and how consistently it heats up—and, by extension, how vulnerable it is to burning. Hence, it’s always a good idea to read up on the differences between particular kinds of metal cookware and the ways these behave when cooking.

As an example, aluminium pans generally heat up very fast and get extra-hot in the spots that directly touch your burner. As a result, aluminium cookware tends to be quite easy to burn. It can also be tricky to use for searing food evenly. The aforementioned sole fillet, for instance, might come out burnt in some areas and still underdone in others when cooked in a low-quality aluminium pan.

Meanwhile, cast iron pans heat up more slowly, but distribute heat in a more balanced way through their surfaces. They also remain hot longer than aluminium pans. In practice, this means a cast iron pan would need a few extra minutes of preheating before it was ready for your fish. Once it is heated, however, you’d be assured of a nice, even sear.

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