Although steel and aluminium are different – aluminium is lighter than steel and has better thermal conductivity – the preparation for using steel pans and aluminium pans is similar. Firstly, the cookware should be washed and dried immediately after purchase, e.g. with a paper towel. Then the aluminium pan or steel pan should be filled with water and boiled on the cooker. Some recommend adding potato peelings and boiling them in the water for about 15 minutes. After this time, pour out the contents – wipe out the pan again and grease it with a thin layer of fat (vegetable oil). Alternatively, use a thick layer of salt (without water) and set it on fire in the pan for 10 min. Then pour off the salt, let the pan cool and grease it with a thin layer of oil – leave it for 2-3 days. This is the easiest way to harden a steel pan or aluminium pan.
Cast iron pans and marble pans – first use
A cast iron pan and a marble pan are also cookware that needs to be hardened before first use. In the case of a cast iron pan, the first and last time you wash the pan is with washing up liquid. After that, washing in warm water is sufficient. We dry the pan and apply a thin layer of oil or lard – this can be done with a paper towel. Then place the pan in the preheated oven. In the case of a cast iron pan, it is important to place it upside down. Roast the pan at 250 degrees Celsius for one hour. Good pans with a non-stick ceramic coating, marble pans are treated similarly to aluminium pans – wash them in hot water using washing up liquid. Then wipe them with a soft cloth and heat them up for 30 seconds on the cooker. Then remove the pan from the cooker, apply vegetable oil and blot with a paper towel.
What not to do – regardless of the type of pan
When washing the pan, it is worth remembering not to scratch the bottom of the pan with a sharp wire scourer. Scratches on the bottom can cause food to stick when frying. In addition, we can also damage the coating that makes non-stick pans perform their function. It is also good to remember to use detergents that are as gentle as possible. It is also important not to put a hot cast iron pan under cold water. Cracks may then appear. As mentioned earlier, apart from the first time, this type of pan should only be cleaned with hot water during its entire “kitchen life”.
Aluminium pans, marble pans, cast iron pans require different types of firing before the first use. The same is true of steel pans. So it’s not a circulating myth that you don’t know what it actually does, but a method that is essential for a pan to serve us at its best and be a worthwhile investment.