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The Care of Cooking Utensils

Chinese kitchen equipmentChinese claypot

•  Keep them clean. Dirty cooking utensils not only spoil the flavor of food cooked in them but they also wear out more quickly.

•  Put all utensils to soak as soon as you have finished using them. Those which have been used for mixing cakes, flour, mixtures, eggs or milk should be soaked in cold water. Hot water hardens these foods and makes them difficult to remove. Utensils used for cooking fish should also be soaked in cold water.

•  If food sticks or burns, soak the saucepan or wok well before attempting to clean them. Avoid scratching the pan during cleaning. A saucepan brush or fine steel wool is the best for removing food which will not come off with soaking.

•  Do not pour cold liquid into hot pans. This makes even the thickest pans buckle in time.

•  To obtain a smooth surface on frying pans for omelet's or pancakes, rub well with a little cooking salt.

• To clean copper bottoms on pots and pans, simply open a can of tomato  soup paste, rub it on and scrub then rinse. If you do this weekly,  your pots and pans stay shiny clean. This is a very inexpensive  way to clean copper and brass items!

•  To clean a blender, add a cup of warm water and run for a few seconds. Then add a drop of dishwashing detergent and another cup of water and blend. Let is sit for a few seconds. Rinse clean.   

•  Spray plastic container with nonstick cooking spray to prevent staining when storing tomato-based sauces or curries.

•  Spray the cooking grill with non-stick spray before placing the grid over the coals. Food won't stick nearly as much as it does on an untreated grill and makes cleaning easy later on.  

•  Never soak a wooden chopping block. Instead, scrub with soap and hot water after use. Occasionally, you can use vinegar and lemon juice to clean and deodorize a chopping board.

•  To clean a bamboo steamer, simply rinse it with water. Do not use detergent or it will absorb the flavor of the soap and spoil the taste of you food the next time you use it

•  To prolong the life of your cleavers, store them in a proper knife rack where there is less risk of damage. As for cleaning, wash the cleaver in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Clean the blade immediately after working with acidic ingredients such as tomatoes and onions. If the handle is wood, avoid soaking it in water or it will break apart faster.

  • To remove the yellow or brown stains from the insides of your kettle, fill it with water and squeeze the juice of a lemon into the kettle. Then bring the water to a boil. You kettle will come out clean and shiny.
  • When cleaning the refrigerator, add a little baking soda to the wash water. This will help deodorize the fridge.
  • Burnt food can be removed from a glass baking dish by spraying it with oven cleaner and letting it soak for  30 minutes. The burnt-on residue will be easier to wipe off.
  • If something spills over in your oven, first sprinkle it with salt and remove with a metal spatula, then wipe with a damp sponge.
  • To restore color and shine to an aluminum pan, boil some apple peels  in it for a few minutes, then rinse and dry.
  • To remove the smell of onions or garlic in a plastic container, wash it thoroughly. Then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in it and put on the lid. The odor will disappear in a couple of days.
  • A pestle does become "blunt". It shows when you require more time and effort to grind an ingredient than you used to. To sharpen your pestle, crush some washed seashells (picked from the seashore) in the mortar over and over again. Wash it thoroughly.
  • Having a hard time washing and reaching to the edges of a fancy-shaped milk bottle? Don't worry. Scoop some uncooked rice into the milk bottle, then pour in a little warm or hot water. Put on the nipple and shake well. Remove the rice-water and rinse the bottle under running water. The bottle will not only come out squeaky clean, any stains on the nipple will also be removed!
  • Chinese hotpot food strainer


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    Last Modified: 11/28/11.