S.Keeping an eye out for new kitchen tools is one of those fair (read: expensive) acts of self-care that are rarely feasible. Why? Because buying brand new cooking utensils and gadgets, from modest salad spinners and pans to larger items such as high-performance mixers and fancy knife sets, costs you.

However, an elegant arsenal of cooking utensils is an important part of the efficient preparation of meals and as tasty as possible. Have you ever eaten scrambled eggs cooked on a rusty, crumbled nonstick pan? No fun. The truth is, you don’t always have to throw away your kitchen products and buy new ones. A little bit of wear and tear is more than expected from anyone regardless of your culinary level.

The secret to saving your devices – and, um, the contents of your wallet – for as long as possible is to treat your tools with respect on a daily basis. There are a number of mistakes chefs regularly make in the kitchen that ruin their precious pans, knives, and more, and most of them are entirely preventable. This is where chefs weigh up what mistakes you might be making that will shorten the life of your tool drawer and the easy ways to fix them.

7 Big Kitchen Appliance Mistakes Cooks Want To Avoid

1. You put your stainless steel tools in the dishwasher

“Washing stainless steel tools in a dishwasher will ruin your stainless steel utensils because they are often not heat-hardened,” says John Li Greci, Sous Chef at YO1 Health Resort. As a rule of thumb: Avoid dishwasher knives, pots and pans, vacuum-insulated mugs and other baking and cooking utensils. And if you’ve spent a lot on the food processor’s blender (or other device), the high temperatures and aggressive movements that can occur in the dishwasher just aren’t worth it. Read the operating instructions for all your devices before washing them in the dishwasher and, if in doubt, hand wash them.

2. You don’t wait for your tools to dry

Last year, while baking bread in quarantine, we learned the importance of letting the loaf cool completely before burying it. The same applies to your kitchen appliances after washing. “A common mistake I see that results in kitchen appliances being ruined is putting them away and storing them while they are wet. This causes wooden cutting boards to warp, serving tools and appliances go moldy, and cast iron pans rust, ”says head chef Jill Devlin, the director of the Little Kitchen Academy in Los Angeles.

Do not rush the process! Devlin recommends letting all of your tools dry completely before putting them away. “Wooden utensils and chopping boards should be hand washed quickly and dried completely, which really extends their lifespan,” she says. “I put a small amount of mineral oil on my wooden chopping boards to keep them in great condition for years,” she adds.

3. You don’t remember the last time you changed your sponge

“Common cleaning mistakes that I see start with the actual cleaning tools,” says Devlin. “Replace sponges and washcloths often. Especially if the sponge smells like mold, you can’t rinse it off. Use a fresh sponge.”

It has a fixed point: cleaning with a dirty sponge or brush is not exactly considered cleaning. “Keep the kitchen with fresh sponges and towels, and set certain places to dry clean hands and dishes. Then keep them separate from the towels you use to wipe the dirty countertop or scrub food from the dishes. “

4. You are using the wrong detergent

This is a surprising mistake many people make, says Li Greci, and it can lead to stains and scratches on utensils. Avoid detergents that contain bleach, he advises. Devlin adds that cleaning nonstick cookware with sharp scouring pads will degrade the cooking surface.

5. You use a metal spatula with a non-stick pan – and cook with it over high heat

Both chefs say that one of the biggest mistakes in kitchen tools is the use of metal tools in nonstick pans. This is not a good idea for those trying to maintain the quality of their cookware as these utensils can easily scratch the surface of the pan. “Stick with wooden or silicone utensils,” says Devlin.

In addition, most non-stick cookware is not designed to withstand high temperatures on the stove or in the oven. Searing over medium heat is the sweet spot when it comes to PTFE-coated non-stick pans. So use these with scrambled eggs, pancakes, vegetables, and other dishes that don’t require turning up the heat for a perfect sear. At higher temperatures, cast iron or stainless steel cookware can be used.

6. You don’t sharpen your knives

Knives are your numbero uno in meal preparation, and keeping them sharp doesn’t make chopping up any easier or more efficient; sharp knives are actually much safer than blunt ones. Devlin says knives are also the simplest kitchen tool to accidentally ruin. “The best way to extend their life is to keep them clean and have them sharpened occasionally,” she says. The easiest way to find out here is how to sharpen a knife – or have your knife sharpened for you. (See also tip two for how to let them dry completely before putting them away.)

7. You think more is more when it comes to kitchen appliances

When it comes to cooking utensils, Devlin recommends channeling your inner Marie Kondo and avoiding excess or overkill. “Quality over quantity is absolutely essential for kitchen tools. A drawer full of flimsy plastic spoons, spatulas and gadgets is simply not necessary. Cooking is so much more fun when you use durable utensils, ”says Devlin. A snack? Paying a bit more for some quality tools that you will be using every day is probably a better use of the money than piling up a collection of strawberry peelers, cherry pitters, shrimp removers, and kale strippers. Besides, if these gadgets add joy to your own cooking process, who should we judge?

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