Do your pots and pans wobble around on your stovetop? Does your pan seem to have hot and cold spots, resulting in half-burnt, half-doughy pancakes? If so, you’re likely dealing with warped cooking pans!
But how did they end up that way, and how can you prevent it from happening again in the future? I’ll be answering those very questions in today’s blog post! :-)
The Problem: Your Cooking Pans Are Warped
Apart from woks and other curved cooking pans, most brand new cooking pans have a flat bottom surface. This allows the pan to sit evenly on top of a stove burner, which promotes even heat distribution and even cooking.
However, many cooking pans eventually get warped out of shape. And instead of a pan that sits evenly on your stovetop, you wind up with a pan that wobbles around, tipping unhelpfully while you attempt to cook in it.
Assuming the pan was never dropped, crushed, or damaged in any way, you may feel a bit mystified as to how your pan ended up this way! And as surprising as it might sound, it likely has a lot to do with the way you clean it!
The Solution: Never Rinse A Hot Pan!
Warping often occurs when a hot pan meets cold water, usually when someone takes their pan straight from the stove to the sink and rinses it off. Metal expands when it is heated up (not enough for us to notice, but enough to make a difference), and it shrinks slowly and uniformly back down as it cools off.
But when that hot pan meets cold water, the metal may experience “thermal shock,” shrinking so rapidly it ends up warped out of shape. This is why you should never rinse a hot pan, and instead let it cool to room temperature before rinsing it off.
But warping isn’t the only issue that rinsing a hot pan can cause. It can also affect the way the pan conducts heat, creating hot and cold spots that will make it much harder to cook anything evenly.
And while I understand the desire to clean up quickly after dinner, the damage to your pan is just not worth it! Patience is a virtue, especially when a little patience can save your cooking pans. :-)
Do you have any tips for protecting your cooking pans?