Friday, June 26, 2009

Speed Up Your Cleanup

If you're eating the South Beach Diet way, chances are you're preparing lots of delicious, meals using fresh ingredients. Since you may be spending more time cooking, the last thing you want to do is spend even more time scrubbing dishes. Here are five ways to cut down on food buildup (and, thus, food cleanup!) while maintaining the quality of your cooking equipment.

Buy nonstick cookware. This may seem like an obvious solution, but it still deserves to be at the top of the list. Nonstick pans make life easier for the average cook because, as the name implies, food won't stick to the pan. The downside is that food doesn't brown as well. The best solution is to have a good set of nonstick cookware for most meals and a few quality pieces of uncoated cookware to use when browning really counts.

Invest in high-quality, heavy pots and pans. Cheaper pans don't have the lifespan of high-quality cookware. To cut down on cleanup time, look for cookware that's dishwasher safe. A good bet is stainless-steel cookware made with an aluminum or copper bottom (since these metals conduct heat better than stainless steel).

Don't add cold foods to a hot pan. Bringing the food to room temperature first will cut down on the stickiness. When cooking with dry foods, you should also remember to add a little oil and allow it to heat before adding the food.

Clean cooking-spray buildup. Nonstick cooking sprays can leave a gummy residue that builds up over time. If you cook with these sprays, make sure you thoroughly clean the pan after every use. Some manufacturers advise avoiding these sprays, so check the manufacturer's recommendations.

Practice prevention. The best way to avoid food buildup is to make sure your pots and pans are thoroughly cleaned after each use. If you're using a nonstick pan, be sure to use nonabrasive cleaners and pads, and avoid rough sponges and steel wool. Other materials, like stainless steel and aluminum, can handle mildly abrasive cleansers, but it's always best to check the manufacturer's recommendations.


  1. Great tips! I'm printing these tips out for my 12 year old, who likes to take a steel scrubber to my T-fal pots!(YIKES) Interesting information about the cooking spray residue, too! Have a great day!

  2. There is one item that I use instead of oil in everything that I cook and it makes clean up a breeze. Non-stick spray. I even us it when I'm boiling chicken and pasta. I spray the full inside of the pan/dish and then add my water or whatever and it washes up like a dream.


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