The kitchen I work in uses nonstick pans and SS pots. At home I have both. I watch several cooking shows and their SS pans are always pristine. How do commercial kitchens clean SS pans. The pots are easy since we use them for sauces and not frying. I am hoping for something other than BarKeepers and elbow grease.
Cleaning Stainless Steel
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Heat is your friend.
A lye based oven cleaner like Easy Off for really bad, stainless exteriors. You want to be careful with lye and interiors, but use it if really necessary. Soaking in a citrus based cleaner/hot water solution for normally greasy exteriors, and interiors too. If you have one, a steamer works great -- especially when combined with some sort of degreaser.
Then there's the dreaded elbow grease; but be smart. Start with a long soak in hot water with a cleaner or soap, then use elbow grease in the sense lots of repetition, frequent rinsing, and frequent additions of a little new BKF works better than just dumping a lot of BKF into the pan and bearing down.
If you're having trouble cleaning non-stick interiors, it isn't very good non-stick is it?
Edited by boar_d_laze - 2/3/12 at 10:41am
Among the sponsors of most cooking shows will be a pot/pan manufacturer. All-Clad is a sponsor of many PBS cooking shows for example. They supply the pans used on the show. They want their stuff to look good and desirable and supply new pots as necessary to achieve their goals as a sponsor i.e. sales to the public.
If you watch shows like Bittman takes on America's Chefs you'll see that the restaurant pans are far from pristine.
And yes, scouring is the solution generally. You might be amazed at what some machine dishwasher detergent in a stained pot/pan of hot water can achieve if left overnight however....