The Do’s and Don’ts to avoid carbonization (and ensure a long lasting, healthy relationship)
Oops, you did it again: you picked up the phone and forgot all about that sunny side up egg on the stove. You can deny the smell and the smoke, but you can’t deny that awful burnt taste or the fact that your pan has turned black.
Well, we can’t stop your mother from calling you at a bad time, but we CAN give you some less delicate tips to avoid carbonization in the kitchen.
An introduction: what is carbonization?
Carbonization is the fat (oil or butter) or food that burned into the non-stick coating of your pan.
After washing the pan, you can see light colored stains, but they will turn darker after some use, building up over time and damaging the non-stick coating while doing so. The color of these stains can vary (grey, brown, …) depending on the oil you use.
As you are now frying on the carbonized residue and not on the non-stick coating, food will not release as easy as it did when your GreenPan was new.
How can you avoid carbonization?
1. Turn down the heat – remember that a ceramic non-stick coating conducts heat more efficiently than traditional non-sticks. Please take note that your frypan doesn't get too hot, otherwise it can burn your oil and start the carbonization process. You’ll know its burning if it starts to brown or smoke. Instead of continuing, it is best to just start over to avoid further carbonization.
2. Always use a little bit of oil or butter and make sure it can withstand high heat (check the packaging: it should state its smoke point or that it can be used for frying).
Avoid Spray Oils altogether as the tiny droplets will burn very fast causing hot spots and will leave a thin, carbonized layer on your non-stick.
3. While cooking, make sure the oil doesn't burn by stirring it regularly.
4. Always clean the pan thoroughly after each use, as leftover fats can carbonize fast when heating the pan for its next use.
What’s the best way to clean of carbonization?
If you see stains of carbonized fat on the non-stick coating, clean it off with a Melamine sponge and some water. Don’t use soap with the sponge, as it won’t work as effectively. Wash your pan in soapy water afterwards.
A what? A melamine sponge is a soft sponge with a white foam-like structure. The best known melamine sponges are Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. They can be used in a million different scenarios where all other cleaning solution fail or do not work a 100%. Just slightly moisten the sponge with a bit of plain water and use it like a gum. You can find it in your local hardware, grocery, big box store or online.
Remember: only use the sponge to clean the carbonized residue – no more, no less – as it is slightly abrasive and could deteriorate the non-stick coating when used too often.
Depending on the amount of carbonized build-up, you should now find your pan having increased food-release again.
Keep an eye out for first signs!
As we mentioned, it is vital to occasionally check your GreenPan very closely to spot the early traces of carbonization. If you see the smallest stains, wipe them of immediately with a melamine sponge as they build up more and more with each use. That way, you will enjoy your GreenPan for many years to come!