"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-02-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Town or City
Posts: 5
Stains on stainless steel frying pan

I recently bought a new frying pan with a stainless steel cooking surface. It's not high-end but certainly not the cheapest available: the "Domestic Professional" series by Mäser (Austria). I noticed some peculiar stains when I started using it. I have no prior experience with stainless steel frying pans, and I'm wondering whether stainless doesn't mean what I think it does or if there's something wrong with my pan. Can you advise?

The care instructions for the pan instructed me to prepare the pan for usage by the following process. I washed the pan with gentle hand-dishwashing detergent and sponge and dried it immediately. I then put the pan on a burner and turned the burner to high, and then to medium heat, each for a few minutes. I washed and dried the pan again after that. This process left a curious light-brown tint on the cooking surface, and some white-ish stains that reminded me of calcification, although that seems implausible given the little time the pan was exposed to water. See:



Oh well, I thought, perhaps that staining will go away with usage. So I cooked a few buttermilk pancakes in butter and some peanut oil in the batter. Afterwards I cleaned and dried the pan and now it looks like this:



The brownness is a bit exaggerated because of the lighting at the time of the picture. But you can clearly see a large brown stain near the top and a bunch of white ones in the middle. The surface feels completely smooth.

The care guidelines suggested cleaning the pan with vinegar and a cloth to get rid of certain stains, but this had no effect on the stains in the picture.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0047.jpg
Views:	641
Size:	32.3 KB
ID:	21583   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0048.jpg
Views:	618
Size:	32.0 KB
ID:	21584  

bastiaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,667
You may be using too high heat on the pan. It looks like the brown residue is burned on fat residue.

Buy some Barkeepers Friend (BKF) and scour the pan with that. Then try cooking at a lower heat setting.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 06:37 PM   #3
Master Chef
 
Mad Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North West England
Posts: 5,134
Dry, cold pan + bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) + damp cloth + elbow grease might work.
__________________
Don’t look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Stomp along and switch the bl**dy thing on yourself.
Mad Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 08:03 PM   #4
Master Chef
 
Kaneohegirlinaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 5,222
I use the same cream cleanser I use on my glass electric cooktop with a Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch pad, the blue one, not the green one, on all of my cookware now. Works like a charm.
Kaneohegirlinaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
Cupcake
 
Kathleen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 2,360
Barkeepers Friend and ammonia mixed into a paste with LOTS of elbow grease works pretty good for me.

I have a very old gas stove, which is likely not so energy efficient, and my stainless pans are a pain to keep sparkly. Uneven heat is likely the issue, but wow...I never knew how much work stainless steel pans can be. Mine are not extremely high end pans, but they are either upper middle lines or lower higher line quality. Lovely stainless clad copper core bottoms.
__________________


~Kathleen

A little bit Ginger. A little bit Mary Ann.
Kathleen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 04:37 AM   #6
Head Chef
 
Zagut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Friendship,MD.
Posts: 1,298
I also add Barkeepers Friend. It's a good product for many surfaces.

If it's really tough use it with a fine gauge steel wool.

Are you looking to keep it shiny? If so you're in for a lot of work.

I don't want crud in my pans but slight discoloration is to be expected in a working tool.
Zagut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:12 AM   #7
Sous Chef
 
menumaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: South West France
Posts: 595
I can understand your disappointment with discolouration appearing so soon after purchasing. Lemon juice mixed with salt might help or Bicarb as Mad cook suggests. BBQ grill cleaner is what I have used in the past to good effect as well. The secret after that, I think is to use at a lower heat. Eventually, you won't mind it looking a bit 'used' as a stack of shiny pans always looks as if the cook needs to get a life ........that's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it.
__________________
Celtic cook

Life is like good wine.......best taken with friends x
menumaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:20 AM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Town or City
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You may be using too high heat on the pan. It looks like the brown residue is burned on fat residue.

Buy some Barkeepers Friend (BKF) and scour the pan with that. Then try cooking at a lower heat setting.
Barkeeper's Friend isn't sold where I live, I think because its main ingredient is not approved in high concentrations in consumer products. But I can see if I can find something similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Dry, cold pan + bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) + damp cloth + elbow grease might work.
This got rid of the dark brown stains, thanks for the tip! The light brown covering the whole bottom is still there, but it doesn't seem to hinder operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagut View Post
Are you looking to keep it shiny? If so you're in for a lot of work.
Not really. I want to keep it in good working order.
Quote:
Originally Posted by menumaker View Post
I can understand your disappointment with discolouration appearing so soon after purchasing.
It wasn't disappointment as much as worry, because I thought there might have been something wrong with the pan.
bastiaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,016
I've gotten some really stained old pans clean by boiling a mix of vinegar and baking soda in them. I don't think your pan is defective or unsafe to use.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:29 AM   #10
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,667
Since you cannot find BKF, consider another brand of lightly abrasive scouring powder. BKF contains oxalic acid to help with stain removal. Others may not.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2014, 09:55 AM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Town or City
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I've gotten some really stained old pans clean by boiling a mix of vinegar and baking soda in them.
I tried as you suggested, and this made the pan a bit less brown. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I I don't think your pan is defective or unsafe to use.
That's good to know.

Thanks everyone for your input!
bastiaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:18 AM   #12
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 3,134
I searched for this thread because my stainless steel pans have baked on grease on the outside and I've tried many things to no avail. The insides clean up nicely. I have tried the baking soda and vinegar. I've seen BKF but never tried it. Might look for that. Recently I've heard that ketchup is supposed to work. I like it on my fries, but never tried it on my pots and pans. I even tried those disks they sell that you dissolve in boiling water and soak the pans in it overnight, as seen on TV. We put it in the laundry tubs. It did nothing. The pans are old but I like them. Most are pretty good, a couple are cheapies.

The only thing that worked is DH used his polisher/grinder on one and the burned grease came off but it left swirl marks that I didn't like.
CarolPa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 09:33 AM   #13
Executive Chef
 
RPCookin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Logan County, Colorado
Posts: 2,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
I searched for this thread because my stainless steel pans have baked on grease on the outside and I've tried many things to no avail. The insides clean up nicely. I have tried the baking soda and vinegar. I've seen BKF but never tried it. Might look for that. Recently I've heard that ketchup is supposed to work. I like it on my fries, but never tried it on my pots and pans. I even tried those disks they sell that you dissolve in boiling water and soak the pans in it overnight, as seen on TV. We put it in the laundry tubs. It did nothing. The pans are old but I like them. Most are pretty good, a couple are cheapies.

The only thing that worked is DH used his polisher/grinder on one and the burned grease came off but it left swirl marks that I didn't like.
I guess I'm not neat enough, but those stains on the outside don't bother me that much. I've even seen TV cooks with pans and sheet pans like that, so I figured that if it's good enough for them then I'm not going too far out of my way to keep them spotless. I do wash them inside and out, but the stains on the outside just seem to get burned on and become an integral part of the cookware.
__________________
Rick
RPCookin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 10:05 AM   #14
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,667
Buy som Dawn Power Dissolver Dawn Power Dissolver ? Foam Spray For Cleaning Tough Greasy Foods
and follow the directions.

For any remaining residue, BKF, a scrubbie sponge and elbow grease.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 12:00 PM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kayelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 14,570
Since the "ammonia/plastic bag" method works so well for so many really tough jobs, I would think it would also work for the outside of your SS pans.

Just put all your pans in a big plastic lawn bag, pour in the ammonia and seal the bag. Leave it outside overnight. That should work.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2015, 11:54 PM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
Love BKF.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 12:25 AM   #17
Executive Chef
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ring of fire. So. Calif.
Posts: 3,287
CLR will break down built up calcium deposits on a stainless steel pan if you live in an area with hard water. My hard water puts a white haze on my stainless steel cookware. CLR takes it off nicely. Calcium buildup plus cooking residue could be causing those stains. I noticed a white-ish area on your pan in the picture. That's what hardwater buildup looks like on my stainless steel cookware.
Caslon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 09:27 AM   #18
Senior Cook
 
puffin3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Duncan
Posts: 481
What's done is done. Too high a heat when you first used the pan.
The stain/s will never come off. Ever. A metallurgic reaction to heat has taken place causing the SS to discolor.
Ignore the stains and concentrate on what's cooking rather than what the pan looks like.
puffin3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 10:40 AM   #19
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 23,516
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
What's done is done. Too high a heat when you first used the pan.
The stain/s will never come off. Ever. A metallurgic reaction to heat has taken place causing the SS to discolor.
Ignore the stains and concentrate on what's cooking rather than what the pan looks like.
To me it doesn't look like all of that is the kind of stain that will never come off, though some of it might be that kind of discolouration. That's usually black or blue or sort of iridescent. The brown stuff should come off with BKF or something similar. The black might too.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2015, 05:05 PM   #20
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
To me it doesn't look like all of that is the kind of stain that will never come off, though some of it might be that kind of discolouration. That's usually black or blue or sort of iridescent. The brown stuff should come off with BKF or something similar. The black might too.

I agree. Do the work and you'll have a pan that's as clean as new.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.