Simple Tips for Maintaining Your Kitchen

People are spending a lot more time at home these days and cooking at home more than ever. Your kitchen is an area of your home that could benefit from special attention. Here are a few simple things you can take care of in the kitchen that will help it look and function better.

How to Clean Your Wine Glasses

Virtual cocktail hour could mean one or two used wine glasses at the end of the evening. You might think that hand washing is the right way to clean them, but it really is okay to put your wine glasses in the dishwasher. The myth that you must hand wash wine glasses is still out there, but unless your glassware has gold detail or other decorative embellishments, it’s fine to put it in the dishwasher. Café dishwashers have clips to hold the stem of your wine glass which keep it secure during the wash cycle. 

How to Maintain Your Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron pans are a workhorse in the kitchen. They can go from stovetop to oven and last for years if treated right. Here are our tips for maintaining your cast iron cookware. 

  1. Clean your cast iron pan immediately after use, while it’s still warm. Never soak your cast iron pans, this could lead to rust.

  2. Wash the pan by hand using hot soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. If your pan has stuck-on food, scrub it with a paste of coarse salt and water. 

  3. Dry the pan thoroughly with a dish towel. 

  4. Set your pan over low heat on your stovetop. Then, using a paper towel, apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the inside of the pan. Heat for 3-5 minutes then buff with a clean towel to remove any excess oil.

Woman's hands cutting berries on wood cutting board

How to Keep Your Kitchen Knives Sharp

It is important to keep knives sharp so that they cut through food easily and there’s less risk of the knife slipping. Knives need to be sharpened regularly; even the best knives will dull over time with use. Manual knife sharpeners are a great home solution for sharpening your own knives. They’re relatively inexpensive and don’t require a lot of expert knowledge to use. Small models can be kept in the back of your utensil drawer for whenever you need to freshen up the edge on your blade.

Once your knives are sharp, keep them that way by storing them correctly. A knife block, magnetic knife strip or blade covers will all protect the edge of your blades and keep your knives sharper longer.

How to Keep Your Cutting Boards Fresh

Keeping your cutting boards fresh and bacteria-free is more important now than ever. Whether plastic or wood, germs and bacteria grow on cutting boards. Cleaning them will keep food and produce out of harm’s way. Plastic cutting boards can go in the dishwasher or be scrubbed by hand with soap and hot water. 

Wood cutting boards can’t go in the dishwasher – instead, wash in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly with a dish towel. Every month or so you can deep clean with lemon and salt. Sprinkle the board with coarse salt, then scrub the salt into the board with the cut side of a lemon. Rinse, and dry.

To avoid cracking and warping, you should oil wooden cutting boards once a month. Always use cutting board oil or food-grade mineral oil to condition the wood. Starting with a clean board, use soft cloth or paper towel to apply the oil in circular motion. Apply a thin coat to the entire surface: front, back and sides. Let the oil soak for a few hours then buff off any residual oil with a clean towel. 

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