Stainless Steel cookware can be tricky to use if you have never cooked with it before, but I hope to help you avoid the most common mistakes people make.
"When I cook, my food keeps sticking to my stainless cookware!"
"My pan has blue and/or brown stains on the cooking surface!"
"There are small white dots all over the inside of my pot!"
"The bottom of my pan is twisted and won't sit flat!"
"My nice shiny pans have scratches and water spots on them!"
This is usually caused by cooking without fat and oils or by using a high heat setting. Cook on low to medium heat, and use a small amount of butter or oil in the pan. This will help prevent sticking and maximize browning, giving you delicious food that comes right of the pan.
Unless your pan has recently been in a fight, chances are it was overheated. You should cook on low to medium heat, good stainless cookware will distribute the heat quickly and easily without hot spots. High heat should only be used for boiling.
This is called "pitting" and occurs when you add salt too early in the cooking process. The salt reacts with the stainless steel surface and allows rust and corrosion to occur. This can be easily avoided by waiting until water is boiling or oil is hot before adding salt to your food.
Warping of cookware occurs when a hot pan is placed under cold water. Generally speaking all cookware will undergo a small degree of warping over its lifetime. You can reduce this effect by letting your pans cool down before cleaning them, unless you want a modern art piece.
Stainless Cookware should always be cleaned with non-abrasive and non-chlorine stainless steel cleaner. Do not use steel wool, steel scouring pads, oven cleaner, harsh detergents or chlorine bleach. These can ruin the look of your cookware, by causing scratches and discoloration. Soak your pans in warm water while you form a paste with the stainless cleaner. Using a soft cloth, clean in a circular motion out from the center of the piece. Always rinse and dry your cookware immediately to prevent spotting on the surface.