In this section you will find answers to frequently asked questions on:
1. CLEANING FAQs
What is the best way to clean my Stainless Steel pans?
Soak the inside with warm, soapy water for about 30 to 60 minutes if food is stuck or burnt on the inside. Then clean with warm, soapy water and rinse. For more stubborn stains try the following:
- We recommend use of the Stellar Stainless Steel Cleaner, that can be purchased here.
- If you prefer using general household products please try any of the following:
- Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda with diluted bleach and smooth this over the stained and burned area. Leave overnight and wash off.
- Pour enough Coca Cola or similar into the pan to cover the stained area. Leave for about 30 minutes and then wash the pan as normal.
- Drop a dishwasher tablet or 2 Tablespoons of washing powder into the Pan and add hot water. Leave to soak overnight.
We have also found success with the following methods:
- Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water if food remains stuck on inside bottom of the cookware. Boil for three or four minutes or until the food loosens free from the cookware. Then wash with warm, soapy water and rinse.
- Mix 1 part lemon juice or white vinegar with 1 part water and use a rag or sponge to clean any white spots or white film that may form on the inside of your stainless steel cookware. You can clean the outside in a similar manner. Rinse with warm water.
- Fill your cookware with 9 parts water, 1 part white vinegar and boil for 10 minutes if the white spots or film remains. Pour out, let the cookware cool, wipe the white spots or film away with a sponge or rag and rinse.
- If the inside of your stainless steel pots gets discoloured take crushed tomatoes, or old tomatoes that you are going to throw out and put them in the pot with some water. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes and it will clean the pan out beautifully.
- Remove mineral deposits with lemon juice and a non-abrasive scrubber or nylon brush. Mineral deposits may appear as a white film on the inside of the pot. Apply a tablespoon of lemon juice to the film and scour with a damp, non-abrasive scrubber. Rinse thoroughly.
How do I clean stained Non-Stick pans?
Overtime you can have a residual build-up of food deposits, were the pan has not been thoroughly cleaned after use. To perform a “deep clean” mix 2 tablespoons baking soda, ¾ cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of hot water in the pot or pan. Place on the stove and bring to a boil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the mixture out and wash the pot or pan with a mild detergent such as washing up liquid.
How can I clean my stainless steel coffee/teaware?
Externally we recommend use of the Stellar Stainless Steel Cleaner, that can be purchased here.
Internally, we have had success with the following:
Make up a paste of bicarbonate of soda and smooth this over the stained area, leave overnight and then wash off in the morning.
Pour enough Coke into the teapot to cover the stained area. Leave for about 30 minutes and then wash the pot as normal.
Use a Stainless Steel De-scaler. These are usually recommended for kettles but will work just as well with teapots.
2. COOKWARE FAQs
Why is stainless steel so popular?
Because it is timeless, durable but also hygienic. It has self healing properties: so if you scratch the surface a natural protective layer re-forms stopping corrosion and impurities from taking hold and giving nowhere for bacteria to hide and fester.
Are glass lids safe?
Yes and they allow you to monitor the cooking without lifting the lid. The glass is toughened, like a car windscreen, but in extreme circumstances can break. Glass lids are also suitable for use in the oven. Care should be taken with hot lids as subjecting them to sudden changes in temperature, such as placing the hot lid in cool or cold water, can make the lid shatter. Replacement lids are available to purchase, or in the rare circumstance that there has been a fault can be replaced by Customer Service.
Do stainless steel handles get hot?
Stainless steel is a relatively poor conductor of heat, yet under prolonged periods of exposure to heat they can become too hot to handle, so we always recommend the use of an oven glove or similar.
Stainless steel lid handles and knobs will get hot more quickly as they are directly above the heat source/steam, so we always recommend the use of an oven glove or similar.
Why are there spots or pitting on the inside of my stainless steel pan?
Ordinary water and food contain salts and acids which can sometimes cause minor markings on the stainless steel surface, particularly on brand new pans. This is common when cooking starchy potatoes or pasta, but the most common cause is adding salt to cold water. The salt fails to dissolve in the cold water and sinks onto the base of the pan where the sodium reacts with the nickel. Always add the salt to the water once it is boiling.
Why do I have a bluish ‘rainbow’ marking on my stainless steel?
This is a clear sign that the pan has been over heated. Stainless steel reacts to high heat, by turning a bluey-purple colour (Similar to the colours of a rainbow). It is important that you always match the size of the pan to the size of the ring you are cooking. Heat the food more gently and when possible turn the heat down. This will save energy and also retain more flavours and goodness. This is especially important where the pan has a thick base. Once the pan base has heated up it retains the heat longer compared to a thinner saucepan so food will continue cooking, even after the heat source has been switched off.
Marks like this can be removed with the Stellar Stainless Steel Cleaner, that can be purchased here.
Why is food sticking in my stainless steel frypan?
The heat is turned up too high. Although certain foods benefit from ‘flash’ cooking the trick is not to move the food for the first few moments. This gives the fibres in the food time to relax and for the temperature of the food to equalize with that of the surface. If you move it too soon it can stick, even in a well seasoned pan.
I have a ‘blister’ on the base of my pan – what should I do?
The most likely cause of the fault is a “hot spot” in the base which has, over time, made the base separate from the pan. A hot spot is where an air bubble has been trapped within the sandwich base when the pan was made. If the bubble is pushing upwards inside the pan it creates an area where the pan will not heat up. If the bubble is pushing down towards the base it creates an area in the pan that becomes hot while the remaining area stays cool. Eventually, after heating and cooling during cooking, the base will become detached and may even be pushed off completely. The other major cause of these blisters is human error where the pan has boiled dry. This can damage the seal between the pan body and the base which may also cause warping in the base. Please contact Customer Services who will evaluate whether the problem is covered by the guarantee.
Why have my phenolic/plastic handles discoloured or cracked?
These handles typically withstand temperatures up to 180°C and should never be allowed to come into contact with direct heat. For temperatures higher than this the material will start to dry out, crack and even bubble on the surface. If washed for many years in the dishwasher they can subtly fade.
The handle on my pan has broken – what should I do?
Please contact Customer Services who will evaluate whether the problem is covered by the guarantee. We will need to know the brand, range (normally indicated on the base of the pan) and diameter of the pan across the top for replacement handles and whether it is a long or a side handle..
How do I season my frying pan?
Non-Stick frypans although needing a little oil do not need seasoning. If you have an uncoated frypan then the following will help prevent food sticking. Cover the bottom of the pan with cooking oil and heat until the oil begins to smoke. Remove the surplus oil with kitchen towel which should leave a light brown coating/patina behind. The pan now has properties similar to a Non-Stick pan and provided it is only rinsed in water and wiped out after use these will remain. We recommend seasoning after every dozen uses. If the pan is washed with detergent then it will need to be seasoned again.
Can I use my Casserole both on the Hob and in the Oven?
Casseroles are designed for use in both the oven and on the Hob. You can start your Casserole on the hob and then transfer it into the Oven to finish cooking, or Vice Versa. Refer to the specific products specification or care & use for temperature/hob suitability
Will my old pans work on my new Induction Hob?
We have been manufacturing Induction ready pans since 2002. Any Stainless Steel pan bought prior to this date is unlikely to work on an Induction hob as the pan base would have been made from a non-magnetic steel. A guide is to check the batch number printed on the base of your stainless steel pan. If the number is 85 or below the pan predates 2002 so is unlikely to work. Alternatively see if a magnet sticks to the base of the pan, if it does it is likely to work on an induction hob
3. NON-STICK FAQs
Are non-stick coatings safe?
Absolutely, they pose no hazard to human health. The coating is a completely inert substance. In the event of some of the coating coming off during cooking and being mixed in with the food and eaten, if would simply pass through the body.
What is the maximum temperature for Non-Stick pans if used under a grill or in the oven?
We would advise to not exceed oven temperatures of 180 degrees. Excessive heat can damage and burn Non-Stick. Overheating is not covered by the guarantee.
What sort of utensils are best?
We recommend nylon, wooden or silicon utensils for all our pans as this will prevent degradation of the coated surface
How do I clean stained Non-Stick pans?
See the cleaning section above.
Once worn out, can the non-stick surface be replaced?
Sadly no, you can extend the life of the pan, by manually seasoning.
What exactly is a non-stick coating?
Just what it says: a coating on the metal pan which is designed to prevent contents from sticking to it. This makes cooking cleaner and easier and makes the washing-up cleaner and easier as well!
This encourages less need for cooking oils/lubricants, and makes for a much easier/quicker clean up.
Are all non-stick coatings the same?
In short no, there are many levels of quality, some have greater durability and some have greater “slipperyness”. The premium coatings, excel in both and have quality standards applied to the application process. They are all based on the same slippery substance Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. It was discovered by accident back in the 1930s, and since then has been used for all sorts of low-friction needs.
If PTFE Is non-stick, how does it stick to the pan?
Well, PTFE is a non-stick substance, so in its natural state it won't stick to the pan. That means it has to be mixed with chemicals called 'binders' - literally to bind it to the metal. And it’s also very soft, so in its pure form it wears very quickly. To overcome this, it’s mixed with hardeners. Most coatings are applied in two layers: the first layer has more binder, to improve adhesion to the pan, and the second layer has more hardener, to improve resistance to wear. And nowadays there are even more sophisticated formulations, using extra elements like ceramic or stainless steel particles. They are all ways of increasing the strength of the bond, and the coating’s resistance to wear.
How is the coating applied to the pan?
It depends what the pan is made of, with a comparatively soft metal like aluminium, the bond between the coating and the metal is so strong that it will stand up to considerable stress - so aluminium pans are usually made by pressing the pan shape from an aluminium disc already coated with the PTFE. With harder metals, like steel or cast iron, the bond between the coating and the metal isn't as strong, so the coating is sprayed on after the pan has been pressed.
Then the coating is cured at very high temperature - more than 350ˆC this makes the coating stratify into layers: the binding agents sink, and adhere to the metal body of the pan, while the PTFE and the hardening agents rise to the surface to create the non-stick layer.
Why do some non-stick pans costs so much more than others?
There are all sorts of reasons, some of them obvious: a lightweight pan made of thin pressed aluminum costs much less to make than a heavy cast one. But there are important differences in the quality of the non-stick coating as well. A cheap pan will probably have a single-layer coating only 7- 8 microns thick, which will wear away quickly. At the upper price bracket, however; you can expect sophisticated three layer coatings with a total thickness of 40 microns or more.
Is it all right to use a new non-stick pan straight away, or does it need to be seasoned?
Wash and dry it thoroughly first (remember not to use an abrasive scourer or cleaner), and make sure that the surface is well coated with fat or oil when you cook in it the first time. Never use a non-stick pan on full heat - overheating it will almost certainly damage the coating. ln fact, many more non-stick pans are damaged by being overheated than by being scratched.
Can I put a non-stick pan in the dishwasher?
Yes you can - but over time this will degrade the coatings performance, so would advise to wash by hand
Is it okay to use metal utensils with a non-stick coating?
As a general rule we would advise not to as it will scratch and eventually degrade the coating. To ensure the greatest longevity of your coating use plastic or wooden utensils. And never use a sharp knife to cut food in a non-stick pan.
How should I look after my Non-stick pans?
Our research shows that most wear of a non-stick coating occurs when the pans are stacked/stored, if you are stacking the pans on top of each other please use a cloth to protect the coating, or alternatively use the Stellar Non-stick pan protector.
Are there any health risks involved in using non-stick pans?
None that have ever been proven. PTFE is a completely inert substance. In the event of some of the coating coming off during cooking and being mixed in with the food and eaten, if would simply pass through the body in the normal way.
4. INDUCTION FAQs
Are my pans suitable for induction use?
The basic rule of thumb, is to test whether the base of your pan is magnetic, (Simply apply your fridge magnet to the external base of the pan) if it stays it should work on your induction hob.
Why do my “induction ready” pans not work on my induction hob?
There is a slim possibility that your smaller pans/coffee pots (pans with a base diameter of less than 130mm) may not work on your induction hob. This is due to the variation of certain safety circuits within each manufactures hob. Most hob manufactures have indentified this as an issue and have amended their settings to allow a 130mm induction based saucepan to work.
How do I pick cookware with the right dimensions to ensure they work on my induction hob?
The size quoted on the product pages (e.g. “16cm Saucepan”) is an approximate dimension measured from rim to rim of the top of the saucepan. If you need to know the diameter of the base of the pan for induction suitability please contact our Customer Service.
How does an induction hob work?
Under the cooking surface there is an electrical coil that creates a magnetic field and the induction current generated excites the molecules in the vessel ( so long as the vessel is made from a ferrous/magnetic material), which in turn directly heats the cookware.
Unlike other forms of cooking, heat is generated directly in the cooking vessel, as opposed to being generated in the stovetop by electrical coils or burning gas.
Induction cookers are faster and more energy-efficient than traditional electric hobs. They allow instant control of cooking energy similar to gas burners. Because induction heats the cooking vessel itself, the possibility of burn injury is significantly less. You will never have to scrape off any burnt on stains. There are no flames or red-hot electric heating elements as found in traditional cooking equipment.
5. BAKEWARE FAQs
What is the best way to keep my Bakeware clean?
Wash in hot soapy water – more stubborn stains should be left to soak.
All our Bakeware is dishwasher safe, with the exception of the spring form cake tins. Please note we strongly advise for the bakeware to be removed directly after the cycle is complete, and wiped fully dry.
Can Bakeware be used in a Microwaves?
As they are made from metal they should not be used with a microwave function
Which utensils are best when baking?
As with the cookware we recommend nylon, silicon or wooden utensils as these won’t damage the non-stick. Never use a sharp knife, as this will damage the Non Stick coating
6. CUTLERY FAQs
Is it dishwasher safe?
For best cleaning results and longevity we recommend hand washing and drying, but we live in “the real world” and understand that time is precious. Due to the high humidity and dampness levels of a dishwasher, discolouration can appear on the surface of your cutlery. This can be reduced by:
- Removing the cutlery from the dishwasher as soon as the drying cycle has finished
- Separating the knives from the other cutlery
- Avoiding using the rinse and hold function
- Washing with any silver plated materials
7. KNIVES FAQs
What are Sabatier Knives?
“Sabatier” is the mark used by several kitchen knife manufacturers. The name Sabatier has its origins in the Thiers region of France and is reserved for knives of the highest quality. Stellar & Judge Sabatier knives are made under strict tolerances and quality inspection, under license from Rousselon Frères (Owners of the Mexeur Lion Sabatier, first registered in 1812)
What is the best material for Knife blades?
Every material offers up varying advantages and disadvantages:
Ceramics’ advantages: Stays sharp for longer, less need to sharpen, very good at slicing, and they stay taint free. Ceramic’s disadvantages: They are brittle – so you can not chop
Steel is durable, easily maintained and adaptable: it can be mixed with other metals to improve the blades properties; such as carbon steel, vanadium, molybdenum, chromium.
There are cooks who remain adamant that only “carbon steel” will sharpen to a critically sharp edge, but it will also stain and rust easily, so definitely not dishwasher safe!
Surgical grade stainless steel, as used by many Stellar knife ranges, presents low maintenance, a very sharp edge and will serve well in all aspects of kitchen use, this is why it is the most commonly used material in kitchen knives.
Can Stainless Steel knives rust?
It is possible for stainless steel knives to rust if they are left in a warm, damp atmosphere such as a dishwasher. We, therefore, recommend that you hand wash the knives even though they are dishwasher safe. The best way to wash them is to wipe them over before they are washed in soapy water. They should then be dried immediately. If the knives are washed in the dishwasher they should be removed and dried as soon as the cycle finishes as knives must never be left for prolonged periods in a hot damp atmosphere as rust spots can develop.
Are all knives suitable for both left and right handed use?
All our ranges are ambidextrous (suitable for left and right handed use, with the exception of the Stellar Samurai range as this is a traditional Japanese knife, with a single sided blade that is only suitable for right handed use
Can any knife be sharpened?
Yes, so long as it is made from steel and not serrated. Ceramic knives cannot be sharpened at home, (they would need to be taken to a specialist). There are several methods of sharpening steel knives:
Using a Whetstone
Place the whetstone on a cutting board or countertop, with the coarse grit face up. A wet paper towel underneath the stone can help keep it from sliding. With one hand, grasp the knife by the handle and hold the edge against the stone, point-first, with the cutting edge meeting the stone. You can stabilize the blade with your other hand. With moderate pressure, slide the blade forward and across the stone, covering the entire length of the blade and keeping the blade flush against the stone at a constant angle.
Do this 10 times, then flip the knife over and give the other side of the blade 10 strokes. Now flip the stone over to the fine grit side and give each side of the blade 10 strokes. Finish by using a sharpening steel or ceramic honer to hone the blade, then rinse and wipe the blade dry to remove any metal particles.
Using a Sharpening Steel
Hold the Sharpening Steel firmly in one hand with the guard positioned for protection. Place the cutting edge nearest the knife handle on the front base of the Steel. Maintaining a sharpening angle of between 15º and 20º, lightly draw the knife upwards along the steel, ending the stroke so that the tip of the knife is at the top of the steel. Then repeat this motion on the back of the steel. Sharpen the sides alternately five to ten times. Carefully wipe the filings from the blade and the Steel with a cloth.
Using a Purpose Built Sharpener
For some people, learning the skill of sharpening with a steel or a wet stone is daunting task. Click here to see our hand held sharpeners, no experience or skill is required to use this. The diamond crusted steel and or ceramic wheels/nodules ensure the blade is sharpened/honed at the correct angle.