How to Use Bar Keeper's Friend Question
So I just purchased some cook's standard triply pans. This is my first foray into the world of Stainless Steel cookware. I've read a lot on CH about the miracles of BKF. However, based on reading through threads, I'm still a little unclear about how people use this product. How frequently do you use BKF on your SS? Every time you cook or just occasionally when you feel the pots are looking dingy? Also, do you use it mainly on the exterior of the pan or both the interior and exterior? Thanks for any help the CH community can provide.
I am an as needed user of BKF. But then again, I don't really care what the outside of my pots look like.
Last night, I had to break out the BKF for the first time in months. Two nights ago, I burnt some milk in an All Clad sauce pan and after an overnight soak, I still couldn't get the residual off the bottom. A couple of swipes with a bit of BKF on the dish rag took it right off.
Bar Keepers Friend is as described an effective but mild mix of Oxalic Acid ( H2C2O4 )
It is most effective if the metal surface is wet first, before rubbing it in to clean. After rubbing, or scrubbing the surface, it then needs to be throughly washed and rinsed off, as there can be residual amounts left on metal such as stainless steel, which is a very porous.
It will clean your pots and pan, and is also effective to clean wood products such as a cutting board. I even found it useful a few years ago to clean and bleach wood brightwork on our sailboat, before revarnishing, rather than pure Oxalic Acid as recommended. Again rinse it off well and let it dry, or it will still continue to do it''s job and eat further into the wood.
Rather than use it repeatedly on interior surfaces, it might be a good idea to rub a few drops of olive or grapeseed oil into the interior to keep a pan or pot clean and like new.
I use BKF almost every time I clean my good pans, which I hand wash. I use it only on the inside. I use Bon Ami, if necessary, on the outside, which is aluminum, not SS. The two cleaning products are not the same. BKF is oxalic acid, and cleans chemically with no abrasives. BA is an extremely fine abrasive, so won't scratch. BKF is probably harder on the hands. I wear a glove when I use it.
"How frequently do you use BKF on your SS? Every time you cook or just occasionally when you feel the pots are looking dingy?"
I usually deglaze the pan whether I'm making a sauce or not. Which cleans the pan enough so I can just wash it with a sponge. The pan will usually have some white spots or rainbow colors which is nothing to worry about. It's perfectly fine to continue cooking with it.
When I want a very clean surface for searing meats I use "bon ami". Bon ami is milder compared to BKF. BTW is not the same product and one is not superior to the other. They both serve different purposes. For stuff that won't come off from simmering vinegar I'll use bon ami because I can get way without using gloves. For tougher interior cleaning, I resort to BKF.
"Also, do you use it mainly on the exterior of the pan or both the interior and exterior?"
BKF has an acid (Oxalic acid) which can be very tough on your hands if you don't wear gloves. So I mainly use BKF on the exterior of my pans where you need more cleaning power. The exterior should remain clean unless you cook on gas. From my experience, by far it's the flames that really tarnish the exterior. I usually give the exteriors a thorough cleaning once there is enough build up. But that isn't even an issue anymore since I've started using a portable induction burner.
BKF is much better than bon ami for cleaning copper exteriors. It'll strip away the patina if you want shiny copper. However, the patina is what protects the copper from corrosion.
<How frequently do you use BKF on your SS?>
Whenever you like. I use it whenever I want to remove certain stains from cookware. No stain. No need to use.
<Every time you cook or just occasionally when you feel the pots are looking dingy?>
Definitely not every time.
<Also, do you use it mainly on the exterior of the pan or both the interior and exterior?>
Both, but I focus more on interior.