You have been cleaning the wrong baking tray! Chef reveals top tips to keep them healthy and rust free
When it comes to baking or cooking that delicious new recipe, it’s usually not the baking tray that causes concern.
But as well as making sure the oven is at the right temperature, the food is finished or not reduced, or the panic when the timer doesn’t actually start, it appears we should all be paying more attention to the humble metal trays we use so often.
The way baking trays are cleaned and even stored is the secret to their longevity and getting better value for money from shopping.
Instead of getting out the big guns and using heavy chemicals to lift those stubborn food scraps, chefs are now suggesting a gentler approach for better results.
Here are the golden rules for how to treat baking trays with the respect they deserve.
The way baking trays are cleaned and even stored is the secret to their longevity and getting better value for money from purchases.
Store the baking tray vertically
Once used, baking trays should be cleaned, dried and then stored vertically with plenty of room
Chef Alice Smith told TODAY that baking trays should be stored vertically, not horizontally.
He recommends leaving plenty of room in the trays to avoid contamination by rust or mold.
Ms Smith says stacking trays on top of one another can distort them and make them less balanced, meaning they need to be replaced more quickly and are less stable to handle.
Do not put them in the dishwasher
Chef Alice Smith advises against cleaning baking trays in the dishwasher as this can disfigure them.
This may come as a surprise to many UK households, but Miss Smith advises against cleaning baking trays in the dishwasher.
‘It becomes such a dense, hot pocket because it’s in the dishwasher,’ he explained.
‘This can reduce the integrity of the pan over time. Also, you probably won’t be able to wash the rest of your things effectively, because they have jets and those pans block the jets.’
Use natural cleaning ingredients
While it may be tempting to opt for the bottle that promises to blitz tray cleaning, resist and use natural cleaning products instead.
The number one rule for chefs is to avoid any harsh chemicals when cleaning baking trays.
While it can be tempting to opt for a product that promises to blitz the tray clean, she believes in ‘good ol’ soap and water.
He said: ‘I would never use any harsh chemicals. It’s something you cook with, [so] You want to keep things very normal.’
Baking trays should be cleaned with a natural combination such as baking soda and vinegar or a mild soap bar.
They should be allowed to rest for a while to avoid harsh scrubbing.
Wash and dry well
After the trays have rested, Ms Smith says to use warm water to clean them, as cold can ‘shock’ the metal.
Messes will come off more easily in hot water than cold.
They should then either be dried with a soft cloth or left to air dry before putting away.