The use of honey or sugar syrup can lend an indescribable sweetness to the food you prepare.
They are most commonly used for glazes and baked goods, but they also give desserts and curries a silky texture. Cooking with honey or syrup, on the other hand, results in a great deal of sticking.
Honey and sugar syrup can easily catch fire in a pan if the cook is not paying close enough attention to the process. Additionally, the danger is amplified if the cookware in question is made of copper. What is the result? pans that have been burned and blackened and are extremely difficult to clean.
When you are cooking with honey or syrup, maintaining a consistent low simmer is essential to preventing the destruction of your pots and pans. The following are some ways to keep your cookware from catching fire.
- How to Prevent Your Cookware from Ruining When Cooking with Honey or Syrup
- How to Clean Burnt Honey or Syrup from a Pan
How to Prevent Your Cookware from Ruining When Cooking with Honey or Syrup
It is not recommended to cook honey over 40 degrees Celsius. When anything is heated to a very high temperature, it might trigger chemical changes, which can lead to a taste that is very bitter.
On the other hand, when sugar is heated, it begins to melt and eventually transforms into a liquid that is referred to as “caramel.”
At a temperature of 320 degrees Fahrenheit, the process of caramelization may begin. At this point, the crystalline sugar will begin to gently dissolve into a liquid that is melting. When heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the hue transforms from a brilliant white to a light caramel brown.
In the event that it is not consumed soon enough, the caramel has the potential to recrystallize and get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Burning, crystallization, and sticking to the pan may occur if any of the two is subjected to temperatures that are too high. Here is a guide on using honey and syrup in your cooking in a wise way.
Using the Right Cookware
It is essential to choose cookware that is not going to shake while cooking caramel, sweets, or anything else that calls for honey or sugar. Copper cookware is not a good option, unfortunately.
The majority of copper pans are extremely reactive, which is why tin or steel is typically used to line them. Tin, on the other hand, deteriorates rapidly and must be replaced somewhat often.
They also have a propensity to corrode quickly and need to be well cleaned. Copper might not be the best material to use for cooking since honey or syrup tend to leave a sticky residue at the bottom of the pan after being cooked with them. So, which option should you go with?
Maintaining an even temperature in your pans is essential if you want to avoid burning honey or syrup in them. You will need a pot or pan that has good heat conduction and that evenly distributes the heat over the surface of the vessel.
Stainless steel is the material of choice for the most durable cookware. Additionally, the color of the steel makes it easier for you to monitor the sugar syrup or honey to ensure that it has not yet started to burn.
A multi-ply construction of stainless steel is not only long-lasting but also very good at absorbing heat. When you are cooking with honey or syrup, it heats the surface quickly and evenly, preventing any hot spots from occurring.
In addition to being able to withstand high temperatures, the cleanup for this cookware is quite simple. You have the option of going with stainless steel that is non-stick if you want to completely sidestep any sticky residue.
Aluminum is yet another fantastic option, thanks to its superior thermal conduction properties. It heats up more quickly, which is beneficial when it comes to cooking syrup, as it means that the caramel only takes a few minutes to make. Be sure that whatever type of cookware you select, it has a sufficient amount of depth.
When using sugars in the kitchen, frying pans run the risk of catching fire at an alarming rate. Because of the significant temperature difference between the bottom and the sides of a deep saucepan, the sugars in the honey or syrup can be heated to a pleasant level.
Oiling the Sides of a Pan
It is possible to prevent the sugar from adhering to the pan by brushing some oil on the bottom and edges of the pan. When you heat up sugar or honey in a skillet that is lacking in moisture, the contents have a greater risk of catching fire.
The use of a glaze made with a little amount of oil, on the other hand, may provide a protective layer that will prevent sticking as well as burning.
Covering the saucepan with a lid while the sugar is simmering is another useful piece of advice. Because of this, extra steam will be produced, which will dissolve any sugar crystals that have formed on the edges of the pot.
You may also use a pastry brush dipped in water to clean the sides of the pot while the caramelization process is in progress. This will also assist in the dissolving of any sugar crystals that may have crystallized or burned on the edges of the pan.
Being Careful About the Temperature
As was noted before, when honey is cooked to high temperatures, the flavor of the honey rapidly changes. Use a cooking thermometer at all times to maintain a temperature that is lower than 40 degrees Celsius (or 104 degrees Fahrenheit). On the other hand, the temperature at which sugar begins to caramelize is around 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the liquid is heated to a temperature higher than this value, the caramel will start to burn. As a result, maintaining a vigilant eye on the temperature is of the utmost significance.
As soon as the sugar begins to dissolve, there will be a significant amount of froth and bubbles produced. When it begins to take on a white appearance, reduce the temperature. This will prevent any extra heat from allowing the sugar to cling to the bottom of the pan or burn, which will help you manage the heat.
When using honey in a recipe, it is essential to do things at a more leisurely pace. Honey always has the effect of making baked items brown more quickly. Because of this, you will need to bake them at a lower temperature for a much longer amount of time.
When it comes to cooking, the same rule applies. When using honey in cooking, the temperature should be lowered by 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit relative to whatever was specified in the original recipe. You won’t run the risk of being burned or scorched if you do this.
In general, maintain a low temperature so that you have a greater degree of control and a sufficient amount of time to mix the sugars in the pan. This will also protect your pan from any sweet or sticky residue, which is much more difficult to remove once it has cooled.
Not Stirring Too Much
Continuous stirring has the potential to change the temperature of the sugar or honey that is contained in the pan. This is due to the fact that it messes up the distribution of heat, which is essential for the dissolving of the sugars. If the temperature drops, the cooking time for the caramel will increase, which increases the risk of the caramel burning in the pan.
In point of fact, stirring the sugar mixture too vigorously can cause it to splash onto the sides of the pan. Because of this, the water will quickly evaporate, and the sugar will crystallize and become adhered to the surface.
As a result, when you are cooking honey or syrup, you should only stir it on an occasional basis. You could try to mix the liquid by giving the pan a light shake while holding the handles.
The use of wooden or metal spoons can be harmful because they cause crystallization, which is followed by burning of the substance. If you absolutely have to, use one of the other spoons in the cupboard instead of these.
Adding Baking Soda to Honey
This guideline is only relevant to the preparation of dishes that call for honey. Because honey has a slight acidic flavor, cooking it for an excessive amount of time can cause the food to become burnt.
This can significantly increase the likelihood of your food burning and creating a sticky mess at the bottom of your pan.
Honey can be made less acidic by adding a pinch or two of baking soda while it is being heated in a saucepan. This is a handy trick. This will help you make a dish that is consistently mouthwateringly sweet and will prevent it from browning too quickly.
Use a Bowl of Cold Water
When the sugar syrup gets dark, around eighty percent of the water in the liquid evaporates. If you continue to hold it over the flame for any longer, the sugar will get charred.
Put some ice and cold water in the bowl you have set aside for yourself. As soon as the syrup has attained the color that you want, rapidly immerse the bottom of the pan in the cold water. This will have an immediate effect of cooling down the liquid and preventing it from sticking to the pan or burning.
If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to master almost any meal that contains honey or syrup. First and foremost, it will prevent the sugar from burning and will save your pan from being ruined.
On the other hand, in the event that you did, for whatever reason, wind up scorching your pan, the following paragraphs will provide you with some simple solutions.
How to Clean Burnt Honey or Syrup from a Pan
Here are some simple tips to clean burnt pans because of honey or syrup:
The Soaking Method
Your first order of business should be to let the pan soak in water before doing anything else. If the layer of charred sugar isn’t too thick, the use of water will help to loosen it so that it may be scrubbed away more easily. You might try letting the pan soak in soapy water for the whole night.
It may seem counterintuitive, but you might try spreading some ketchup over the charred covering. The sugar that has been burned will be eaten away by the acid in the kitchen, which will make cleaning up the mess easier the following day.
Use Baking Soda
If the pan appears to have been burned beyond the point of repair, you should absolutely try using baking soda. When you’ve already ruined honey or syrup by burning it on the pan, reheating it might not seem like a good idea. On the other hand, it might be exactly what the skillet requires.
On top of the burned layer, sprinkling some baking soda is a good idea. After that, pour in enough water to completely submerge the charred base. Bring it up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20–30 minutes.
This will enable the sugar crystals that have formed on the surface of the pan to loosen and become more pliable. You can get the same results with white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide if you don’t have any baking soda on hand.
When you reheat the sugar, the smell in your kitchen may become unpleasant for a while; therefore, you should ensure that the exhaust fan is turned on.
Use a Stainless Steel Scrubber
Scrubbers made of stainless steel resist rust and corrosion better than other materials. After you have soaked the pan in warm water, use the scrubber to remove the burnt sugar from the pan in small increments. However, you should save this method for absolute last resort because vigorous scrubbing can leave scratches on the surface of the pan.
In light of this, you shouldn’t be afraid to whip up your favorite glaze or caramel dessert. As long as you keep in mind these few safety precautions, you won’t have to worry about your honey or syrup scorching while you’re in the kitchen