The gas stove in my apartment has really old, beat-up grates over the burners. I didn't mind this with my old, beat-up pots and pans, but I have new polished stainless steel cookware now and I'm trying to maintain the finish. How can I cover or insulate the grates so that my cookware is protected? Are there any materials (silicone tubing?) that are resistant to direct flame, pliable and inexpensive?
Sent by Andy
Editor: Andy, congrats on your new cookware! We have to confess, though, that we're a bit flummoxed by your question. Are you concerned that the bottoms of your pots and pans will get scratched by your stove? It is pretty hard to prevent this, even with a nice new stove. The bottoms of your pans should quickly darken and develop a patina of experience.
If you want to prevent the worst scratching, however, I would suggest either buying new grates for your stove (often easily found through the stove's manufacturer, and not too expensive) or try sanding down the worst of their sharp edges with some fine steel wool.
Readers, any other advice for Andy and his stove?
Related: Help Us Clean the Baked Grease Off Our New Stove!
(Image: Emma Christensen)