Nonstick pans are the workhorse of the kitchen. From skillet suppers to pan-friend steak and eggs over easy, there is no end to the types of dishes that nonstick pans can make tastier, easier, and healthier.
However, not all nonstick pans are created equal. “A pan that is the wrong size, cooks your food unevenly, or causes food to stick will soon have you wanting to avoid stovetop cooking.” Product Diggers recommends doing your research to find a high-quality nonstick pan that’s right for your kitchen. Then, you have to make sure you take care of it so it lasts.
Never Use Metal Utensils on a Nonstick Pan
The number one rule when taking care of a nonstick pan is to make sure you never use metal utensils. That includes not using a metal spatula to flip pancakes, a metal spoon for serving, or a knife to cut a steak into smaller pieces. Unless you have a dense, diamond-crusted pan, any metal utensil you use will potentially scrape off the nonstick coating.
There are plenty of other cooking utensils that you can use like:
- Nylon spatulas
- Silicone whisks
- Wooden spoons
Don’t Wash Your Pans Right Away
Scraping and scrubbing at the sink is not how you want to spend your time. To avoid having to take care of burned bits by hand, you may be tempted to rinse your pan off in the sink while everything is still hot. After all, because you’re using a nonstick pan, it should slide out easily.
This is a bad idea. Extreme changes in temperature can cause your frying pan to warp. The next time you put it on the stove, it won’t sit properly, which means it’s easier to spill or knock over by accident. Not to mention, it will prevent your food from cooking evenly.
Instead, give your pan time to cool down. If you’re struggling to get the pan clean, consider soaking it to loosen crusty food bits.
Wash Your Pans by Hand
The dishwasher has made life much more convenient for all of us. It’s a lot easier to throw bowls and plates in the dishwasher than it is to wash them by hand. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking everything can go in the dishwasher.
There are a few different things, like wooden utensils and some plastic items, that should never go in the dishwasher. Your nonstick pan should also stay in the sink instead of being placed in the dishwasher.
Nonstick coatings don’t hold up well in the heat and turbulent water. Unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer, it’s always better to keep your nonstick pans out of the dishwasher.
Know the Heat Limits of Your Pan
Some pans can go into and out of the oven successfully. Cast iron can be placed in the oven, as can ceramic. Just don’t make the mistake of automatically assuming your nonstick pan can go into the oven too.
Some nonstick pans are only good for lower temperatures. For example, it’s common for many pans to be rated up to 375 degrees. If you’re cooking something that you want to transfer into a 400 degree oven, you’ll open the door to discover that your meal and your pan have both been destroyed.
Some nonstick pans can take the heat. High-quality pans can be rated for 450 degrees or even higher temperatures, which means you can place them in the oven without any problems.
Make sure you read the information from the manufacturer so you don’t ruin your pan. If you can’t find the information from the manufacturer, assume it isn’t oven-safe and keep it on the stove.
Store Them the Right Way
There are a lot of ways to store your pots and pans. Some are better than others.
Many people like to hang up their pots and pans. This is a great option because it ensures your nonstick pans stay bone dry. Just make sure you put your pot rack in the right place. Over an island is better than over the stove where it can be splattered with grease.
They can be stacked in cupboards and cabinets too. Just make sure they are completely dry before stacking them.
A great nonstick pan can make life in the kitchen a lot easier, but that doesn’t mean your pan doesn’t require a little special care. With the tips on this list, you can make sure your pan works like new every time you use it.