Avoid these 11 nonstick pan mistakes to keep your nonstick cookware happy. Nonstick pans have a fine finish that many people mistreat without realizing what they’re doing.
Using Metal Utensils
To ensure the longevity of your nonstick pan, avoid using metal utensils that can cause lasting marks and scratches, as nonstick finishes are not very durable. Opt for wooden or silicone utensils instead when cooking. Additionally, when cleaning your nonstick pans, it’s recommended to use soft cloths and sponges for the same reasons.
Hot water and dishwasher detergent will deteriorate a nonstick pan’s finish. Nonstick cookware labeled “dishwasher-safe” should still be hand-washed.
Applying Cooking Spray
Cooking spray will build up and clog the nonstick surface over time. Swap cooking spray for butter or oil to grease your nonstick pans.
Preheating Without Butter or Oil
Do not set a nonstick pan on an active burner without oil. A “dry” nonstick pan on a hot burner can create a hazardous chemical reaction and poison the air.
Always add butter or oil to a nonstick pan before placing it on a burner.
Cooking With High heat
Nonstick cookware is not designed for very high heat. High heat will hurt the finish and potentially release toxic chemicals, like preheating without butter or oil.
Use a cast iron pan when cooking over high heat.
Not seasoning nonstick cookware isn’t the worst thing you can do, but seasoning will only help its longevity and how the pan cooks. Add a small amount of butter or oil before you use the pan, even if you aren’t preheating the pan.
Rapid Temperature Change
It is unwise to expose a pan to rapid temperature changes. Never take a pan off a hot stove and immediately into cold water.
A rapid temperature change will warp a nonstick pan. Letting the pan cool off for a few minutes before rinsing or cleaning it by hand is much better.
Letting A Pan Sit in the Sink
We all love to “let the pans soak” to put off doing the dishes, but extended exposure to food or water is detrimental to nonstick. Wash your nonstick after the first hour or two of use and dry them well before putting them away.
Cooking High Acid Food
Small amounts of lemon juice or vinegar are acceptable, but large quantities of high-acid food will break down the nonstick finish. Do not cook recipes calling for tomato sauce in a nonstick pan.
Do not stack nonstick pans, even with other nonstick pans. Stacking will cause scratching and ruin the finish. Hang your nonstick pans or use a paper plate to separate each nonstick pan.
Using Them Too Long
Everything wears out, even nonstick. Most nonstick pans are good for about five years, contingent upon how often you use them.
Immediately retire all damaged nonstick cookware (scratches, pits, or peels). Damaged nonstick can potentially cause your food to be exposed to Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAs), and no one wants that.
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