Nonstick frying pan and other pots help to prevent food from sticking, require less oil or butter while cooking, are easier to clean, generally last longer, and depending on what material they are made from, are now made with healthier compounds (Teflon and PFOA free) than in previous decades.
What’s not to love?
Like any high quality household item, nonstick pots and pans can be an investment, but with a little tender loving care, they can last for several years and serve you and your family well.
Tips for Nonstick Frying Pan
Here are a few tips to help you to get the most out of your nonstick cookware:
1. Turn down the heat
To get the absolute best from your non-stick pan and other pots, stay away from high temperatures which can deteriorate the nonstick coating on the surface. The surface deterioration may (or may not) be noticeable, but depending on the material your cookware is made from, excess heat can break down the coating into chemical compounds that are released as toxic fumes.
Keep cool and cook on!
Instead: Be aware of product labels and guidelines on your nonstick pots and pans and always use a low to medium temperatures when cooking.
Temperatures can get really hot (hotter than you might imagine) on your stove, and preheating a pan or pot can skyrocket the heat in two-five minutes (even with butter) so don’t switch on your stove until you are ready to get started.
2. Keep out the meat
Searing or broiling meat requires a hotter-than-normal pan which is a definite no-no (see step #1 above) in retaining the life of most nonstick cookware. High heat not only deteriorates the nonstick surface, rendering it ineffective, but it may also break down the coating into harmful chemicals.
Instead: Some new cookware can withstand temperatures of 500 degrees Celsius, but if you are using an older pan and char-grilled is on the menu, use the barbeque and not a nonstick frying pan. Always adhere to the manufacturers’ instructions.
3. Ditch the spray!
Adding an additional nonstick cooking spray to your pots and pans can leave an ugly buildup on your cookware that does not come off easily; and trying to scrape or scrub the residue off can lead to even more permanent damage (see point #4 below).
Instead: Add a little bit of oil, butter, or coconut oil which will go a long way in helping your nonstick cookware do its job and beat the hard to remove buildup. In addition, try and remove any stuck on food as you cook, making clean up a lot easier.
4. Sharp or abrasive objects
Keep metal utensils away from pots and pans as they can damage, pit, or peel the nonstick coating on the surface and once the coating has been damaged the cookware can no longer be used and needs to be thrown out. The ban on metal includes abrasive objects such as scratchy steel wool as well as harsh, course scourers and cleaners.
Instead: Stick to plastic, wood, or silicone utensils to stir and flip food in a nonstick frying pan, and use elbow grease, not abrasive cleaners, to remove buildup (see point #3).
Ever hear a crash-bang sound coming from the kitchen and instinctively know it’s coming from the pots and pan cupboard? That’s not only hard on the ears, but can damage the surface of your nonstick cookware. Piling pots and pans on top of each other can chip away and remove the nonstick coating.
Instead: If space allows, hang your nonstick cookware from hooks or store side by side. If space is limited, simply adding a kitchen or paper towel in between each piece of cookware before stacking, which will protect most scratches and chips.
6. Choose the healthier option
No, this isn’t about choosing veggies over carbs (although that’s not a bad idea either), but cookware has changed so dramatically in recent years, it might be time to do a little investing for your family’s sake.
Instead: Steel and aluminum cookware is now readily available which has been coated with compounds such as stone, diamond, marble, ceramic, titanium, and porcelain, which prevent toxic compounds (bye-bye Teflon) from getting into your food while also creating a great barrier that stops food from sticking. Stone Frying Pans are metal frying pans that are coated with a thin layer of oxide and baked in a kiln to produce a coating that is non-stick and no toxic.
Nonstick cookware is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles from expensive to budget-friendly so there really is no reason not to choose a nonstick that is both within your budget and healthier for you and your family.
With so many options now on the market, you are sure to find the right cookware for your family and with these tips; you will be able to prolong the life of your investment. As with all of your purchases, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions that are specific to your cookware.