Non-stick pans are quite a handy tool in the kitchen, but only if used and stored properly. These pans are especially convenient for beginner cooks and are extremely easy to clean. Though, when used incorrectly, it’s equally easy to damage and all out ruin non-stick pans.
There are a couple of things you can keep in mind to maintain your non-stick pan and increase its shelf life.
How to cook on a non-stick pan?
1. Pour a small amount of fat (oil, butter, etc.) — on a cold pan before you turn on the heat, and distribute it well. The idea is to give the nonstick a padding of fat before the food comes on. If this is added too late, say, after the pan is very hot, it will be more likely to soak directly into the food than aid the nonstick surface.
2. Cooking over high heat should be avoided for a few reasons. First, the higher temperatures are bad for the nonstick coating on the cookware. Over time exposure to high heat will deteriorate the surface. Also, depending on the type of nonstick coating on your pan, cooking over high heat can lead to the release of unhealthy, potentially toxic vapours.
3. Just like cast iron, it’s helpful to preseason and re-season your nonstick cookware. Not only will this help your pan last longer, it will also improve the way food cooks in it.
How to clean a non-stick pan?
1. While cleaning the pan, use mild dishwashing liquid and water to gently scrub the pan. Clean the non-stick pan only using a non-metallic sponge or brush and don’t forget the sides. Rinse well and dry.
2. If you want to repair the surface of the pan, pour a small amount of vegetable oil in the pan, rub it into the pan, and wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
3. Do not put your pan in the dishwasher. Some pans claim to be dishwasher-safe, but that’s a bad idea because the high heat and strong dishwashing detergents wither a pan far quicker than a bath in the sink.
4. Use only wooden or plastic spatula that won’t scratch the surface. Stop sneaking in that metal spoon- you’ll pay for it soon. Using sharp objects like, knives or metal spatulas to stir food or remove it from the pan, along with things like steel wool for cleaning, can scratch and damage the coating on the pan, also product warranty gets void. Once the coating on nonstick pans starts to peel or gets pitted, it’s best to replace them.
Know when it’s time to retire a pan. The average shelf life of a nonstick pan is around five years. You can make it last a little longer if you maintain it well. You’ll know your nonstick pan is on its last days if the surface becomes pitted or starts to peel.