Choosing non-stick cookware, especially pans, can be a harrowing experience for most. Non-stick pans are an essential part of kitchenware and choosing one from the wealth of gimmicks, and different quality pans can give you a tough time. There are various varieties and options available in the market at different prices, brands, materials, durability, etc, so how do you know which pan to buy over another?
No worries! We are sharing some expert tips on how to choose the right non-stick pan for you and how to maintain it over time:
1. Know the Coatings
Non-stick pans come with two kinds of coatings:
Teflon is a synthetic coating and it is water repellant. Ceramic coatings are actually silica-based gel and can also be a good option for non-stick pans.
Both types of coatings are good for non-stick purposes however, Teflon is known to last longer as compared to ceramic coatings. Different brands offer different deals and coatings, make sure to check the non-stick pan reviews for that brand before you invest in it. Just make sure to follow the right maintenance routine and both types of coatings will last you a long time.
2. Choose Your Material
There are two options for non-stick pans: Stainless steel or aluminum-based. Aluminum heats up quickly and can’t be used on induction burners which makes them not a right fit for most users. On the other hand, stainless steel is widely used and a perfect fit for non-stick cookware. It provides even heating and works perfectly on induction cooktops. Although they tend to be a little heavier and expensive, stainless steel non-stick pans are totally worth the investment!
Another thing to keep in mind is that the pan should be at least a 5-ply metal coating. These coatings give a more effective performance and help you steer clear of low-quality pans.
When choosing from a variety of non-stick pans, make sure to look for the following safety measures:
- It should be PFQA free. It is a harmful chemical that can damage food quality.
- It should distribute heat evenly
- It should be induction cooktop friendly
- It should be oven friendly
- It should be made of durable material
- It should come with a warranty
These safety measures will help you find the right pan for you from a variety of different pans.
Now that we know the three main things to consider when buying a non-stick pan, how long a pan will last also depends on how you maintain it. Here are a few tips for maintaining a non-stick pan for long term usage:
How to Maintain a Non-Stick Pan:
Caring for the non-stick pan and keeping it damage-free will make it last for years.
1. Wash and Season
Before using your non-stick pan, wash it to remove any residues on it so they don’t stick to it when cooking. Use hot, soapy water and thoroughly rinse it and dry it before using it. It is also important to season the pan before using it because putting food directly on top might damage the coating over time. Seasoning the pan will also help fill out the pores in coatings and keep the food from going in.
Do not wash the pan in the dishwasher as it can cause scratches.
2. Use Right Utensils
Sometimes in a hurry, you might decide to slice or cut meat/or food in the pan after cooking it before serving it. But that can cause scratches and damage the pan. Use the right utensils for everything and make sure to never use a knife inside a non-stick pan if you want it to last.
Also, make sure to not use metal utensils to cook in the pan, rather use wooden spoons or silicone-based spatulas to cook that don’t have any sharp edges. Metal spoons can cause scratches and damage the coating!
3. Avoid Overheating
Keep the heat to low or medium when cooking with non-stick pans else the coating can get damaged. Avoid temperatures over 600F because coatings might release dangerous fumes if overheated beyond this temperature.
Also, make sure to season your pan if you’re preheating to avoid damage to it.
4. Avoid Non-Stick Spray
Non-stick spray is often used while cooking but some people aren’t aware that it is doing more damage than help. These sprays leave a residue that ruins the non-stick surface. Moreover, the material of the spray burns at a lower temperature as compared to the pan coating, which can damage the coating further.
If you want your non-stick pans to last longer, make sure to take good care of them. Don’t shy away from investing in a good quality pan when it comes to your and your family’s health! And use these tips to maintain your non-stick pan for long usage and return on investment.