Non-stick cookware is made in a way that unlike traditional pots and pans allows food to slowly brown without sticking to it. With them, you can cook food without little or even no oil. People love that it’s easier to clean and distributes heat evenly saving on fuel. It doesn’t hurt that most are aesthetically pleasing and can complement the look of a kitchen.
What most people don’t realize is that non-stick pots and pans need different types of care from traditional cookware to keep them from premature damage. Here are ways you may accidentally be ruining your non-stick cookware and how to care better for them.
Non-stick cookware mistakes
Mistake 1: Cooking spray
Cooking spray accumulates on the non-stick surface and will be nearly impossible to remove with time. It’s best to stick to oil and butter when using non-stick cookware.
Mistake 2: Metal utensils
Avoid using metal utensils when using non-stick cookware. The metal whether a spoon or spatula or tongs will scratch the non-stick coating off the pan and into your food which can have negative effects on your health. Opt for wooden or silicone utensils instead.
Mistake 3: Harsh cleaning methods
Avoid cleaning your non-stick cookware in the dishwasher even when they are labelled dishwasher safe. The hot water and harsh detergents wear down the non-stick finish, degrading it faster. You should also avoid using abrasive materials to clean them, instead use sponges and soft cloths and wash them by hand.
Mistake 4: High heat
Non-stick cookware should not be exposed to really high heat for two reasons. First, ultra-hot temperatures can damage the coating on the pan. Second, high temperatures can release harmful toxins. This is why you should never use them in the oven.
Mistake 5: Heating before oil
Although cooks advise heating the pot or pan before using oil, this advice does not apply to non-stick cookware because of the risk of releasing harmful toxins. With non-stick pots and pans, add oil as soon as you start heating the pan.
Mistake 6: Stacking them
For a variety of reasons including space constraints, you may have to stack your cookware when storing it. Don’t just stack non-stick cookware like you would with stainless steel cookware. Place paper towels between non-stick pots and pans to keep them from scratching the coated surfaces.
Mistake 7: Acidic foods
Highly acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus can accelerate the aging process by causing the surface to blister. It’s best to use other cookware types for highly acidic foods.
Mistake 8: Not reading care instructions
Some non-stick cookware comes with instructions for how to clean, care for, and maintain the pots and pans. Certain brands may need periodic re-seasoning with instructions about how to do it. Cookware seasoning refers to applying non-stick oil or fat to the surface of a pan to prevent corrosion and rust and to promote its non-stick properties.
Proper use and care are critical to preventing peeling and any potential negative health effects.
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