10 Rules: To Avoid Trashing Your Non-Stick Pans

I think we’ve all suffered the disappointment – and embarrassment – of ruining a non-stick pan at least once in our cooking lives. But now there’s a comprehensive list of rules to help you avoid trashing your non-stick pans…

Over-the-hill No-stick PanA badly-damaged non-stick pan. Throw it away!

I don’t have to tell you what a burned-out, scratched up non-stick pan looks like. And you don’t need to be reminded about the consequences of trying to keep using a crapped-out non-stick pan. They can go from ‘non-stick’ to ‘everything sticks’ in the wink of an eye.

There are dangers

But maybe some of you aren’t aware… But there are health hazards associated with using damaged or compromised non-stick pans. The coatings, if breached in any way, can release dangerous chemicals, some of which have been implicated in causing certain cancers.

This caveat applies to plastic (Teflon and other, similar materials) coated pans only. Most ceramic-coated pans appear to be chemical-hazard free. In fact, many brands of ceramic pans make big a marketing deal about not containing any hazardous chemicals.

The Ten Rules

1. Never use metal utensils.

2. Never pre-heat them when empty. Pans may warp or coating may be degraded.

3. Never use non-stick coking spray. What did you buy a non-stick pan for in the first place?

4. Never cook on high heat. In fact, most home cooks turn the flame up too high for almost all stove top applications.

5. Never pay too much. Expansive non-stick pans may be heavier and fancier looking than cheap ones. But they aren’t any more or less ‘non-stick’.

6. Never put them in the dish washer. Dishwaster detergent will scratch the coating.

7. Never rinse them with cold water while they’re still warm. Hot pan + cold water = warping and/or coating damage.

8. Never use them for food storage. Colours and flavours may leach into the coating.

9. Never stack them. You’ll scratch them, for sure.

10. If the coating gets scratched or peels, throw them away.

Any questions?

I’m good. But I know some of you may still want more information. If that’s you, feel free to visit the CNN website where we found the List. The original Food Network Kitchen article re-posted there offers detailed explanations of each Rule!

~ Maggie J.

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