How to Use Nonstick Cookware Safely

Best Nonstick Cookware

Nonstick cookware set is always a good option to be had in the kitchen, but pros and chefs recommend they should be used complementary to the traditional (uncoated pots and pans). Anyhow, if you’re one of those who are not in favor of this particular cookware because of bad publicity, correct your facts, because nonstick cookware complies with rules set by the environment protection agency. In 2015, the agency confirmed that nonstick cookware do not have any PFOA concerns, as the chemical is completely consumed during the manufacturing process of the cookware.

Manufacturers and experts have come up with some handy tips to use nonstick cookware safely and efficiently. The cookware will also remain in good condition for years.

  • Using First Time: According to manufacturers like Calphalon, when you use your nonstick set for the first time, apply a thin coating of vegetable oil on the cooking surface. In this way, the cooking surface will be conditioned and remain protected for long.
  • Preheating an Empty Pot: Unlike ordinary pans, nonstick pans should not be preheated. This is due to the material of the cookware. Normally aluminium is the core material of nonstick pots, and it heats up quickly because of the low density and less weight.
  • If Preheat is Necessary: Add some oil that lightly covers the cooking surface. Preheat the utensil for just a few seconds, then add food in it.
  • Nonstick Spray: Instead of using nonstick cooking spray, you can use grapeseed oil or vegetable oil to condition the pan. That’s because, lecithin present in nonstick cooking spray will make the cooking surface less nonstick and more gummy.
  • Cook on Moderate Heat: Low to medium heat is preferable for nonstick cookware. High amount of heat degrades the coating. Some coatings, on high heat, generate toxin vapors and cause health issues.
  • Oven-friendliness: You need to check the product manual, in order to understand whether your cookware is suitable for ovens or not. If it is, then check the maximum temperature it can bare. Oven-safe cookware are also available in the market, but most brands don’t offer such utensils.

4 Tips for Cleaning Nonstick Cookware

Cleaning Nonstick Cookware

Maintaining your nonstick cookware set is not as difficult as for ordinary cookware. If you follow these tips, you can easily use the nonstick cookware set for at least 3 years.

  1. Apart from warm water and dish washing detergent, make sure that the sponge is non-abrasive. You can use a soft dishrag for cleaning. Abrasive cleaners that have hard and rough surfaces are bad for your utensil. Don’t use steel wool at all.
  2. If the food gets stuck somewhere on the pan’s surface, scrub it off with the help of baking soda and water. There are some other non-abrasive cleaners, such as soft scrubs or Bon Ami.
  3. Most of the time, you come across a cookware that’s known to be dishwasher safe. Even if your ceramic cookware is safe for dishwashing material, try to wash it with hand as much as possible. If the water is too hot or the detergent is too harsh, the surface of the cookware will corrode easily.
  4. Avoid stacking nonstick pans and pots, because this may result in scratching or chipping. However, if you don’t have too much space, you can stack your cookware by putting a thin towel between two utensils.

What to Avoid

There are a few good reasons for it.

  • Don’t Use on Extremely Hot Burner: Nonstick utensils cannot withstand excessive heat, but stainless steel cookware can. That means, if you’re cooking something at a temperature of over 660oF, do not use a coated appliance. Make sure that the burner is not too hot before placing the appliance on it. Avoid using it on the broiler. It will not only deteriorate, it can cause polymer fume fever.
  • Metal Spoons Should be avoided: As said before, metal utensils are not meant for nonstick pans and pots. They have sharp edges that can scratch the coating, and there are more chances of it when the pot is being heated.
  • Replace Immediately: Even if it belongs to the best nonstick cookware, the nonstick utensil MUST be replaced as soon as it shows signs of deterioration. Scratches and patches will only increase your problems.
  • Ensure safety: While cooking, keep your kids and pets away. Most people leave damage pots and pans for birds and pets (for feeding), but don’t take risk with damaged ceramic pots. The removed coating can be lethal for birds.

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