Non-stick cookware is renowned for its easy clean-up and is the cookware of choice for many home chefs. However, you may be wondering how best to care for these products to avoid damaging the coating. By following these points, you can extend the lifespan of your non-stick pots and pans and get the best performance possible.

Getting Started:

The good news is, there is no need to season your non-stick pans. Another advantage, delicate foods will cook beautifully in, and slip out with ease from, non-stick pans, including eggs, cheese and fish. A couple of additional good-to-know tips specific to non-stick cookware:

Avoid using cooking spray directly on the pan as the propellants in the aerosol spray can build up and cause staining. Another benefit to using non-stick cookware is that less oil can be used when cooking. While olive oil is fine, vegetable oil or another oil with a higher smoke point is suggested to avoid oil buildup and staining.

To avoid scratching of the surface, do not use metal or sharp utensils. Instead, use wooden, silicone or heat-resistant nylon utensils.

Cooking Know-How:

Medium heat is preferred for non-stick cookware. Do not heat or cook food on high heat. If on low to medium heat, your pan can be briefly preheated prior to adding oil or butter.

While most non-stick pans are oven safe to a recommended temperature, check the product’s instructions to be sure. One reason the pan may not be considered oven safe is the material of the handle, which may not be as heat resistant as the pan itself.

As a general rule for non-stick pans considered oven safe, avoid temperatures higher than 204°C (400°F) and never place the pan under the broiler. Overheating the pan by leaving it in the oven too long, heating for prolonged periods of time without food inside, or leaving it unattended on the stovetop can cause the non-stick coating to break down. Again, check the instructions before proceeding with any of the above tips.

Care and Maintenance:

Always let the pan cool prior to cleaning as extreme temperature changes can cause warping. If the pan needs a deeper clean, after it cools briefly presoak it before washing.

Due to the nature of non-stick coatings, it is strongly recommended to only hand wash and not place your non-stick cookware in the dishwasher as high temperatures and harsh detergents could damage the surface and vibrations during the washing cycle may scratch off the non stick coating.

Instead, clean non-stick cookware with mild dish soap and a soft sponge or dish cloth – never use an abrasive cleaner or pad on the cooking surface.

Before storing your non-stick pan, make sure it is completely dry, either by air drying or using a soft dish towel. If you must stack your pans to store them, place a soft dish towel between each pan to keep from touching each other, or consider using pot protectors, which are specially designed to protect cookware in storage.

Following these care instructions will enable you to enjoy your non-stick cookware for years to come.