Taking care of non-stick pans
WHEN those easy care, easy cook pans don’t last as expected, you may be unintentionally damaging your cookware.
Here are some common things we all do that can damage non-stick pots, pans and baking trays.
Avoid very hot water and use a good scrubbing brush: Non-stick cooking ware typically has a surface that’s specially treated to cope with heat and food but it can be damaged if you poke at it.
Overly heated water can be a problem too so unless your pots are certified dishwashersafe, avoid machine washing if you have one. Bottom line: the best cleaning is done with a gentle soap and a soft sponge.
Buy a wooden spoon: Just like washing a pot with a wire brush will damage the treated surface, so will scratching it with metal implements while you’re stirring and turning.
Substitute metal tongs, spatulas and cooking spoons with wooden utensils for preference or specially made soft materials.
Rub the surface with a bit of butter: Before you cook, rub the surface of the pan with a bit of butter. Even if it’s oil-free, it doesn’t hurt to give the surface a bit of extra help.
Remember to rub the pan when it’s cold because if you wait until it’s hot, the fat is more likely to go straight into the food instead of lying on the cooking surface.
Store pots with layers of tea towel: When you stack one pot on top of another, they can scratch and damage each other.
The easiest way to protect them all is to hang them up. But if you don’t have space, then stack them up and put a clean tea towel between each one.
Don’t confuse non-stick with indestructible: It’s tempting when you see advertisements on TV about burnt eggs and stuff that slide straight out of the pan so you might think that you can subject your pan to all sorts of temperatures.
However, this kind of extreme treatment will hasten the demise of your cookware.