Nonstick coatings on cookware and bakeware provide for healthier cooking using less oils and also reduce cleaning time. But improper care can ruin the finish on non-stick pots or baking pans, causing foods to stick. It can also make cleaning your best nonstick pots more difficult, and reduce the lifespan of your pans. Here are 10 ways you can ruin a non-stick pot or pan if proper care and maintenance isn't applied. Protect your non-stick cookware or bakeware investment by avoiding these and enjoy your non-stick pots and pans for many years. Need to upgrade your nonstick pots and pans? Compare prices of non-stick pots and pans, and keep your new pan looking like new, by avoiding my 10 ways to ruin it.
1. Cutting Serving Portions With a Metal Knife or UtensilCutting desserts or meatloaf in the pan with a metal knife or utensil can pierce the coating leaving your pans unsightly, cause foods to stick and rust to form. Use rubber or silicone spatulas to portion and serve from your cookware or bakeware.
2. Storing Pans ImproperlyStoring pans haphazardly along with other metal implements, can cause scratches in the finish. Always nest your nonstick frypans and bakeware carefully, and do not alloy other metal pan covers with thin sharp edges to sit inside your pans.
3. Drastic Water Temperature ChangesPlacing a very hot non-stick frypan into cool or lukewarm dishwater can cause your pan to warp. A warped pan will not have even heat distribution and cooking abilities will be reduced. Always allow your pan to cool completely before immersing it.
4. Using Metal Spatulas, Whisks or TongsRefrain from using any metal utensils in your nonstick to stir, turn food, scrape food residue, or blend foods right in the pan. The best utensils to use are wood, plastic, or silicone. Many companies are now making silicone whisks which are terrific for that quick blending. Even occasional fork-turning can nick and scratch your pan.
5. Cleaning With a Scouring Cleanser PadUsing scouring products that are metal based or have harsh cleansers, can wear off the coating on your pans. Always use plastic scourers or soft sponges. Allowing your pan to soak for a moment will usually loosen foods and enable you to clean it with just warm water, mild soap and a soft cloth.
6. Cleaning Pans in a DishwasherDishwasher detergents generally are too harsh for most nonstick cookware and kitchenware, and will eventually cause the finish to wear off. Bakeware that has scratches in it may also not dry completely and could rust. Handwash your nonstick implements and dry completely before storing.
7. Cooking on High HeatMost nonstick cookware is made for low and medium heat cooking. Too high a heat can wear down or blister the finish, as well as cause pans to warp. To maintain your pan and increase its lifespan, follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding cooking heat.
8. Storing Foods in Your Nonstick PansFoods should never be stored in the pans but should be removed and pans should be cleaned carefully and dried before storing.
9. Cutting Your Pizza With a CutterCutting your pizza right in the nonstick pizza pan will mar the finish. Always slide your pizza out unto a wooden cutting board, and then apply the pizza cutter to portion servings.
10. Using Your Bread Pans for Meats or High Acid FoodsNonstick bread pans provide for easy removal of fresh baked bread. But using these same pans for meatloaf or other foods will wear off the finish quicker, as some foods reduce the lifespan of your pans, making them harder to clean and more prone to rust. Keep bread pans just for bread, and designate another pan for other foods. This way you'll ensure no pan residue ends up on your freshly baked bread.