Tips for Using Nonstick Pans

General Dos and Don'ts

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  • Wash and dry a new nonstick pan before using for the first time.
  • Read manufacturer's instructions for care, cleaning, and maintenance. For example, certain brands may need periodic reseasoning. You'll need to heat a pan for a few minutes on medium heat with the interior coated with a tablespoon or two of oil. Remove from heat and let cool before wiping dry with soft toweling.
  • Preheat pans over medium heat rather than high heat settings.
  • Cook on low or medium only -- do not allow nonstick pans to overheat as some finishes may degrade or emit toxic fumes when exposed to very high temperatures.
  • Never leave hot pans unattended.
  • You may not need to add additional oils with a nonstick pan, however, you may wish to add a bit of olive oil, peanut oil, butter, or margarine.
  • Avoid using nonstick cooking sprays.
  • To keep pans in optimum cooking condition, use heat-proof nylon, silicone, or wood cooking utensils. Do not use metal forks, sharp knives, choppers, or rotary beaters such as egg beaters, metal whisks, or electric beaters.
  • As recommended by your specific pan manufacturer, hand wash pans with soap and hot water, though a few brands may approve cleaning in the dishwasher. 
  • If needed, a non-scratching nylon mesh pad may be used to clean any stuck-on food bits. Never clean nonstick pans with steel wool, coarse scouring pads, or gritty scouring powders.

More: Shopping Tips for Pots and Pans

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