A while back my friend came to visit and while we were making dinner one night she commented on how good of shape my non-stick pans were in. She had received the same set for their wedding but had already had to replace them. We also received our pans for our wedding, 10 1/2 years ago, but they are still in great condition. So why did mine last and hers didn’t?
I started telling her how I take care of my pans and all the big no-no’s I see people doing and she confessed that she did a lot of those things, which is probably why her pans didn’t last as long. And then she told me I needed to write a post about it because this was probably one of those times that I just assume everyone thinks like me, but most people probably don’t know how to properly care for a non-stick pan.
So today I’m going to share my tips but if you have any additional tips how to care for and extend the life of a non-stick pan, I would love it if you’d leave your tip in the comments for me and all the other blog readers!
Tip #1 – Always use the proper utensils
I walked into the kitchen one time and my husband was making eggs (which was really sweet) but I freaked out when I realized he was using my metal spatula on one of our non-stick pans! That is a big no-no, always use a soft surface cooking utensil when cooking with a non-stick pan. There are lots of options out there – wood spatulas/spoons, plastic and even silicone, but never ever use metal on your non-stick pans.
Tip #2 – Wait for the pan to cool down before washing
Washing a pot or pan while it is still hot is something I’ve seen so many people do (even my own husband and teenager). Waiting for a pan to cool down might take a little extra time but it will be worth it. While the pan is still hot the non-stick surface is still vulnerable and if you start scrubbing it you are likely to damage it.
Tip #3 – Don’t overheat your pans
Another friend of mine was having to replace their non-stick frying pan every year so she finally asked me if I knew what was going on and why her pans weren’t lasting. I know they cook eggs every morning so I asked her to show me what she did. Turns out they were literally burning through their pans. Have you ever watched cooking shows and noticed how they always tell you to heat the pan up on medium high, and then as they cook they usually turn it down even lower. That is the right way to cook but what I see so many people doing (even in my own house) is you get in a hurry so you set the pan on the stove and turn the heat on high. My husband does this and it makes me crazy. He turns the heat on high then puts eggs in the pan, then to keep them from burning he is constantly pushing them around in the pan (which is also not good). If you’re always cooking with the heat on high then overtime you will burn out the bottom of your pan and most likely scratch up the surface.
By only heating the pan on medium heat and then reducing it as you go, your pans will last much longer and won’t end up scratched or burnt out. The food will take a little longer to cook but it’s less likely to burn and you’ll be increasing your pan’s lifespan. 🙂
Tip #4 – Never put them in the dishwasher
Washing pots and pans in the dishwasher is another big no-no because the high heat and dish washing detergents wear them out much quicker then washing them by hand. If you want your pots and pans to stay in good condition, and last longer, take the few extra minutes and wash them by hand. Purchase a non-scratch sponge or dish wand and use that to wash the pans. Another little washing tip is to wash the entire pot/pan, not just the inside. All my pans still look new because I’ve always taken the time to wash every part of it to prevent grease built-up on the handle, burn spots on the bottom, etc. It only takes a few extra seconds but it makes a big difference in the way your pots and pans look.
These are my tips for making non-stick pots and pans last longer but I’d love to hear yours! Or if you’re having a particular problem with one of your pans let me know and maybe I’ll have a solution for you too.