Friday, August 5, 2011

The Care and Keeping of Nonstick Pans

Last week was my birthday, and one of the presents I got was a very much needed set of new nonstick pots and pans. My old set was purchased from Ross and had seen some pretty poor treatment during the two years I spent living with 6 roommates. Roommates who apparently didn't have a clue how to use a nonstick pan without ruining it.
The victim, with the offending utensils.
So as I was taking my new set of pans out of the box I made a vow to keep them in tip top condition, for as long as possible. I've compiled a list here of the top five tips I've discovered for taking care of your pans.

1. Washing Your Nonstick Pans
- I've put washing at #1 because, when you get a new pan, that's the first thing you should do. Seems pretty logical, right? You don't know whose been touching those pans before they got put in the box, and if the packaging is anything like what mine came in there will be cardboard dust all over them.
- When you wash your pans you want to use hot soapy water and a gentle sponge or scrubber. Avoid using abrasive chemicals or cleaning tools that will scratch the nonstick surface (ie. steel wool).
This picture doesn't do justice to the sparkle of the new pans.
2. Conditioning Your Nonstick Pans
- This topic is different for each brand and type of pan. Some nonstick pans do not need to be conditioned. Others, like mine, do. Read the instructions that come with your pan to determine if conditioning is necessary.
 - To condition your pans coat them with a thin layer of shortening, lard or cooking oil and heat it to let the fat absorb into the porous surface.
3. Storing Your Nonstick Pans
- Pots and pans can be hung from a pot rack or stored in cabinets. However if you are keeping your pans in cabinets, they should not be stacked on top of each other as the picture above shows. They should be stacked with a soft rag or dish cloth between them to keep the bare metal from damaging the surface of the pan below.
4. Using the Right Utensils
Safe, nonstick-friendly utensils.
- One of the fastest ways to ruin a pan is by using the wrong kind of utensils for cooking. The best option is to use silicon spatulas and silicon coated tongs, whisks, etc. Plastic spatulas and spoons are also fairly safe to use on a nonstick pan. The most important thing is to avoid using any metal utinsels, be it a spatula, whisk or even a fork.
5.The "Don't" List.
- Don't put your nonstick pans in the dishwasher. It can wear away the nonstick coating and cause it to flake.
- Don't wash your pans until they have cooled. The rapid temperature change between a hot pan and the water can cause the nonstick to flake, or even warp the pan.
- Don't cut food while it's in the pan. Even if you're just checking for doneness, remove the food to a plate to cut it.
- Don't use aerosol cooking sprays. They leave a residue which essentially turns your nonstick pans to "stick" pans.

I hope you guys find this information useful as you go about your cooking escapades. And while you're here, don't forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a free apron!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...