Once you start taking an interest in cooking, there’s no going back.
You keep trying new recipes, cookware, and tools to level up your cooking game, because let’s get real, following the same kitchen routine every day gets boring.
One major change home cooks go through is switching from their decades-old cookware to modern, non-stick sets that claim to be better. Non-stick sets look cool in contemporary kitchens, and they’re suitable for the health-conscious.
But since non-stick cookware is manufactured differently, some cooks aren’t sure how to make the most out of it. Do they need to follow a proper regime or these non-stick pans are easy-going?
If you’re also unsure how to use a non-stick pan for the first time, we got you.
How to Use A Non-Stick Pan For the First Time?
This guide aims to help new cooks transition towards non-stick cookware and enjoy these pans without fail. Keep reading to learn a thing or two about using a new non-stick pan.
Non-stick Cookware – A Busy Cook’s Best Friend (Or Not)
When you don’t have to rub a pan to death after frying something, you enjoy the overall cooking experience. No one’s got time to rub and scrub pans, and that’s what makes non-stick cookware a go-to choice for most home cooks.
Good quality non-stick cookware offers easy food release, impressive heat distribution, and easy cleaning; all set.
However, not everything’s good with this cookware; there are some concerning factors too.
Firstly, non-stick cookware requires proper care to perform well in your kitchen. You cannot use just any cleaner or utensil with these pans, as their coating might get damaged.
Secondly, manufacturers recommend you don’t put non-stick cookware in a dishwasher because the Teflon/Ceramic coating might get scratched this way.
Thirdly, if something badly burns inside your non-stick pan (think charred meat), it’s a gone case now. Sure, you can remove the burnt food gunk with some elbow grease, but the non-stick coating won’t be safe any longer; so, your call.
All these points collectively give non-stick pans a 50/50 rating. If you need easy food release and quick cleaning, go for non-stick pans.
But if you’re fond of your metal utensils and dishwasher, you’re better off with a cast-iron skillet.
I have decided to use a Non-Stick Pan; now What?
Whether you’re a newbie cook or a pro switching to a new kind of cookware, you’ll have to cover some basics.
Follow these instructions with your non-stick pan, and you are golden:
Wash the Pan
It doesn’t matter if you purchased a new pan just now or it’s in your closet for a while, start with washing it.
f there’s a stick-on label inside the pan, don’t use a brittle knife/fork, etc., to remove it; place your pan on the stove for 1 minute, and the adhesive will dissolve.
Take out the label and see if there’s any adhesive left; if yes, heat it for one more minute.
Run room temperature or warm water on your pan to remove the dirt and adhesives. Add some liquid dish soap to the pan and use a spaghetti sponge/cotton wipe cloth to wash it.
You should thoroughly wash a new non-stick pan to ensure there’s no loose dirt stuck to the cooking surface. Complete this step by towel for drying the pan.
Season it with Good Quality Oil/Lard
Pour 4-5 drops of any vegetable oil (Flaxseed, Canola, Olive, Coconut are all good options) in the pan. Either use a buff or your fingers to evenly spread this oil across the pan (inside out).
Place this pan on your stove and set the flame to medium. After 4-5 minutes, the oil droplets will start emitting smoke and polymerize to form a thin film over the non-stick coating.
This film works as a barrier between the non-stick layer and your food, ensuring you enjoy the pan for a longer period.
Remove your non-stick pan from the stove after 5-7 minutes and leave it to cool down. Once the pan is safe to touch, use a kitchen towel to wipe it inside out to ensure there’s no excess oil.
And that’s all. Your new non-stick pan is now ready for regular use; cook anything you want and enjoy easy food release followed by a quick clean-up.
How to Protect a Non-Stick Pan’s Well-Being?
Non-stick cookware isn’t that durable, and you should replace it every 3-5 years (depending upon your cooking routine).
But as long as it’s in your kitchen, follow these tips to ensure there are no Teflon traces in your food:
- Never Use Brittle Utensils/Flatware to keep the seasoned layer intact
- Avoid the Dishwasher as it can scratch the non-stick layer
- Clean non-stick pans with spaghetti sponges
- Cooking Sprays are a No-No because they make the cooking surface uneven
- Heat shocks are bad for metal cookware; non-stick pans are no exception
- Re-Season your non-stick pans whenever it’s feasible for you
How to season a non-stick pan for the first time?
First, make sure your pan is dry and clean.
Now, add a few drops of your favorite oil/shortening/lard to the pan, and heat it. You can either use your stove’s medium flame or a 350F temperature in the oven for 1 hour to bake this oil layer; your call.
Once the pan cools down, wipe the extra oil, and it’s now ready for cooking.
Why do eggs stick to my non-stick pan?
Non-stick pans take some time to heat up, and when you break an egg on a poorly heated pan, it sticks real bad. Let your pan heat up on a medium flame and then add the egg to ensure it doesn’t stick.
Is it safe to use a burnt non-stick pan?
Sadly, No. Using a burnt non-stick coating is not safe, especially when the food is completely charred on it. Cleaning a burnt non-stick coating requires elbow grease and brittle cleaners, which ruin the smooth Teflon surface. So, if you have accidentally burnt something inside a non-stick pan, bin it and get a new one to ensure toxic fumes don’t leach into your food.
Non-stick pans come with their fair share of pros and cons; once you learn to balance them, you enjoy this cookware for sure.
Wash and season your new non-stick pan to enjoy easy food release, and once you get the hang of cooking in this pan, follow the above-listed care instructions to enjoy it for longer. Happy Cooking 🙂