No one talks about their cookware the way they do about their beloved pieces, but the everyday pots and pans require just as much care and attention. Here are five things you're probably doing wrong when cooking with nonstick pieces — and exactly how you should fix them.
You're using cooking spray.
Sprays usually build up in nonstick pans over time and they're near impossible to remove. Your best bet is to use butter or oil to coat the pan.
You're heating the pan before adding oil or butter.
You've probably heard on a cooking show at some point that this is good to do. And it is — with every kind of cookware but nonstick. If you heat nonstick cookware alone, you risk releasing those harmful toxins. Add your cooking fats as soon as you expose the pan to heat.
You're putting your pans in the dishwasher.
It's technically safe to do, which is why you'll see nonstick cookware labeled as -safe. But the tricky part here is the hot water that the pans are exposed to. That, and the harsh detergents, will wear down the nonstick coating. You're better off washing the pieces by hand. Even better: Do so with just baking soda and water to scrub away residue.
You've got the heat on high.
There are two reasons why your nonstick shouldn't be exposed to ultra-hot temperatures. For starters, the heat can damage the coating on your pan. But even more importantly, it can release harmful toxins. If you want to sear a piece of meat or fish, reach for a cast-iron skillet. And don't even think about putting your nonstick straight in the oven.
You're cooking with metal utensils.
We'll admit that stainless steel spatulas look a lot more professional that pink silicone ones, but they'll probably scrape the coating on your pans. Stick to silicone or wooden utensils to make your cookware last longer.