How to Care for Nonstick Cookware

nonstick-cookwareIf you want to produce chef-quality results in your kitchen, nonstick bakeware and nonstick cookware can help. However, we need to take good care of them to extend their lifetime. Of course, you can check with the manufacturer’s specific recommendation. Here, we also list some general rules to care for your nonstick cookware, making it always deliver top performance.

Cooking and Baking

After purchasing your new cookware and before using it, it is highly recommended washing it with hot and soapy water, and then rinsing it well, and then using a soft linen towel or cotton to dry it thoroughly. This can get rid of contaminants on the surface, like dust, oil, non-stick coating, etc.

It is said that seasoning or conditioning the nonstick pan at the first time can ensure its performance. You can coat its surface with a little cooking oil (any type is OK), and then bake the pan, and then wipe it clean. The process is very simple and easy to operate. However, some manufacturers, like Calphalon, say nonstick cookware doesn’t need any seasoning or conditioning. In my opinion, you can have a try. At least, there is no harm.

Compared with standard cookware, nonstick cookware performs better at a lower temperature. Well, how low the temperature should be perfect? A test called “butter test” can help you to find the perfect settings. First, heat the nonstick pan on medium high. Once you feel its rim is hot to touch, you need to add a pat of butter. And then watch the reaction. If the butter bubbles, the current heat setting is right. On the other hand, if the butter quickly burns and finally burns, this means the heat is high. You need to clean your pan and repeat the test at a lower heat setting.

The reason we need nonstick cookware is that it can help release the food cleanly without adding any oil or butter, making our food much healthier. For good tasting and texture, you can add some fats. If you are caring your cholesterol levels or weight, nonstick cookware can do the job. And if you are following a heart-healthy menu, it also helps.

On the market, there are many fat-free cooking sprays with the help of nonstick cookware. And you don’t need to add any fat or calorie to your food. For example, when you fry eggs, you don’t need to add any oil. That’s very cool.

As for nonstick cookware, the most important rule is to try your best to protect its nonstick surface. If the nonstick coating is damaged by metal utensils or cleaners, the nonstick cookware will be useless.

Instead of metal utensils, you can choose utensils made of plastic, wood, silicone or rubber. You also can use utensils that are specially coated for nonstick surface. Of course, the better you protect its surface, the better performance it will deliver.

And, never over heat a nonstick pan. For example, never use a pan to bake or under the broiler at temperatures over 450 degrees. The higher temperature will ruin the coating materials.

Cleaning and Care

  1. Wash thoroughly: To ensure the consistent, top performance, always keep the nonstick cookware clean. Leftover greases and other food residue will easily cook into its surface and carbonize, resulting in food to stick. It is very hard to see the cooked-on residue and it is also difficult to remove. Therefore, each time, you need to wash your nonstick cookware thoroughly, making sure there is not any food residue.Avoid immerse hot cookware in cold water: It is highly recommended letting the hot cookware cool before immerse it into cold water to wash. Or a hot pan will permanently warp in cool water and finally ruin.
  2. Not Dishwasher Safe: If you have a dishwasher, you may think you can put your nonstick pans or pots into it to wash. However, you’d better not to do this and always wash your nonstick cookware by hand with warm and soapy water. Of course, you can choose a dish detergent that is made for hand washing. The high heat of a dishwasher can ruin the cookware’s surface, and this can also make the warranty invalid. Similar to care for stainless cookware, any harsh agent should be avoided using. These harsh cleaning agents include abrasive cleaners, bleach, or other chemicals.
  3. Not use Abrasives: Although it seems these nonstick pots and pans are fragile and we need to take good care of them, we also can scrub off stubborn messes with the help of a washcloth, nylon scrubber, sponge, or nylon net-wrapped sponge. And the cleaning job is very hard. To prevent food residue from carbonizing, it is recommended to wash your cookware twice and make sure last trace of oil, butter or food is removed. Abrasives are not allowed to use. For example, if you use stiff brushes, steel wool or scouring pads, the surface will be scratched. Finally your nonstick cookware will be ruined. Of course, rinse it thoroughly and dry your pots or pads completely before storing.
  4. Proper Storage: In the end, storage is also very important. Many manufacturers advice to store the cookware on a hanging pot rack and there are enough room between 2 items which are next to each other. If you don’t have a hanging rack, you can store your nonstick cookware in your cabinet and you’d better layer a soft cloth under it. This can prevent the cookware from being scratched by bare metal or other hard materials.


No matter you have a bargain nonstick pan or a high quality set of nonstick cookware, it is a good habit to use it carefully, clean it meticulously and store it properly. This can extend the lifespan and you can always get top performance for your nonstick cookware.

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