What Not to Do with Non-Stick Pans? [Care And Longevity]

Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or a casual cook, non-stick pans are a beloved kitchen essential. Their ability to cook with minimal oil and easy clean-up makes them a go-to for many.

However, to make the most of your non-stick pans and prolong their lifespan, it’s important to be aware of what not to do. In this article, we’ll dive into the dos and don’ts of non-stick cookware, ensuring your pans remain in top-notch condition.

So, let’s explore the key factors that contribute to the longevity of your non-stick pans.

Not to Do with Non-Stick Pans

What to Avoid When Using Non-Stick Pans

Here are some things you should avoid doing with non-stick pans to ensure their longevity and effectiveness:

Using the Right Utensils

When it comes to non-stick pans, using the right utensils can make a significant difference. Opt for utensils made from silicone, wood, or plastic.

Metal utensils, such as forks, knives, and metal spatulas, should be avoided when cooking with non-stick pans. These utensils can easily scratch and chip the non-stick coating, reducing its effectiveness and potentially releasing harmful particles into your food.

Avoiding High Heat

While non-stick pans are designed to withstand moderate heat, exposing them to excessively high temperatures can lead to deterioration of the non-stick surface.

Stick to low to medium heat settings to prevent damaging the coating. High heat can cause the non-stick coating to release harmful fumes, affecting both your food and the pan’s longevity.

Read Also: How to Dispose Cooking Oil After Deep Frying

Preventing Abrasive Cleaning

Using abrasive cleaning pads or harsh scrubbers can scratch and wear down the non-stick surface. To clean your non-stick pans effectively, opt for soft sponges and non-abrasive cleaning agents. This gentle approach will ensure your pans remain smooth and non-stick.

Avoiding Cooking Sprays

Cooking sprays might seem convenient, but they can create a sticky buildup on your non-stick pans over time. This buildup can be challenging to remove and can impact the pan’s non-stick properties.

Instead of sprays, use a small amount of oil or butter when necessary.

empty non-stick pan

Not Overheating When Empty

One common mistake is overheating an empty non-stick pan. This can cause the non-stick surface to deteriorate and lose its effectiveness. Always ensure there’s something in the pan before heating it, even if it’s just a drop of oil or water.

Avoiding Stackable Storage

Stacking non-stick pans without proper protection between them can lead to scratches and damage to the non-stick coating. To prevent this, place a soft cloth or paper towel between each pan when stacking them in your kitchen cabinet.

Regularly Seasoning Your Pan

Contrary to common belief, non-stick pans can benefit from occasional seasoning. Apply a thin layer of oil to the pan’s surface and heat it gently. This process helps maintain the non-stick properties and prevents food from sticking to the surface.

Not Storing Food in the Pan

Leaving leftover food in your non-stick pan for extended periods can lead to staining and deterioration of the non-stick coating. Always transfer your cooked food to separate containers before storing them.

Avoiding Sudden Temperature Changes

Rapid temperature changes, such as placing a hot non-stick pan directly under cold water, can cause warping and damage to the pan’s surface. Allow your pan to cool down before cleaning or immersing it in water.

Avoiding Cooking on High Flame

If you’re using a gas stove, ensure that the flames don’t extend beyond the base of the pan. Excessive flames can heat the pan’s sides, potentially damaging the non-stick coating.

Avoiding Stacking Heavy Items on Pans

Avoid stacking heavy pots, pans, or other kitchen items on top of your non-stick pans, as this can cause dents and scratches on the pan’s surface.

Cutting Inside the Pan

Avoid using sharp knives or utensils to cut or slice food directly inside the non-stick pan. This can damage the coating and expose the underlying material.

Avoiding Metal Utensils While Serving

When serving food from a non-stick pan, avoid using metal utensils. Opt for plastic, silicone, or wooden utensils to prevent scratching the surface.

Not Using the Right Cooking Oils

Certain cooking oils can create a sticky residue on non-stick pans. Avoid using oils like flaxseed oil or olive oil, which can become gummy over time. Instead, opt for oils with higher smoke points like canola or vegetable oil.


By following these guidelines on what not to do with non-stick pans, you can ensure that your cookware remains in excellent condition for years to come.

Proper care and attention to detail will maintain the non-stick properties of your pans and provide you with enjoyable cooking experiences. Remember, a little extra effort in the kitchen can go a long way in preserving your kitchen essentials.