Every individual who has cooked in their lives, in any capacity, recognizes the importance of nonstick cookware. It is sleek-looking, smooth, and prevents food from sticking to the surface of the pan. So after you’re done cooking, you don’t have to sit there scraping the bottom of the pan for leftovers. This also makes your cookware easy to clean – overall, it’s one of the best inventions to hit the cookware market in a while. And although there may have been some discrepancies regarding the safety of traditional non-stick pans, newer ceramic coated alternatives have put them to rest for good.
Whichever grade of non-stick cookware you own right now, be it Teflon or ceramic, it may be possible that you’re not treating your nonstick cookware right – there are certain specific steps you have to follow to ensure that your nonstick cookware serves you for as long as possible. Let’s get into the whys of how to season a nonstick frying pan.
What is A Nonstick Pan?
A nonstick pan is exactly what it says on the tin: it makes your food not stick to the surface of the pan while you’re cooking. This makes your pan incredibly easy to use and ensures that washing the pan doesn’t become a whole chore. But this also means that you have to be taking good care of your nonstick pan.
Nonstick pan care is something that most home chefs neglect. The composition of these pans is different from regular, which is why, to break in a new nonstick pan, you have to be taking different measures to ensure optimal productivity. The surface of nonstick pans, unlike ordinary metal pans, is coated with PTFE technology that makes the surface virtually pore-free. The food can not seep into these pores as it does in metal pans, making it easier for you to make those delicious scrambled eggs.
Do I Really Need to Season My Nonstick Pan?
The short answer is: yes, you definitely need to season nonstick pan. The longer answer is: yes, and here’s why. As we’ve already explored before, Nonstick pans function due to a certain coating on them that fills in whatever porousness the pan might have. This coating can be made of PTFE or Teflon, or silica-based gel. That’s where the nonstick property of the pan comes in.
Seasoning your nonstick pan also makes it exponentially more durable than it usually is. The food is prevented from sticking to the surface so it’s highly recommended that you do so.
What Are The Benefits of Seasoning Your Nonstick pan?
If you’re wondering why or how to season a nonstick skillet, this is where you should be. Seasoning your nonstick pan is one of the first procedures you should follow after getting one for the first time. As we’ve discussed already, the surface of nonstick pans is coated with materials that make it harder for the food to stick.
If you’re seasoning a non stick pan, then you’re filling in for any inconsistencies that might exist on the surface of the pan still. This also ensures that you’re going to be using less cooking oil to lubricate the surface of the pan to preserve the nonstick property. The surface of your nonstick pan is protected from oxidization in this manner and prevents rust that might form from the remnants of food.
How Often To Season A Nonstick Pan?
This truly depends on the brand to which your nonstick pan belongs and what type of a non-stick pan it essentially is. With certain brands, you can get away with seasoning your nonstick pan twice a year to allow for maximum productivity. Other brands, on the other hand, recommend that you season your nonstick pan every few weeks to achieve the same effect.
If you’re unsure as to how often you should season your nonstick pan, the easiest way to tell is if your food starts sticking to the surface more often than not. If you find more friction than usual with your pan, then it may be time to season it.
How to Season A Nonstick Pan For Stovetop Cooking?
- If this is a completely new nonstick pan, then the first thing you’re going to want to do is to wash it to get rid of any impurities or dirt. After you’ve done this, dry the pan with a towel.
- Use a teaspoon of either coconut oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil and evenly coat the bottom surface of the pan. To spread it evenly you can also use a paper towel.
- Hold it over your stove and turn on the heat to medium.
- You’re going to need to keep the pan there till the oil starts smoking (happens usually a minute in).
- Remove the pan from the stovetop and let it cool. If there is any excess oil as residue, you can choose to pour it away.
How to Season A Nonstick Pan For Oven Cooking?
- It requires mostly the same procedure as seasoning your nonstick pan on the stovetop.
- The first step is to preheat the oven to around 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use either coconut oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil to put on the surface of the pan. You will require one teaspoon only.
- Spread the oil evenly on the surface of the pan with the help of a paper towel or something similar.
- Pop your oiled-up pan into the oven for about an hour, at which time the pan will soak the oil completely.
- After the time is up, take it out and let it cool off – remove the excess oil after it’s cooled.
What Oils Can You Season Your NonStick Cookware With?
While it is recommended for you to be using either coconut oil, peanut oil, or vegetable oil for the procedure of how to season a nonstick wok, there are some other oils you can use as substitutes if you don’t have the above-mentioned oils. The reason for the specificity is the smoking point – it is necessary to use oils that have smoking points above 300 degrees Fahrenheit to get the durable nonstick effect you want on your pan. Here are some other oils that you can use as substitutes:
- Canola Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Corn Oil
- Soyabean Oil
All of these oils have relatively high smoking points. The only oil that you should take care NOT to use is olive oil since it has a low smoking point.
Other Tips to Maintain Your Nonstick Cookware for Long
Apart from seasoning your nonstick pan, there are various ways to make sure you’re taking care of your nonstick cookware to make them last through the years.
Make sure that your nonstick pan has cooled entirely before you wash it. Applying sudden temperature changes is fatal to the durability of your nonstick cookware. The nonstick coating is damaged, and the pan’s material itself is harmed.
The surface of nonstick pans is extremely susceptible to scratching and wear-and-tear. It is hence necessary to store them in a way that they’re not rubbing against your other cookware. A simple way to do this is to store them hanging in your kitchen. If you are unable to do this, then store them stacked by placing paper towels between each of them to avoid scratching.
It’s extremely important to know how to clean your nonstick cookware appropriately. Owing to the fragility of nonstick cookware surfaces, it is best not to use harsh cleaners and metal scrubs that can immensely damage the surface. If there’s any food stuck to the surface, then make use of warm water and let the pan soak in it for a while before attempting to scrub it. You can also choose to deglaze the surface if your food is stuck to it and won’t budge at all.