7 common mistakes you may be making with your non-stick pans

non-stick pans / kitchen hacks / CountryWives online magazine for older womenGuest contributor, Steph from Expert Home Tips is going to reveal some of the most common errors we make with non-stick pans which can completely ruin them! If you love your non-stick pans as much as we do, we’d recommend giving this one a read.

Once you’ve cooked with non-stick pans, it’s hard to go back. The simple but clever coating prevents food from sticking, making not only cooking, but cleaning up, much easier than that of other pans.

Although your non-stick pans may look hardy enough, if they’re not properly looked after, they can become scratched, misshaped and less effective. For those of you who’ve experienced this, you’ll know a ruined non-stick pan can be more problematic than one without any non-stick powers at all!

Are you looking after your non-stick pans correctly? There are 7, common mistakes people make when using, washing and storing non-stick pans which can lead to their demise. Discover the mistakes today and make sure you stay away from them!

1. Don’t put non-stick pans in the dishwasher

I know, I know – throwing your pots and pans in the dishwasher is much easier than washing them by hand, but it won’t do them any good. The high temperatures inside your dishwasher and chemicals in dishwasher tablets will wear non-stick coatings down over time.

Do your pocket (and your pans) a favour and always wash your non-stick pans by hand. For best results, use lots of washing up liquid and either a brush or the soft side of your sponge.

2. Don’t heat your pan if there’s nothing in them

We’ve all done it – you start heating your pan so it’s nice and hot for your steak/salmon and then get distracted and leave it smoking away without any contents.

This isn’t only a waste of electricity, but it can cause a non-stick pan to buckle, which will affect its performance in the future.

3. Don’t store non-stick pans carelessly

Even when you’re not using them, your non-stick pans can still become damaged. The coating is relatively thin, and more delicate than it looks. This is why it’s so important to store them with care when not in use.

If your non-stick pans have holes through the handles, your best bet is hanging them on hooks up high. If you’re storing them in cupboards, try not to stack them. If you do have to, ensure you place a protective layer between each one – you can buy these from most homeware stores – or alternatively, use kitchen roll.

4. Don’t use a scourer

I’ve seen people do this so many times, and it never gets any less painful to watch! You should never use a scourer or the rough side of a sponge on your non-stick pans – it will scratch at the coating, wearing awayat parts (or all) of it.

You may get away with doing this once or twice, but any more than that and your pans will end up super-stick not non-stick!

5. Don’t change temperature too quickly

Another mistake that can lead to your pan buckling is changing temperature too quickly. When your pan’s hot, it’s often tempting to immediately pour water onto it to help with getting it clean later. Your pan gets extremely hot when cooking, and the sudden blast of cold water will ‘shock’ the metal, which could cause it warp.

Instead, leave your pan to cool gradually, then fill with water and leave to soak if needed.

6. Don’t use metal utensils on non-stick pans

When using non-stick pans, always use appropriate utensils. This means no metal, as the sharp edges will scratch the coating, making it less-effective over time.

Invest in some quality silicone, plastic and wooden utensils, and your non-stick pans will fare so much better for it.

7. Don’t use your non-stick pans for everything

This is perhaps advice I need to take heed of myself. Once you’ve experiences the easy-cook, easy-clean magic of non-stick pans, it’s easy to become addicted. However, non-stick pans were specifically designed for foods that are prone to sticking – scrambled eggs, delicate seabass, etc.

Stainless steel and cast-iron pans get much hotter than non-stick pans, which is what gives flavour, seals meat, and helps get that ‘crunchy’ crust.

For steak, salmon, sauces, and anything else non-sticky, avoid using your non-stick pans. It may take you slightly longer to clean up but the improved taste of your dishes will definitely be worth it.

Many thanks to guest contributor, Steph from Expert Home Tips, for this article.

For more super useful life hacks and other really good ideas click here