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Eight ways to care for your non-stick cookware

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The first time I bought a non-stick pan I was very excited because ‘this is the pan that will not allow food get burnt (I was wrong) and the food will never stick to the pan (only if you handle it right).’

Over the years, I have spent a fortune on non-stick pans and it took a while for me to understand that these pans need a little bit of love and special care for you to enjoy using them for a long time.

Once non-stick pots and pans get scratched, food starts sticking to them, food will get burnt easily and you will lose the value of the non-stick pan.

These tips will show you what to do and what not to do when it comes to handling non-stick pans so that you get your money’s worth.
 
• No matter how tempted you are, resist the urge to cook with stainless steel /metal utensils because they will scratch the pan and ruin the coating. Non-stick pots and pans require soft touch and you should only use plastic, wooden and silicon utensils.

If you use metal utensils, with time the non-stick coating of the cookware peels off and where do you think they go?

In your food and I bet it is not nutritious!

• When it comes to washing non-stick pots and pans, make sure they are cleaned gently and not abrasively with iron sponges or hard sponges.

Due to the non-stick nature of this cookware, food should not get burnt to the point where you have to employ so much force to get rid of it.

If food starts sticking it means your pan is losing its potency. It is best to soak for a while if it is tough to clean.

• How you store the non-stick pots and pans is equally important. You cannot afford to just stack pots carelessly on one another.

If you have minimal shelving storage and you must stack please use a paper tower between the pots to protect the surface against scratches from the bottoms of other cookware.

• Stay away from cooking sprays because they do more damage to non-stick cookware by creating a sticky residue on the pan that is tough to get rid of over time. This residue will affect the ability of the non-stick pan to remain non-stick.

If you are guilty of using cooking spray, try to repair it by making a paste with equal part of baking soda and water, using a soft sponge to clean the pan. Rinse and rub a bit of vegetable oil over the pan using a paper towel.

• Instead of cooking sprays, using vegetable oils. Before you heat up your non-stick cookware, add a bit of oil on the surface so that this can act as a shield and also help it remain non-stick for better cooking results. 

• When using non-stick pans, you will have to pay attention to the temperature the meal is being cooked at because with non-stick pans you need minimal heat – they are not designed to take on a lot of heat.

It is best to cook on medium heat to avoid ruining your non-stick pans and pots.

When it comes to temperature also, do not take a hot non-stick pan from the heat and run water over it – this is a common mistake a lot of us make. Transferring from hot to suddenly cold will affect the condition of your non-stick cookware.

• If you store your food in your pot perhaps overnight, then you would have to break the habit.

Allowing food stay in the non-stick pots or pans for a very long time can change the flavor of your next meal because non-stick pans retain the flavor of whatever you store in it for long and this can also affect the surface of the pan over time.

Make it a rule to always empty your pots and storing the contents safely in the fridge.

• Non-stick pans don’t last forever so you have to know when to let it go. A lot of non-stick cookware last for about five years, depending on usage so know when to let it go.

Non-stick cookware with premium quality may last longer.  If your pan is already peeling off then it is time to let it go.


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