Stop Washing the Non-Stick Skillet so Often (but Do It Instead)

I’m not one of those people who uses their cast iron pan in everything. I understand that this can be done, and I understand that a properly aged cast iron pan is a slippery beauty thing, but I’m a little lazy and will always have a non-stick pan in my arsenal, mainly for eggs.

Non-stick pans, whether Teflon coated or PFOA-free, are simple (this is a sensation I know all too well) . They are easy to prepare food and easy to clean; they can be seasoned (like cast iron), but most likely not necessary, especially if you wash easily.

Why you shouldn’t wash your nonstick skillet so often

There are some non-stick pans (like GreenPan) that seem to be great dishwasher-safe, but some non-stick coatings, especially Teflon, do not respond well to these hot and corrosive conditions. The combination of detergent, pressurized water and salt can break the coating, making the pans sticky or crumbly.

I rarely use soap and water to wash my pans, unless I’m dealing with something really stubborn (like scrambled eggs and cream , which for some reason has a strong affinity for Teflon). Instead of washing the dishes after each use, I wipe the pan with a paper towel or sponge while it’s still hot. If that doesn’t work, I’ll put the pan back on the hotplate, heat it a little more, and then wipe it off with a damp paper towel or sponge – a little “steam clean” if you like. This is how my mom always washed her non-stick pans, which I thought was “weird” when I was young because I thought everything my mom did was “weird” at the age of 13-22.

If steam doesn’t work, wipe it off gently with a non-abrasive sponge and a little cold, soapy water , but steam works about 94% of the time. This softer, softer approach will extend the life of your non-stick skillet and preserve coverage.


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