The secret to masterfully creating fluffy, golden omelets is in the pan – more specifically a nonstick pan. Nonstick cookware is not as enduring as cast iron or carbon steel pots and pans, but with the proper care and maintenance, it can last for years. 

How to Clean a Nonstick Pan

Before using new cookware for the first time, wash it with hot, soapy water, rinse well and dry it thoroughly with a soft cotton or linen towel. 

It is essential to let the cookware cool completely before washing; immersing a hot pan in cooler water could permanently warp and ruin it. You will want to use a dish soap and hot water, rinse well, and dry thoroughly with a cloth or paper towel. No matter how tempted you are, do not use steel wool or other harsh, abrasive cleaning materials or cleansers to wash your nonstick pan. 

We suggest you avoid the dishwasher entirely even if your cookware comes with claims to be dishwasher safe. While many nonstick pans are technically dishwasher safe, we do recommend hand washing with warm soapy water as it will prolong your pan’s life. 

Tips for Cooking with Nonstick Pans

It’s important to properly preheat your nonstick skillet as it promotes even cooking, and easy release. Most nonstick pans perform best at low to medium heat. 

The most important rule with nonstick cookware is to never use metal utensils on your nonstick surfaces; they can damage the coating. Also, do not use a nonstick pan under the broiler or bake at temperatures higher than 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The intense heat will damage the finish. Check the manufacturer's recommendations for oven use before using in the oven.

Keep your nonstick cookware clean for consistent, quality performance. Any food residue or leftover grease will cook into the surface and carbonize, causing food to stick. That cooked-on residue is hard to see and even more difficult to remove, so wash carefully and thoroughly every time.

It’s a good habit to wash each piece twice to ensure that every last trace of food and oil or butter is removed.

What to Do When Your Nonstick Coating is Coming Off?

Inevitably, these pans won't last forever, so as soon as you start to notice any flaking, it's best to throw that pan away and invest in a new one. To keep a nonstick pan in good working condition as long as possible avoid using Pam cooking spray, which can gum up the surface and actually make food stick. While you may be using a nonstick cooking spray instead of oil or butter to reduce calories in a dish, it’s actually not compatible with nonstick cookware. If you wish to use a cooking spray we suggest using an olive oil misting bottle.