6 Things to Cook in a Nonstick Frying Pan—And 4 Things Not To
Nonstick pans are invaluable for preparing certain dishes—find out when they should shine, and when they should remain on the shelf.
A beloved cooking tool, nonstick pans have a place in many a home cook's heart for their even cooking and quick cleanup. However, nonstick pans are not a one-size-fits-all solution and should be used for quick-cook proteins for the best—and tastiest—results. Not sure where to begin? Check out this guide to every type of frying pan.
Works well: Bacon
Nothing compares to the smell of sizzling bacon in the morning, and a nonstick skillet will result in crispy, evenly-cooked pieces. With less cleanup, you'll be able to enjoy your bacon even on busy weekdays.
Works well: Eggs
You'll want a nonstick skillet on hand to take your breakfasts or brunches to the next level. Nonstick pans will guarantee fluffy omelets and the perfect scrambled eggs while making flipping frittatas painless. Just make sure you know if your nonstick cookware is safe to use.
Works well: Pancakes
Proving that nonstick skillets are the king of breakfast prep, they'll also simplify and upgrade your pancake game. Heavier nonstick pans will work better in this case to ensure even cooking throughout and make a fluffy, delicious start to your morning. Learn the secret ingredient for the fluffiest pancakes.
Works well: Delicate fish
Nonstick pans are perfect for hassle-free fish—including favorites like salmon and scallops, which have a tendency to make a mess. When using this type of pan, make sure the fish is patted dry and you preheat the pan for an evenly-cooked, crispy result. Learn the ways you might have been cooking fish wrong.
Works well: Crepes
Crepes, pancakes' delectable French cousin, are an ideal dish to cook in a nonstick skillet. Since they are thin and delicate, nonstick skillets will reduce the likelihood of them burning or sticking to the pan. This results in a perfect crepe each time, ready to be filled with fruit, cheese or your accompaniment of choice.
Works well: Cheesy dishes
Gooey and decadent, cheesy dishes have a best friend with nonstick pans. Prepare grilled cheese or other cheese-rich dishes like quesadillas without worrying about the cheese sticking.
Doesn't work so well: Acidic Foods
When working with tomatoes or lemons, put away the nonstick cookware. Acidic foods like these will wear off the nonstick coating, making the pans age more quickly. Stainless steel is your best bet for dishes that feature these flavors. Here's more on the only types of cookware you should use.
Doesn't work so well: When Charring or Searing
When cooking meats, especially those like steak or chicken breast, nonstick won't give you the crispiness or all-over browning you're aiming for. Use a thin layer of oil on cast-iron or stainless steel pans for an evenly-cooked, delicious dinner. Here are more foods you should always cook in cast-iron pans.
Doesn't work so well: Pan Sauces
While the coating on nonstick pans makes them optimal for reducing mess, it also prevents bits to brown at the bottom of the pan. These bits are essential for maximum flavor and richness in your sauces. By the way, here's why you shouldn't wash your hot pan in cold water.
Doesn't work so well: Browning Butter
Nutty and toasty browned butter lends a delicious, rich flavor to sauces and baked goods, but you should bench your nonstick pan for this. A stainless steel pan will let you monitor the butter to make sure it doesn't burn, and will cook the butter evenly. Now, find out how to organize all of your pots and pans in your kitchen.