Can you use a newly-brought non-stick pan right away or should you season it?

Non-stick pan
Metal black frying pan with a non-stick coating on electric stove. Photo: iStock/Supersmario

Typically, you can use a newly bought non-stick pan right away without seasoning it. However, some manufacturers recommend seasoning the pan before its first use to enhance its non-stick properties and longevity. It's essential to check the manufacturer's instructions or packaging to see if seasoning is recommended for your specific pan. If seasoning is advised, it's a straightforward process that involves coating the pan with a thin layer of oil and heating it gently before wiping off any excess oil.

Using a newly bought non-stick pan correctly can help ensure its longevity and maintain its non-stick properties. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Initial cleaning
Before using your non-stick pan for the first time, wash it with warm, soapy water to remove any dust or residues from the manufacturing process. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Seasoning the pan
Some non-stick pans benefit from an initial seasoning. Check the manufacturer's instructions to see if this is recommended for your pan.

How to season a non-stick pan

  • Lightly coat the pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil.
  • Heat the pan on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Let the pan cool, then wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.

Cooking with the pan

  • Always preheat your non-stick pan on medium or low heat. High heat can cause the coating to degrade and release harmful fumes.
  • Use wooden, silicone, or plastic utensils to prevent scratching the non-stick surface. Avoid metal utensils.
  • You can cook with little or no oil, but a small amount can enhance the non-stick properties and flavour of your food.
  • Avoid heating an empty non-stick pan, as this can damage the coating.
  • Allow the pan to cool completely before washing. Sudden temperature changes can warp the pan.
  • Hand wash with warm, soapy water using a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid abrasive scrubbers or steel wool.
  • If the non-stick performance decreases, you can re-season the pan by lightly coating it with oil and heating it.
  • Store the pan carefully to avoid scratches. If stacking, place a soft cloth or paper towel between pans.

By following these steps, you can enjoy your non-stick pan for many years while maintaining its non-stick surface and cooking efficiency.

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