Utensils for Nonstick Pans to Keep Them Pristine for the Years to Come
Thought you could use just any utensil on your nonstick pan? Think again! Nonstick pans have become a staple in almost every home with how it allows for effortless food release and easier than ever post-cooking clean up.
As with almost every great thing, its benefits naturally come with the need for proper maintenance. Because let’s face it, the nonstick layer will not last forever and scratching its surface will reduce its lifespan quicker than ever.
One of the ways to take great care of your nonstick pans involve using the right nonstick utensils. Because the right ones can truly make or break your cooking experience.
4 Types of Cooking Utensils for Nonstick Pans that Ensure it Lasts Longer
1. Silicone Utensils
Personally, silicone utensils are my top choice and one of the best cooking utensils for nonstick pans. It’s one of the most highly recommended types of utensil and with several reasons to back its claim too!
For one, it features a smooth surface that is also often soft, minimising the risk of scratches on nonstick pans. So you can effortlessly stir, flip, and scrape food across your nonstick pan’s surface, while maintaining your nonstick pan’s integrity and prolonging its lifespan.
Depending on the quality, most of them are heat resistant. It can withstand high temperatures up to 260°C without melting, warping, or releasing harmful chemicals. If you’ve ever tried perfectly scramble eggs on a heated nonstick pan with a silicone spatula, you’ll understand why silicone cooking utensils are the crème de la crème even for professional cooks.
They are also easy to clean due to its non-porous construction, so you won’t experience stubborn stains, stuck food particles, or any odour absorption. All you need to do is give it a light scrub with warm soapy water. Did we also mention that this low-maintenance material is dishwasher safe? Well it is!
The only downside is that it isn’t biodegradable. Having said that, its long-lasting durability does make it an eco-friendly alternative to other types of utensils because proper care will see it last a lifetime. And silicone utensils often come in a variety of stunning colours which design enthusiasts will appreciate just like ours at Cosmic Cookware!
2. Wooden Utensils
Gentle on nonstick surfaces with a beautifully classic look that looks great in almost every kitchen. These are but a tip of the iceberg that makes wooden utensils a darling for nonstick cookware.
Wood is naturally soft despite its hard appearance and feel, and it’s a natural insulator so heat is not conducted as quickly as metal or other materials. It really helps to lower the risk of overheating your nonstick cookware’s surface while stirring, flipping or scraping food off.
It’s also non-reactive so cooking acidic and alkaline ingredients like tomato or citrus won’t cause any reaction or leech undesirable flavours.
Eco-warriors will absolutely love using wooden utensils as a lifestyle choice for its natural and sustainable properties. That’s because wooden utensils are often made using sustainable hardwoods like beechwood or maple wood, making them biodegradable and renewable.
Its aesthetically pleasing classic design also adds a touch of warmth and natural beauty to the kitchen with minimal effort, perfect for those after the classic designs and minimalist looks.
However, wooden cooking utensils do need proper care and handling. This is due to wood’s naturally porous nature, where frequent exposure to hot liquid and harsh detergents will cause the wood to warp, split, or dry out.
That very same porous nature also allows it to easily absorb liquid and bacteria, so less than proper care will cause it to become toxic in the long run.
What you can do to make your wooden utensils last and tox-free in the long run is to only wash them by hand with warm soapy water and dry immediately after. Lastly, you’ll need to treat them with mineral oil occasionally to keep them pristine.
3. Bamboo Utensils
Wait, doesn’t bamboo fall under the “wooden utensil category”? Confusing, but no. Bamboo is actually not wood, but a type of woody grass that is commonly grouped with wood.
While most bamboo utensils are safe for use on nonstick cookware, not all of them are. That’s because bamboo can be slightly harder and less forgiving on nonstick compared to wood. It’s important to choose bamboo cooking utensils that have smooth finishes and rounded edges to prevent scratches on your nonstick pans.
Bamboo is a fantastic alternative to wood because it's lightweight, naturally antimicrobial, and generally more affordable while being zero waste to boot! Caring for it is also the same as how you’d care for your wooden utensils, with high quality bamboo utensils being dishwasher safe.
4. Nylon Utensils
Nylon utensils are a fantastic choice if money is tight and you need utensils that are suitable for your nonstick cookware! They are gentle on nonstick surfaces, lightweight, slightly flexible, odor resistant, and in most cases heat resistant up to 200°c.
This makes them the perfect cooking utensils to maneuver tricky cooking tasks like flipping delicate foods, gently stirring sauces, or carrying out intricate cooking tasks without straining your wrists.
Its non-porous nature also makes it tox-free and relatively low maintenance as they are dishwasher safe.
But having said that, its lower heat resistance means that you can’t leave it sitting on a heated frying pan for long. You might even want to avoid doing that completely to keep it in good condition. When nylon cooking utensils are left on a heat source for too long, it tends to warp, release toxic fumes, or melt, causing its once smooth edges to become sharp and pointy.
I would also not recommend those who practice making environmentally conscious choices to go with nylon as it is entirely synthetic and not eco-friendly.
Utensils to Avoid on Nonstick Pans
1. Metal Utensils
You’d probably have heard this before; “never use metal on your nonstick cookware!”.
Metal utensils, such as stainless steel and aluminium utensils, are a popular choice in kitchens because they feature immense durability with a sleek, modern look. Aside from that, they can also be rather affordable.
But these should be kept far, far away from your nonstick cookware as they often have a hard, sharp, and abrasive surface that will undeniably scratch and damage your cookware’s nonstick coating.
Another downside to using metal utensils is that they tend to be reactive to acidic and alkaline ingredients. With all that, do yourself a favour and keep metal away from your nonstick cookware!
2. Sharp Utensils and Abrasive Ones
Sharp utensils like knives and forks have no place on nonstick cookware, even if it’s for serving food. While there are times where we may find ourselves stuck with doing so, what you can do is to be gentle and avoid coming into direct contact with your cookware’s nonstick surface as you pick and serve food.
Ideally you’ll want to stick with rounded or blunt utensils like silicone tongs and wooden serving spoons to preserve the integrity of your nonstick pans.
Do also take care to avoid cleaning your nonstick cookware with abrasive cleaning tools like wire brushes, steel wools, and the rough side of cleaning sponges.
Remember that the nonstick coating is there to prevent stubborn stains and stuck food, so you can easily wash them away without having to resort to abrasive cleaning tools.
Let’s Get Cooking With Your Nonstick Cookware!
Now that you know what utensils are suitable, you’ll less likely find yourself stuck in analysis paralysis when you shop for your next new set of utensils!
Ultimately if you're looking for low maintenance cooking utensils that also offer fantastic cooking performance, silicone would be your best bet. If you want something that offers more in the aesthetics department and are willing to put in the care and effort, wooden utensils are one of the best.
If you’d like to go with our top pick of silicone utensils to go with your set of nonstick cookware, do check out Cosmic Cookware’s colourful range of Cosmo Utensils that looks good and cooks good.