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You Shouldn’t Be Cooking This Food in Your Non-Stick Pan

A pan is surrounded by cooking tools and spices.
Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock.com

Non-stick pans are one of the most convenient items in a kitchen. Come on, you can plop an egg in and fry it with no oil! But there might be some foods to skip cooking in your pan.

As it turns out, acidic foods like tomatoes can wear down the non-stick coating on your pans.

Southern Living spoke with Ann Ziata, chef at the Institute of Culinary Education, who explained that your non-stick coating might not be as foolproof as you think. She told the outlet that acidic foods like tomatoes and dishes that require lemon and lime eat away at the cookware’s non-stick ability over time.

T-fal Specialty 3 PC Initiatives Nonstick Inside and Out

Just in case you have been making tomatoes every night.

Don’t fret just yet, though, if you made spaghetti sauce two nights ago. There’s a cumulative effect to this care recommendation. Those who haven’t been continuously cooking tomato or adding lime juice into all their pan sauces probably haven’t done too much damage yet. But it’s an important rule to remember—don’t cook highly acidic foods in non-stick pans.

It’s not the only thing Ziata mentioned, though. Cooking sprays are another culprit. Much like making tomatoes in your pan, cooking spray damage is cumulative. Over time, the more you use the spray, the more it’ll build up on the pan and be unable to be removed, making the surface sticky.

So, while yes, non-stick cookware is incredible, you make want to freshen up on some of those care rules before using it for everything.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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