By Betty Gold
May 16, 2019
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Best part: it takes two minutes!

Nonstick pots and pans are lifesavers when it comes to cooking sticky foods with minimal oil and almost no cleanup—omelets, pancakes, stir-fried veggies, and more slide right off the surface with ease.

The coatings used on nonstick pans have come a long way in the last decade. The surface of nonstick cookware used to scratch, peel, and degrade within a few months of purchasing, leading many consumers to generalize nonstick as cheap and flimsy. This is no longer the case—the materials used to make the pans themselves, like hard anodized aluminum, are much sturdier today. Some new pots and pans are actually metal utensil-safe and can be used on high heat.

Still, if you’re finding that your nonstick pans aren’t performing well for as long as you’d like them to, there’s a genius way ensure they’ll live a long, smooth-surfaced life: season your new pans as soon as you bring them home.

Typically, we associate seasoning cookware with cast iron pans. But the same theory why we do this with cast iron stands for nonstick: seasoning will help the longevity and effectiveness of a the pan’s surface. You won’t get the same plastic-like patina that coats your cast iron, but seasoning nonstick will help the surface stay ‘slippery,’ plus you’ll fill in any uneven s or small pores on the coating.

Seasoning is easy, just follow these simple steps:

1. Wash your new pan as soon as you pull it out of the box to make sure you’re removing any leftover factory residue. Dry it thoroughly.

2. Cover the pan’s surface with a thin layer of neutral oil (vegetable or canola oil work well). You can use a towel to help distribute the oil evenly.

3. Heat your skillet over medium heat for two minutes, or you can put it in the oven at 300°F for 20 minutes.

4. Allow the pan and oil to cool down and dry, then wipe any excess oil from the surface with a towel. Done!

RELATED: Cast Iron Skillet Dos and Donts

If you’re tired of scraping eggs from the surface of your old nonstick skillet, we recommend starting over. Pots and pans from Calphalon, Meyer, and Made-In are fantastic and long-lasting. Just don’t forget to season them!

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