If you’ve ever thought about using a non-stick pan in an oven, and someone has told you to be careful, the question of how hot you can get a non-stick pan may have popped into your head.
How hot can a non-stick pan be without ruining the coating? We’re going to find out below.
Heating a Non-Stick Pan Safely – Maximum Temperatures
A non-stick pan can reach temperatures of between 180 and 260 degrees Celsius. This, of course, depends on the non-stick coating and even the other materials the pan is made from.
But, in general, the max temperature for a non-stick pan is 260 degrees Celsius. Anywhere beyond this and the pan’s coating will quickly break down.
Non-stick coatings exposed to temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius for extended periods of time can also become damaged.
Because of this, a lot of cookware companies state their non-stick pans are safe to 160 degrees in the oven just to be on the safe side. Some non-stick pans can be pushed above this for short bursts, but this is risky.
Non-Stick Pan Temperatures on the Hob
You may be thinking that using non-stick pans on the hob is absolutely fine because they won’t reach anywhere near this temperature during normal use, right? Wrong.
A non-stick pan can reach 200 degrees Celsius in a matter of minutes on a hob. And with every passing minute, the temperature will rise, particularly if you are heating the pan up without anything in it.
The Tefal Thermo-Spot technology is the perfect way of showing how quickly a pan can heat up to high temperatures on a hob.
Tefal state that the red spot changes colour when its pans reach temperatures of between 140 and 195 degrees Celsius. This takes mere minutes to achieve on most hobs. So, you only need to push this slightly further, and suddenly, you could be damaging your non-stick coating.
How to Safely Cook with Non-Stick Cookware
So, you may be thinking that cooking with non-stick coating and preserving the coating is quite difficult. Well, yes and no.
Firstly, if you’re planning on using a pan in the oven as well as on the hob, it is worth using something more suitable for the job. This could be a fantastic cast iron skillet, or a stainless-steel pan, for example.
We have lists of cookware suitable for the oven that work wonders on the hob too. While many non-stick pans can be used in the oven, the recommended temperatures aren’t really high enough to do much cooking, and using them at any higher temperature could destroy the non-stick coating.
When it comes to using non-stick pans on the hob, though, you just need to be mindful about how long you’re heating them up for, especially if there is nothing in them. If there is smoke billowing out from under the pan, it is too hot. You can also start with the food in the pan.
The food will draw some of the heat away from the coating. So, the pan won’t reach the critical temperatures mentioned above during the cooking process.
Also, once you’re finished cooking with a pan, avoid dunking it in cold water straight away. We know the sizzling, bubbling water is cool, but this dramatic change of temperature can also cause damage to the coating and even the metal. Let it cool down on the hob slowly, and then wash it.
Non-stick pans are a great tool for a busy home kitchen. Just heat them slowly or put your food in the pan as you heat it, and this can prolong the life of your pans.
To find out more about non-stick pans (or pans that can be used safely in the oven), please explore Chef’s Pick further. We have the best cookware available in the UK right now and the best hobs to use it on too.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.