Americans love cooking and baking at home, and they love nonstick coatings. In fact, over 75% of all cookware, bakeware, and small appliances use a nonstick coating, and that percentage consistently grows every year. Nonstick coatings ensure that food doesn’t stick, that cleanup is easy, and most importantly that less oils and fats are needed. However, there is a tremendous amount of consumer misinformation about nonstick coatings that can be very confusing.
My company, GMM Nonstick Coatings, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of nonstick coatings to iconic brands such as Calphalon, KitchenAid, Wilton, Oster, George Foreman, Farberware, Crock Pot, and Pyrex. Every day, over 40 million Americans cook with products that use GMM’s coatings. Below, I have listed many erroneous “myths” about nonstick coatings, with the correct facts which may be surprising.
MYTH 1: If I accidentally eat a small piece of a nonstick coating, I will be harmed!
False. Nonstick coatings are made with ingredients that are carefully monitored by the US FDA for food safety. Any small piece of coating ingested will safely pass through your system with no impact whatsoever.
MYTH 2: Nonstick Coatings are not durable
False. Given the vast array of technological improvements in coating technology, nonstick coatings can last for decades. This fact is evidenced by the lifetime warranties that are common on many housewares products. Of course, over time all nonstick coatings will show wear, which is very normal.
MYTH 3: Coatings are not “metal-utensil safe”
False. Today, many consumers safely and happily use metal utensils on nonstick coatings with no issues. The problem is when there is an expectation about “perfection”, because all coatings will eventually fail over the years. Modern coatings can be used with light scraping of metal tools with very little degradation.
MYTH 4: Nonstick coatings cannot be used in the dishwasher
False. Most nonstick coatings on cookware are dishwasher safe, and will last for years and years in a standard dishwasher. Bakeware coatings will reduce in food release performance after being used frequently with a dishwasher. However, the coating should not be physically degraded by a dishwasher unless it has been severely scraped in advance.
MYTH 5: Nonstick coated pans cannot be placed in the refrigerator
False. Nonstick pans can be placed in the refrigerator (or freezer) indefinitely if so desired in order to store cooked or leftover food with no harm to the coating.
MYTH 6: Aren’t all “nonstick coatings” basically the same?
Absolutely not. Coatings are tremendously different, between how many layers are present (1, 2, or 3), as well as if they are reinforced or not. Further, a coating may be comprised of PTFE, silicone, or ceramics, each of which has differing attributes.
MYTH 7: If a nonstick coating is scratched slightly, it is ruined
False. While the small gouge or scrape may be unsightly, it certainly will not render the product useless. As long as the majority of the coating is present on the bottom of the vessel, it will perform very well.
MYTH 8: Burnt food will ruin my coating
False. Most of the time, by soaking in soapy water, burnt food will come off easily. Most high end nonstick coatings prevent burnt food from ever accumulating on the surface.
MYTH 9: It’s not safe to use nonstick cooking sprays on nonstick cookware
This is false. We believe that these sprays are unnecessary, but it does not mean that they cannot be used. The downside of these sprays is that they will eventually cause a layer of film to develop on the surface of the coating, which needs to be carefully cleaned off. If this layer is not cleaned, the performance of the coating will be inferior.
Story by: By Ravin Gandhi of GMM Non-Stick Coatings
Ravin Gandhi began his career at KPMG in Chicago. In 1995, Mr. Gandhi joined Coatings and Chemicals Corporation (CCC), a family owned supplier of nonstick coatings, as Director of Global Marketing. Within a few years, CCC became the sole supplier to most American cookware, bakeware, and electrical appliance manufacturers by pioneering high quality “non-branded” non-stick coatings.