Can You Put a Nonstick Pan in the Oven?

by Charlie
Nonstick Frying Pan

Have you ever wondered if you can put nonstick pans in the oven? Sometimes when you’re cooking a recipe that needs to be cooked on the stove first and then transferred to the oven, you’ll want to do this. Alternatively, you might just need to cook in that pan, but in the oven.

Can you put a nonstick pan in the oven? Yes, most of the newer nonstick pans can be used in the oven. More and more nonstick pans are being designed to withstand oven temperatures and are safe for use in the oven, but you will need to check your pan and its guidelines. Some pans that seem like they should be safe aren’t.

We are going to cover some rough rules to try and help you identify suitable pans, but you do need to check with the manufacturer before use.

Which Nonstick Pans Can Usually Be Used in the Oven?

Cast iron skillets are usually designed to be oven safe. You may also find that ceramic pans, stainless steel pans, anodized aluminum skillets, and even certain nonstick skillets are safe in the oven. Some will say so on the bottom of the pan.

If you’re wondering how to tell whether a pan is oven safe, check the underside. It may say that it is, or have a symbol to indicate that it is. However, if your pan doesn’t have this, you may have to make an assessment of whether it’s safe or not – and the assessment should usually be “not” unless you have strong evidence to suggest otherwise.

Look at what the pan is made of and what its handle is made of. If the pan is cast iron, ceramic, or stainless steel and the handle is fully metal, with no plastic or rubber, it should be safe to put the pan in the oven in most circumstances.

However, you should make sure that you are nearby and you are keeping an eye on everything. If the pan starts to smell strange or you notice anything wrong, remove it from the oven and set it on a heatproof mat to cool down. Discard the food inside in case chemicals have leached into it, and throw the pan away as the coating will be ruined.

It is usually best to buy specifically oven safe pans if you plan to use them in the oven. Most people prefer not to use nonstick skillets in the oven because it may harm the coating – which both ruins the pan and potentially leaches harmful chemicals into your food.

However, as long as your oven is below about 450° F, many nonstick coatings will be fine. Do not cook on higher temperatures or for very long periods of time in nonstick unless it is specifically oven safe over these temperatures.

Ceramic, cast iron, and stainless steel pans should usually be okay for longer periods of time in the oven. Copper skillets are generally safe too. Stay nearby whenever you put a pan in the oven and make sure everything is okay.

Which Nonstick Pans Are Not Safe to Put in the Oven?

There are some pans that are definitely not oven safe unless they state otherwise. Pans that have rubber or plastic handles should not be put into the oven, and pans with a nonstick coating should not be put in a very hot oven, or kept in the oven for a long period of time.

It is always best to err on the side of caution, or you may destroy both pan and food. If you don’t know whether a pan is oven safe and it has a plastic handle, do not put it in the oven. The same rule applies to a rubber handle.

Some manufacturers do make pans with oven safe coated handles, and those pans should be fine to use as long as you follow the guidelines about temperature. However, unless the pan has been specifically designed this way, it won’t be safe to put rubber or plastic in the oven.

Remember to check the pan’s lid as well (if you plan to use it in the oven). 

Most pan lids are made of glass or metal, but if the lid contains a rubber handle or any other materials, you need to check that it’s safe to use in the oven too. Glass should be fine as long as it is strong enough to withstand heat. Rubber may not cope!

You should only use suitable pans for oven cooking. Don’t risk an unknown, hoping that it will be okay; this could be dangerous, especially with rubber or plastic handles. These may melt, drop onto the bottom of the oven, and could possibly cause a fire hazard.

If in doubt, contact the manufacturer of your pan (if possible) and ask them about its suitability for oven use. Otherwise, buy a new pan that is suitable for heating in the oven, and only use this.

What Happens If You Put An Unsuitable Nonstick Pan in the Oven?

If you put an unsuitable non-stick pan in the oven, a number of things could happen. The handle may melt, or the nonstick coating could break down, which will affect your food and could also release harmful fumes into your home.

You don’t want to put an unsuitable nonstick pan in your oven – no matter how much you want to make frittatas for supper! You need to make sure that the pan is safe for use at whatever temperature you plan to heat it to.

Coated pans are the hardest to accurately guess whether they are oven safe or not, because the coating could contain various ingredients and may not visibly change. That doesn’t mean it is safe to use in the oven and that it is not affecting your food, so don’t assume it’s fine just because it doesn’t look damaged.

Final Thoughts

You can put some nonstick pans in the oven without having to worry about the coating, but only if you know they have been designed for this. If you aren’t sure about the design of the pan, don’t put it in the oven.

Many nonstick coatings aren’t made to cope with high temperatures and they could start to denature in the oven, which may lead to bad smells and chemicals in your food. It’s better not to risk it!

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