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Cooking Tips

How Nonstick is Your Nonstick Skillet?

  This simple test can tell you when it’s time for a new pan.

A nonstick skillet is only as good as its coating. But even if the pan’s surface looks smooth and unmarred by scratches, the nonstick portion of the coating may be still be worn away. 

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In the test kitchen, we check the slickness of our nonstick pans with a test used in the cookware industry: frying eggs in a dry pan that we’ve heated to 350 degrees. If the coating is in optimal condition, the eggs will curl at the edges and almost hop out of the skillet. However, if the coating has worn down, the egg will cling stubbornly to the pan, leaving traces behind in the skillet.

Fried Egg Test, Adapted for Home

But even if you don’t have an infrared thermometer at your disposal to check the temperature of your pan, here’s a way to approximate the test without one:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in your nonstick skillet over medium heat. 

2. Thirty seconds after the water has evaporated, crack 1 egg into the center of the pan.

3. Cook the egg for 21/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and lift the egg from skillet with a spatula. 

If the egg lifts cleanly or only sticks in one or two spots, your skillet’s coating is in good shape. If the egg must be scraped from the pan, its nonstick portion has deteriorated— and before you destroy your next omelet or batch of delicate fish fillets, you may want to consider buying a new one. 

5 Great Recipes to Use With a Nonstick Skillet


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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.