The Reason You Shouldn't Use Metal Utensils With Nonstick Frying Pans

Nonstick frying pans are one of the greatest culinary inventions. Gone are the days of spending hours scraping bits of burnt scrambled egg off the bottom of your pan or tediously trying to coat every inch of a regular pan with nonstick spray in hopes of avoiding the above. Coated with Teflon, a non-toxic chemical that Healthline explains creates a frictionless surface, nonstick pans allow even the most beginner of cooks (or even the worst of cooks) to whip up tasty meals with very little effort — and very little risk of burning or ruining.

However, for as easy as nonstick pans are to use, there are some things you should never do with them, like put them in the oven or use metal utensils with them. The latter is something that unfortunately many of us are likely guilty of. Here's why metal spatulas, spoons, etc. are such a no-no when it comes to your nonstick cookware.

Metal utensils will ruin your nonstick pans

If you care about your nonstick pans — and if you want them to, well, stay nonstick — you should never use metal utensils on them. Eat This, Not That! explains that the sharp edges of a metal spatula or a set of metal tongs, for instance, can chip away and scratch the Teflon coating of your pan. Over time, this will destroy the pan's nonstick capabilities and those tiny pieces of coating that you've been chipping off can even end up in your food (yuck). A better and safer option, according to The Kitchn, would be a wooden, plastic, or silicone utensil. These won't ruin your nonstick pan.

Note that the whole "don't use metal" rule doesn't just apply to what you cook with — it applies to what you clean with, too. Food & Wine cautions against scrubbing your nonstick pans with something abrasive like steel wool, which can scratch the coating just like metal utensils can.