Making my morning eggs (today I fried leftover arroz con gandules with an egg) reminded me to share a cookware tip I learned from one of my favorite cooking magazines.
When it comes to non-stick cookware, don’t invest a lot of money. The non-stick does not remain non-stick forever. In fact with regular use, it will only last about a year. Armed with that knowledge buy a pan that is heavier metal and hopefully cladded (metals pressed together into a disc that provides even heating). In current pricing, that price range should be under $40. Target and HomeGoods are favorite shops I find good quality, low priced non-stick in. HomeGoods typically has nice pans for $20 or under.
I use my 6 & 8 inch non-sticks daily, definitely on a regular basis, but I only use them for foods that are liable to stick, like eggs do. Many will use them for low-fat cooking, but I find them to not brown food as well as a traditional pan. So in my kitchen, they are limited to the sticky food cooking. For a pan sautéed chicken breast, I will use my traditional pan, because I want the flavor packed fond that is created by the Maillard Reaction. (click photo to have Maillard Reaction explained)
So my tip of the day is to check your pans. If they are older than a year, it’s time to pitch it and pick up a new one.
Note: If you have purchased a non-stick brand like All-Clad, they have a lifetime warranty. Contact the customer service to see if you qualify. Personally, I find that whole process a hassle, that is why I stick to inexpensive and disposable.