Cooking Steak On Nonstick Pan – Is It A Good Idea?

As all steak fan knows, the best steak fry pans must withstand extremely high temperatures and have excellent heat distribution.

So is cooking steak on a nonstick pan possible?

You’ll find the answer in our article, and it’s better to read it than to throw away that nice piece of meat. Right? 😀

Can You Cook Steak In Nonstick Pan?

Of course, it’s possible, but not recommended. So, yes, you can cook a steak in a nonstick pan, but that doesn’t mean you should.

nonstick pan

Why You Shouldn’t Use Nonstick Pan For Steak?

Nonstick pans are very popular kitchenware. It is very easy to maintain this type of cookware, it’s hassle-free to cook any type of fried meat and last but not least, it’s a breeze to clean it up after use.

Everything sounds perfect, so, why you can’t use it for cooking your steak?

sad man

Ideally, steak needs to be prepared in a preheated, very hot pan to get the right sear that locks in the juicy flavor.  Nonstick pans face some limitations with high heat. For example, Teflon coating can withstand a temperature of about 570°F and then it starts to break down.

So, the nonstick type of pan may not reach an optimal level of heat and can’t sear the meat well which reduces the tasty flavor of your steak.

Once you place your steak in a nonstick pan, you’ll notice it will start to cool down, and this will yield a dry quality to it. Your steak ends up being chewy and having an unpleasant flavor and quality. That’s not what you want.

For Those Who Want To Know More:

Most nonstick pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon. Over the past decade, the safety of nonstick cookware has been under investigation. The main concern was caused by a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Fortunately, the usage of PFOA, a probable carcinogen, has been phased out of most nonstick cookware.The nonstick coating of the pan will start to disintegrate at 500°F (260°C). When it reaches this temperature, the fumes from the coating can turn toxic. Meaning you should never preheat your pan with a nonstick surface.

Keep These Dishes Away From Your Nonstick Pan

Except for steak, there are some dishes that you shouldn’t prepare on your nonstick pan: vegetable stir-fries (use stainless steel pan or wok), steaks and burgers (better options are cast iron pans), soups, sauces and meats that need deglazing (use stainless steel pan).

What Other Pans To Use For Cooking Steak?

The best steak fry pans must withstand high temperatures and stay hot during the cooking process, also, they should be durable and resilient.

Cast iron is typically considered the gold standard for steaks. It’s durable and extremely effective at holding and distributing high heat. Anyway, the cast iron skillet requires high maintenance to keep its nonstick features.

cast iron skillet

There comes carbon steel. It’s a great alternative that has a lot of the same benefits like versatility, durability and heat retention. Carbon steel pans are lighter and smoother when compared to cast iron skillets, but are more expensive.

Carbon Steel Pan

Cooking Steak On Nonstick Vs Iron Pan – Comparision

An iron pan makes a better crust in the steak’s outer layer than a nonstick pan. When it comes to the taste test, both steaks are delicious, but the one prepared on the iron pan is a bit richer and crustier than the nonstick pan steak. Iron pan is more durable, can withstand high temperatures, and you can use it on your grill. Check out the entire experiment in the video.

What Is The Best Way To Cook Steak?

There are a few tips for cooking a delicious steak.

  • Bring your steak to room temperature
  • Preheat your cooking surface to hot
  • Season steak with salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Sear each side of the meat on a hot cooking surface
  • Cook to the USDA minimum recommended internal temperature of 145 °F
  • Let the meat rest after cooking
  • Slice your steak against the grain

There is another interesting thing I want to share – It is important which oil you use for searing.

Did you know that not all oils can handle high temperatures? For example, coconut oil isn’t good for searing, as well as extra virgin oil.

What Other Types Of Meat Are A Good Fit For Nonstick Pans?

Almost any type of red meat can be cooked in a nonstick pan. A nonstick pan is excellent for bacon, seafood (shrimp, scallops, fish fillets), pork chops, etc.

bacon cooking

What Else Should You Use Your Nonstick Pan For?

As we learned already, dishes that can be cooked easier without high heat are the best for a nonstick pan.

Eggs, pancakes, soft-fleshed fish filets, cheesy dishes, stir-fried noodles – all these dishes have problems with sticking, so they will cook better when you use your nonstick pan.

Now it’s time to start using your nonstick pan to its fullest.

Few Ways You’re Damaging Your Nonstick Pans

In this section, I will mention a few ways you’re damaging your nonstick pans.

  • Exposing To High Heat – This cookware isn’t designed for high heat. Higher temperatures will damage the nonstick coating and cause the release of harmful toxins.
  • Using Metal Utensils – Metal utensils can scratch or chip the coating. If that happens, you need to replace the pan rather than keep using it. Opt for wooden or silicone utensils.
  • Dishwasher – Nonstick cookware should be hand washed. Although most nonstick cookware is labeled as dishwasher safe, dishwasher heat and detergents will cause the coating to degrade.
  • Wrong Kind Of Fat – Shortly, avoid using cooking spray. The cooking spray creates a residue around the edge of the nonstick pan that won’t burn off. Meaning you should scrub it off which leads to pan damage.
  • Wrong Time To Add Oil – You shouldn’t wait for your pan to heat up before adding oil. Add oil or butter as soon as it’s exposed to heat.


To Wrap It Up

We’re all thankful for nonstick pans, they can be a lifesaver for cooking some food, but they have their limits. If you want to achieve the finest quality of homemade steak, you need to invest in the right cookware.

Here you’ve learned that the right cookware for the right dish is also one of the cooking skills that good cooks know.

Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.