why do my eggs stick to my non stick pan

Do you find yourself asking “why do my eggs stick to my non stick pan?” Non-stick pans are meant to be the solution to any sticky cooking problem.

So, if you find that your pan isn’t working, there could be some issues with your pan (or method of cooking) that you need to address.

The point of a non-stick pan for cooking eggs is the ceramic coating. Proteins in the eggs bond with the metals of the pan.

Stainless steel and cast-iron skillets use this type of coating. Non-stick pans remove this bonding process.

If your eggs stick to your non-stick pan, the problem can be as simple as adding butter or oil. It can also be as complex as a dysfunctional pan.

What Causes Eggs to Stick to Non-Stick Pans?

There are several reasons why eggs may stick to non-stick pans.

Sticky eggs can come from improper temperatures, added fat to the pan, irritation to the pan, and improper cleaning.

What Is the Proper Temperature to Cook Eggs in My Non-Stick Pan?

Non-stick pans perform best under mid and low-level temperatures. Non-stick pans incur damage when the temperatures are too high on the stove or in the oven.

Tip: Any damage to the ceramic makes the eggs more susceptible to stick.

Why Do My Eggs Stick to My Non Stick Pan Without Oil or Butter?

pan without egg or butter

In addition to heat, you must keep an eye on the type of added fats or oils that are added to the pan.

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There’s a common misconception that nonstick pans don’t need any additional oils or fats. That simply isn’t true.

A non-stick pan should always be used with oil or butter as added fats. Without the added fats, the ceramic coating of the pan can release toxins into your eggs or other foods.

Not only is the addition of added fats extremely important, using the right kind of added fat plays a role as well.

Cooking spray should be avoided at all costs when using a non-stick pan for eggs. The use of cooking spray creates build-up in the ceramic pan.

Build up from cooking spray becomes hard to cook-off or clean. This allows the non-stick effects of the ceramic to dwindle over time.

So, even if your nonstick pan once caused your eggs to slip and slide around, using nonstick spray on it too often can eventually lead to a build-up and create a sticky mess of your sunny-side-up egg.

Tip: Something to remember when using a non-stick pan is that oil or butter should be added to the pan while it is being heated and not after the pan has already been heated.

What Are Irritants for Non-Stick Pans?

non stick pan

It is hard to believe that non-stick pans can have irritants, but they do. One such irritant is any metal cooking utensil.

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When we cook, we can make the mistake of using common metal utensils such as forks to stir things around or flip things over.

This is especially bad for non-stick pans and can cause major irritation to the pan.

The scratches from the metal utensils can damage the coating and potentially release toxins into your eggs or other food.

Over time, those scratches will render the pan’s nonstick properties ineffective.

Tip: Use silicone spatulas to safely slide underneath your eggs and flip them without causing any damage to your pan.

Why Do Eggs Stick to My Non-Stick Pan When it Is Not Cleaned Properly?

egg sticks in dirty pan

Non-stick pans typically come with a disclaimer for being dishwasher safe. Using the dishwasher to clean your non-stick pan can be detrimental to the coating of the ceramic.

Similar to the ceramic coating being affected by high heat on the stove, high temperatures are common in the dishwasher.

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This causes the coating to fade and the effectiveness of the pan to wear off over time.

A Bad Non-Stick Pan

Unlike cast-iron skillets, non-stick pans do not last forever. The shelf life of a non-stick pan is about five years on average – and that’s only if you take good care of it.

Any use after the five years is a gamble. The ceramic coating may not last and you may get into sticky situations with your eggs.

Your non-stick pan can also be prone to becoming warped. As mentioned earlier, heating or cooling a non-stick pan too fast can cause issues.

This is how pans become warped. A warped pan does not cook evenly. Parts of the pan can work improperly once again causing a sticky mess.

Damage to the ceramic coating can be a reason to throw away a non-stick pan. This damage can occur from scratches or prolonged use over time.

Discoloration at the bottom of the pan is a tell-tale sign that your non-stick pan is at its end.

Tip: The darker the discoloration, the more severe the damage to ceramic coating. A damaged coating means sticky eggs!

How to Avoid Eggs Sticking to a Non-Stick Pan

prevent sticky eggs

Now that we have explored the reason why eggs can stick to non-stick pans, we can find the solutions.

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Let’s cover a few tips you can use to ensure your eggs slide from the pan to the plate with ease.

  • Cook eggs at a mid-level heat
  • Use the residual heat to finish cooking once the eye is turned off
  • Cook with small amounts of oil or butter
  • Preseason your non-stick pan
  • Cook with plastic utensils such as a spatula
  • Never clean your non-stick pan in the dishwasher
Tip: Don’t walk away from your pan! Even when you’re using low heat, cooking your eggs for too long can cause a film to form on the pan, and they’ll stick.

Recipe for Scrambled Eggs in a Non-Stick Pan

If you’ve been “burned” too many times when trying to make eggs in a nonstick pan, your methods may have been slightly off.

Follow these simple steps to create perfect scrambled eggs in a nonstick pan that will slide out with ease.

recipe for scrambled eggs

Step #1: Break Eggs Into a Bowl

During this step, break and separate the yolk of the eggs. Add the eggs yolks to the pan.

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Step #2: Beat Eggs

Using a whisk, beat the eggs in the bowl until you create a smooth, milky mixture

Step #3: Season Eggs With Salt and Pepper

Preseasoning your egg mixture allows the eggs to be seasoned all the way through.

Step #4: Let Seasoned Eggs Rest for 15 Minutes

When the egg mixture is allowed to rest, it reduces the chances of a watery mess.

Step #5: Add Butter to a Non-Stick Pan

Adding the butter while the pan heats prevent toxins from the ceramic coating from being released onto your food.

Step #6: Heat Pan With Butter to Medium

Do not heat your pan past a mid-level temperature. High heat can affect the non-stick pan and create sticky eggs.

Step #7: Reduce Heat

Cooking your eggs with less heat helps to prevent sticky and burnt eggs. It will also leave you with creamier, fluffier eggs in the end.

Step #8: Add Egg Mixture to Pan and Stir Gently

Next, add the egg mixture to the pan and stir the eggs gently! You must remember to use plastic or silicone utensils with a non-stick pan. Plastic cookware reduces the damage to the ceramic coating.

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Step #9: Cut The Heat Halfway Through Cooking

Cutting off the heat before the eggs are thoroughly cooked allows the non-stick pan to preserve the heat of the stove and the pan without overcooking the eggs or risking damaging the pan.

Step #10: Continue to Stir

Next, continue to stir and cook until the eggs reach the desired consistency.

Say Goodbye to Sticky Eggs

goodbye to sticky eggs

If you find yourself frustrated each morning, wondering “why do my eggs stick to my non-stick pan?”, there’s hope for you!

Before you give up on non-stick for the rest of your life, try a few troubleshooting techniques.

Heat, butter, or a different cooking utensil can be the difference between sticky and non-sticky eggs.

The coating of ceramic non-stick pans is also important for its value and its usefulness. If the coating fades or erodes, your eggs will most likely stick to the bottom of the pan.

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You can avoid this mess by hand-washing your non-stick pan, using plastic cooking utensils, and taking care of your pan by not overheating it.

It’s also worth it to invest in a quality pan, rather than going for the cheapest option. It’ll last longer, and you can feel more confident in the nonstick surface.

Keep these tips in mind and never worry about sticky eggs again.