You are currently viewing How To Choose A Non Stick Pan (And Non Stick Cookware In General)

BestBuyGet is reader-supported. We may earn commission from the links in this article at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

There are actually many types of non stick pans (and cookware) in the market. Less so in Malaysia but enough to make the decision of which to buy a tough one!

It helps to focus on your primary concerns for cookware – these are often health, weight, and versatility.

Read on to learn more about how to choose the most suitable non stick pan/ cookware for your needs!

Before we get started, let’s be clear on definitions:

Table Of Contents:

What’s A Non Stick Pan?

Non stick pans have become the norm in modern kitchens. They have taken the place of heavier old fashioned stainless steel and cast iron frying pans! You can even find non stick pans and trays in multi cookers and air fryers!

The main advantage of non stick cookware is that cleaning up is incredibly easy. Special coating on the pan prevents food from getting stuck to it.

Non Stick Pans Are Convenient To Clean
Non Stick Pans Are Convenient To Clean

When the technology was new, non stick coating was often (and still is) made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Better known as Teflon.

What Is The Best Non Stick Pan Material Or Coating?

Regardless of which type of non stick coating you chose, a thicker coating will last longer which is definitely worth considering even if this means the pan may cost more.

1. Ceramic

  • Scratch-resistant
  • Can’t be used on induction stoves
  • Food starts to stick onto the pan over time (especially at high temperatures) if you don’t remove the oil completely after each use
  • Ceramic cookware can come in many attractive colors
  • Not dishwasher-safe or oven-safe
  • Free from PTFE and PFOA
  • Pure ceramic cookware is not easily available or cheap
  • Less durable
  • Be wary of lead-containing ceramic glazes, which can poison food (products that follow FDA guidelines are safe to use)

2. Teflon/ PTFE

  • May release toxic gases – especially if scratched or chipped
  • Recommended to be used with low to medium heat only
  • Works on induction stoves
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to wash
  • Can’t use metal utensils with this type of pan
  • Not dishwasher-safe or oven-safe
Not All Pans Can Take All Types Of Stoves
Not All Pans Can Take All Types Of Stoves

Is PTFE Safe?

Yes, as long as you:

  • Choose a brand that is transparent about the way it makes the non-stick coating (the manufacturing process has to be PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) free.
  • Keep the pan scratch-free and chip-free
  • Don’t cook at high temperatures (more than 300°C) to avoid releasing toxic gases
  • Select a quality pan with a thick layer of coating

3. Titanium

There’re two types that you may see in the market:

3.1. Pure Titanium

  • Uneven heat distribution
  • Lightweight
  • Food sticks
  • Durable
  • May have a silicon-ceramic non-stick coating
  • You can use metal utensils on it
  • Non-toxic
  • May not work on induction stoves
  • Expensive

3.2. Cookware Reinforced With Titanium

  • Even cooking
  • Heats up fast
  • Non-stick coating is usually not fully described
  • Durable
  • You can use metal utensils on it

4. Aluminum

  • Heats up fast
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Softer and tends to warp easily
  • Pure aluminum is less durable than aluminum alloy

Note: Die-cast aluminum can come in different thicknesses, distributes heat better, is lighter and more durable

5. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be non stick to a certain extent. They have their own advantages too.

Stainless Steel Pans Are Good For Searing Meat
Stainless Steel Pans Are Good For Searing Meat

Note: To season a pan means you create a non-stick layer of polymerized oil on the pan. This can naturally occur over time as you use your cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel or aluminum cookware.

  • Browns food nicely (i.e. searing or charring)
  • Can be used on high temperatures
  • Durable
  • Very difficult to clean once burned
  • Need more oil to prevent food from sticking
  • Depending on the handles, these can be oven-safe
  • Heavier than most pans (besides cast iron)
  • Don’t scratch easily (if high quality)
  • Not as easy to clean as non stick cookware
  • Don’t have the same health concerns* as non stick cookware
  • High quality stainless steel cookware is expensive

* Health concerns linked to the use of PFOA to make Teflon (a practice ruled out since 2013)

More alternatives for a non-stick cookware include:

  • Anodized aluminum
  • Seasoned cast iron
  • Stoneware (seasoned)
  • Enameled cast iron

Other Factors To Consider When Looking For Nonstick Cookware

1. Build Quality

A ridiculously low price will usually tell you that the quality of the pan is dubious. The manufacturer may be using dangerous chemicals or only a thin layer of coating.

An exorbitant price tag on the other hand, doesn’t imply that the pan is of great build quality either. There are designer cookware and brands that spend a lot on advertising their products.

2. Size

Do you already have a pan in this size? Maybe you should size up or down. This depends on what you will be using the pan for. Fish? Omelette?

25cm (or 10 inch) frying pan is a comfortable size for most families!

Be make sure your pan size fits your stove burners to prevent uneven cooking!

Check What Size Of Pan Is Best For You
Check What Size Of Pan Is Best For You

3. Comfort (And Weight)

You don’t want to hurt yourself with a pan that is too heavy for you! Because if it’s already heavy when it’s empty, just imagine when it’s full of food!

But at the same time, a thick base retains heat better and cooks more evenly without burning your food.

Is the handle comfortable to hold and well-insulated? Be wary of metal handles, you don’t want to burn yourself!

4. Versatility

This is not a big issue if you’re just going to use your gas stove for all of your cooking.

But if you do have an oven or induction hub, you may want to double-check that your new non stick pan/ cookware is compatible! It should say so in the product description.

Note: Same goes for the dishwasher!

How To Clean And Maintain A Non Stick Pan

Only use soft sponges to clean your non stick pan. That means no metal sponges or abrasive cleaning scrubbers.

Soap and water should be enough. Remember to clean your pan thoroughly as food stains can affect the non-stick quality too!

If you can, hand washing your non stick pan is always preferable to using the dishwasher to keep the non stick coating effective and intact for as long as possible.

Other Precautions When Using Non Stick Cookware:

  • Do not heat a pan for long (i.e. preheat) without anything on it
  • Don’t cook on maximum heat (e.g. searing and caramelizing)
  • Avoid having direct contact of flames with the coating
  • Do not use sharp or metal utensils – these will scrape the surface of the pan
  • Have the exhaust fan on. Or window open to disperse any fumes from the non stick coating
  • Stop using any non stick pan with visible signs of wear (e.g. peeling, flaking or scratches)
  • Don’t pour cold water on your pan when it is still burning hot (to prevent cracking)
  • Wipe your pan dry to prevent rusting
  • Cover your pan with a cloth when you are storing it together with other cookware (to prevent scratches)


As far as we’re aware, there’s no one material that is perfect when it comes to choosing a non stick pan and other non stick cookware.

No matter which coating technology you choose, the build quality of the pan is the most important if you want a pan that will last you for a lifetime!

See our picks for the best non stick frying pans in Malaysia.


Janice is the founder & editor for Wanted to be an author as a kid, got a D in English (First Language), but somehow now a content writer with an engineering background. Bakes, does yoga, plays the piano, reads, and most other introverted indoor hobbies. Also an active volunteer at Zero Waste Malaysia.