After researching healthy cooking techniques, I have switched to baking my food. Baking gives me the freedom of using far less oil compared to stovetop cooking.
All the natural grease found within the meat melts at high temperatures. So no additional oiling is required.
Baked food also preserves all the nutrients found naturally in it. The nutrients don’t get dissolved in water (like boiling) or evaporate (like frying).
I wonder if my pans are safe to go in the oven. How to tell if they are oven safe? Let us find out
How to Tell if a Pan is Oven Safe?
The first thing to check is the manufacturing instructions of your brand.
Look for an oven-safe or baking-friendly sign. It will usually be written in the booklet, on the box, or even at the base of the pan itself!
If your pan is old and you don’t have a booklet or box, contact the brand online to find out if the pan is oven safe.
If your pan is not from a brand or you don’t remember the seller, I have got you covered.
There are three things you must look out for before placing any pan in the oven
- The Body of the Pan – the material it is made up of, and if there is any coating
- The Material of the Handle – if it is heat proof, and if it is detachable or fixed
- The Material of the pan lid, including the holder.
Let us look at each heading in detail
The Body of the Pan
Look at the construction of your pan. If your pan is made up of stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel, copper, aluminum, or ceramic, it is safe to use in the oven.
Sometimes the pan is made up of a combination of different metals to give it an alloy strength. If the combination is from any of the materials above, your pan can go safely inside the oven.
I will cover this separately again in detail about the different materials and their oven safety.
After ascertaining the metal, find out if there is any coating on top. The coating should be able to withstand high heat inside the oven without breaking down.
Most pans have non-stick coatings. Depending on the material, each coating will have certain temperature restrictions.
Teflon coatings are good up to 400F. At 500F, the coating starts to release toxic fumes and breaks down.
Ceramic coatings or enameled coatings are good up to 500F.
Also read: Can Le Creuset Go in the Oven?
The Material of the Handle
It is equally important to know about the handle material.
Some manufacturers make the handles from the same material as the body. Some make the handles from plastic, silicon, or wood.
Metal handles like copper, cast iron, and stainless steel are excellent options for the oven. You can go as high as 500F.
There are temperature restrictions when you use insulated silicone, plastic, or wood handles.
Insulated silicone handles are oven-safe up to 475° F.
Wood and plastic should not go inside the oven as they cannot withstand high temperatures. Bakelite handles can only be used up to 350° F.
Rubber handles are comparatively safer. Although they might discolor, if all you need to do is transfer the food from the pan to the plate, you can comfortably use them.
The best way to use pans in the oven is to purchase one with detachable handles. They will not only make the pan oven safe but there will also be more room for baking.
Another plus point is that you will be able to use them inside other pots and pans for different cooking techniques.
The Material of the Lid
The lid of the pan should also be heat resistant and be able to withstand high temperatures.
Glass lids are oven-safe up to 400° F. Metal lids are oven-safe up to 500° F.
Another thing to watch out for is the knob on top of the glass lid. Metallic knobs are safe to use inside the oven. Avoid using lids with plastic knobs. Phenolic knobs are oven-safe up to 375° F.
If you wish to bake at high temperatures, replace the glass lid with a steel or metallic lid. Similarly, replace the plastic or phenolic knob with metallic knobs.
Different Pan Materials and their Oven Safety
As promised, I will now cover the different pan materials and their oven safety in detail.
Are Cast Iron Pans Oven-Safe?
Cast Iron Pans are the best of the lot to go in the oven. This is because they can withstand high temperatures without reacting, breaking down, or melting.
Just make sure to season them before using so the baked food does not stick.
For seasoning, wash the pan after use with mild detergent and a sponge. Rinse and allow it to air dry.
Once dried, apply a coat of oil and place it inside the oven. Choose a low-temperature setting and let the empty pan heat up slowly for 15 mins.
Most cast iron pans are oven-safe up to 550° F. Most of the time baking at home does not go beyond this temperature.
Example: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet (oven-safe up to 500° F)
Are Non-Stick Pans Oven-Safe?
Most non-stick pans can be used safely up to 400° F inside the oven.
The important factor in determining the temperature range is the type of non-stick coating on the pan.
Ceramic, porcelain, and graniteware can be used safely in the oven up to 500° F. Teflon can be used up to 400° F.
Do not use non-stick pans for high-temperature baking. The coating can break or tear down and release toxic fumes. These fumes get inside the food and are very unhealthy.
Example: Cuisinart Ceramica Non-stick set (Oven safe up to 350° F)
Are Stainless Steel Pans Oven-Safe?
You can use stainless steel pans comfortably inside the oven.
Chose triply construction of 18/10 stainless steel. A good quality stainless steel pan stays non-reactive inside the oven range.
Cheap quality stainless steel causes hot spots inside the oven. This is because stainless steel has low thermal conductivity.
Adding aluminum or copper layers with steel helps in rapid heat distribution and retention. The food remains hot for a long when left in such a pan.
Example: HexClad Stainless Steel Hybrid Pan (Oven safe up to 500° F)
Are Aluminum Pans Oven-Safe?
Hard anodized aluminum is safe to use inside the oven. These pans are non-reactive and heat-resistant at high temperatures.
Aluminum as a metal has a high heat conductivity, so it distributes heat evenly and quickly. You can use them safely in the oven up to 500F.
Example: All-Clad HA1 hard anodized aluminum pan (Oven safe up to 500F)
Are Copper Pans Oven-Safe?
Copper is an excellent heat conductor. You can use copper Pans safely in the oven up to 480F.
They are reactive to temperature changes and adjust according to the temperatures set inside the oven.
Example: Copper Frying Pan (Oven safe up to 500° F)
Are Ceramic Pans Oven-Safe?
Ceramic Pans offer a double advantage while baking. You can bake them inside the oven as well as serve them on the table directly from the oven.
Ceramic Pans are either made up of ceramic with a ceramic coating or made up of metals with a ceramic coating.
Both are good to go in the oven and can withstand temperatures as high as 480-500° F.
Example: Caraway Ceramic Non-Stick Pan ( oven safe up to 550f)
Tips While Using Pans in the Oven
- If you are not sure about oven safety, place the empty pan inside the oven on moderate heat (approx 300° F) for 30 minutes. If the base is too hot to touch, it is not oven safe. It should not also show any signs of distortion or discoloration.
- If the handle is not heat resistant, wet some paper napkins and wrap them around the handles. Seal the wrap with aluminum foil. The handle will only go as high as the boiling temperature of the water, 212°F. As a result, the handles will not burn/melt inside the oven.
- For even cooking in non-stick pans, it is a good idea to preheat them in the oven before adding food
- Do not preheat an empty stainless steel pan in the oven. It can lead to warping of the metal surface.
- It is best to avoid sudden temperature changes. Do not expose the pan to fluctuating hot and cold temperatures. It can cause weakening, wrapping, and even breaking of the metal surface.
- Check for any damage signs like cracks in the coating, chipping, etc. Do not use a damaged pan for baking.
- All pan handles turn hot inside the oven. Don’t forget to wear gloves or oven mitts while removing the pan from the oven.
- Even if your pan is oven safe, do not go beyond 500F. Always follow the booklet instructions of your brand.
Also read: Can Cuisinart Pans Go In The Oven?
Now you know how easy it is to find out if the pan is oven safe. Read the instructions and look for the oven-safe sign.
For a pan to qualify for cooking in the oven, the material of the body, the handle, and the lid should be heat resistant. Baking requires high temperatures, so make sure your pan fits the environment.
I have mentioned in detail the different types of materials and their oven safety. I have also added an example for each section.
Do go through them. Follow the tips while using your pan in the oven. Stay healthy and enjoy baking your food!
Other articles you may also like:
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- How to Organize Baking Pans?
- How to Remove Melted Plastic from Oven?
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- Can Pyrex Glass Bowls Go in the Oven?
- Can Corelle Plates Go in the Oven?
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- Can Induction Pans be Used in the Oven?
- What is a Heavy Bottom Pot?