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These Cooking Utensils Ensure You Don't Ruin Your Nonstick Pans

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Nonstick cookware can make cleaning up after a meal easy, but it does come with its downsides. Most nonstick cookware is coated with a layer of Teflon, which is a chemical lining that prevents food from becoming stuck while you're cooking. If you're using the wrong utensils (like sharp-edged metal spatulas), you can end up scratching that layer. And while the best cooking utensils for nonstick cookware all avoid scratching, there are multiple materials to choose from including wood, bamboo, nylon, and silicone.

Wood & Bamboo

Wooden and bamboo utensils shouldn't scratch your pans, but they're not great for flipping patties or eggs because they aren't flexible. They also won't melt if left by a hot pan — but wooden selections can catch fire if you accidentally leave one alone on the stove, so be careful.

Nylon

Nylon utensils aren't as heat resistant as wood, because they can melt if left unattended — but they're more versatile when it comes to flipping patties and other grilled meats. They're also more durable than wooden utensils because they can be put in the dishwasher for an easy cleaning (most wooden and bamboo utensils should be washed by hand).

Silicone

Silicone utensils, however, are the most heat resistant out of the three. Believe it or not, they shouldn't melt when placed against a hot pan on your stovetop, unless they're exposed to extremely high temperatures. The only downside is that they're usually not as sturdy as nylon utensils. They're thin enough that you can use them to flip eggs, but probably too flexible for heavy burgers or steaks.

No matter what kind of meal you're planning on making, there's a set of nonstick cookware utensils that can help you get the job done. Here are four of the best picks.

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1
The Best Wooden Set

These utensils will be gentle on your nonstick cookware because they're made from smooth teak wood. The pack comes with four utensils total that can be used to flip, scoop, and drain food. However, since they aren't flexible, they might not be ideal for anyone who's looking for a floppy spatula for eggs and the like. Still, they're extremely durable — though they should only be washed by hand. But thanks to the holes at the end of the handles, they're easy to air dry by displaying them on a rack. This set doesn't come with a holder, so you'll have to use your own.

What fans write: "I enjoy using wooden utensils in order to protect my non-stick pans. This set is made of high quality material. I love the beautiful and unique textures, each having its own function."

2
The Best Bamboo Set

Bamboo cooking utensils like the ones in this six-piece set won't damage the nonstick coating on your pans, no matter how hard you scrape. Not only are they easy on delicate cookware, but they're also made from durable bamboo, though it should be washed by hand. Each utensil even features a small lift built into the handle to prevent countertop messes. Plus, every order also comes with a stylish bamboo holder that you can display on your countertop.

What fans write: "I really like these bamboo utensils. They won't scratch non-stick surfaces and they're also gentle on cast iron seasoning. I especially like the little built-in 'stand' that keeps the business end off the counter top."

3
The Best Nylon Set

Made with durable nylon that's heat-resistant up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, this 42-piece set is a dishwasher-friendly alternative to wooden and bamboo utensils. The handles are ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hands, and the stainless steel grips give these utensils added durability. While the nylon areas can melt if left near extremely high temperatures, this set makes up for it by including a wide variety of tools including a skimmer, grater, basting brush, egg separator, and more. However, this set doesn't come with a holder.

What fans write: “I was looking for a nice set of utensils that was all inclusive and worked on my non stick pans. I love this set. The are a good quality. They haven’t melted on me."

4
The Best Silicone Set

Heat-resistant up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit (the highest of the group), these silicone utensils shouldn't melt if you leave them sitting on the side of a hot pan. The handles are made from rust-resistant stainless steel for added durability, and each order comes with a matching utensil holder. While silicone cooking utensils are great for flipping eggs and other delicate ingredients, they can be a little flimsy when working with heavier items (the flexible spatula, specifically). The set comes in three colors: gray, red, and blue.

What fans write: "The silicone material is perfect for high heat while still being easy to clean. Great for any non-stick cookware as there is no risk of scratching the non-stick or finish."