You are a cook who likes to throw everything in the dishwasher...
November 29, 2017 2:25 AM   Subscribe

... what kind of pots, pans, and cooking utensils are you using?

Or do most people just handwash their pots and pans?

I've only recently started cooking regularly, and my mom brought up to me that since I am in the habit of throwing everything in the dishwasher, maybe I should be using something besides non-stick, as there might be negative health effects. I'm just wondering how right she is about this, and now I am suspiciously eyeing all my pots and pans. This is the pan I use most often, and there's a blurb on the site that says all T-fal products are PFOA, lead, and cadmium free. Does this mean I'm in the clear? Or that I'm in the clear only if I don't cook on high heat? And if I didn't want to worry about the dishwasher or high heat at all, is the best option to just switch to stainless steel? Are OXO nylon cooking utensils safe for the dishwasher? I also know I could just not be lazy and throw everything in the dishwasher, but we'll call that Plan B for now.
posted by madonna of the unloved to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Unibody Silicone Spatulas. They have changed my life. Other spatulas would break apart where the stick goes in the top, and .. it can get really gross in there. These are sooo amazing. (I don't know if I have that brand or not.)
posted by Crystalinne at 2:35 AM on November 29, 2017 [5 favorites]

I’ve been using a cheap set of stainless steel pans that do the bulk of the work around the kitchen and can go into the dishwasher. I think it’s something like this set, which has gotten heavy use for more than a decade and still looks and works great.

Sticking is generally not a problem if you use enough fat and control the heat. Anything genuinely stuck can be removed with Bar Keeper’s friend and about 30 seconds of elbow grease.

I do keep a small nonstick pan for eggs, though, which gets hand washed and replaced every few years.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:05 AM on November 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I could just not be lazy and throw everything in the dishwasher, but we'll call that Plan B

I'm a Plan B'er with everything but cast iron and good knives (tho' upper rack for wooden spoons). Most of my pots and pans are, uh, some kind of metal.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:07 AM on November 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Here, everything goes in the dishwasher apart from two things:

1. anodised aluminium saucepans, which are marked as dishwasher safe but were starting to discolour on the outside after a few cycles, so we handwash those now

2. hard transparent plastic stuff (e.g. the bowl from a Magimix) because over time they go brittle & start to crack if you wash them too hot

Both those things are also really too big to go in anyway - they take up too much space that's much more efficiently used for plates & bowls. So there's usually a couple of saucepans in the sink waiting for someone to wash them.

Any nonstick coating is going to come off eventually, regardless of dishwasher vs. hand wash, and you'll be eating some of it. You can minimise that by not using metal utensils, and by replacing the pan when it starts to get scratched - which limits the life of something that should otherwise last for decades.
posted by rd45 at 3:56 AM on November 29, 2017

All-Clad Stainless is what you desire, Friend. It is an investment that will return dividends to you for the rest of your days. I have been s l o w l y acquiring pieces and it brings me joy each and every time I look at them.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:02 AM on November 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I wash all my pots, knives and wooden utensils by hand. All plates, bowels, silverware, glasses and nylon/silicone pieces go in the dishwasher.

I wash almost all non metal bowls, colanders and strainers by hand, but if the strainers or plastic-ware, including bowls, are greasy I will run them through the dishwasher.

I grew up washing all dishes by hand and I clean up as I cook and this works well for me. Plus I typically cook dinner for 6 with enough for next day lunches for 3 so there is a lot of dishes in a given day but I typically only run the dishwasher once, at bedtime.
posted by ReiFlinx at 4:11 AM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

My attitude is that if it doesn't go in the dishwasher I already hate it a bit. My Amazing Knife is the only exception which gets hand washed after each use. I have non-stick frying pans similar to you, a range of metal saucepans one with a green teflon coating too and I can report no adverse consequences so far to doing life like this. I'd say that you'll go through non-stick pans faster than you might with hand washing but I'm totally prepared to pay probably a year early for new non-stick to get to just chuck them in every night no worries. Don't venture to plan B!
posted by london explorer girl at 5:13 AM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I hand wash knives, wooden spoons, and cast iron. I don’t own anything non-stick but I’d put it in the dishwasher unless it had a warning label not to. Everything else goes in the dishwasher and I’ve never had any issues.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:52 AM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I hand wash the pots and pans primarily so that they don't take up all the room in the dishwasher.
posted by COD at 5:57 AM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

we hand wash just about all cooking pots/pans/utensils. If I'm feeling lazy/tired or there's a huge stack of dirties to stare down, then Corningware casserole type dishes and their glass lids, glass pie plates (if they aren't burned/stuck on gooey), glass pyrex containers and plastic cutting boards may get put in the dishwasher.
posted by k5.user at 6:17 AM on November 29, 2017

Seconding the Cuisinart stainless set linked above. I used to have All Clad and had to replace them when I got an induction stove, so I got the Cuisinart. The All Clad set I had before were in no way better, and cost about 3x as much. The Cuisinart pans go in/out of the dishwasher perfectly, and they're GREAT for cooking.
posted by nosila at 6:26 AM on November 29, 2017

I handwash cast iron pans and anything non-stick. Everything else goes in the dishwasher and has been looking fine for years. We have mostly All-Clad and Calphalon cookware.
posted by lydhre at 6:35 AM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Non-stick surfaces last longer if you don't put them in the dishwasher and use non-scratching utensils, but no matter what you do, they won't last more than a few years. I switched to cast iron pans simply because I was tired of replacing the non-stick ones.

Health-wise, most of the negative effects of non-stick coatings are (or were) in the manufacturing process. This article has specific info about what cooking activities might overheat your non-stick pan.
posted by asperity at 7:11 AM on November 29, 2017

This Cuisinart nonstick pan is in my dishwasher as we speak.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:32 AM on November 29, 2017

> Are OXO nylon cooking utensils safe for the dishwasher

Yes, but they're not immortal -- I've gone through a few, as eventually they crack.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:36 AM on November 29, 2017

Cooking surfaces aren't a big source of bioavailable PFAS compounds, so as long as stuff isn't flaking off of your pots and pans, you're fine. Mostly just be on the lookout for signs that the dishwasher is being hard on the materials or causing them to break down faster.
posted by ldthomps at 9:30 AM on November 29, 2017

I use stainless steel saucepans. They last forever and you don't get aluminum in your diet. I use non-stick frying pans though, and those you wash by hand. Washing a non-stick frying pan by hand takes less than a minute. Just put hot water and detergent in there, swirl around with a brush with a round profile, rinse.
posted by w0mbat at 9:56 AM on November 29, 2017

I've been throwing my Cuisinart Multiclad Pro into the dishwasher for 10 years now and they're still like new. If things get cooked on (like eggs) I just soak them for a while and scrub it off. Those pans are tough. I cook every day.

I also just use cheap spatulas, slotted spoons, etc. and have never had any problem with them because they've been through the dishwasher.... though if I did they'd be cheap to replace so I don't worry about it.

The only thing that gets handwashed here are the cast iron pan and the bamboo salad bowl and cutting boards.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:42 AM on November 29, 2017

I've been putting my 6 Wusthof knives in the dishwasher for 23 years. One developed a major crack recently, and when I eventually have to replace it I'm going to clean the new one in the dishwasher, too.
posted by wryly at 1:47 PM on November 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

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