Your cast-iron skillet won’t be (too) jealous.

 

In the South, a cast-iron skillet will always be first pan we instinctively reach for when we’re cooking, but a nonstick pan is handy to have around too. It’s especially helpful for certain quick-cooking foods that have a tendency to stick to the pan. Consider this list your nonstick cheat sheet.

Seafood

If you love scallops but only order them in restaurants, you’re missing out. The slick surface of a nonstick pan makes cooking (and flipping) delicate scallops, fish fillets, shrimp, and crab cakes a breeze. Make sure to pat the seafood as dry as possible with paper towels before it hits the preheated pan—this will give it a nice sear and prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Pancakes

Switch to a large nonstick skillet or griddle and you’ll never tear another pancake mid-flip ever again. Add butter or oil and preheat the pan before adding the batter (preheating is essential whenever you are using a nonstick pan). Nonstick is also our pan of choice for paper-thin crepes and can also be used to make fantastic French toast.

Cheesy dishes

While we’ll never give up using cast-iron to make our ultimate grilled cheese, a nonstick pan works just as well, especially if you like gooey Cheddar spilling out of both sides of the sandwich. The same thing goes for other cheesy dishes like quesadillas.

Eggs

Scrambled eggs are probably the first dish most people think of when they think of nonstick pans. And for good reason! For soft, pillowy scrambled eggs, you need to keep the beaten egg mixture moving in the pan, which is much easier with a slippery nonstick surface. Stainless steel—even when properly greased—is like a magnet for scrambled eggs. Sometimes you may end up leaving half of the eggs stuck to the pan. Other egg dishes like frittatas and omelettes are also best when made in a nonstick pan.