Why You Should Avoid Using Pans With Wooden Handles In The Oven

Putting pans with wooden handles in the oven should be avoided. While they are great for cooking over the stovetop, as the handles remain cool for bare hands to touch, most are not designed to withstand high temperatures in the oven. The reason is that exposure to high oven heat can cause the wood to transform, warp in shape, and even split. Thus, a good rule of thumb is to avoid putting your pans with wooden handles in the oven. The wood can even ignite at higher broiling temperatures and possibly cause a dangerous fire in your oven.

It's also important to note that not all wood usage in ovens is problematic. For example, roasting food on a cedar plank is well-known for imparting flavor, especially in dishes like delicious grilled salmon. The key difference here is that cedar planks are intended explicitly for oven use and are designed to handle the heat in a controlled manner, unlike the standard wooden handles on pans.

Now, not all pans are created for oven use. Thus, choosing pans made entirely of oven-safe materials, such as cast iron or stainless steel, is vital. These materials can withstand high temperatures without warping or deteriorating. 

Check manufacturer's guidelines before sticking any pan in the oven

Before sticking your pans in the oven, even ones made from cast iron or stainless steel, check the manufacturer's guidelines for maximum temperature ratings. This will help prevent damage to the cookware and ensure safe cooking. Also, when considering non-stick pans, one must be cautious; these pans are convenient for stovetop cooking but often have temperature restrictions. High oven temperatures, like 500 degrees Fahrenheit and over, can deteriorate non-stick coatings, leading to their breakdown and potentially releasing toxins and toxic fumes. Therefore, using non-stick cookware within its recommended temperature range is crucial to maintain safety and the pan's integrity.

Moving back to wooden handles on pans, proper maintenance can extend their lifespan and functionality for stovetop use. Regularly oiling wooden handles with food-safe mineral oil helps prevent drying and cracking. It's also advisable to avoid immersing these pans in water, as extended exposure to moisture can damage the wood. Cleaning with a damp cloth and immediate drying is the best approach to maintain these handles. And, of course, never stick them into a hot oven.