Oven-proof cookware makes the combination of cooking and baking processes more comfortable, as you can use the same cookware piece to prepare the food on the stove and then finish the cooking in the oven. However, before putting your pan in the oven, you must be sure that it can be used safely in the oven. To make sure it is oven-proof have a look at the bottom of the pan for a mark which notes if the cookware can be used in the oven or consult the instructions to find out what the maximum oven temperature setting your pan can tolerate without being damaged by heat. Some oven-proof pans can go into an oven up to 350°F, while others are rated to withstand oven temperatures up to 500°F or even higher.
What Makes a Skillet Oven-Safe?
1)Ovenproof Cookware Materials
Stove and oven-safe skillets are made of cast iron, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, ceramic, or a combination of these materials. To be safely used in an oven, all components of the pan must be oven-proof. The oven-proof skillet shouldn’t have a meltable handle, knob, or any other components that are not oven friendly and could melt or break when the cookware is placed in an oven.
The coating can improve cookware performances, but it also often limits heat resistance. You should read the instruction for use to make sure you won’t damage the coating when using your skillet in the oven.
Teflon nonstick coatings will lose its nonstick quality when exposed to a temperature of about 500°F. When exposed to a temperature higher than 500°F the Teflon coatings can release toxic fumes. Cookware with a Teflon coating shouldn’t be used in an oven.
Cookware with ceramic nonstick coatings is oven safe between 420-500 degrees F.
Most of the enameled cookware can tolerate oven temperatures 450-500 degrees F.
The layer of seasoning in a cast iron pan is oven-safe up to 500 degrees.
All-Clad cookware with the nonstick coating is oven safe up to 500 degrees F.
A part of the skillet that most often limits its exposure to high oven temperatures is the handle. A protective coating on the handle makes it more comfortable to hold the skillet, but it is usually made out of wood, plastic, or other materials that cannot be placed in an oven without being ruined.
Silicone insulated handles can withstand temperatures 350 ºF to 482°F. Oven temperature within a tolerable range may cause rubberized handles to fade in color without affecting their functionality.
Some cookware comes with a removable silicone handle sleeve which keeps your hands safe while cooking on the stovetop but you must take the sleeve off before putting the pan in the oven. The removable silicone handle covers can be purchased separately, and one cover can fit multiple pans.
Bakelite handles can tolerate oven temperatures up to 350 degrees F.
Stainless steel and cast iron handles can go in the oven up to 500° F.
Always use oven mitts or potholders when removing hot cookware out of the oven.
Although many accessories help you to handle your skillet from the stove to the oven, a skillet with a removable handle seems to be the most convenient solution for stove-to-oven cooking. The handle can be detached and reattached with the push of a button.
A removable handle increases heat tolerance and makes your pan more versatile. Such handle also makes the skillet easier to clean and saves the necessary storage space.
5)Oven Proof Lids
Cookware with a glass lid is oven safe up to 400°F if there are no other questionable components.
Some lidded pans come with plastic knobs that are not suitable for use in the oven. Plastic knobs provide protection from burning your hands when you cook on the stovetop, but they are in danger of melting at high oven temperature.
The classic phenolic knobs are more thermally resistant than plastic ones, making the lid oven safe up to 375°F. The phenolic lid knobs can become brittle if exposed to temperatures above 375 degrees.
To make your lid oven-proof, you can purchase a stainless steel replacement knob. A stainless steel knob gets hot during cooking and baking, so make sure to use an oven mitt or pot holder to protect your hands when removing the lid.