Situation: I have been using this technique for some time, and I personally think it's great. But I have been told it ruins the grill pan due to the difference in temperature.


This is my (anti-stick) grill pan. At least in my country, when we say 'grill cooking' it means with a small amount of oil, just spreading it over the surface with a silicone brush. It's not 'dirty' or always like this. I was still cooking (chicken breast in this case, still a piece left that took longer). I took this picture on purpose for this question.

Grill pan after cooking

What I like doing is, after the meat or whatever is done, I add and brush the surface with a little bit of oil and water (usually boiling hot from a kettle). With a silicone spatula I "clean it" to get all the remains and colors/flavours in the liquid, and then I add leftover rice (made in a rice cooker after rinsing it). I might add some soy sauce or oyster sauce as well.

More or less like a mix between Mediterranean and Asian methodologies. But I have been told a few times: "You will damage the grill by adding water.". One of the main arguments is that the difference in temperature can ruin the iron/material. As I mentioned, the water is boiling hot (approx. 100°C). My findings tell me that temperatures in the pan/grill can get to 250°C.

Will this difference in temperature damage my grill? Does it matter if it's non-stick for this case?

PS: I added the "durability" tag, but I am not sure if that is accurate (maybe "maintenance"?). If I made a mistake, please feel free to edit it!

  • 2
    Is that pan teflon-coated? It's hard to tell from the picture.
    – Caledon
    May 5, 2022 at 19:35
  • Is this cast iron? Is it coated with enamel or teflon?
    – JimmyJames
    May 5, 2022 at 20:05
  • 1
    The grill's carton in which it came enveloped, only states Grill, Induction, Forged Aluminium. Anti-stick free of PFOA. I called the company and as soon as they let me know the materials, I will let you know! @Caledon
    – M.K
    May 6, 2022 at 7:33
  • 1
    M.K. - that's exactly the type I've assumed in my answer. Let it cool off a bit before you deglaze & it will last years [or as long as any 'teflon' pan ever lasts before getting sticky.]
    – Tetsujin
    May 6, 2022 at 15:02
  • 1
    That label tells us what we need to know - it is an aluminum pan with a non-stick coating. Another piece of advice: non-stick coatings get scratched very easily, so it's important not to use metal utensils on them.
    – Caledon
    May 6, 2022 at 15:20

3 Answers 3


The answer is: it is likely that you will damage it indeed.

The technique of deglazing comes from iron pans. It can be used on them, or on other kinds of uncoated pans, without any problem. It does come with a tiny risk of the pan suddenly breaking apart, but this is an exception, pans frequently survive daily use across family generations without breaking.

But you say that your pan is non-stick. From that information and the looks of it, as well the information that the previous one was "spoiled", it is most likely teflon-covered. Teflon is a very sensitive material, and easy to damage.

There are two mechanisms which can (but do not have to) happen to damage your pan here. The first is exactly what you mentioned: temperature difference. The thermal shock of deglazing leads to a sudden contraction of the pan material, and it is not possible to make a coated pan in which the Teflon and the metal beneath it contract with the exact same speed. This creates stress on the border between the coating and the pan body, which is already a rather weak border, because the teflon simply doesn't like sticking to the metal. With time, the repeated stress on that border can certainly damage the bond between coating and pan.

The second mechanism is a bit more indirect: temperature. To do a proper deglazing, you need a hot pan, else you end up with an unappetizing greasy soup instead of a nice fond. On the other hand, teflon coatings are not suitable for using at high temperatures, they start to degrade at around 200 C. So if you want to do deglazing, you will have to damage your pan by heating it up.

The good news is that, in the second mechanism, there is no double damage. So, if you are already overheating the pan during cooking, then you are not doing extra heat damage by deglazing, there is only the damage caused by the differential contraction.

In conclusion, if you want to do deglazing, you might consider learning to cook on other types of pan. They frequently come with a learning curve and reduction in comfort, but give you better food quality and don't need to be replaced regularly.

  • Huh. We never did deglazing, but the usual way my wife and I cleaned our George Foreman grill involved putting wet paper towels in between the hot plates and then unplugging it, with the belief (based on suggestions from others) being that the food on the plates would leach into the paper towel and be more readily removed. I wonder whether that temperature differential was part of my the grill started flaking after a few years. May 6, 2022 at 12:43
  • 2
    One issue I see is that this pan is strictly for grilling, not making a pan sauce. Heat this pan very hot, put your chicken, steak or whatever in it, and after you have created attractive grill marks by artistic turning, which should take only a minute or so, transfer it to another pan (at 350F or whatever is recommended) to cook to the desired internal temperature. Make a pan sauce in that. Or cook all the way in this grill pan, but make a sauce separately.
    – Wastrel
    May 6, 2022 at 14:58
  • @Wastrel With both your suggestions (creating marks only, or cook all the way), there will be juices baking onto the pan. A deglazing will 1) make use of these juices, 2) create a sauce whose taste cannot be approximated by other means, and 3) make cleaning of the pan easier. So I don't see why you recommend to not make the sauce in the pan. Also, the OP's primary concern in this question is to prolong the pan's life, and your suggestion of creating grill marks with it is diametrically opposed to that.
    – rumtscho
    May 6, 2022 at 15:12
  • @rumtscho You make good points, and it comes back to the fact that deglazing in this Teflon-coated pan will eventually damage it, as in your answer. The manufacturers say that Teflon is good up to 500F but my experience with them suggests that the coating comes off even if a pot or pan is never brought to that temperature. That's why I'm strictly a cast-iron and stainless steel guy now. So far we've both barely stopped short of telling the OP that this pan is not good for the purpose it's supposed to be used for...
    – Wastrel
    May 8, 2022 at 13:31

That looks like a 'teflon'-coated aluminium pan to me.

The trick for deglazing without damage is just to let the heat off the pan a couple of minutes before adding liquid, so you don't get the extreme heat-shock; then bring it all back to the boil together.
'Teflon' doesn't last forever anyway, but I've not known this method to shorten a pan's life - there may even be an indication that doing this with wine will actually slightly mitigate the build-up seasoning/glaze that eventually makes non-stick pans sticky.


You are not damaging the pan at all. However, in a cast iron or carbon steel pan one is often trying to build up a seasoning layer, essentially making it non-stick. Continuous deglazing will interfere with that process. I have a couple of carbon steel pans that I don't introduce any liquid to because I don't want to lose the layers of seasoning I've worked to develop. My cast iron is many years older, so that one occasionally sees liquids. Your pan looks like it is enameled, that means you have to worry even less, as enameled pans are not really intended to take on a layer of seasoning. So, if your grill pan is already heavily seasoned, or if you don't really worry about the seasoning for that particular pan (or if it is enameled)....deglaze-away...worry-free.

  • It is great to know! The reason it looks enameled it's because it's new! The previous one was not old at all, but it seems it was spoiled, and it needed more and more oil for things to not get stuck (which I'm not sure if it's normal or I am also not grilling it in the proper way!). Thank you!
    – M.K
    May 5, 2022 at 10:35
  • 4
    I wouldn't support the idea that the deglazing is so bad for seasoning. I personally deglaze rather frequently a carbon steel pan, and it has good thick seasoning. See also cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/13461/….
    – rumtscho
    May 5, 2022 at 10:38
  • 1
    @rumtscho entirely depends on where you are in the process (that was my point). My carbon steel is relatively new, my cast iron is old and well seasoned....the latter, gets deglazed no problem, the former will wait until the seasoning builds up a bit more before it sees any deglazing action.
    – moscafj
    May 5, 2022 at 10:51
  • 2
    @moscafj oh yes indeed, people tend to forget that pan seasoning is a continuous process and not three quick cycles in the oven. Thanks for clarifying that.
    – rumtscho
    May 5, 2022 at 11:00

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