I see a lot of frittata recipes call for using a non-stick pan, and for finishing under the broiler (or "grill" in UK-speak). However, I have also read that non-stick pans in general are not broiler-safe. Can anyone clarify the science on this? Are recipe-writers just giving people really bad advice?
Summary: it's kinda-sorta bad advice, but not terrible
Teflon starts to degrade at 260C (500F), which is why authorities recommend against broiling, where items directly under the broiling element can get above that temperature.
Frittatas, like Spanish tortillas and a few other dishes, have some conditions that can ameliorate this, however:
- Generally you only broil the frittata for a couple of minutes
- The pan is mostly full of frittata, which means that only the edge is directly exposed to radiant heat
- Many recipes call for broiling on low instead of high
That said, though, if you made frittatas frequently in a nonstick pan, and finished them under a hot broiler every time, I would expect your nonstick pan to start losing its coating around the edges. It's not something I would do, particularly since there are so many alternatives do cooking one this way:
- Use a cast-iron pan
- Bake it in a moderate to warm oven
- Flip the frittata and don't use the oven at all
Flip the frittata! Sacrilege!– GdDFeb 10 at 15:44
I'd also doubt that the handles of cheaper non-stick pans could cope with these temperatures. Built to a price, little point putting heat-resistant handles on a product if the coating isn't either. Feb 12 at 22:38