I have a couple of old pots and pans laying around in the house and unfortunately I don't have the original box. Is there an easy way to tell if they are safe to use in the oven? Like for stainless steel or non-stick pans are they generally safe to use in the oven? Maybe only for certain temperatures?

  • With no idea what any of the pots and pans are made of, or what they look like it is impossible to say. In general I'd say that metal pans are ok. For the pots look to see that they have only metal handles or knobs.
    – MaxW
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:11
  • @MaxW I guess I was looking for if there were tips for non-stick pans, etc. Do some non-stick pans work or is there a material that makes it so you cannot put them in the oven? I also read in some places a lot of cookware might be okay at certain temperatures (350* or less) whereas higher temperatures they would not be.
    – aug
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 17:56
  • Coaxing out more information - Do you want to go above 350 Fahrenheit? // see this at WebMD - webmd.com/food-recipes/nervous-about-nonstick
    – MaxW
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 18:03
  • 1
    Many "plastic" handles are thermosetting palstics that are fine for typical domestic oven temperatures. Unfortunately even with the original packaging you may never know.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


Speaking in generalizations, without knowing the details of content:

Anything with a non-stick coating- I wouldn't put it in the oven. If you don't know what the non-stick coating is made of, you can't be sure if it will melt. Additionally high temperatures and non-stick coating make for off-gassing.

Anything with plastic handles, knobs or any other plastic parts- don't put it in the oven at any temperature. No way to know how it will react.

Cast iron- always oven safe to almost any temp that a non-commercial oven would reach

Enameled cast iron (like Le Crueset)- oven safe to 500°F (260°C)

Uncoated stainless steel- oven safe to 500°F (260°C)

Uncoated anodized aluminum- I would say no more than 450°F (230°C), to be safe

Copper- 500°F (260°C)

Glass- 450°F (230°C)

  • 11
    Units please... This is an International site and 450 F vs. 450 C is a huge difference! Welcome to Seasoned Advice!
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 13:39

As an addition to Tisha's answer, if you have a soldering iron with adjustable temperature and are willing to find out if a handle is likely to melt, you can always try to apply heat to a barely visible part of the handle to gauge how high of a temperature it can withstand. Obviously if you end up doing this, do it in a well ventilated area. (This would have been a comment but I cannot post those yet)

  • Great idea, but has one caveat: Not melting is not the same as not embrittling long term and not giving off fumes. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 11:00

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