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What Is a Nonreactive Pan?

George Steckel|Aug 04, 2021

There are many different types of

essential pots and pans

on the market, whether it’s

non stick

, ceramic, copper,

carbon steel

, cast iron, or

stainless clad

. Some of these are reactive, and some are nonreactive pans. Now before any quick actions are taken, reactive pans are completely safe to use and just as safe as nonreactive pans. In this blog post, we’re going to go over the difference between reactive and nonreactive pans, which pans are reactive and nonreactive, and how to cook with each type of pan. 

Reactive vs. Nonreactive Pans

Reactive Pans

A reactive pan is a pan made out of materials that interact with specific foods when cooked in the pan. The

best frying pan materials

for these reactive pans include cast iron, carbon steel, and aluminum. Certain foods cooked in reactive pans might strip some of the seasoning you’ve built or take on a metallic taste, especially when using a cast iron skillet. These foods are acidic foods such as tomatoes, vinegar, citrus, or wine. While you don’t need to avoid reactive cookware altogether when cooking with these ingredients, it is essential to remember that they will have this type of reaction in your pan. 

If you’re using a carbon steel pan, cooking with acidic ingredients like tomato sauce, and see a pattern change in the pan, don’t worry! It is just the acidic ingredients reacting with the pan, and remember that you can always reseason the cooking surface of your pan.

Nonreactive Pans

Nonreactive pans are made out of materials that won’t interact with foods when cooked in the pan. Some of these types of pans include stainless clad and enamel-coated pans. If you plan to use highly acidic ingredients and cook them for a while, then using a non reactive pan is best.

The Bottom Line

When deciding which cookware to buy, remember that while it is important to understand the difference between a

saucepan vs pot

or a

saucier vs saucepan

, it is just as important to understand the difference between reactive and non reactive cookware. At Made In Cookware, we believe it is important to have a variety of cookware options in your kitchen. For example, having a selection of carbon steel frying pan, saucepan, and skillet options and a selection of stainless clad metal cookware is ideal. Or maybe you have some copper cookware for fancy dinner parties or if you’re trying to perfect a velouté. In the end, be sure to understand that a reactive pot is not ideal for cooking long-simmering stews or acidic ingredients and that nonreactive


works well for everything

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