Can I Make My Own Caramel in a Non-Stick Pan?

People love to eat caramel all over the globe. With time, people started making caramel at home. They usually use non-stick saucepans to make caramel.

But did we ever give it a thought that it is safe to use nonstick pans for baking caramel?

Non-stick pans are widely used in kitchens these days. But we must pay attention to precautionary measures while dealing with them.

According to, A thin-bottom nonstick pan is generally not considered ideal for making caramel. There are many constraints associated with the use of nonstick pans to make caramel. 

In the upcoming sections of this article, we’ll shed light on the different positive and negative sides of using nonstick saucepans to bake caramel. Along with that, we’ll suggest which type of pan would be best for it.

Is it fine to bake caramel in a nonstick pan?

Nonstick saucepans are an essential part of cookware nowadays. Everybody uses these pans for cooking purposes, as they’ve become a trend.

There’s no skeptic about it that nonstick pans lend a helpful hand in the kitchen hold. Nonstick pans have certain properties such as;

  • The risk of burning food is low
  • They are easy to wash

These days, people feel it safe and healthy to eat homemade items. Consequently, they find nonstick pans the best option for baking items at home.

Is it fine to bake caramel in a nonstick pan?
cristel usa

Hence, they also use nonstick pans to make caramel on a large scale. But is it safe for them to use it?

A big-sized nonstick pan that has quite a thick posterior can be used for baking caramel. But it is not a standard situation to use nonstick pans.

 We can use it for making dry caramel. But in the case of wet caramel, we’d better use a simple but deep pan. The size of the pan should be gigantic.

There are many risks associated with the nonstick saucepan. When we melt sugar for caramel, it needs a very high temperature. However, it can pose a heavy risk of releasing toxins from the nonstick coating.

Also Read: Can You Eat Pan-Fried Food Daily?

Can I make syrup for caramel in a nonstick pan?

Syrup formation can be called the stage of caramel baking. This stage mostly comes in the case of wet caramel.

Wet caramel Dry caramel
Sugar and water are the ingredients. Sugar is the only ingredient. 
It is a slow process and needs time.Dry caramel making is a comparatively quick process.
A nonstick pan is not suitable for wet caramel.A nonstick pan can be used.

If we are making wet caramel, during syrup formation a nonstick pan is suitable to use. A nonstick pan is dangerous when its coating starts wearing out. It happens in high temperatures.

As far as syrup-making is concerned, we can use a nonstick pan. As syrup comes in its shape at the temperature of up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. It is relatively safe.  

arious stages. The best color of caramel is reddish brown.

Also Read: Is It Normal For My Pans To Start Smoking?

Why can’t you make caramel in a nonstick pan?

At an average rate, you can use a nonstick saucepan. Nonetheless, when it comes to high-temperature activity it may not be reasonable to use nonstick material.

The main reason for not selecting nonstick pans is that it is vulnerable to high heat. High temperatures can damage its nonstick coating. 

The nonstick coating of pans can lose their resistance against heat over 400°F. At this temperature, the coating of nonstick pans starts breaking down. It can add toxic materials to food.

Why can't you make caramel in a nonstick pan?QuoraQuora

On the contrary, we can make use of stainless steel pans for caramel making at home. They can endure high temperatures and wouldn’t affect the food in pans.

Not only in the case of caramel-making but also for other cooking purposes we should cook on medium heat with nonstick pans. 

Also Read: Is It Bad To Leave An Empty Pan On The Stove?

What are the risks of using nonstick pans for making caramel?

The coating of nonstick pans is generally of polytetrafluoroethylene. It is also known as Teflon.

This coating of nonstick pans is hazardous to human health. It releases different types of toxic chemicals such as PFOA(perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFAS(perfluoroalkyl substances).

 After 2013 industries stopped using PFOA in manufacturing nonstick material. It was causing serious health issues such as cancer. But PFAS is still being used in making Teflon coatings.

What are the risks of using nonstick pans for making caramel?
Heated – Medium

Also Read: Why Does The Oil In My Pan Burn?

Risks posed by overheating of Teflon:

Teflon is the major component of nonstick coatings. It’s secure to use Teflon-coated pans at medium heat. But during caramel-making, cooks tend to use high-temperature for a long time. 

In this way, when the temperature exceeds the borderline, the coating breaks down and adds dangerous chemicals to the caramel. It can lead to serious outcomes. Such as;

  • When we breathe in that environment, we intake toxic fumes which can lead to lung issues. (proved by different reports) but exposure time was more than 4 hrs at a temperature of more than 700°F
  • The flu, commonly called Teflon flu, is also caused due to breathing in the affected air.
Risks posed by overheating of Teflon:The Good Human
The Good Human

Furthermore, if someone has no other option. For instance, if he wants to make caramel at home but has only a nonstick pan available. 

In this case, he should have a keen eye on the temperature. Temperature mustn’t exceed the upper limit.

What kind of pan should I use to make caramel?

We can use copper pots such as copper kettles and cast iron pans as well. Stainless steel pans are the best option for making caramel. It can bear higher temperatures than nonstick pans. 

The size of the pan should be large because when we add other ingredients to melted sugar it forms bubbles. The mixture will spill out of the pan and can make the stove dirty.

To deal with this unfavorable situation, the size of the pan should be more than 12 quarts.

What kind of pan should I use to make caramel?
BBC Good Food

Difference b/w Stainless steel pans and nonstick pans:

Nonstick PansStainless Steel Pans
Nonstick pans are more appealing, as people can wash them easily.Stainless steel pans can’t be cleaned easily.
Food usually doesn’t cling to them.Food can perforate to stainless steel pans.
We can cook with less amount of oil or ghee in a nonstick pan.We’ll need more oil or ghee to cook in stainless steel pans.
Nonstick pans are not environmentally friendly. Chemicals like Teflon are produced from nonstick pans.Stainless steel pans are environmentally friendly. Stainless steel pans have no coating so they don’t produce toxins.

We can say that if we are working on low or medium heat then we can use nonstick pans. Moreover, if we are making caramel at home we should use stainless steel pans.

Also Read:Why Trouble Cooking With EVOO On Stainless Pans?


After analyzing everything keenly, we can conclude that nonstick pans are not the wise choice to go for.

We can make caramel by ourselves at home with simple ingredients. We can make syrup for caramel in a nonstick pan because it can be made at a low temperature. 

But when we need to caramelize the melted sugar we should use a stainless steel pan instead of a nonstick one. This pan can survive the temperature that is required to caramelize those ingredients. 

If we go for nonstick pans when the temperature rises gradually, the nonstick coating of the pans starts breaking down. Dangerous chemicals enter the caramel and affect its quality. 

Also Read:Why Do Chefs Set Pans On Fire?


Does caramel stick to pans?

Caramel candy is a sticky substance and it can cling to pans easily. We shouldn’t put caramel in ungreased pans.

Also Read:Are Frying Pans Made Of Bakelite?

What are the methods of making caramel?

There are two methods to bake caramel: Wet and dry caramel-making procedures. In dry caramel, we only put sugar on heat. On the other hand, in the wet process, we add water in addition to sugar.

Also Read:What’s The Verdict On High Heat And Nonstick Pans?

How much time does sugar take to liquefy?

In wet caramel-making, it can take 2 to 3 minutes after the water is boiled. In dry caramel making it can take more time than in the wet process.

Also Read:Does Induction Pan Have To Have Flat Bottoms?

How can we melt sugar without burning it?

If we melt it at a low temperature it won’t burn and give a desired outcome. 

Why is a non-stick pan recommended for caramel making?

The non-stick surface allows for easy stirring and prevents the caramel from sticking, making the process smoother.

What type of non-stick pan is best for caramel?

A medium to heavy-bottomed non-stick pan with a light-colored interior helps monitor the caramelization process more effectively.

Can I use high heat when making caramel in a non-stick pan?

It’s recommended to use medium heat initially and adjust as needed. High heat can lead to quick burning of sugar.

Is making caramel in a non-stick pan faster than other pans?

Non-stick pans may offer a slight advantage in terms of easy stirring, but the overall caramelization time remains similar.

What precautions should I take when making caramel in a non-stick pan?

Use medium heat, constantly monitor the caramelization process, and be cautious to avoid overheating, as it can damage the non-stick coating.

Can I use metal utensils in a non-stick pan for caramel making?

It’s advisable to use non-metal utensils to prevent scratching the non-stick coating. Opt for silicone or wooden utensils.

Does the size of the non-stick pan matter for caramel making?

Choose an appropriately sized pan; a wider surface allows for more even heat distribution, aiding in uniform caramelization.

Can I add ingredients like cream or butter directly to a non-stick pan for caramel?

Yes, you can add additional ingredients, but do so gradually and stir continuously to avoid sudden temperature changes.

How do I clean a non-stick pan after making caramel?

Let the pan cool, soak in warm water, and gently scrub. Avoid harsh abrasives to preserve the non-stick coating.

Can I make caramel with any sugar in a non-stick pan?

Yes, you can use various sugars like granulated, brown, or even specialty sugars in a non-stick pan for caramel making.

Is there a risk of the caramel burning in a non-stick pan?

While a non-stick pan helps prevent sticking, constant stirring and careful heat control are crucial to avoid burning.

Can I use a non-stick pan with a damaged coating for caramel?

It’s not recommended, as a damaged coating may affect the caramel and compromise the pan’s usability.

Can I make caramel with a non-stick pan on an induction cooktop?

Ensure the pan is compatible with induction cooktops. Many non-stick pans work well on these surfaces.

Can I use high-quality non-stick pans for caramel making?

Yes, high-quality non-stick pans are suitable for caramel, offering durability and ease of use.

How can I prevent the caramel from crystallizing in a non-stick pan?

Add a small amount of acid, like lemon juice, to the sugar before melting to prevent crystallization.

Can I use a non-stick pan with a glass lid for caramel making?

Yes, a glass lid allows you to monitor the caramelization process without lifting the lid, reducing heat loss.

Is there a specific technique for stirring caramel in a non-stick pan?

Stir gently and continuously with a heat-resistant utensil to ensure even caramelization and prevent burning.

Can I make caramel with a non-stick pan on a gas stove?

Yes, non-stick pans are compatible with gas stoves. Use a low to medium flame for optimal control.

What signs indicate that caramel is ready in a non-stick pan?

Look for a deep amber color and a slightly nutty aroma. Be cautious not to overcook, as it can turn bitter.

Can I make salted caramel in a non-stick pan?

Absolutely. Add salt to taste during the final stages of caramel making in the non-stick pan.

What is the advantage of using a non-stick pan for caramel over other types of pans?

The non-stick surface makes stirring and pouring easier, and it requires less effort for cleaning.

Can I make caramel sauce directly in a non-stick pan?

Yes, a non-stick pan is suitable for making caramel sauce, ensuring smooth and even caramelization.

Can I store caramel made in a non-stick pan in the refrigerator?

Yes, store caramel in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before use.

Can I make caramel in a non-stick pan without a candy thermometer?

Yes, though a thermometer helps, you can rely on visual cues such as color and aroma to determine caramel readiness.

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