Some skillets made with nonstick coatings are oven-safe. Concerns about nonstick coatings center around petroleum-based Teflon, as it can break down under high temperatures, releasing fumes that can sicken humans and kill pet birds. However, manufacturers use a variety of nonstick coatings, including ceramic-based Teflon alternatives which are free of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and safe beyond the medium or lower temperatures recommended for Teflon. Some of these alternative coatings are also more durable and safe for use with metal utensils. Before using any skillet in the oven, check the manufacturer’s information that accompanies your nonstick cookware to determine if the items are oven-safe and if they are rated for use under the broiler.
Check that your pan includes an oven-safe handle. Plastic handles may melt under high temperatures. Some pans are equipped with stay-cool handles. The stay-cool designation refers to use of the pans on the stovetop, not in the oven. Phenolic handles are capable of withstanding higher temperatures and may be used on oven-safe pans. Even with oven-safe handles, though, check the temperature rating. Some materials tolerate 500 degree F temperatures, while others are rated to a lower temperature. Additionally, your pan lids and lid handles may not be oven-safe to the same temperature as your skillets.
Properly seasoned cast iron cookware is oven-safe and provides a virtually nonstick cooking surface. When an empty pan is coated in oil and baked in the oven for initial seasoning, the oil enters pores in the pan's cooking surface. The skillets require an application of oil with each use to replenish the seasoning, but damaged coatings of seasoning are easily replaced. Cast iron offers even heat distribution in long-lasting pans.
Hard Anodized Pans
Hard anodized aluminum pans are rendered nonstick by treatment in electrochemical baths. The oxide film on the surface of the metal thickens through this process, creating a nearly nonstick surface. Such pans are oven-safe and nonreactive, so they are safe for acidic foods. Some hard anodized skillets come with a nonstick coating on their cooking surfaces.