Knowing when your non-stick pans need to be replaced can be tricky. However, there are a few indications on the surface of the pans that can let you know if the non-stick coating is no longer in good health.
Today, we’re looking at the key signs that will let you know if your non-stick pans are ruined and when it is best to buy new pans.
As you probably know, non-stick pans don’t last forever. Even if you only use plastic or wooden utensils, at some point, a non-stick pan will need to be replaced.
Granted, only using this type of utensil can keep your pan in great condition for far longer, but it’ll still need to be replaced at some point.
Signs That a Non-Stick Pan Needs to Be Replaced
- Warping – Warping will occur in most pans at some point in their lifespan. Warping is largely due to simply cooking with it, but it can occur more frequently if you dunk your pan in cold water after cooking with it.
- Discolouration – If the surface of your pan has changed colour, this can be a sign that the non-stick coating is beginning to fail. Again, this is largely due to the heat used during the cooking process and not so much to do with the utensils you use.
- Scratches – Scratches are almost always caused by metal utensils being used in the pan. Of course, if the non-stick coating has already begun to fail (if it has changed coloured or warped), this can make it easier to scratch the surface as well.
- Peeling – Peeling non-stick coating is typically caused by a defect in the coating. This defect isn’t necessarily from the manufacturer, though. Instead, if the pan has warped even a very small amount, this could make the non-stick coating unstable, and it can begin to peel. Peeling is also a sign that the pan may have been used at a higher heat (or in the oven) than it should have been.
- Chips – If there is a chip in the coating, it will need to be replaced soon. Chips in non-stick coatings generally occur when the pan is dropped, or something is dropped into it. If you continue to use a pan with a chip in it, the coating can begin to peel off of the area and end up in your food.
If your non-stick pan has any of the signs above, it is time to take a look at our favourite non-stick pans. We have loads of non-stick pan articles on here that will help you choose your new favourite pan. You could also look at stainless steel or cast-iron options too.
As a general rule, non-stick pans should be replaced every five years. However, stainless or cast iron can last much longer than this. Cast iron, for example, can last the rest of your life with the proper care.
We hope this look at when a non-stick pan is ruined has been helpful. If you think your non-stick pan needs to be replaced, check out the rest of Chef’s Pick. We have the best cookware and articles about cookware in the UK available right here!
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.