Why Is My Non-Stick Frying Pan Sticking?

Scrambled egg stuck on pan

When we buying a non-stick frying pan, many of us think that nothing will ever stick to it. After all, it says non-stick right on the label.

However, non-stick pans can stick, and much of the time, this is down to misuse.

If a pan isn’t treated property by the cook, the coating can begin to fail.


Reasons For Non-Stick Pans Sticking

Here are a few reasons a non-stick frying pan can begin to stick and what you can do to bring your pan back to life.

1. The pan has never been seasoned

Even with a non-stick coating, a frying pan must be seasoned before use. This protects and maximises the non-stick coating. If you didn’t season your frying pan before its first use, don’t worry, you still can.

We have an article here about seasoning a ceramic frying pan. This method of seasoning works wonders on most styles of frying pans, including non-stick pans, and will keep them protected as long as you top the seasoning up every few months.


2. The coating is scratched

Scratched non stick pan

Scratches in a non-stick coating can occur in many different ways.

  • Metal utensils – A common reason for scratches in a frying pan is using metal utensils.
  • Cleaning with a rough pad – Another reason is using a very rough cleaning pad to clean the frying pan. Remember, your frying pan is non-stick, so you don’t need to clean it that roughly.

If the non-stick properties of your frying pan are failing enough for you to have found this article, a new frying pan is likely in order. You could try seasoning the frying pan, but if the coating is already in disarray, it probably won’t help much. Buy a new frying pan and remember to be gentle on the coating this time.


3. The frying pan got too hot

Frying pan on hot flame

If you use a frying pan in the oven a lot and have noticed that the coating is no longer working properly, this could be because the coating wasn’t intended for this kind of use.

Some non-stick coatings can only cope with low to medium heats and shouldn’t be used at high temperatures or in the oven.

If the coating on your frying pan has failed because of high temperature, invest in a frying pan that can withstand high temperature – see these hob-to-oven pans.

Ceramic frying pans, for example, can cope with high heat. If you like transferring your frying pan into the oven or frying at high temperatures, ceramic is the way to go.



A good quality frying pan will last you many years if used correctly. Remember that not all non-stick coatings are designed for every job.

Finding out what coatings can be used for certain tasks is a great start when choosing the perfect frying pan for you.

Then, season your frying pan to maximise the protection. Then use a soft cloth to wash your frying pan throughout its cooking career. By doing all of this, your non-stick coating will last a lot longer!

For more about cookware and reviews of some of the best frying pans in the UK, explore our website further.