When Should You Throw Away Non-Stick Pans?

When Should You Throw Away Non-Stick Pans

If you’re a fan of non-stick pans, you may not be ready for this news. Still, we bring the good, bad, and ugly cooking news to our readers.

Sadly, non-stick pans don’t last forever, and at some point you will need to use our lists of the best non-stick pans available in the UK to choose your next pan.

But when? When is it time to say goodbye to your favourite non-stick pan? Well, let’s find out, shall we?


When Should You Throw Away Non-Stick Pans?

Most chef says that non-stick pans only last about five years. Of course, if your non-stick pan is in fantastic condition after five years, by all means, keep cooking with it.

However, with general cooking and good care, most non-stick pans will be on their last legs at the five-year mark.

There are some key signs on these pans that can hint at them needing to be replaced. These signs include the following.


Signs It’s Time to Throw Away Your Non-Stick Pan

Warped Non-stick Pan

1. Warping

If your non-stick pan has warped, it is a good idea to replace it. Warping will affect the cooking surface, and you’ll likely start to experience cold spots on the bottom of the pan.

However, more troublingly, this warping can affect the non-stick coating as well. The warp can cause the coating to peel, and if that happens, the coating can get in your food, and the pan won’t be non-stick anymore.

2. Discolouration

We aren’t saying that your five-year-old pan needs to look brand new here. However, dramatic discolouration (it has turned brown, for example) can be a sign of the non-stick coating starting to fail.

If you notice areas of discolouration in your pan, replace it. When non-stick coatings start to fail, there isn’t anything you can do to save them.

3. Scratches

Scratches are really common in non-stick pans. Even though all of us tell everyone at home not to use metal utensils in the pan, it happens. It can also happen in the dishwasher or when hand washing, if a piece of burnt-on food gets into the sponge, for example.

Heavy scratches in the non-stick coating will lead to the coating peeling. This will cause rust and mean the coating isn’t as effective as it used to be.

4. Chips

Chipped Non-stick Pan

Chips in a non-stick coating often occur when something is accidentally dropped into the pan. They can also occur if the pan is dropped, of course.

Chips out of the coating can lead to peeling, but they also lead to rust. Using a rusty pan isn’t a good idea, and it certainly isn’t if the coating is peeling as well. So, make sure your pan is chip-free.



We hope this look at non-stick pans and when they need to be replaced has helped. As a general rule, non-stick pans last for five years.

If you now think you need new non-stick pans, please explore Chef’s Pick some more. We have all of the best non-stick pans available in the UK right here. We also have plenty of other pots and pans here, too, if you fancy mixing things up a bit.