Why Does My Non-Stick Pan Smell?

Non Stick Frying Pan

If your non-stick pan has a strange smell coming from it, you’d probably like to know why. You’d also like to know how to stop this smell from returning. Well, thankfully, that’s what this article is all about.

First up, we need to know why a non-stick pan might develop a smell. Now, pans with a non-stick coating don’t often get smelly; it is quite rare. However, there are certain reasons why a pan could begin to smell, let’s explore those reasons, shall we?

Reasons a Non-Stick Pan Can Smell Bad

1. High heat

When you use a non-stick pan at high heat, it can do a few things to your pan. Firstly, some non-stick frying pans aren’t actually designed to be used at a high heat. Often, the manufacturers aren’t too clear about this, though.

When you use a non-stick pan at high heat, it can begin to breakdown the non-stick coating. If this occurs, a chemical odour can be emitted. So, if the bad smell coming from your non-stick pan smells like chemicals, this is likely the cause.

For most non-stick coatings, though, the temperatures they have to reach to emit any sort of smell is pretty high.

So, unless you’ve popped your pan in the oven at a very high temperature, this may not be the cause of your smell.

2. Using certain cooking sprays and oils

Spraying Cooking Spray On Frying Pan
Cooking sprays can make non-stick pans smell bad

Certain cooking oils and sprays can be the cause of a non-stick pan smelling. The reason for the smell is that oils and sprays can begin to season a non-stick pan over time.

If you use an oil that degrades pretty quickly, your pan will smell. If you notice that water is forming drops when you wash your pan up or you find that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to wash your pan, this may be the cause.

3. Cooking foods with a strong odour

Let’s face it, some foods just stink! Garlic and onions are a big cause of stinky pans. These odours can stick to the pan and then when you heat it up again, they will hit your nostrils like a train.

The issue, of course, is when you’re not heating the pan to cook garlic or onions. What can be done? Well, here is a natural cleaning technique that will get rid of most odours in your pan.

How to Stop a Non-Stick Pan from Smelling

This natural cleaning technique will work on most non-stick frying pans and rid them of all odours.

However, it’s important to note that the damage to your non-stick frying pan may have already been done. More on that in a moment.

Here is the best natural cleaning technique to get rid of the smells.

  1. Boil water and vinegar/lemon juice – Bring a mixture of three parts water to one part vinegar or lemon juice to the boil in your pan. This process should be done over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Clean with a soft brush – Let the pan stand until it’s cooled down. Then, use some warm water and soap with a soft-bristle brush to clean it.
  3. Rinse and dry – Give it a rinse and let it dry.

This cleaning method should get rid of any smells coming from your non-stick pan. If the odours return, though, it may mean your non-stick pan is on its last legs.

If you have a lot of scratches in your frying pan, these could be trapping food particles or oil and causing the smell. If that’s the case, a new pan is probably your best bet. Thankfully, of course, we have reviewed the best non-stick frying pans.

Be sure to check out our reviews of the best non-stick frying pans before you leave. You’ll get a great deal and rid your home of smelly frying pans forever!