The Lifetime of Nonstick Pans: How Long Do They Really Last?

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Nonstick Cookware nowadays have been immensely popular, especially pans. You can find them in almost every kitchen. I myself love to use them a lot since they prevent the food from sticking, require less to no oils to cook and secure even heat distribution which are basically the main reasons why I have switched to nonstick pans. Also, these type of pans are resistant to acids, which means that they will not react to acids that can be found in certain vegetables like tomatoes. However, due to my lack of experience, I ended up damaging some of the nonstick pans that I had and was forced to buy replacements every once a while. So, I made it a point to know how to properly take care of nonstick pans and extend their lifetimes. And help you answer the question – How long do nonstick pans last?

Are Nonstick Pans Safe To Use?

In order to judge whether a nonstick pan is safe to use or not, we have to know which material is exactly used for coating first. Here are several materials that are considered to be safe and healthy which I highly recommend:

Ceramic Clay

  • porcelain
  • pyroceram

Anodized materials

  • titanium
  • stainless steel

Each of the materials mentioned above offers unique advantages and can be used in different situations. However, my main concern when it comes to safety is Teflon. This material is highly debated and I have seen many people talking about how unsafe it is (I have talked about it myself through an in-depth reviews article).

Teflon, also known as PolyTetraFluoroEthylene (or PTFE in short), is a substance that has a dangerous chemical called PFOA which is the main threat to our health when it transforms to its liquid form that is. This is the reason why you may have heard before warnings like “Do not exceed a certain temperature degree with nonstick pans” (Generally, around 500℉). Or else you’ll expose yourself to dangerous fumes that can cause headaches, flu, fever… just by inhaling them. Studies show, that birds can get killed just by inhaling a bit of the PFOA fumes.

How Long Do Nonstick Pans Last

The lifetime of Nonstick Pans can be from 3 months up to 5 years. It depends entirely on 2 factors: the quality of nonstick pans and how well you take care of them.

How to properly maintain a healthy nonstick pan

Taking care of your nonstick pan can extend its lifetime and maintain its performance. Here are 4 tips that will help you maintain your nonstick pan and make it last for years:

  • Use The Right Utensils In Your Nonstick Pan

Using metal utensils with rough edges will result in damaging the coating, so make sure to use only plastic or even wood utensils (spoons, spatulas).

  • Avoid Cooking Oil Sprays

Nonstick pans require almost no oil to cook your daily meals. However, you may use a few drops of oil. Personally, I prefer to use butter but any would do. Just make sure to avoid cooking sprays, they do more harm than good. They will reduce the nonstick performance of your pan and can damage the coating over time.

  • Adjust The Cooking Temperature

It is highly recommended to use low to medium heat (preferably below 500℉ or 260℃) when you are cooking with your nonstick pan or else you are risking the coating to deteriorate and lose its nonstick quality.

Also, take note that the quality of nonstick cookware differs from one to another and would depend on various factors. One crucial factor would be the materials used. Some materials are superior over others when it comes to heat tolerance. So, make sure to choose one that would withstand a higher temperature in case you would want to use it in your oven.

  • Handwash Your Nonstick Pans

One of the grave mistakes I did was putting my nonstick pans in a dishwasher. It took me a while to realize that my nonstick pans were slowly losing their nonstick quality due to the coating being damaged over time, despite the fact that some of the pans were labeled “dishwasher safe”. Some manufacturers would claim that their cookware are dishwasher safe, and I assume you have already come across one or two of them. But the truth is, they are not completely safe since the hot water and harsh detergents used with dishwashers would deteriorate the nonstick coating over time.

It is recommended to stay on the safe side and handwash your nonstick pan in hot soapy water while rinsing well using a soft sponge, a plastic scrub or even a dishcloth.

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