Do you want to know is it safe to use scratched non stick pan? The quick answer is, if it is doing the job before, go ahead and use it. But, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of forgoing scratched non-stick pans.
I don’t want to alarm you, but the non stick frying pans that are scratched could be very harmful for your health. That is because when you scratch the non-stick coating of your pan, flakes from it might come into contact with your food. These nonstick frying pan flakes can cause allergic reactions in some consumers.
After using the pan over high heat, toxic chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) come out of it. The toxins released by the non-stick pan can be inhaled by anyone near the kitchen and cause health problems.
If you keep using the scratched non-stick pan, you’ll realize it’s not a good idea. The food sticks to the bottom of the pan and will be cooked unevenly even by another heat source.
In this article, you will know if scratched nonstick cookware is safe or not. You will also learn about the pros and cons of scratched non-stick cookware.
Is It Safe To Use Scratched Non-Stick Pan – Complete guide
Let us discuss in depth is the scratched nonstick pan safe to use and why we need to be aware of the scratched frying pans. So here I am going to explain both positive and negative perspectives of nonstick pots and pans.
Benefits of Non-stick Pans
The nonstick pans are very useful. There are some benefits of using non-stick pans.
1. Easy to use and Clean
When you need to cook a meal, you don’t have to spend time cleaning the pan. Just pour the oil or butter into the pan and you can cook your meal in no time. You don’t have to worry about the pan getting burnt. The pan will protect you from the heat of the stove. Also, Non-stick frying pans are very easy to clean, all you need is just hot water and soap or detergent if there is any stubborn residue stuck on the pan surface. In comparison with cast iron pans, non-stick ones require less cleaning time.
2. Healthy Cooking
Non-stick frying pans are considered healthier for cooking both fish and meat because they allow you to fry an egg without using butter or oil. Moreover, the food doesn’t get stuck in your pan so you don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning it. Even if you forget about a pan and the food is overcooked, you don’t need to worry that your non-stick frying pans will be damaged.
3. Dishwasher safe
Some of the non-stick pans are dishwasher-safe. This is very helpful. But I recommend you always check the instruction manual for the dishwasher-safe pans.
4. Keeps the heat longer
Non-stick pans keep the heat longer than the other pans. The heat is retained for a longer period of time. You can cook a meal in a shorter time than other pans.
5. Less Oil Consumption
You will save a lot of oil when you use a non-stick pan. You can cook a meal without having to worry about oil. The oil that you save can be used for other purposes
5. Non-stick pans are eco-friendly
Eco-friendly pots and pans are the best things to do when it comes to cooking. We should do everything that is eco-friendly. So using non-stick pans is the best thing to do.
6. Provides Non-Stickiness For Longer
In order for non-stick frying pans to function optimally, they must be smooth and flawless. That means there should not be any scratches on the bottom of your pan. Those surface defects can leave some areas with no coating so that food can get stuck there.
Overall, if you want to buy non-stick frying pans, this is a great choice because it will be very easy to clean and cook healthy meals without using too much fat or oil.
However, there are some cons that should make you think twice before buying one. If you want to know more about those, keep reading.
Disadvantages of Nonstick Pans
1. Non-stick frying pans are convenient to use, but there are times when they could damage your health. There may be a lot of cases when you don’t notice the scratches on the bottom of your pan and continue cooking, but there are also times when they jump into your eyes or mouth.
2. Non-stick frying pans do not need a lot of fat to cook healthy meals, but PTFE is much harder to remove from your food than regular fats. When you cook with non-stick pans, PTFE can be absorbed into your food and increase the chance of cancer.
Symptoms That Indicate Your Non-Stick Pan Is Damaged
Even if you follow all those recommendations to stay safe from scratching non-stick pan, there are cases when they cannot prevent it. You can only do so much to prevent the scratches, but sometimes it is not enough to save your non-stick pan.
Normally, we feel that there is no real reason to replace a non-stick frying pan because of light scratches on nonstick pan. But you should be aware of the danger it brings and understand that eventually they will be scratched. Let’s find out how to detect this issue and know for sure if it is time to replace your pan or not.
1. Non-Stick Pan Is Hard To Clean
When you try to clean a non-stick frying pan, usually you don’t struggle much because the food comes off easily from the surface. But there are times when even hot soapy water doesn’t work properly and you have to use a lot of elbow grease to remove all residues from it.
2. Non-Stick Pan Is Very Noisy When Cooked On It
If you turn on your stove and hear that scratching sound, this noise means that your pan is damaged. The coating of non-stick pans will be gone after a certain amount of time and there won’t be any protective barrier for the base metal.
3. Non-Stick Pan Is Melting Down
A scary symptom when your non-stick frying pan is broken down is when you turn it on and see some bubbles. It can indicate that the coating is coming off and you need to replace it as soon as possible.
4. Non-Stick Pan Gets Dark Scratches From Use
Even if your non-stick frying pan doesn’t get scratched too much, there may be some dark damage on its surface caused by overheating and chemical reactions.
5. Non-Stick Pan Gets Uneven Surface
If you notice some uneven surface on your pan, it means that the coating is coming off and there are areas without this protective layer. That may cause food to get stuck and will be difficult to clean because of its low smoothness. Basically, the same as with a scratched non-stick pan, this will increase the chance of getting cancer.
6. Food Gets Stuck On The Pan’s Surface
When there are scratches on the surface of a frying pan, it is easy to notice when you cook something like eggs because they can get stuck there very easily. But small scratches most people don’t see and continue using the pan. That is why food becomes more difficult to clean, and you have to use some products or chemicals to remove residues from it.
7. Something Black Is Spilled On The Pan’s Surface
After a while of cooking with non-stick frying pans, you will sometimes notice small black marks on their surface. This is a sign of overheating and base metal attacks on the coating because of chemical reactions.
8. Non-Stick Pan Has A Strong Chemical Smell When It Is Cooked On
If you check your frying pan after cooking something, you will notice that it has a strong chemical smell which isn’t pleasant for your nose. It can indicate some chemical reaction on its surface because of overheating, which means that the coating is coming off.
If any of these things happen to your frying pan, you should realize that something bad happens and you need to replace or repair it or fix a scratched nonstick pan for health and safety reasons.
How to Fix Scratched Non-Stick Pan – Easy Methods
If your scratched non-stick pans are not working the same, you can consider repairing them. There is nothing wrong with doing that because your pan will come back to normal life without getting damaged further due to scratches.
Tip 1: Clean scratches with a plastic scrubber or nylon brush
If your frying pan is damaged, it’s time to clean and polish the scratched non-stick pan with a nylon or plastic scrubber. It can help you remove all scratches made on your frying pans.
This process ensures that food will not get stuck to the bottom of the pan because it enhances its smoothness.
Tip 2: Cleaning scratched nonstick pan with baking soda and water
Baking soda is a natural ingredient that can be found in most household kitchens. Baking soda also helps to remove stains from non-stick frying pans. It’s advisable to sprinkle some baking soda over the scratches on your non-stick pan, pour hot water over it and rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.
Tip 3: Use a little vegetable oil to remove scratches and stains
Olive oil is another natural ingredient that can help you clean your non-stick frying pans. Pour a spoon of olive oil on the scratched pan, place it over medium heat until hot and cook for 5 minutes before washing it with water. You’ll notice that you have removed scratches and stains from your frying pan.
Tip 4: Season your nonstick pan
One of the most important things to keep your non-stick pans scratch-free is seasoning. Seasoning or curing does not mean only oiling it, but you should build up a layer of polymerized oils on its surface. Polishing and scrubbing can help in making that coating durable enough to resist scratches.
Tip 5: Avoid using metal spoons, spatulas, and scratchers
Rubber or plastic utensils are a better option for cookware because they won’t scratch your non-stick pan. Metal utensils can make scratches on the surface of your non-stick pans which can affect their performance. Moreover, it may worsen their surface and cause food to get stuck to the surface. Metal scratches on non-stick pans are not only a risk for you, but also for your health.
Avoid using utensils made of stainless steel or copper because they can damage the inner layer of the non-stick pan which is very dangerous.
Tip 6: Do not use over high heat
Frying pans with non-stick coating work effectively by heating them until the oil starts to smoke. You should never fry anything over high heat because that can cause serious damage to a non-stick frying pan, including its surface and layers.
Tip 7: Never put your scratched non-stick pan in the dishwasher
Never put pans with a non-stick coating in the dishwasher. The high temperature and extreme water pressure will destroy the coating of your frying pan on an industrial level, even after just one wash.
Tip 8: Use wooden or silicone spoons with a soft edge
The best utensils for cooking are wooden or silicone which won’t leave any scratches or cuts on the surface of your non-stick frying pans.
Watch a video to know about The SAFEST & BEST Non-Stick Pans and Why To Avoid Teflon
How do You Clean Burnt Non-Stick Pans?
Here are some simple steps to follow that will help you get your nonstick frying pans back in perfect shape.
1-First you should try to scrape off the burnt food with a wooden spoon or plastic scraper.
2-Next take a minimal amount of water and gently apply it to the burnt area in order to remove the rest of the burnt food particles.
3-Now pour some cooking liquid or dish soap onto your nonstick frying pan and rub until the burnt area disappears.
4– Rinse the frying pan with warm water, in order to drain it and remove all excess oil.
5-Finally you should dry your non-stick frying pan by hand before using it again.
Read More: How to Clean Cuisinart Non-Stick Pans
Frequently Asked Questions
Can scratched non-stick pans cause cancer?
There are many other coatings that are potentially harmful to the environment and cause cancer, especially when heated at high temperatures for a long period of time.
It would be much safer if you avoid cooking with scratched nonstick pans and use natural utensils instead because they can give a better performance and last longer.
You should never expose a scratched nonstick pan to high temperatures because that can cause serious damage to its surface layers which are very dangerous for your health.
Is it safe to use Teflon pans that are scratched?
No, It is unsafe to use Teflon pans that are scratched. The oil that is released from the pan will be harmful to the health. The toxic chemicals from the pan can be inhaled by anyone who comes into contact with the pan.
What Happens When Nonstick Starts Flaking Off?
Non-stick cookware is made from polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as PTFE. When scratched it breaks into small toxic particles that can be inhaled and swallowed. It’s best to avoid heating non-stick pans until they begin to flake off because that will give you an easy time cleaning them up.
A non-stick pan with a flaking-off surface is one of the most toxic cookware and has serious health effects on your family after being cooked.
However, for a reason unknown to many people, Teflon-coated pans continue to be sold in large numbers even though they are not strong enough to withstand wear and tear.
What is the safest type of non-stick cookware?
The safest non-stick coating is ceramic cookware because it’s strong and lasts longer than other types. Ceramics can withstand high temperatures so you do not have to worry about scratches or damage in a long way while using it on your pan.
It’s also easy to clean and doesn’t flake into small particles. Don’t forget to use natural utensils when cooking with ceramic non-stick pans because that way you will improve its performance and make it last longer.
What happens when nonstick cookware is overheated?
If your pan has a Teflon coating, it can break down and release toxic particles at high temperatures. This will adversely affect everyone that uses it on an industrial level, including you.
If your pans are scratched and overheated for a long time, they will start to flake off, which is very dangerous for your health. Teflon cookware does not even last a few years; this makes it difficult to gauge the true cost of Teflon on an industrial level. Panels of aluminum foil can usually outlive it in your kitchen.
Is it bad to use scratched nonstick pans?
According to a study, people who used scratched nonstick frying pans had a greater risk of developing PFOA-related illnesses. This is because the chemicals released by the pan are more likely to get into your lungs.
The scratched non-stick pans are also more likely to release toxic fumes that can make you sick. The fumes are released when the pan is heated. This is because the chemical used in the pan is likely to be exposed to high heat.
When should you throw away non-stick pans?
Non-stick pans are very easy to scratch, and the coating is usually damaged after two or three years. That is why it’s important to buy good quality cookware because they can last for a longer time, depending on how you use them.
It’s best not to throw Teflon non-stick frying pan away until all the layers are damaged because some of them can still be used.
Just remember that if you scratch the surface, it will release toxic particles into your food and that will cause serious health effects on your family as well as you. So please be careful when using nonstick frying pans.
Read In depth: When to Throw away Nonstick Pans?
Scratched nonstick pans are not a problem because you can easily eliminate them using some simple techniques that I have described above. While these tips and tricks will help you get scratches off, it is also important to keep in mind that the increase in temperature can make those scratches permanent.
You should try to cook with medium heat and never use metal utensils for it because they can permanently damage your non-stick frying pans. Hopefully, you will take good care of your non-stick pans and extend their lifespan by following the tips mentioned above.
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