Can I Rescue a Nonstick Pan That Has Lost its Coating?


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Usually when people write in to the Kitchn website with their burning kitchen questions, they are given very detailed, creative, and helpful answers. Unfortunately, when it comes to this one – “Can I Rescue a Nonstick Pan That Has Lost its Coating?” the answer is as short as it is simple: “No!”

In a disposable world where so many people use an item just a few times before they throw it away, many of us are starting to see the light. “Just where does all of this stuff go, anyway?” With our landfills filling up to overflowing and human waste polluting large areas of land, we realize it’s time to start using products that will last several years if not our whole lifetime. Sadly, Nonstick or Teflon-coated pans do not last very long, and are extremely toxic to the environment. When Teflon is heated it produces a gas that has actually been known to poison pet birds that are in close proximity to people’s cooking area. If it does this to birds, then what does it do to our food that’s cooked directly on it? What does it do to us when we consume it? And what does it do to the environment when we throw it away?

We, as consumers, need to become more discerning when we make our purchases. Do we want something tried and true or do we want convenience? Yes, Nonstick pans work well – our food does not stick to it! But what about their toxic content? Is a moment of convenience really worth potential damage to our health?

So, what should we try instead? Well how about the traditional wrought iron pans that our grandparents use to use? These pans, if properly oiled and cared for, will not only last your lifetime, but that of your children’s too! And if we pay attention when we are cooking and time things well, food will not stick to them either.

For more good questions like this one – and for helpful, knowledgeable answers, please visit the Kitchn website, below!


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