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Old 02-15-2009, 09:50 PM   #1  
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Default How long should I expect a non-stick pan to last

I have a non-stick skillet that I bought around a year ago that is starting to get sticky. It wasn't the cheapest skillet I could buy, but it also wasn't the most expensive--it cost around $40 to $50 at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It was great when I first bought--excellent heat distribution and nothing ever stuck to it. I've been fairly careful with it--I let it cool before soaking it, only use olive oil or light butter with it, never use metal utensils, and only use sponges/scrubbers that are safe for non-stick cookware. Probably my biggest crime is sometimes using too high of heat (I'm impatient and I have an electric stovetop that sometimes has a mind of its own).

Am I wrong to expect a non-stick skillet to last more than a year? It does get used a lot, probably on average once a day (some days not at all, other days two or three times). For those of you that cook, how long does your non-stick cookware last?

Do you think something in the light butter could have interacted with the non-stick surface (I know this can be a problem with cooking sprays)?

Am I being too cheap? Do I need to spend more on my cookware to get something that will last more than a year?

Should I never use heat higher than medium high with my non-stick cookware?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:11 PM   #2  
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about 5 minutes. as a cook, i dont use "non-stick" pans. The coating always wears away eventually. And usually quite quickly. I would suggest a good quality stainless steal pan, it will last a long time and with pam.. is just as effective as any new non stick pan.. imo anyways.

Last edited by aware210; 02-15-2009 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:20 PM   #3  
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I have had non stick and don't like it., I now use Revere Stainless Steel and have for quite awhile, I love it. I have a couple of non stick griddles and they are OK , but I don't use them very often.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:40 PM   #4  
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Actually I'd go for cheaper non-stick, since the more expensive stuff doesn't last any better than the cheapies.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:41 AM   #5  
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There are health concerns with nonstick so I don't use them. Also the creation of nonstick pans is environmentally unfriendly. I believe dupont has until 2012 to come up with a replacement for the current nonstick as the government is letting them pollute the environment until that point because they don't want to shut them down entirely. Doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:51 AM   #6  
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I hate non-stick too. The coatings get yucky and then of course you read all the stuff about the coating stuff causing cancer or whatever.

In a moment of impulse, I bought a nonstick griddle last year at Target for about 40 bucks. I threw it into the trash last month. The coating was coming off in great big chunks! OMG!

I prefer cast iron or stainless steel. I very much enjoy using my Le Creuset too--although expensive, they are lifelong pieces for the avid cook. Allclad is making a line right now that has Emeril's picture on it. They have it at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I checked some of the pieces out last week and they looked pretty nice.

BTW, I have had a set of Farberware since I was married 16 years ago and they are still like new. The set was about $150. About 5 years ago I invested in the All-Clad and they are still like new and much nicer quality than the Farberware. I think the set was about $700. A Le Creuset skillet will run you just under $100. You can sometimes find them at TJ Maxx or Marshall's.

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Old 02-16-2009, 10:35 AM   #7  
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I have had the same cookware for 25 years. It looks just like Caphalon but is made by Mirro. Also have a few pieces of the cheaper Caphalon (Cooking with Caphalon, I think). I never like the non-stick surfaces. On my George Foreman, the stuff started flaking off so I tossed it and I did get a new one for Christmas but that's the only non-stick cookware I have.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:27 PM   #8  
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According to the reviews on the Cook's Illustrated website, even the most expensive nonstick skillet will only have a lifespan of 1-2 years. Their top recommendation is the Wearever Premium Hard Anodized 12-Inch Nonstick Skillet for about $35

I personally use the Farberware Millennium Soft Touch Stainless 12-Inch Nonstick Skillet which is also on their list of recommendations and cost about $40; I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond with their frequent 20% off coupons. I have had it for about a year and it's in great shape, but it typically gets used only twice per week. If you do buy the Faberware, make sure its the Millenium series; BBB caries several different Faberware products and some are quite crappy.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:32 PM   #9  
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I've never had good luck with non-stick cookware either. Cast iron and Calphalon work well, clean well, and last
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:33 PM   #10  
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I have a Farberware 10" Conoisseur saucepan with high sides straight sides that my dad gave me at least 5 years ago. It has a tight fitting glass lid. I use it pretty much daily, and often several times. I use it for cooking veggies in a minimal amount of water, quesadillas with minimal oil (pour a T in and wipe out w/ paper towel) and for all kind of sauteeing and stove top cooking. It can get a little sticky at times, usually after I have abused it over too high heat and caused something like cheese or egg to stick requiring elbow grease to remove. Then I just add some oil and lightly cook a tortilla in it (cheap) and toss- seems to bring it back to life.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:51 PM   #11  
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I bought a nice set of farberware at Kohls 4 years ago and it is still in perfect condition! I also make sure not to use metal utensils. I use them 1 to 2 times a week and have had no problems!
I used to have regular pans that weren't non-stick and I don't recommend them.... everything stuck, even when I used Pam. Making eggs in those pans was impossible.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #12  
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I use non-stick pans a lot to cut way down on fats during cooking. Besides the obvious don't use metal utensils, the other things that wreck the surface are cooking on high heats (supposedly not above medium heat), using PAM or other non-stick sprays that contain silicone (use PUR by Mazola or just use a bit of oil or something like Smart Balance) and washing the pans in the dishwasher (dishwasher soap is horrible for the non-stick surfaces).

My pans range from cheapies to good quality and I've had them for years with no flaking problems at all.

p.s. For those with stainless steel cookware, how do you prevent sticking without using a lot of fats/oil? I only use my stainless steel cookware for things like soups where sticking is not a concern.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:37 PM   #13  
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I almost always cook meat in a stainless steel pan. I add a tiny amount of oil with a paper towel. Yes it sticks, but in doing so it creates "fond," those flavorful almost burnt dark pieces. Once the meat is cooked I remove it from the pan. I turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove. Then I add a bit of wine or broth to the pan. It will steam quite heavily, so if you have fan use it. While it's steaming, use a hard spatula or wooden spoon to scrape of the stuck pieces from the pan. And now you have an instant pan sauce and an almost clean pan.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:18 PM   #14  
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I have had many non stick pans.The only ones that have lasted (10 years) are pans I got from pampered chef.I love them.
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