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There’s something special about cooking with a nonstick pan. It makes the best pancakes, scrambled eggs, and anything else you desire to cook in it.

That is why it is a kitchen necessity that everyone should have.

Nevertheless, before you buy one, you need know how long nonstick pans endure.

For, like everything else in life, there comes a point when you must discard the pan because it has become not only ineffective but also harmful.

Continue reading to see how long nonstick pans endure and what you can do to extend their life!

How Long Do Nonstick Cooking Pans Last?

A pan’s lifetime is determined by a variety of conditions, but on average, a nonstick pan lasts three to five years. After then, it frequently begins to exhibit indications of degradation or just no longer performs as effectively.

The nonstick coating on the pan is one of the variables influencing its lifespan. Teflon coating and ceramic coating are the two most frequent coating kinds these days.

Both are quite good at keeping food from sticking to the pan. Nonetheless, Teflon outlasts ceramic in terms of durability.

Ceramic, on the other hand, is a better choice for food safety than Teflon.

Most significantly, you are the most crucial element in determining the longevity of your nonstick pan. The pan’s life and performance are heavily influenced by how you use it and how well you care for it.

Using cooking sprays and metal utensils are two typical blunders that people make that reduce the life of a nonstick pan. In a moment, I’ll tell you about some additional blunders and what you should do instead to keep your nonstick pan in good condition.

Indications You Should Get Rid of Your Nonstick Pan

Regrettably, nonstick pans do not come with an expiry date, so you will know when it is time to throw it away.

So, what should you do if you don’t want to part with your pan but also don’t want to use a broken one?

Check for these indicators that your nonstick pan has reached the end of its useful life and should be discarded.

Also read: When and How to Recycle Your Frying Pans?

Substantial scuffs, chips, or peeling of the coating

If you see substantial scratches on the surface of your nonstick pan, or if the coating begins to peel or becomes chipped, this is a clear indication that it is damaged and no longer usable.

Overheating or the use of abrasive materials are two of the causes of a pan peeling and revealing scratches.

These alterations indicate that the pan’s nonstick coating has begun to deteriorate. You’ll notice this when your food begins clinging to the pan and doesn’t come off as readily as it used to.

Apart from the performance, utilizing a pan disregarding these warnings is also hazardous to your health. It may allow flakes or chemicals from the nonstick coating to enter your meal, causing you to consume them.

The Pan has been warped.

A bent pan is less obvious, but it is still a strong indication that your nonstick pan will not survive long.

As your pan warms up rapidly at a high temperature, it might expand unevenly in certain locations. This causes the pan to twist or bend out of shape.

If a pan is dropped, it might get deformed. Pour some oil or water in the center of the pan and observe if it spreads unevenly to one side to determine if it is bent.

Although a warped pan is not harmful, it does reduce the pan’s efficacy.

That may hinder your food from cooking evenly across the pan. Apart from that, there are a few techniques to unwarp a pan if you don’t want to toss it away just yet.

The pan’s heating is uneven.

Uneven heating or cooking of food in a nonstick pan is another clue that either a buildup has formed on its surface or the coating has worn away in certain spots.

This is one of the most inconvenient issues since you either burn your meal or serve it raw.

The pan sometimes generates these hot areas, which are always hotter than the remainder of the pan.

Moreover, if the pan’s surface has acquired buildup due to incorrect cleaning or maintenance, it will not only result in uneven cooking but also delayed cooking.

Cooking your meals will take longer than usual, which might be bothersome.

Common Errors to Avoid in Order to Extend the Life of Your Nonstick Pan

Although most nonstick pans last three to five years on average, there are several things you can do to guarantee that your pan lasts longer.

This includes avoiding certain frequent blunders that can ruin your nonstick pan. These are a few blunders to avoid.

Making Use of Cooking Sprays

While cooking on a nonstick skillet, this is one of the most typical blunders individuals make. They believe that the cooking spray will oil the pan and prevent anything from sticking to it.

Although it works in the short term, as you continue to apply and heat the cooking spray, a horrible coating forms on the pan.

This not only impacts its heating, but it also makes cleaning afterwards extremely difficult without breaking the pan.

Instead, you should use butter, fat, or oil.

Stacking All of Your Nonstick Pans to Store Them

Since not everyone has a large kitchen with plenty of storage space, we were obliged to store our pans all in one pile.

This makes them simpler to store but also more vulnerable to harm.

Most pans are metal, and straight stacking them generates scratches on the pan due to the contact between the metal surfaces.

These scratches then have an effect on the pan’s heating. As a result, all you need to do is avoid direct metal contact between your pans.

Instead, place a cloth or other protective covering between the pans to avoid scratches.

Cooling Pans to High Temperatures in a Short Period of TimeHeating

This applies to most pans, but particularly nonstick pans. Avoid heating them to excessive temperatures or cooling them down quickly.

Excessive heat on a nonstick pan should be avoided at all costs. Nevertheless, if you do heat it that much, let it cool before dumping it in cold water to wash.

Similarly, do not heat a cold pan at high heat. These drastic temperature swings are quite harmful to the pan. It may cause warping or cause the nonstick surface of the pan to deteriorate quicker.

What You Should Do Instead: Slowly heat or cool the pan.

Using the Dishwasher to Clean Your Pan

Even if the pan is dishwasher-safe, avoid placing it in the dishwasher if you want to extend its life.

The dishwasher’s high pressure, heat, and harsh detergents cause the nonstick coating on the pan to wear away quicker. This has an impact on its performance and shortens its lifespan.

Even more crucially, a dishwasher is completely unneeded. A nonstick pan is designed to be simple to clean and does not need much time or effort.

Even if you wind up burning anything on it, you may soak it in warm, soapy water for a bit before cleaning it by hand as normal.

What You Should Do Instead: Hand-wash the pan with a soft, non-abrasive sponge and soapy water.

Making Use of Metal or Other Abrasive Materials

As previously stated, metal-on-metal contact causes scratches. This is also true when using metal spatulas and spoons on the pan.

The continual touch and quick stirring action might result in scratches and chips on the pan’s surface.

Most significantly, it allows the pan’s chemicals and flakes to enter your meal, which is quite harmful.

Instead, use utensils made of rubber, silicone, or wood.

Acidic Food Cooking on Them

This is not always a mistake for all nonstick pans, although some less expensive ones might also be harmed by acidic meals.

As you cook things like lemons or tomatoes, their acidic liquids might seep out and eventually harm the pan’s surface.

Instead, avoid acidic foods such as lemon, tomato, and so on.


No one appreciates scraping food off a sticky pan. It is not only inconvenient, but it may also utterly spoil the appearance of your cuisine. That is why we need nonstick pans in our lives.

Nevertheless, if you continue to use it after its useful life has expired, it becomes more of a nuisance than a convenience. Hopefully, you now understand when you should discard it and what efforts you may take to extend its life.

Additional cooking pan articles you may be interested in:

  • Can You Cook Steak In A Non-Stick Pan?
  • Why Do Ceramic Pans Lose Their Non-Stick Properties?
  • Best Square Non-stick Pans
  • Can Non-Stick Pans Be Re-Coated?