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Nonstick Pan - I Have a Nick - Do I have to Dump it?

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  • Lila May 31, 2006 06:07 PM
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I never really followed all the teflon hysteria, but now that my pan has a little nick in it, I wonder -- should I replace it? Will I get sick if I don't?

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  1. No, there is no danger whatsoever. All the hoopla is during the manufacturing process and really has nothing to do with the pan itself. Just keep right on using it.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      That is not entirely true, for example, I never heat mine very high unless there is food in it. if there is food in it, it would be tough to maintain really high heats.

      As far as the nick is concerned, it depends on what you mean. I usually replace my non-sticks about once every 1-1.5 years. Once the surfact gets too worn. Better safe than sorry. Beyond that, I don't really worry about them.

      It is true that most of the newest reports on non-stick have to do with the manufacturing process. There hasn't been any new info on cooking with it.

      1. re: shameless

        Do you also replace your cutting boards every 1-1.5 years? Your car? Your pillows? Better safe than sorry!

        Even if there really were something to the teflon-overheating scare, it would have nothing to do with wear and tear.

        1. re: pans

          No, my cutting boards go through the dishwasher on high heat almost daily, I use protective pillow covers, why on earth would I replace any of what you mention on an 18 mos. regime especially a car?

          1. re: pans

            Everything you buy has a half life and should be replaced as needed. Your car, pillow, cutting board etc. I use my 10" nonstick frying pan almost every day. It gets a lot of wear and tear. I generally don't buy expensive ones (I save that for my stainless) and I just replace them.

            In terms of high heat and and wear and tear, I am not sure that is true. It is my understanding that the high heat burns off the coating thus creating fumes that are not good. If your pans are worn down, they will likely burn easier.

            $20-$40 a year on pans that I use every day seems very reasonable to me.

          2. re: shameless

            I replace about every 2 years- at that point there's a few nicks, etc. I don't spend more than $20 on a nonstick so I figure. Aside from the health issue, I find that after a few nicks and a couple years, things start to stick so it's time for a replacement.

          3. re: Monty

            No

          4. I've had my current Teflon pan for more than 3 years now. It has a few tiny scratches--gotta remember not to use metal utensils! But since the coating isn't flaking off yet, I'm not worrying about it.

            Like others, I do try to avoid using very high heat under it because of health concerns. But I'm not even sure what the facts really are about that. Must do some research.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cagey

              Do a googled and type in "teflon high heat dangerous" and you will get enough info on it.

              The gist is, teflon was meant to be used under medium heat only.

              When heated to high the coating breaks down and some chemical leaks out in gas-form, so you can't see it but we inhale it.