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Plastic Scraper scratched my Stainless Steel Fry Pan...

mprasek Aug 25, 2010 09:01 AM

has this happened to you?

Last night I cooked a Angus burger patty (lightly formed, medium rare) in my stainless steel tri-ply pan, and after it had cooled some, I put some hot water in it to deglaze for cleaning, and went to eat my burger. After eating, I took my wooden spatula, and lifteded the fond from the bottom of the cooled pan. Took it to the sink to rinse under hot water, and grabbed the white plastic pot scraper (you know the kind, about the size of a credit card, with a thick rubber end for holding onto), and used it to remove the "gunk" before using the washrag on it (I hate the meat by-products all in the washrag). As I was drying it, I noticed a "W" shaped set of scratches in the bottom of the pan, and wondered how they got there, thinking I had done something weird with my spatula. Then I realized it was the scraper.

I double checked that the pan was 18/8 stainless, and am wondering how this happened.

I have a good handle on how to fix this, just haven't had the time to do it. I really want to know if this scratching with plastic is common.

Feedback? Ideas?


  1. ZenSojourner Aug 25, 2010 09:53 AM

    Bone fragment from the meat got stuck under the blade?

    1. DAWK Aug 25, 2010 10:52 AM

      There's a good chance small traces of a harder substance got embedded into the edge of the plastic scraper. Unless you're using a brand new scraper, that would be my best guess.

      1. Chemicalkinetics Aug 25, 2010 11:12 AM

        I agree with other. It is very possible that you have hard fragments imbedded in the plastic scarper.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          mprasek Aug 26, 2010 10:12 AM

          This sounds plausible, although inspection of the scraper shows a clean unchipped edge, with plastic flash in some places.

          I think I will scrape the pan (once!) with the scraper LIGHTLY, just to see if the scraper itself can cause this, and then depending on the results, chalk this up to "Oh, well".

          Used the pan this morning, and although the scratches remain (lightly, due to BKF and water), no ill effects on performance.

          (Med Rare Angus burger with bleu cheese and tomato for breakfast, Priceless!)

          Thanks, all!


          1. re: mprasek
            Chemicalkinetics Aug 26, 2010 10:53 AM

            Try this. Try to scrape the exterior bottom of the pan (not the cooking/interior) side. You can srap that surface as hard as you like. That is a good test spot. It is very hidden and it is a place which will eventually get scratched up no matter what.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              mprasek Aug 26, 2010 02:16 PM

              Really good point . I never would have thought outside of that box.

              Maybe I am misunderstanding... Isn't a stainless pan supposed to be fairly durable and scratch resistant? Or am I buying hype? I mean, these scrapers are what we use on our non-stick pans.

              Really desperate for knowledge.

              1. re: mprasek
                Chemicalkinetics Aug 26, 2010 08:00 PM


                Stainless steel cookware are very durable and good scratch resistant, but I guess it also depends on your expectation. If you expect the cookware to maintance its mirror-shine finish, then you will be disappointed. You will have very minor scratches, especially on the very shiny smooth finish surface, but you should not have any major scratch.

                I just tried to use my Progressive plastic scarper (one of those 99 cents ones from Bed Bath and Beyond) to scratch my Calphalon triply saucepan, it did not seem to make any mark that I can tell.

        2. tanuki soup Aug 26, 2010 04:34 PM

          Are you sure that the pan is really scratched? It could be that the plastic scraper simply left a visible plastic residue on the steel - like chalk marks on a chalkboard. I'd try a bit of Barkeeper's Friend or other gentle cleanser. It might remove the "scratches".

          1 Reply
          1. re: tanuki soup
            mprasek Aug 26, 2010 10:29 PM

            Yes it is really scratched. I am not at all dismayed by this. I just didn't expect the scraper to do it (The scraper is a very stiff plastic one I usually use on glass dishes and baking sheets, and may be the same as the BB&B one mentioned above). I expected the steel spatula to make scratches. I used Bar Keeper's Friend and the scraper marks still remain.

            I tried the scraper on the outside, as suggested by Chemicalkinetics upstream, and it does truly leave scratches. The grates on my Gas stove leave scratches, too, and those are expected.

            Cooks like a dream (used it again tonight), and the scratches do not affect it at all

            .I guess the real thing is that I didn't expect the plastic scraper to affect it.

            Thanks, all, this has been informative and fun.

          2. i
            iyc_nyc Aug 26, 2010 07:35 PM

            I'm now kinda confused -- I thought it was okay to have scratches on SS? I tk almost all my SS has scratches. And I thot ok to use SS/metal utensils on SS pans bc the scratches didn't impact the functionality of the pan (?).

            Should I stick to wood/silicon/equivalent utensils for SS pans as well?


            1 Reply
            1. re: iyc_nyc
              Chemicalkinetics Aug 26, 2010 08:14 PM

              Yes, you are correct. Scratches have no impact on the performance of a stainless steel cookware.

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