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Jun 25, 2012 09:51 AM

Do non-stick fry pans their non-stick?

Recently eggs stick badly to my 8" All Clad pan. I use butter, so I am not cooking dry.

The pan is about 15 years old and used regularly. The surface is in excellent condition, no scratches etc... and always washed gently by hand. Has the coating worn thin or off after all of these years?


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  1. It has been my experience that eventually, even non-scratched non-stick pans lose their non-stick ability. Fifteen years is long past the usual life of a non-stick pan, so you're way ahead with this pan. If you use enough oil, or butter, they will still work, but if it were me, I'd buy a new pan. (But I'd go buy a generic non-stick pan at a restaurant supply store and not spend as much as what it cost for an All-Clad).

    2 Replies
    1. re: John E.

      I have never cooked 'dry' in the pan. I have always used butter or oil depending on what I am cooking. This particular pan, 8", I have mostly used butter and it is my egg pan. Even with butter, it is still sticking badly, leaving pieces behind and hard to turn or remove from pan.

      1. re: Canthespam

        After 15 years the non-stickyness is just worn out, even though it looks ok. I have had two like that in the past.

    2. Would you mind uploading a pic of the nonstick surface? What are you washing the pan with?

      1 Reply
      1. re: unprofessional_chef

        An upload will have to wait until my husband does it ... non technie here. I wash it and all my other All Clad non-sticks with my regular Palmolive dishwashing soap and a soft sponge. Never had any problems before and I have 4 other All Clad non-stick pots/pans.

        When I wash them and other things too, I always run my fingers around the inside for the squeaky sound and feel and check for leftover food. Obsessive/compulsive MOI???

        I'll call All Clad and see what they say.

      2. Sometimes the fats you use eventually build up a residue. If it is AC, doesn't it have a lifetime guarantee?

        7 Replies
        1. re: wekick

          I bet "15 years" is more than its expected lifetime

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            My house is 104 years old, G.E. gas dryer 42 yrs .. I recently had to replace my 40 yr. old GE dishwasher and 30 yr old microwave. Pryex bowls, colander, over 55 years old... all in good shape and used regularly. I have lots of new stuff too, but don't expect it to last like the old well made things.

            Fifteen years in my house is still thought of as 'brand new' :-)

            1. re: Canthespam


              What I meant by my last comment is about marketing or legal definition. When a company says that product A has a lifetime guarantee. It does not mean the lifetime of the buyer. It means the lifetime of the product -- to be expected. So I can sell you a car tire with a lifetime warranty where the lifetime is defined as 5-year, not your or my lifespan.

              I think a lot of people think lifetime warranty as the lifetime of the buyers.

              1. re: Canthespam

                You have a magic house, as Sam would say.

                1. re: cajundave

                  Sam would have said that to many other posts as well.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I read in the user manual for the current pans it does not apply to nonstick coating. I don't know if that exclusion is on the older pans, but you would have to have paperwork. 15 years is a long time for a nonstick pan.

                1. re: wekick

                  Yes, and as I have mentioned to Canthespam. The definition of Lifetime depends on the manufacturers.

            2. 15 years for a nonstick pan is actually extremely impressive IMHO!

              3 Replies
              1. re: twyst

                I was impressed too. I just called All Clad, couldn't get a live human being .. the message said that they are guaranteed for life against 'manufacturers defects', but I have to return it to them at my own expense and they will make the determination. That will take some thought on my part ...

                1. re: Canthespam

                  I think I will buy a cheap T-Fal Professional - top recommendation Cooks Illustrated 2010, to use now and send my pan back to All Clad. I have a 10" and a 12" that match this pan, same age, and they still are performing well and look good. Keeping my fingers crossed. I get attached to things in case you can't tell :-)

                  Thanks for your help.

                  1. re: Canthespam

                    In another thread, I complained that my new T-Fal Pro 10" pan wasn't nonstick. Turns out that it needs seasoning before use, something I hadn't realized and never done before with a nonstick pan. Now I've done it, the pan is nonstick enough to keep, though I've had slicker inexpensive 10" nonstick pans such as a Tramontina bought at Bed Bath & Beyond..

                    T-Fal's instructions: Before the first use, wash the cookware thoroughly and dry. Heat each pan on low for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and put one tablespoon of vegetable oil in each pan, Rub the oil over the entire surface with a paper towel. This process should be repeated if you use a dishwasher.

              2. 15 years is a LONG life span for a non-stick pan, even if you're gentle with it... no dishwasher, no metal tools, etc. A few months ago, took Calphalon up on they're return policy. Sent back 2 skillets (possible 8-10 yo) and favorite sauce pan (easily 15-20 yo). Cost a few $ to send them back but got BRAND B+NEW replacement about a week and a half later.