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Do non-stick fry pans their non-stick?

Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 09:51 AM

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. John E. RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 10:52 AM

    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.
      Canthespam RE: John E. Jun 25, 2012 12:37 PM

      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
        John E. RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 03:12 PM

        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. u
      unprofessional_chef RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 11:40 AM

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: unprofessional_chef
        Canthespam RE: unprofessional_chef Jun 25, 2012 12:13 PM

        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. wekick RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 11:47 AM

        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
          Chemicalkinetics RE: wekick Jun 25, 2012 11:56 AM

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

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            Canthespam RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 25, 2012 12:22 PM

            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
              Chemicalkinetics RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 12:56 PM


              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
                cajundave RE: Canthespam Jun 28, 2012 10:43 AM

                You have a magic house, as Sam would say.

                1. re: cajundave
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: cajundave Jun 28, 2012 12:40 PM

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

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                wekick RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 25, 2012 12:32 PM

                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
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: wekick Jun 25, 2012 12:59 PM

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

            2. twyst RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 12:20 PM

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

              3 Replies
              1. re: twyst
                Canthespam RE: twyst Jun 25, 2012 12:30 PM

                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
                  Canthespam RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 02:34 PM

                  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
                    John Francis RE: Canthespam Jun 29, 2012 01:13 PM

                    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. k
                kseiverd RE: Canthespam Jun 25, 2012 09:03 PM

                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.

                1. c
                  Canthespam RE: Canthespam Jun 26, 2012 10:13 AM

                  I've read some excellent reviews on Scanpan. Other than the reviews, I am not familiar with the brand. I'm thinking of ordering their 8" Professional fry pan - $89.95 Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, etc..

                  One part of me says go for the $22 T-Fal ... but the snooty part says - go for the Scanpan.

                  Pros/cons on Scanpan. There is also a cheaper Scanpan Classic - $45 on Amazon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Canthespam
                    AlexCV RE: Canthespam Jun 27, 2012 07:34 AM

                    Neither, go for the 20$ vollrath / wear-ever from a restaurant supply place.

                  2. k
                    kseiverd RE: Canthespam Jun 27, 2012 08:16 AM

                    Once "forgot" a non-stick pan on stove top... on lowest setting but food TOTALLY burned and STUCK to surface!?! Didn't want to even try to scrape stuff off and thought the pan was a total loss. Somebody somewhere gave me this suggestion: fill pan with water all the way to brim and bring to simmer... hadda watch it a bit so it didn't boil over... then several big spoonfuls of baking soda... careful, it WILL bubble up... then just walk away. ALL of the burned on stuff came off and pan was still in decent shape. Think this might be a good thing to do with non-stick that gets that "residue" from use that you don't dare scrub.

                    1. u
                      unprofessional_chef RE: Canthespam Jun 27, 2012 12:28 PM

                      Maybe what you are seeing is the primer. The nonstick topcoat is mostly gone.


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: unprofessional_chef
                        Canthespam RE: unprofessional_chef Jun 28, 2012 11:03 AM

                        I meant to reply to AlexCV - I just called a local restaurant supply store and they recommended a Vollrath 8" ceramic pan for $24.00.

                        Since I've had my All Clad for so many years, I am not familiar with the 'newer' stuff. What is the difference between ceramic and teflon and the Vollrath Wear Ever and the ceramic?

                        1. re: Canthespam
                          Canthespam RE: Canthespam Jul 2, 2012 12:45 AM

                          Yesterday I bought $35.00 8" Vollrath Wear-Ever Cerami-Guard from a restaurant supply store. I've been spoiled by my All-Clad stainless and this light weight aluminum will take a bit of getting used to. I made eggs this morning and the pan didn't sit flat on my gas burner... I had to move it around a bit. Other than that, my sunnyside up eggs slide right out and it was very easy to clean.

                          I still may send my All-Clad back as I really like cooking with a heavier pan - I am so used to them.

                          Thanks for all of your suggestions.

                          1. re: Canthespam
                            unprofessional_chef RE: Canthespam Jul 2, 2012 07:09 AM

                            Let us know how you make out with All-Clad.

                            1. re: unprofessional_chef
                              Canthespam RE: unprofessional_chef Jul 4, 2012 04:10 PM

                              If I am able to talk to a live person at All-Clad, instead a recorded message just telling me to send it back, I will definitely let you know what happens. They may reject it because I don't have a receipt or it is past a certain age.

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