HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Okay... I gotta ask, if anyones attempted this.

So. I'm trying to go towards, switching to non-toxic, safer cookware. I've switched to all stainless steel & cast iron, and love them to death.

But.... I've got these extremely nice, calphalon unison pans, which are coated with the nasty teflon, and I'm trying to remove it, without, scratching it off by hand, and hoping for the best.

Anyhow, in my little bits, of research, I read 2-3 encounters about people tossing in there non-stick pans in the oven, and running the oven cleaning cycle.

Supposedly, if all things go well, in 2-3 hours, the non stick surface, will be a grey surface, that rubs off easily.

I'm testing this theory out, atm, and was wondering, if anyone else has attempted the same. Currently, the sides, just look clean, not really as if it's burned off, but, just clean, and it's only an hour, into it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you'll due research you'll find that there's NO evidence that nonstick cookware is dangerous in any way...at normal temps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      I was just curious, if anyone had ever tried to remove the coating before?

      1. re: Morono2014

        Why would anyone want to do that? If you don't want nonstick, then don't buy it.

    2. A quick bath in Drano works just as well, if not better.

      1. When non-stick cookware gets heated past a certain temperature, it gives off toxic fumes. I own two parakeets (they're 10 years old) and was told by the pet store not to give them a home in the kitchen just for this reason. The fumes would make them sick possibly fatally. Running your cookware through the clean cycle to strip it of its' non-stick coating might end up giving off toxic fumes that would be worse than if you simply cooked with them at not too high temperatures.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sherrib

          and I would think that burning the entire pan would create fumes that could be toxic to a lot more than parakeets.

        2. I would just throw them out.

          1. I find the super high heat and burning off smell with my self clean oven scary enough as is. I can't imagine adding Teflon coated pans to the mix.

            And will they be safe to cook with afterwards? I honestly don't know.

            1. Hi Morono2014,

              You don't want Teflon because of the fumes released at high heat, so you're going to heat the pans on REALLY high heat. Sure, that makes tons of sense. Seriously, what you propose to create is exactly what you're afraid of; toxic fumes. If you really want to do it, please open all the doors and windows then vacate the premises, pets and all, for the duration of the cleaning cycle.

              Here's a recent thread where a few safer alternatives are discussed. Mainly grinding it off or taking it to a an auto or metal shop to have it blasted off with walnut shells. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361074

              EDIT - Cutleryandmore has a sale on several pieces of Calphalon Commercial (no coating). Coupled with their current 20% off coupon, you can get a 10" skillet for ~$32, all in, or the 5-QT sauté for ~$64. There are others, too. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/calphal...


              1 Reply
              1. re: DuffyH

                If I were going to attempt what the OP wants to do at all, it would be the auto body/walnut shell treatment you describe. Anything else is just plain madness.

              2. And after you're done "cleaning " these pans, you are going to cook something, and then eat it ? Maybe cook for your family, or friends ? There are so many other safer options....

                1. Since this was posted 11 hours ago, this is probably too late. STOP! Do not put PTFE coated cookware in the oven and run the cleaning cycle. There are at least two reasons why, 1) this is what would generate the very off-gasses you are concerned about in the first place; 2) the pan itself was never meant to be used in those conditions and you could actually damage the pan by loosening rivets or stressing components.

                  PTFE has great heat and chemical resistance, that's why it's used as a coating. You may be able to damage the surface, but it's not going to degrade to the point that it just brushes off. I've worked in the plastics industry for over 40 years and PTFE is the most chemicly inert plastic you can find, meaning it's not going to desolve with any chemical that you would want in your home.

                  This is just not a good idea!

                  1. Teflon has been around for decades now with no warnings issued.

                    The metal underneath the Teflon has been created to be an underpinning to the Teflon coating -- it was not designed to be used as a cooking surface, and as anyone who has cooked on a damaged Teflon surface will tell you, it sticks like a bastard when the coating is gone.

                    Give these pans to a local shelter, or at least to Goodwill -- then someone who needs decent pans can use them.

                    1. Don't do it. PTFE combustion products are extremely toxic. A slivver of Teflon in a cigarette can be lethal.

                      Even if your kitchen has a industrial fume hood, and you wear a respirator, you'd become yor neighborhood's star polluter.

                      If you're serious, have them shot- or sandblasted.


                      1. In the industry we use MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) to alert users of potential hazzards. Here is just a small quote from an MSDS for a product that contains PTFE:
                        "Special Fire Fighting Procedures: PTFE thermal decomposition products begin at 200° C and up
                        to 325° C are mainly monomer and waxy sublimate. Above 325° C gases such as hydrogen
                        fluoride and perfluoroisobutylene, which can be fatal at low concentrations, are evolved."
                        For those not familiar with °C this is about 615 °F, this is where you need to start to be concerned, very concerned. Under normal cooking conditions you would be well below, about 100°C (175°F) below the danger zone. Amatures and DIYers really need to get all the facts before they go off and do something stuppid that could potentially risk their life and the lives of others.

                        If we don't see another post, we know what happened.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: tcamp

                            Only if we never see another post. The requirements for the DA are rather strict.

                            1. re: mcsheridan

                              Another post might be the disqualification for a DA, hmmm?

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Definitely. All breathing, sentient human beings are disqualified.

                        1. Don't. You have CI and SS. Why do you need a half destroyed pan as well.
                          Use it in a safe manner and keep it around for things like eggs or fish.
                          Or just donate it to the people who dive by your house on a weekly basis.


                          1. I think the OP's handle is a hint :)

                            2 Replies
                            1. Some of the news sites I frequent have a category called Strange News. On the off chance the OP is on the up and up, I'll be keeping an eye out..