Is my nonstick pan ruined?
June 21, 2009 4:19 PM   Subscribe

I left my new non-stick pan on the hot stove with nothing in it. Is it ruined?

The burner was on medium heat (electric range), between 5-6 out of 10 (still plenty hot for cooking). I had just taken some eggs off of it, so there was a little bit of Pam on the pan, but nothing else. It was on there empty for 15 minutes. When I caught it, I took it off immediately and let it cool off.

It looks okay... there is some kind of sticky residue around the edges (not on the main flat part, only on the curved edges) that isn't coming off very easily. I know you aren't supposed to use harsh cleaners on it, so I haven't tried very hard to get the stuff off. The pan isn't warped or anything. But I also know there are chemicals in there you aren't supposed to let get too hot.

The pan is a $50 Calphalon. Is it okay to use?
posted by TSGlenn to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
Best answer: Done the same thing, still use the pan, haven't had any ill effects. I think you'd have to have the pan above 5-6 on your average electric range to get it to the 500-600 degrees for the pan to give off fumes, and even then I don't think it'd ruin the pan.

You might try an overnight soak with soapy water to help get the residue off.
posted by lore at 4:30 PM on June 21, 2009

Best answer: I've done this. It's fine.

It's a good idea not to leave the empty pan on the heat, but non-stick pans can generally take a beating. Try not to let it overheat, don't gouge the coating with metal and enjoy your new pan.
posted by ladypants at 4:35 PM on June 21, 2009

Best answer: Try baking soda to get the residue off. From my experience, it was probably caused by the Pam cooking spray.

Here's some info from DuPont , who developed teflon:

" If an empty non-stick cookware pan is accidentally heated above 660°F (348°C), a temperature that far exceeds what food preparation calls for, the non-stick coating may begin to deteriorate. In rare instances, a person may accidentally ingest a flake of non-stick coating from an aged pan. The coating flake is non-toxic and would pass through the body without being absorbed. Based on the inert characteristics of the coating, data indicate that there are no health effects from the incidental ingestion of pieces of non-stick coating."

From what I've seen, it's the fumes that occur from overheating a teflon-coated pan that are dangerous.
posted by belau at 4:41 PM on June 21, 2009

Best answer: The residue is the burnt Pam. Don't worry about it.
posted by JPD at 4:45 PM on June 21, 2009

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