You've probably been using the same pots and pans for years, and now you notice some of them are looking a bit worn down. It may be a long while before you decide you need to replace your cookware since they can last for long if you know how to clean them properly. Can cooking pans go bad?
Cooking pans will typically last for roughly 3 to 5 years. A cooking pan's lifestyle will depend on how you maintain them, their quality, and the material they consist of. You need to replace pans as soon as they start to look stained, but often, pans will only need a deep clean to look like new!
It could be challenging to know when your cooking pans have gone bad since they don't have an expiration date. However, there are signs you need to look out for to know whether your pans are bad, and it only benefit you to know them!
Signs That A Cooking Pan Has Gone Bad
As a rule of thumb, when you can't recall when the last time was when you replaced your cooking time, it is the ideal time to throw it away and buy a new one. It may look a little worse for the wear, and it may have even become rusty.
Nonstick pans are covered by a chemical known as Teflon. Teflon will make the pan a breeze to clean, and you barely need any butter or oil when you cook with them.
However, a problem could arise after the pan has exceeded a few years, as it could break down and become a cause for concern.
Before you decide to toss your nonstick pan in the garbage, you need to know the definite signs that you need to find a replacement.
Below are the three most common signs that your cooking pan has gone bad:
The Pan Has Become Warped
When a pan has become warped, it's not necessarily dangerous to your health, but it could mean that the quality of your food won't be at its best.
When a cooking pan is warped, the cooking surface will be uneven, causing your food to cook unevenly as well.
To make sure your food gets cooked at the same temperature and is safe for you to consume, you may want to play it safe. It would be best to throw warped pans away.
The Pan Has Become Darker In Color
Although not all discoloration is bad, it could be caused by built-up food over time. If your cooking pan is only slightly discolored, it is not a big deal. However, if the pan becomes dark, it could mean that its nonstick coating has been damaged and is starting to perish. You can be confident that it is time to replace your cooking pan when it comes to this point.
You Can See Significant Scratches On The Pan
If you can easily notice scratches on your cooking pan, you can be sure that it's a cause for concern. Before 2013, some of the older pans were manufactured using Teflon, as mentioned above.
In those days, Teflon contained a very hazardous chemical, which was man-made, called Perfluorooctanoic acid. This harmful chemical contained cancer-causing chemicals.
However, these days Teflon is required to be manufactured without these dangerous compounds.
If you notice scratches on your cooking pan, it is a clear indication that the nonstick Teflon surface has been breached. This means that the chemicals can flake off and compromise your food.
This is not good for your health, and if you see any scratches on your pan, you should dispose of it immediately.
What Factors Affect How Long A Cooking Pan Will Last?
There are several factors that could play a role in the lifespan of your cooking pan. Let's take a look at each of these factors in turn to give you a better idea of how long you can expect a cooking pan to last:
Your Pan's Material
The material used to manufacture pots and pans will play a significant role in how long you can expect them to last.
Cast iron pans are the most durable material pans you can buy, and they will almost always outlive pans made from any other type of material.
Like all other things in life, cookware can not last forever, and this includes your favorite cooking pan. Some may get rusty or simply exceed their lifespan.
For example, you use your favorite cooking pan almost every day, and just like any other household item, they will have a longevity period.
How You Maintain Your Pan
Many people find it to be challenging to maintain their cookware, whether it is how they clean them or how they store them.
When you decide to purchase a new pan, you need to make sure you have an idea of how you will be storing it and cleaning it.
By knowing how to store and clean a pan correctly, you can do everything in your ability to increase its longevity.
With this being said, stainless steel is the easiest type of cookware to maintain. So, if you are a beginner cook, you might want to invest in this type of pan.
Heat Conductivity Of Your Pan
Many people think stainless steel pans are the best conductors of heat. However, this is entirely false, and copper is a much better heat conductor.
The better the heat conductivity of your pan, the more evenly and thoroughly your food will be cooked.
Reactivity Of Your Pan
If you want the best value for money out of your cooking pan, make sure that you get a metal pan that will accommodate all your dishes, or you can get one for every occasion, depending on your budget.
Unfortunately, your favorite pan will not last forever. It would be good to replace your pans roughly every five years. When your pan becomes warped, scratched, or discolored, you need to stop using them immediately.
If you're on the market for some replacement pans and cookware, be sure to do your research, and know which material will work best for you!