What’s Wrong With My Nonstick Pan?

My nonstick pan isn’t working like it did when I first bought it. What is wrong?

Like all high quality nonstick cookware, Swiss Diamond has a specific set of Use & Care Instructions that should always be followed to maintain performance. If you recently purchased Swiss Diamond or other premium nonstick cookware, check out our post on how to care for nonstick cookware.

However, if you’ve had your cookware for a while, and you notice that it is no longer working like it did when you purchased it, let’s look together at a few common mistakes that may have caused the issue:

Overheated nonstick pan

If a nonstick pan is overheated, the coating will blister, crack or peel.

COOKING OVER HIGH HEAT

Nonstick cookware is designed for low to medium heat cooking. Frequently using high heat can lead to blistering, chipping or peeling of the nonstick coating. Damage can also occur if the pan is preheated for more than a few minutes without any food in it. Both of these practices void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Swiss Diamond’s cast aluminum construction and diamond-reinforced coating ensure that the pan can generate enough heat over a medium stove setting to sear a steak. Remember, it only takes a minute on medium heat for your pan to reach cooking temperature.

Damaged nonstick pan

Using a fork or knife to cut food in the pan will damage the coating.

CUTTING FOOD IN THE PAN

Modern nonstick coatings are much stronger than their original counterparts. However, no coating is designed to withstand the sharp edges of forks or knives when cutting food in the pan, or the blades of an immersion blender touching the bottom or sides of the pan. These actions void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Keep your Swiss Diamond cookware working well for many years by transferring food to a plate before cutting. This simple step will prevent pitting and scratches on the surface of the nonstick coating.

A nonstick pan used with low temperature cooking oil

Using oil above its smoke point will result in a dark build-up that is difficult to remove.

USING THE WRONG COOKING OIL

Swiss Diamond cookware is designed to allow cooking with no oil. If you choose to use oil, always use it at its proper heat setting. For example, olive oil should never be used above low heat. Using oil above its smoke point will cause it to carbonize on the surface of the pan,  creating a dark-colored build-up that is difficult to remove.

Swiss Diamond recommends vegetable, canola or extra-light olive oil for most cooking needs. For more information about choosing a cooking oil, check out our blog post from September 26, 2012. Using the wrong cooking oil is not considered a manufacturer’s defect; therefore, it is not eligible for replacement under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Properly cleaning your pan will keep it looking like new

Properly cleaning your Swiss Diamond pan will keep it looking — and working — like new.

LACK OF PROPER CLEANING

Properly cleaning your nonstick pan is essential to keep it working well for a lifetime. If the pan is not properly cleaned, small grease and food particles will carbonize on the surface, causing food to stick. This is one of the most common complaints with nonstick cookware.

If your pan has a dark build-up that will not come off with hot soapy water, try this at-home treatment to restore your nonstick pan. If the pan cannot be restored using a baking soda treatment, it will need to be replaced. Lack of proper cleaning voids the manufacturer’s warranty.

Bleached Look Nonstick Cookware

A bleached look in a nonstick coating indicates the use of caustic cleaners.

WASHING WITH ABRASIVE CLEANERS

While proper cleaning is essential to keep your nonstick cookware functioning properly, the pan can also become damaged if the cleaning materials are too harsh. Swiss Diamond’s patented coating releases food easily – you should never need more than a soft sponge with hot soapy water to clean your cookware.

Using abrasive scrubbers or hard-bristled brushes can scratch the coating. Using caustic soaps (especially common dishwasher soaps) can dry out or bleach the nonstick coating.

If you notice a bleached look in your nonstick cookware, try re-seasoning your pan by coating it with a thin layer of high-temperature cooking oil. If the coating is only mildly bleached, re-seasoning the pan should restore it to full functionality. If the pan has been bleached repeatedly, the nonstick properties may be permanently lost. Using caustic or abrasive cleaners voids the manufacturer’s warranty.

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Swiss Diamond compares our nonstick coating to the finish on a nice car. If treated gently, washed thoroughly, and generally well cared for, it will delight the owner with a lifetime of beauty and performance.

If you have questions about how to properly care for your new Swiss Diamond cookware, please read through the blog archives or contact us. We want you to be thrilled with your Swiss Diamond cooking experience!

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