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I use oil for cooking in the Teflon coated pan. I put the pan on a very low fire. (Simmer) Lately I have found that the onions get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

How to know whether the teflon coated pan's life has reached end? Does it change colour or something else?

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Anisha, a utensil typically refers to a spoon, flipper, strainer, or other small hand-held thing you use during cooking. The teflon coated item you put on the stove and cook onions in is almost certainly a pan, probably a frying pan. –  Kate Gregory Nov 17 '11 at 12:56
    
@KateGregory Thanks, now I know. –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 18 '11 at 4:24

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Not sure if Teflon looks any different when its worn out, but if it does its not much different. Exempting, of course, things like scratched & peeling Teflon.

If your pan is no longer giving you the nonstick performance you want, and you've tried basic stuff like giving it a good scrub (using a non-scratching sponge, of course), then it seems like you've answered your own question: if its worn to the point it no longer meets your requirements, then its at its end of (useful) life, at least for you.

(There may be ways to adjust what you're doing in the pan to get more life out of it; after all, a lot of us sauté our onions in stainless. But that'd be a different question, I suppose.)

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Thanks I''ll ask this There may be ways to adjust what you're doing in the pan to get more life out of it; after all, :) –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 18 '11 at 4:23
    
@AnishaKaul: I don't see your new question posted, so I guess I should clarify I mean ask as a different question (e.g., click "ask a question" up top). Assuming there aren't already questions on browning onions (or whatever it is you're doing). –  derobert Nov 18 '11 at 8:57
    
I said I will ask that. :) :) Future tense. :) You were helpful, thanks. I'll ask that question within a few days. –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 18 '11 at 9:04
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@AnishaKaul: OK, I just wanted to make sure you weren't waiting on me to answer (e.g., in another comment). –  derobert Nov 18 '11 at 9:05
    
That's nice of you. Thanks. –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 18 '11 at 9:11

Because you have used oil in a PTFE pan (Teflon is a brand of this), it is most likely that it has partially over-heated in due to typical hot-spots on domestic stoves and caused the oil to polymerise to the PTFE

This forms a slightly darker layer over the PTFE which is not a good release agent, unlike polymerisation in a cast iron pan

It can be removed by vigorous rubbing with plastic scourers (like 3M brand). Use dish soap as a lubricant. This may remove more than you want, so be prepared to ruin your pan entirely! If done carefully it will restore normal PTFE functionality

If you use PTFE, use a medium heat (less than 200°C) and no oil

if you want to use oil, use a normal metal pan

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I don't let it heat more than 30 seconds usually, will that be harmful too? –  TheIndependentAquarius Sep 28 '12 at 3:05
    
It's not time, it's temperature. Keep the temperature below 200°C or you risk destroying the PTFE layer –  TFD Sep 28 '12 at 3:15
    
Actually, I keep the gas always on "simmer". Does that help? I use this stove: sunflame.com/Cooktops.asp –  TheIndependentAquarius Sep 28 '12 at 3:37

If it has ANY scratches on the teflon coating or if the teflon surface seems to have worn out, do not use it. Do anything you can in order to prevent pieces of teflon to find their way into the food, as teflon is REALLY unhealthy for you and your family.

Personally, i try to avoid teflon as much as possible - i have a feeling that the long-term effects of cooking with teflon utencils (or equipment :-) ) are yet to be discovered.

Cast iron / copper rules!

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Lots of people have Teflon replacement joints in their body, doesn't seem to be harming them? Are you not confusing the edge case when Teflon is heated to way over 200°C (392°F) –  TFD Nov 17 '11 at 23:10

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