When Is it Time to Replace Your Cookware?

When Is it Time to Replace Your Cookware?

Kitchen Expenses

Chances are you use your cookware set every single day. Having a quality set of non-stick pots and pans can make all the difference in the longevity of your cookware and your overall kitchen expenses. Cookware can be expensive and many people make the mistake of buying a cheaper set upfront from a big box store and paying for it down the road when it very quickly after needs to be replaced. Spending a little more money upfront on a quality non-stick cookware set can ultimately save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. 


They say the average cookware set needs to be replaced every five years. Though with cheaper box sets, this time can be cut nearly in half. For more excellent quality sets, this time can extend longer. Many people think their cookware should have the shelf life of their grandmother’s cast iron skillet, but that thing is and always will be completely unbeatable. Non-stick pans are a little different in that their coating and makeup require quality care, and they don’t build flavor and character based on the grit and grime you leave behind.

Instead, non-stick pans give you lots of convenient and healthy benefits such as easy cleanup, even heat distribution, and food not sticking and burning to the pan. To improve their longevity, you can start by only hand washing them and not using metal utensils that would scratch off the coating. 

If you’re in the market for replacing your cookware, ceramic non stick pans are a great place to start as their makeup and qualities lead to greater longevity in their lifespan. People who invest in ceramic non-stick pans don’t have to replace them nearly as often as other kinds.  So when is it time to replace your cookware? We’ve compiled a short list of things to look for below. 

  1. If the coating starts to peel or flake off, it’s time to replace your cookware.

It can cause uneven heat distribution as you are cooking. Additionally, the flakes can cook into your food. Lastly, with the protective coating removed, the layer underneath may have non-safe chemicals that can be dangerous to ingest such as perfluorooctanoic acid which can have toxic effects on the immune system, the endocrine system, and the liver. 

  1. If the handle is warped, broken, or loose in any way, it’s time to replace your cookware. 

The handle of your pot and pan can tell you a lot. Cookware where the handle is loose or even worse, not there at all, can be hazardous in the kitchen. When dealing with extremely hot surfaces, your cookware should be up to grade to where you can lift it without risk of burning yourself or dropping the hot contents. 

If your cookware is burnt or rusted, it’s time to replace your cookware. 

A surface that is covered with rust will lead to the surface not being nonstick. This completely defeats the purpose of a non-stick cookware set! Though burnt and rusted pots and pans can’t be directly related to additional health risks, they still can cause unpleasant tastes in the food you are cooking. 

  1. If your non-stick cookware is scratched, it’s time to replace your cookware. 

Cookware that loses its protective coating by being scratched can also put users at risk of being exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid. Unfortunately, perfluorooctanoic acid has been said to lead to various types of cancers. These toxins are also not great for your digestive tract. On a practical level, scratched cookware can also lead to uneven heat distribution throughout your food.

  1. If your copper cookware is worn down, it’s time to replace your cookware. 

Copper cookware is thought to have a longer life span than some other materials, but that doesn’t me it’s invincible from needing a replacement. A scratched chipped or worn down copper section in your pot or pan could lead to copper toxicity cooking into your food which is known to cause nausea, abdominal pains, and diarrhea. Certainly not something you want from cooking.

  1. If you see dark discolorization, it’s time to replace your cookware. 

Over time, food buildup can cause staining and discolorization on your pots and pans. This is not initially reason enough to throw your pans out, but over time that food build-up can increase and the colors darken. This is usually an indication that the coating of the pan is being worn down. As mentioned above, the coating is what protects you from toxins in the materials making up the pan, so it’s important that the coating stays intact. 

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When Is it Time to Replace Your Cookware?