Why Do Non-Stick Pans Warp?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Why Do Non-Stick Pans Warp?” and will discuss the reasons and how to prevent non-stick pan wrapping?

Why Do Non-Stick Pans Warp?

Non -stick pans wrap because they are still hot from the stovetop or oven. Nonstick pans distort when immersed or filled with cold water. When metal expands and contracts unevenly due to high temperatures, warping occurs. When used often, thin, poorly manufactured pans may warp quickly.

A non-stick skillet warping is caused by what?

Placing cold water in or beneath a hot skillet is the most frequent cause of a nonstick skillet or pan warping.

Consider the possibility. Due to molecular mobility, cold shrinks, and heat grows. When it’s hot, molecules move quickly, but when it’s cold, they travel slowly.

This is why putting a hot skillet in a sink and then running cold water over it is a terrible idea. When cold water comes in touch with molecules that are traveling quickly because of heat, the molecules abruptly cease moving.

When that occurs, certain portions of the pan contract quicker and more than other parts, particularly because the whole pan is not typically submerged in cold water at the same time.

Non-stick pan warping may occur for a variety of causes, including:

·         Copper and aluminum warp more readily due to the non-stick surface being composed of softer metals.

·         Cheap pans tend to be made of thinner metal, which increases the risk of warping.

·         Burners are made to accommodate approximately the same-sized pans, so using a tiny pot on a big burner is a no-go. Placing a tiny pan on a big burner exposes it to excessive heat across a wide surface area, which increases the risk of warping and melting.

·         Pans constructed of two different metals – Varying expansion/contraction rates induce warping of metals.

If your pan is bent, here’s how you can repair it?

Isn’t this the defining issue of our time? Warping of a pan may result in either the flat bottom bulging up (convex) or the bottom bulging down (concave). Other times, it may simply deviate from its original, spherical form.

As a result, you’ll need the following to correct the problem:

·         A rubber mallet

·         An old towel that you may use to lay the pan

·         A flat work surface that you don’t mind a few scuffs on such as a work table

·         A small, perfectly flat piece of wood the same diameter as the bottom of your pan

To begin, place your pan on a burner set to medium-high heat and heat it for 15-20 minutes before attempting to repair it. If the bulge is bulging up while the pan is flat, then place the pan on a towel in your work area with its usual flat bottom.

Flip the pan over if the bulge is bulging out, which means down when you hold the pan normally. If you’re using a towel to protect your work area, place it on top of that. When you’re finished, drape a cloth over the pan.

Once your pan is in place, use your rubber mallet to smooth out any bulges that may have formed.

If you overcompensate, the bulge may move in the other way. It’s possible you didn’t pound it down firmly enough. The procedure of heating and pounding may be repeated as many times as necessary to make the pan completely flat (or at least better than it was).

If your circular pan isn’t exactly round, but it’s also not bulging, that’s a problem. As a result, you may cut the wood to fit your pan’s bottom perfectly. After that, heat the pan according to the directions above, and pound the wood to a pulp (on top of a towel). Plunge the wood around the whole circumference of the pan, a few times each time.

Do not use your mallet directly on the pan; instead, use a cloth to protect the nonstick surface from being damaged. You will need to experiment with this since it is not an exact science. However, as previously stated, you have the option of re-heating your pan and doing the recipe again until you achieve success.

When using a hot nonstick pan, is it a terrible idea to put cold water in it?

To the extent that and for the reasons outlined above, yes. Never put a hot pan in cold water or stream cold water into a hot pan. When your pan is burning furiously, all you want to do is put a stop to it.

Instead of dumping it in the sink, try putting it in the back door or a chilly oven. Both are better options than throwing it in the sink. Pans that aren’t nonstick, even if they’re costly, will distort if they come into direct contact with cold water after being removed from the burner or oven.

Move your nonstick skillet or other cookware to a burner that isn’t in use instead. After that, let them naturally cool down. When placing them in cold water, they don’t have to be at room temperature. However, if it’s too hot to handle without being burned, it’s too hot to use even ice water on.

To learn about the best non-stick pans, click here 


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Why Do Non-Stick Pans Warp?” and discussed the reasons and how to prevent non-stick pan wrapping?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.