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Old 02-23-2017, 08:02 PM   #1
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Calphalon fry pan bottoms - lacquer like buildup

I have two Calphalon non-stick fry pans which have served me well so far. The bottoms have accumulated a brownish buildup that is as hard as lacquer. It's almost epoxy hard. I sprayed it with EZ-OFF and that worked in removing it (the only thing that did). However, It changed the bottom color of the pan somewhat and I was wondering if repeated use of EZ-OFF will damage the bottom in any way, or, if it doesn't matter that it does change the appearance somewhat.


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Old 02-23-2017, 08:22 PM   #2
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A brownish build-up on the bottom of a pan is very common. It does resemble a lacquer or shellac, and it is very hard to get off. I just accept it -- it doesn't bother me. If anything, it proves that I actually cook a lot.

IIRC, Calphalon non-stick pans are aluminum. I don't know what is in EZ-Off, but it probably isn't aluminum friendly. That is a pretty harsh cleaner.

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Old 02-23-2017, 08:36 PM   #3
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Stop using cooking spray. Use butter or some kind of cooking oil.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:40 PM   #4
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Ah..Ok. I was thinking on removing the buildup to help further reduce cooking smell and to keep the pan bottoms from staining my shelf paper. The change in color is probably only cosmetic (after using EZ-OFF)?
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Stop using cooking spray. Use butter or some kind of cooking oil.
It's not cooking spray, it's any fat/oil. We don't use cooking spray at all and still get it. It's just burned on fat/grease.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:48 PM   #6
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Um, I think we are talking about the outside bottom of the pan, not this inside. If I'm wrong about that, let me know.

Here is the bottom of my very heavily used small aluminum non-stick skillet. It is at least ten years old. I'd need sandpaper to get the browning off of the bottom of this pan. The inside of the pan is as clean as the day I bought it.

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Old 02-23-2017, 11:56 PM   #7
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med"s right. It's a little bit of fat or oils and maybe some other stuff that has cooked on to the bottom (underside, not a cooking surface) of the pan. You can always employ a little cleaner and elbow grease to take it off, but that may scratch or make it look worn.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:23 AM   #8
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Um, I think we are talking about the outside bottom of the pan, not this inside. If I'm wrong about that, let me know.

Here is the bottom of my very heavily used small aluminum non-stick skillet. It is at least ten years old. I'd need sandpaper to get the browning off of the bottom of this pan. The inside of the pan is as clean as the day I bought it.

CD

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OK. I'll use EZ-OFF on it again, and not worry if the pan bottom continues to changes color. I'm sure not gonna use elbow grease. I thought maybe I was somehow ruining the bottom of the pan by using EZ-OFF on it, because it changed color.

I suppose it's not that critical that "pan bottom residue" be removed from time to time. EZ-OFF sure does remove it like nothing else tho. No elbow grease needed.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:35 AM   #9
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Well, that's not really what my point was, but the EZ-Off is not likely to ruin your pan's ability to cook good food. It will probably just look a little off.

As for me, I'll stick with my brown-bottom pans, and keep on cookin' in them. It is kind of like my favorite hammer, that was my grandfather's hammer. It looks horrible, but drives a nail as well as any brand new hammer. I have a new-ish hammer that I let other people use, but my grandfather's hammer is all mine.

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Old 02-24-2017, 07:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
Um, I think we are talking about the outside bottom of the pan, not this inside. If I'm wrong about that, let me know.

Here is the bottom of my very heavily used small aluminum non-stick skillet. It is at least ten years old. I'd need sandpaper to get the browning off of the bottom of this pan. The inside of the pan is as clean as the day I bought it.

CD

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I WAS talking about the outside bottom.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:24 AM   #11
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Not totally on topic, but about the Calphalon NS pan. I bought two, one 12 and a 10 inch pan a couple years back. The 10 gets very little use, but the 12 has developed a crown in the middle that protrudes outward. It does not sit flat so having an electric cook top means I have uneven heating. anyone else seen this?
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:00 AM   #12
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Pan warping happens very often. It usually happens more in the cheaper aluminum pans.
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Old 02-24-2017, 10:11 AM   #13
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Pan warping is pretty common with aluminum pans. I have a ceramic cooktop, too (big mistake), so mine wobble a bit, but the food comes out fine.

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Old 02-24-2017, 10:20 AM   #14
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Quite a while ago I started buying inexpensive non-stick frying pans. My current ones are a set of 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch pans for around $18.00 at Target, and they are induction burner ready. When they get scratched, crudded up, or just stop non-sticking, I toss them in the recycle bin and go buy new ones.
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post

As for me, I'll stick with my brown-bottom pans, and keep on cookin' in them. It is kind of like my favorite hammer, that was my grandfather's hammer.
This.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:17 PM   #16
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I have 3 of these, 8", 12" and 14". Amazon calls it a Daliy Chef Restaurant Fry Pan. It's made by Bakers and Chefs and I bought my first one at Sam's Club, the other 2 from Amazon, and all 3 together were under $70. They are excellent pans - I've been using them for up to 10 years now and all 3 are still going strong. They are heavy gauge aluminum with a good, durable nonstick coating. They have a silicone handle sleeve that can be slipped off for the oven. I use at least one of these pans every day, and often twice daily.

The 12" one is a true workhorse for me. I do about 70% of my frying in that one (breakfast today was bacon and pancakes cooked in it). Bacon and eggs for one or two people in the 8" one, and the 14" for frying a chicken or other larger meals to avoid crowding. The big one partially straddles 3 burners on my range.

All of my fry pans have a lovely patina on the outside. I don't worry about it - to me that just says that they get well used.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:52 PM   #17
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Another way to remove the buildup on the bottom of the pans is to put them in a plastic bag overnight with a half cup or so of household ammonia added to the bag. Let them sit overnight and the next day you should be able to wash the loosened gunk off with little or no scrubbing. Real stubborn buildup may require a second night in the bag so don't toss it until you are done cleaning the pan.

Andy gave us this tip some time ago and I have used it several times to restore pans, Pyrex, casseroles, etc... to like new condition.

Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:04 PM   #18
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I can understand removing gunk but why would anyone want to remove the nice patina?
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:21 PM   #19
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If it's on the outside bottom, not the inside bottom, I wouldn't worry about it. Battle scars.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:33 PM   #20
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My stainless pans go through the dishwasher, that keeps them from building up anything. If I do see a bit of grease polymerizing on the bottom, I'll hit it with a magic eraser or barkeeper's friend. I'm not that picky about my pans, but I figure that if they still look this good after a decade, I should keep them looking nice.

My mom hand washes her stainless that I bought her and the bottoms are starting to brown a bit, can't get her to put them in the dishwasher, but they still cook just the same so that's what's important!
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