If you are a regular in the kitchen and all things cooking excite you, then warped pans would be a sight to loathe. Warping is when pans become bent or out of shape because of heat or dampness.
Sometimes you may put oil on the pan and it flows to one side making food cook unevenly. Let’s not even start with the burning due to poor distribution of heat! One word. Horrible!
Warping in frying pans is caused by a couple of reasons: not using the correct size burner, using pots made of thin metals and rapid heating and cooling.
Poor quality pans
As the name suggests, anything that is of poor quality is bound to get damaged even with the slightest of pressure. When you purchase a pan, make sure to get a quality one despite the need to save money. Sometimes cheap is expensive and you may find yourself buying countless pans at cheap prices when you would have bought one and closed that chapter. Due to high temperatures, the pan may warp easily because of the material or if it may happen to be dropped, it may become bent very easily.
Not using correct size burner and rapid heating and cooling
Warping may result if the burner is smaller or larger than the pan hence focusing the heat at one point causing that part of the pan to expand. When the pan cools and constrains, the pan takes up the new shape. This happens mostly in the middle of the pan causing it to rise and make the food cook unevenly. The rapid heating and cooling may cause warping also for e.g. when the base gets hotter than the pan walls causing it to change shape because heat is being distributed unevenly.
Using pots made of thin metals
Copper and aluminum if constructed thinly warp very fast in the first weeks of using them. Carbon and stainless steel which are harder metals may resist warping though may warp in the right circumstances. When purchasing the pans make sure that the thickness of the pans is reasonable like 5.8MM for best even heat distribution and the pan will most definitely resist warping.
In short, warping may occur because of the material the pan is made of, it’s make and maintenance because despite a pan being All Clad, which is the most expensive pan, if put under poor maintenance, it ill eventually give in and warp. So how can one prevent warping?
How to prevent warping
- Be sure to purchase pans made from quality materials and have a reasonable thickness.
- Check for pans that match your burner and fit them perfectly to distribute heat evenly.
- Avoid running a hot pan under cold water immediately after getting it off the pan.
- Do not use thin pans in the oven which make the pans to buckle.
- Avoid overheating thin empty pots to avoid warping and cause the coating to chip off.
How to fix/unwarp a warped pan
Skillet pans are those that have slanted sides and are good for stir-frying and quick cooking.
- Warm the skillet pan on low heat for 7-10 minutes.
- Place the skillet on a flat working bench. Place the skillet over a towel to protect the surface.
- Set a block of wood on the skillet (assuming the middle part is warped) to avoid damage then hit the block of wood with a hammer to shape the bottom of the pan.
- Move the block around the pan to create an even surface.
- Turn the pan over and do the same on the skillet cooking surface. The wood helps to avoid direct contact with the pan and reduce chances of scraping the pan’s coating.
- Ensure the pan is maintained well to avoid another case of warping.
Cast iron pan
Cast iron pans are quite stronger but have a problem with distributing heat evenly. So, imagine that then your cast iron pan gets warped! The following is how you unwarp it:
- Place it on a hard surface and place a towel on it and put the cast iron pan upside down on the towel.
- Make sure to heat the cast iron before hammering to soften it.
- Place another towel on the pan. Hammer on the warped section turning to check it it’s even and correct any bumps that may have been created by the hammer.
- Do not hammer without the towels since it may mark the pan or hammer a soft surface.
Most pans will get unwarped by using the wood to shape it. Just remember not to do it directly on the surface of the pan and heat before the whole process under low heat to make the pan softer to shape.
Cast Iron pans generally experience the least cases of warping due to their thick and firm nature. Check out these great Cast Iron pans on Amazon
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
- Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire
- CAST IRON PAN SET - The bundle of three includes 10, 8, and 6 inches pre-seasoned frying pans; ideal sizes for domestic and outdoor use. Our cast iron pan set comes with unique handles for easy maneuvering and pouring.
- SEASONING GUIDE – Our skillets are pre-seasoned but it is recommended to season the cast iron pan set with any vegetable oil before use. After washing, rub some oil over your cookware's surface and place it in an oven at low temperature for the oil to seep in.
- EVEN HEAT DISTRIBUTION – Our premium quality non-toxic cookware set is coated with an extra layer of protection that ensures the equal distribution of heat for an improved cooking experience.
- VERSATILE USAGE – The skillet pans are highly compatible, as they can be used on any heating source. You can also use them for grilling, frying, sautéing, roasting, braising, and broiling meats, vegetables, and more.
- CARE INSTRUCTIONS – Cool the skillets completely before washing in hot soapy water with a sponge using a regular dishwashing liquid soap.
- These 12.5 inches skillet pan are suitable for both stovetop and oven for evenly cooking variety of different meals; Cast iron cookware is less smoother than the Non-Stick cookware
- Hand wash before first use and dry immediately; rub with a light coating of vegetable oil after every wash
- Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide especially among women so cooking food in a cast iron skillet can increase iron content by as much as 20%
- Its superior heat retention will keep your mouth watering food warm for a long time
- Allow cast iron skillet to cool completely before washing them in hot soapy water with a sponge using a regular dish washing liquid soap; it is not dishwasher-safe
Frying pans that do not warp
There is really no pan that may not warp despite it being from a certain brand. How you care for a pan matters a lot and the quality of what you purchase. Yes, good pans are expensive but worth it.