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Frying pan STILL smells like onions

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have an All-Clad non-stick frying pan I have used for a few years. This past week I sauteed some onions in it and can't get rid of the onion smell.

All day today I've made a paste of baking soda and water and let the paste soak up the smell but the smell is still there (I've done 3 sets of soaking and washing).

I cook with onions a few times a week and have never had a problem with my cookware holding the smell.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this???

Thanks,
Emily
post #2 of 18
if you have scrubbed the interior and exterior of the pan, including the handle, the smell is not coming from the pan.

stainless steel does not absorb / hold odors.
post #3 of 18
That's correct, however the non-stick coating can, and often does, retain odors. You could try putting baking soda into the pan with water, and let it boil over medium heat for a few minutes. Or, coat it with a baking soda paste and seal it into a bag for a while with some newspapers.
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post #4 of 18
It's definitely the pan that's holding the odour? Could it be your exhaust fan above the stove - take the pan away from the kitchen and smell it again, or maybe your stove top or cupboard surfaces near to the stove still have some odours clinging to them.

Other than what's been suggested, try rubbing it with a cut lemon, let it dry, then wash per normal. It could help.
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's the non-stick part of the pan that smells. . .sigh. I've done three batches of a baking soda water boil on the stove top and the smell is almost gone. I made a batch of baking soda paste, covered it in newspapers and sealed in a bag. I'll check back tonight and see if that will clear up the faint scent that remains. If not, I'll try a lemon.

Thank you so much for all of the suggestions!
post #6 of 18
Try boiling vinegar and water.
Stainless will not absorb odors or flavours, however you said pan was non stick. Teflon or non stick coating is made from plastic and that does retain taste and odor. If you are sauting at high heat time after time, plastic coating will break down.
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Amazing grace- your suggestion with the baking soda and newspapers did the trick! The onion smell is completely gone now.

Ed- Interesting to know about the nonstick plastic coating wearing down. With All-Clad having a lifetime warrenty, I wonder how they would handle that? Does anyone have any experience with using their All-Clad warrenty? I'm curious if they are good to work with or if they put up a fight.

Thank you!
post #8 of 18
Read the warrenty!!!!
Exactly what is guaranteed, the pot breaking or the finish. Pots rarely break so that can be covered, but the finish I doubt it. Only thing I really know of guaranteed is Death and Taxes, but I hope your right:D
Also beware the words "At our discretion"
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post #9 of 18
Ever since the first post I have had the same thoughts returning again and again.

While it has been demonstrated that the smell might be removed from the non-stick pan, I cannot help wondering if it's really worth the time and effort? This is probably going to be a recurring problem now. Since the pan is a few year old, perhaps it might be just as well to just replace it. Personally, ( and even though my suggestion helped), the only non-stick pans I have are the less expensive ones available in Sam's club, so I feel little guilt about replacing them from time to time. Getting the smell out would definately be at the bottom of my to-do list. While the costlier ones might be somewhat better, they are still prone to the same problems...that is, the coating wears out. It gets scratched, it chips, it absorbs odors, it loses its luster and eventually goes the way of all non-stick pans. What exactly does the all-clad warranty cover is a good question? I would be surprised if it extends to the coating. More than likely it is some vague wording like "defects in workmanship"... whatever that means. :confused:
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post #10 of 18
>>Ever since the first post I have had the same thoughts returning again and again.

me too. something is not right in Denmark

/quote
Resistant to Moisture
By its nature, Teflon lacks affinity to moisture. Absorption is less than 0.01%. In addition, no odor, taste, or color is added to the transfer fluid by Teflon, making it an FDA approved material for food contact.

/unquote
post #11 of 18
If you go to the teflon website, it will refer you to Dupont who owns the rights to Teflon coatings,. Under questions re. the product , Dupont admits that it will decompose at high heats and release polymer fumes. Almost all non stick or teflon finishes are fine for the home, but I might be a bit leary if same applies in a commercial kitchen enviorment. I have used the 10 inch egg pans commercially but thats about it. After about 8 monthes of heavy use I have to replace them, and I do not use metall spatulas, only hi-heat plastic.
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post #12 of 18
but the question is:

what is and why is "it" smelling like onions.
post #13 of 18
Perhaps after a few years of use with a metal or hard plastic utensil, it has accumulated enough divots and scratches in its surface that it's holding food particles deep in the crevices? Teflon won't hold moisture, but flaws in its surface will.
post #14 of 18
Whatever...

If it stinks, fling it :look:
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post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good news is the smell is now gone. Last night I sauted some croutons in butter, garlic and a few seasonings and after washing it, it smells fine.

I looked through All-Clad's Q&A section and they say with their non-stick build up can occur over time causing it to loose it's non-stick features. They suggest to wash with a baking soda/water paste (like AmazingGrace recommended) to remove the build up.

I hope the build up was the problem, if it continues to happen I'll send it in for a warranty replacement and keep you posted on how they respond.

I was under the impression All-Clad's non-stick was different from the non-stick cheap pans that would wear down after a year or so. Here is a quote from the All-Clad website:

All-Clad’s non-stick products feature a state-of-the art system rather than a simple coating. The non-stick on All-Clad is actually a reinforced process. The surface of the substrate is blasted with an abrasive, which prepares the surface for better adherence. White hot particles of stainless steel are then sprayed onto the surface. Once these particles cool and harden, they become part of the surface of the substrate, and form a series of "peaks and valleys". The first coat of non-stick is then applied, settling down into the valleys. A second coat of non-stick is then applied filling in all of the valleys and covering the peaks, forming an even surface for cooking. The coatings are permanently bonded to the surface for extreme durability.
post #16 of 18
>>wear down

well, teflon and its generic cousins are plastic, they are not "hard" nor abrasion resistant, or <whatever>

the "abrasion of the substrate" - that's hacking up the aluminum, in plain English - solves the earlier issues of the non-stick coating peeling off in flakes and chunks; the coating bonds to the pan better than the old style polished/anodized aluminum finishes.

the next "step" has been to make the non-stick coating "non-scratchable" - AllClad and others ala SwissDiamond - put on a layer of something hard, then as explained in your note, fill in the gaps / valleys with the non-stick compound. the aim is to make _most_ of the cooking surface a non-stick coating, but with some bits and pieces od harder materials poking through to 'protect' the softer coating.

hence if you attack the pan with a metal scraper, theory says you can't scrape off / damage the non-stick coating because the peaks of "the hard stuff aka matrix" get in the way and prevent that.

please note the use of the word "theory"

I've seen a brownish haze on my non-stick after time - I supposed that could be the "build up" of reference. baking soda is a fine abrasive - so if the non-stick has something stuck to it, perhaps some fine encouragement is enough to remove the haze?'

I get about two years out of a non-stick fry pan; then I toss it for lack of non-sticking. happens to me even with the very expensive lines, so I head for the bargin basement for my non-stick.
post #17 of 18
PENGUIN,
Why not call all clad and ask them why it stinks???:lol:
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post #18 of 18
How can non stick get a build up?

Maybe just let that be your onion pan. :crazy:
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