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Non-stick pans won't release their prey

When a non-stick pan is brand spanking new and you’ve got it home from the local superstore it works… like a dream. You’ll marvel as that egg dutifully slips down, out of the pan and into your grease-laden fry-up with frightening ease.

The new non-stick pan is the kitchen equivalent of Eddie the Eagle. Bacon shows little resistance and sausages roll and skip across the surface like skippety lambs on a spring day. Beans exit in a similar fashion to that of a cinema audience leaving a screening of Police Academy 6 and you can guarantee a residue-free experience after concocting a particularly glutinous pasta recipe.

But, like old people, non-stick pans lose their lustre. They become belligerent and unwilling to let their prey go. Never try to lever a fried egg from a two-year-old non-sticker. It has a vice-like grip. Witness that perfectly formed yolk break into constituent molecules as you try to wrench it from the limpet-like base. Non-stick pans take no prisoners and if you threaten them with a steel implement from any part of your newly purchased budget 32-piece cutlery set it will yield, knowing full well that those scratches will make it stronger. It will lose that battle, but it’ll be secure in the knowledge that it will, ultimately, win the war.

Owning a five-year-old pan is like being involved in a bad relationship. You can’t negotiate or apply any sort of reason – the only language it understands is a transfer to the charity shop. Once you’ve left this hardened soul at the door of the Cancer Relief store in the village, it’ll start a new career as a prop in amateur dramatics, leaving you free to search for a new non-sticker that’ll make your life equally miserable.

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