If you love cooking and baking, it’s likely your cooking equipment gets quite a workout. With daily use, these tools and gadgets become worn, warped, and downright smelly at times. Using old, outdated cooking equipment can make preparing meals a challenge, especially if those non-stick pans aren’t so non-stick anymore.
If you’re not sure it’s time to toss out that old kitchen equipment for shiny new tools, take a look at the list below. We’ve compiled a few tips that will let you know when it’s time to replace your cooking equipment.
1. Food Sticks to Your Non-Stick Cookware
That non-stick pan may have been a handy tool in its prime, but if more food sticks to the surface than ends up on your plate, then it’s time for new cookware.
If you see metal through the non-stick coating or flecks of the coating end up in your food, it’s a sure sign the pan has exceeded its expiration date. The good news is, today’s non-stick cookware is durable – it is metal utensil and dishwasher safe, so it lasts a lifetime.
2. Your Cutting Boards are Warped
Cutting boards should sit flush on the countertop. If yours rock back and forth or slide around because they aren’t level, it’s time to get new ones.
Another sign your cutting board has seen better days is if it is difficult to clean because it has deep scratches or is broken or cracked. Alternately, if your cutting board smells bad despite thorough cleaning, it’s a sign that bacteria has set in, making it more of a health hazard rather than a handy kitchen tool.
3. Your Pots and Pans are Rusty
No one has ever claimed to like the taste of rust, so if your favorite pots and pans show signs of rust (bottom of the pan or on the rivets holding the handle on), throw them out.
There are many rivet-less cookware sets to choose from that will eliminate this concern, but if you choose cast iron, it’s important to know how to care for it properly to prevent rust.
4. The Tip of Your Favorite Knife is Broken
We know it’s tempting to keep using it, but a broken knife tip only makes the knife less effective at doing its job. If you dropped your favorite knife on the floor and the tip broke, first be thankful it didn’t go through your foot and then go shopping for a new one.
5. Your Spatulas and Scrapers Don’t Look So Good
As far as looks go, stained spatulas and scrapers don’t look great, but they get the job done all the same. However, if they are cracked, melted, frayed, or otherwise compromised in some way, they aren’t doing the job they are designed to do very well.
If your spatulas and scrapers fall into this category, then it’s time to let them go and buy new ones. Look for silicone models because they resist heat and stains better than other materials, which means they will last longer.
Ultimately, the cooking equipment you use directly affects the way you cook. You can be the best chef in the world, but without quality tools, it’s very tough to create dishes that look and taste as they should. If your kitchen equipment shows any of the signs listed above, it’s likely time to trade it in for a new and improved model.