OT for some groups, Teflon that works some of the time.

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OT to some degree for some groups: My friend bought a teflon-coated cookie sheet, for baking cookies, made by Farberware.
The first time it worked great, no-stick. It was so easy to clean up, a few days later she figured she had time and would make more.
The second time with the same recipe, everything stuck to the tray. It was a lot of work for her to clean off what stuck, and some of it went all over the floor and counter when she cleaned it.
How could this happen? How is is possible?
She made macaroons, the very same recipe: coconut, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk. She preheated the oven the same way.
She bought the tray at a store that claims to sell various kinds of seconds. "Ollie's Bargain Outlet is Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware's largest retailer of closeout, surplus and salvage merchandise.". Close-outs, discontinued items, things bought from stores going out of business, etc. She paid 6.95, and the label said "Their price 18.95" although I bet a Farberware cookie sheet normally sells for some price in between.
Could it be a second because it works great the first time and is no longer non-stick the second time. How is that possible?
FTR, I had to check the spelling of macaroon, and this is the recipe in the dictionary: a drop cookie made of egg whites, sugar, usually almond paste or coconut, and sometimes a little flour. But I have had hers and they're good.
Also, [French macaron, from Italian dialectal maccarone, dumpling, macaroni.]
Also 1611, "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds," from Fr. macaron (16c.), from It. dial. maccarone (see macaroni). Fr. meaning said to have been invented 1552 by Rabelais. The -oon ending was conventional in 15c.-17c. Eng. to add emphasis to borrowings of Fr. nouns ending in stressed -on.
I think she never had a Teflon cookie sheet before.
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They might be good; they just aren't macaroons.
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You make a good point. I don't know whether I should tell her. :)

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mm wrote:

Maybe the sugar caramelized and then polymerized onto the cookie sheet. If so, that doesn't necessarily need to come off -- it's like the seasoning on a cast iron pan.
But if I made cookies (and I say "if" because I have never been successful at making them -- quick breads, pies, cakes, regular food, fine -- but cookies never turn out) I would rather use a silicone baking liner (example brand: Silpat) on a regular cookie sheet than Teflon anything.
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mm wrote:
...

The trouble with Teflon is that it's so hard to clean. Uncoated metal can be rubbed down with steel wool or other abrasives. The only thing wrong with her cookie sheet is a coating of some residue. Wash it thoroughly with one of those knitted-plastic scouring pads. The longer one waits, the tougher the film gets.
Jerry
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I find that automatic dishwasher detergent is good for soaking crusted stuff in;it really attacks organics.It will not harm aluminum,but soaking gets off baked on crud.
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

Many dishwasher detergents contain grit. The chemicals are powerful, but rubbing Teflon with it would be ill advised unless it was tested first. I would stir a teaspoonful in a clear glass of water. Once all that will has dissolved, the presence on any grit ought to be evident.
Jerry
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Did I say "rub"? No. I said "soak".
You get a ZERO in reading comprehension.
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

You don't think a warning to the unwary is appropriate? You're not quite accurate about a long soak not affecting aluminum. Expect a harmless white film. For those inclined to use dishwasher detergent and might want to rub anyway, prepare a solution and strain it. I'd use a handkerchief or a piece of old sheet in a funnel.
Jerry
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"Jerry Avins" in :

Hi Jerry, Jim Yanik's point may have been the same one I offer on this subject..
Cleaning nonstick surfaces is not about scrubbing, but loosening the residues chemically. Then they'll either float off, or come off with a wipe from a sponge. Various cleaning agents that loosen organic material are good for this, they will soften or saponify the food residues. (Avoiding abrasion is fundamental to nonstick coatings. When PTFE or "Teflon" coatings first appeared, they were described like highly inert waxes, to be handled accordingly. Commercial pan coatings have since gotten tougher. Look in a restaurant supplier with a display room and you'll see arrays of inexpensive nonstick fry pans of identical size going up in durability, and price.)
Conventional powdered dishwasher detergent is based mostly or entirely on TSP (trisodium phosphate) which softens organic matter, just like ammonia and other alkalies (that attack aluminum more aggressively). It's excellent for soaking food deposits, not just on Teflon, I use it all the time. (TSP also is sold in bulk as an all-purpose cleaner concentrate.) That's the relevance of dishwasher detergent to nonstick coatings, as far as I know.
Finally there's a "seasoning" ritual for nonstick coatings, analogous to (but briefer and lighter than) for cast iron. This maintains the like-new stick resistance. After cleaning and drying, you rub with a tiny bit of oil and heat a bit then rub off the exces. (More or less.) It has to do with filling micro-pores if I remember. But go by instructions that the manufacturers give, not my offhand memory. (Do NOT ask for advice about that subtle point on an online forum like these. Experience shows you will get even more heartfelt misinformation than drivers get from passers-by when their car is stuck in mud.)
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Max Hauser wrote:

>>

The relevance must depend on location, then. Phosphate detergents are not allowed in many locations, including, I think, all of New Jersey. Both Cascade and All sold there include grit that appears to be fine sand, as one can see when some is dissolved in a transparent glass.

Good point!
Jerry
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:

I use liquid or "gel" auto-dishwasher detergent;I haven't found any grit in them,and they dissolve much better than the powders.
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:
...

I'll check it out. If the cost is comparable, I'll try it.
Jerry
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So there is a residue one can't see, that didn't come off with just soap? Or the dishwasher?
I'll send her a copy of this post, but I thought the point of Teflon was that it is easy to clean.

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mm wrote:

Dried-on starch just peels off if the Teflon doesn't have microscratches from dishwasher-detergent grit (I always wash mine by hand.) Teflon is a brand name. The stuff on utensils is modified, not pure PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), but it's called Teflon anyway. (Pure PTFE sticks to nothing, not even utensils.) Most things come off a Teflon pan more easily than they'll come off most other surfaces. It's hard to clean because it it's hard to deal with a thin film that does stick.
I use uncoated steel turners on my Teflon pans, but only turners that I've polished smooth so they don't scratch. When a pan gets scratched and stuff sticks, I throw it out. My newest pan is about 7 years old.
Jerry
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Dried-on starch just peels off if the Teflon doesn't have microscratches

I don't think DuPont has lost the Teflon trademark as they did nylon and neoprene. They do sell TFE copolymers marked as Teflon. I think pure PTFE is used in the cookware finishes but other materials are added for adhesion to the metal and toughening. DuPont is pretty picky about composition and use of their finishes but there are other producers that are not. I suspect in OP original question that there was another transient finish on the sheet. Frank
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frank.logullo wrote:

I didn't know they lost those. In the 50s, "nylon" was Israeli slang for what people now call "cool".

Pure PTFE is white.
Jerry
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In 2006, last time I was over, "nylon" was the standard word for a plastic bag that you get at the grocery or drugstore.

I do hope none of the smart people on this NG are [still] using Teflon cookware! I'm not so smart, but I do listen to my gut, so I never, ever, bought Teflon cookware, and now they're finally finding out that some of that icky stuff can pass into your food. Ohne mich!
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aspasia wrote:

I'm much more concerned about what leeches out of plastic water and soda bottles.
Jerry
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You got that right! I try to buy only in glass containers. However, there IS a difference in leech-ability between kinds of plastic beverage containers; wish I could remember where I saw the article
But both Teflon and plastic are legitimate areas of concern. Unfortunately, the word does not get out to the very people who need to be informed...
This site:
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id 2093
has some comparative info on plastic beverage containers.
Safe drinking! (especially YOUNG CHILDRE
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