One has to be careful with your non-stick pans. When you scratch them, they begin to lose their non-stick qualities. The scratches eventually ruin your pans and the scratched off the coating is apparently being ingested as it gets into your food. Using plastic utensils helps protect the pan when cooking but it’s a challenge when you need to store the pans. Also, kitchens need to be compact and efficient necessitating the need to nest and stack our cooking equipment and pans which leads to another opportunity for scratching. There exists a need for effective protection for our pans that would allow for nesting and stacking without risking scratching the surfaces that need protection.
The solution is a cover for a nested and stacked pan that provides protection, stays in place when stored and reduces the risk of scratching the surfaces that need protection. That solution is the Pan Guard.
The Pan Guard will come in various sizes to fit almost any size cooking pan. The top will be a semi-elastic transparent material with a knob and an outer band that fits over the edge of the pan. When the Pan Guard is off the pan the outer band will be stiff enough at a specific minimum diameter – but when it needs to be placed on a pan it can be elastically stretched to achieve a wider diameter thus allowing it to grab on to the side of the pan (think of how a shower cap would work). When it’s time to put the pan into storage simply slip the Pan Guard over the top of a pan and then nest it with the other pans in a cabinet, shelf or hang it on a rack. The Pan Guard will also keep your pan’s cooking surfaces clean for indefinite periods of time while in storage.
The cover will be elastic enough to conform to the weight of the pan that is stored on top. The knob serves as a handle but also as a spacer, with its point on the bottom, keeping the semi-elastic top from sticking to the bottom of the pan when in storage. The outer ring, in its non-stretched condition, will be stiff enough so that it may serve as a pan lid. When using it as a lid, the outer ring can either be placed in or outside of the pan, returning the condensation either to the cooking side or outside of the pan.
The Pan Guard is intended to be inexpensive to produce and could provided multiple uses especially in protecting your non-stick pans.