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An answer that was asked at the beginning. I have never bought anything off TV etc for cookware. I just like to have hands on, a conversation with the folks in the store, and the ability to take back with any issues.
 

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I use non-stick (PTFE-coated aluminum), cast iron, and carbon steel cookware on a regular basis at home. In my experience, good non-stick pans will last for many years if treated right. I recently retired a Calaphon 5 quart pan that was 18 years old and had seen regular use.

The Red Copper (as seen on TV!) pan I tried was very inexpensive and worked well for a few months but then the coating degraded and it lost its non-stick properties. This seems to be a common failing of the ceramic type of coatings, even though you would expect a harder coating to be more durable.

Two non-stick brands that have worked for me are T-Fal and Techef, both bought through Amazon. T-Fal has half a dozen different lines of non-stick pans, some of which probably fall into the "disposable" category, but the "Ultimate" one I have is nice: thick, slick and with a comfortable handle. I bought the Techef pot to replace my old Calaphon and it has performed admirably so far.
 

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We've been using the Tromatina chef's pans from Sam's. They have lasted for years. Good pans that we would buy again.

We never use metal utensils on these pans. Don't know how long they would last if we did.
 

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For nonstick... I have some BergHOFF ones...

Pros: best 'nonstick' surface I've used yet. The coating seems very durable, with the limitation below. Solid, but light. Removable handles. Great lids.

Cons: Don't even think about using metal utensils. Any little nicks or scrapes will seriously degrade the coating. Wish the handles were better designed - The metal part is too big and gets very hot.
 

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All metals will leach a little while cooking but some are definitely safer than others. The thing to remember with non-stick cookware is it is delicate. A lot of the products out there can't withstand high heat, abrasive tools for cooking like metal and abrasive sponges for cleaning. Some of the non-stick will leach harmful chemicals if they are overheated.

The best way to go in my opinion is some nice stainless steel and a couple of nice cast iron pieces. Once CI gets properly seasoned you can do your eggs without issue in it. Note, seasoning is NOT leaving "wet" oil in the pan after cooking. Animal fats can and will go rancid so those should be cleaned out. Proper seasoning is when an oil of your choice becomes polymerized with the metal in the pan creating a hard non-stick coating on the pan. When I first get a pan I usually do 3 seasoning sessions in the oven to get a base started. Then with use you will naturally build up more seasoning.

You should be able to wash your CI pans with a mild soap and a soft sponge, it won't ruin them if they are properly seasoned.
 
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