the frying pan

Frying pans that last ...Phone 01363 881174... a PLUS Online Store
UK Mainland Delivery £4.95, FREE over £30 Email Us Your Cart  0 items. £0.00 Checkout

Non Stick Cookware Guide

I would have to say that the traditional non stick cooking surface, whether Teflon or its equivalent, has been an absolutely amazing invention in terms of easing cooking, particularly for the amateur chef.

I even know a Top Chef that admits he uses non-stick frying pans all the time because they are so convenient. However, some drawbacks have emerged in recent years.

Teflon (or its equivilent that uses the same PTFE compound) is the best known non stick surface. It has a very low friction and high heat resistance. It is the low friction that gives it is "non stick" or sliding properties.

This is excellent for reducing the amount of oil you need to use when cooking and also eases cleaning as so much less food residue is left on the pan.

However, in 2005 the US Environmental Protection Agency found that the chemical compound, PTFE used to make Teflon was a "likely carcinogen." This has raised concerns in many places regarding its safe use as a cooking surface.

As a result, new "non stick" technologies have developed which avoid the use of PTFE, the compound used in non stick coatings such as Teflon. The technology for ceramic coated pans, for example, which has been around for quite a long time, has had alot of research and development time this decade and new improved ceramic coated pans have come onto the market.

The key issue when using Teflon or other PTFE based non stick surfaces is NOT to heat the cookware above 235 degrees centigrade. At this temperature, the PTFE begins to deteriorate and the gases given off can be poisonous to humans, though quite how poisonous is a subject for debate.

Of course, you need to compare this to the smoke etc given off by oils and butter at this temperature, which are also not particularly good for people's health.

Another benefit of not over heating a non stick pan is that you avoid building up a carbon layer of burnt food residue. This leads to the pan losing its non stick quality which is one of commonest causes of complaint about non stick pans. Any non stick pan, however, good quality, will suffer from this build up of a brownish layer on the pan surface, if over heated repeatedly - and made worse if the washing instructions are not followed.

Cheap non stick pans can be easily scratched by sharp or stainless steel tools and can chip with time. It is best to use wooden, plastic or silicone utensils.

For these reasons, if you do use a traditional non-stick pan, we advise using good quality one with a thicker, more durable surface. You should also never over heat your non stick pan.

Despite the health warnings, I use a non stick pan all the time because I am not a good enough cook to cook well on bare stainless steel!

All our non-stick frying pan brands are good quality pans - you can choose from different base material pans, like aluminium or stainless steel. Just run your eye down the left hand navigation - frying pans, sauté pans, woks etc all have their non stick sections.

Non stick and different pan bases.

Cast Aluminium with traditional non stick - brands such as Mauviel M'Cook, Berndes Cast Aluminium and Titanium Special Edition have extra thick traditional non-stick coatings on a cast aluminium base. They fit the category of a good quality, traditional non-stick pan.

Cast Aluminium with special coatings and traditional non stick . Some pans such as Scanpan or AMT Gastroguss have an added titanium coating before the non stick layer because this increases the bonding of the non stick to the base, so reducing the risk of peeling and cracking.

Swiss Diamond, has a nano-composite extra thick layer of traditional PTFE non-stick AND diamond crystals which they claim is 25% better than titanium at giving a lifetime of smooth non-stick surface. The quantity of PTFE used is small compared to other non stick pans and they confirm that the harmful PFOA component in the PTFE is NOT present in the pans .

Hard anodised pans, like Calphalon One Infused Anodised, are not strictly "non-stick" but rather "stick resistant". Basically, the aluminium base is infused with oxygen and becomes hard and ultra smooth as an advanced release polymer penetrates into the pores of the pan base. This creates the stick resistant surface. Like Gastrolux this is a non Teflon option.

More Articles...

Our checkout is secured by

Click to go to Secure Site

Other PLUS Web Sites

Find Matching Saucepans that Last at our Sister Site The Saucepan

The Saucepan

Salt and Pepper Mills PLUS

Salt and Pepper Mills PLUS

Premium Quality Waste bins at
The Wesco Bin

The Wesco Bin

The Raclette and Fondue

the raclette and fondue