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Frying Pan Q&A

... your questions answered. A blog by Claire - The Frying Pan

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Relative Performance of Cookware Non Stick Coatings

Posting date: 16th January 2012 00:00

I thought customers might be interested in a chart of non stick coatings for cookware that has been produced by Whitford. Whitford are one of the biggest manufacturers of non stick coatings for cookware in the world. I first approached them as I wanted a more independent view of whether the new ceramic coatings really are as good as the new marketing PR advises. I have say that all the sales reps of all the brands say that their coatings are fantastic. I wanted the advice of someone who produces both traditional non stick coatings and ceramic coatings, so I could get a more impartial performance comparison.

Just one note: of course, the issue of whether you want PTFE in your cookware from a health point of view, is a separate matter. If this is important to you then the ceramic coatings win hands down.

What I was concerned about was whether the ceramic coatings performed as well as traditional quality non stick coatings. I had had a number of customers come back to me, who had bought expensive cookware with a new ceramic coating and they were not impressed with the performance. Personally, I cannot see the point of putting a less well performing coating on a very high specification pan base, whatever its health merits. You will never get your money's worth out of the base! Based on Whitford's chart and my own customers' feedback, I think that the ceramic coating performs less well, and therefore it is best to add it only to mid range pan bases. Why pay for a pan base that could last years and years, when the shorter lifespan of the cooking surface will mean that you never get what you have paid for from the base.

Whitford rate their own non stick cookware coatings as set out in the list below. You may well not recognise the names of the coatings as they are bought by cookware manufacturers who then rebrand the coatings or simply use them unbranded on their own branded cookware ranges. The point of the chart is to show the difference of performance of the different coatings on the market.The ratings/market levels below are designed to help cookware manufacturers choose the coating that best fits the target customers of a particular brand of cookware. The original chart also shows which cookware should be used with what pan base material (eg stainless steel) and what are its special features (such as rapid heat transfer) but I have simplified the information for the purposes of indicating the relative performance and target market sector Whitford advise for their ceramic coating. Green Pan may argue that their coating is better than Whitfords, I cannot speak for them, but given that Whitford are specialist coating manufacturers of such high regard, I need to be convinced that anyone has better technology than them:

  • Eterna - Market Level 10
    Rating - High End, Gourmet, Upper Moderate
  • Excalibur - Market Level 10
    Rating - Gourmet, Commercial
  • Eclipse - Market Level 10
    Rating - Gourmet, Upper Moderate, Commercial
  • Halo - Market Level 10
    Rating - Gourmet, Upper Moderate, Commercial
  • QuanTanium - Market Level 8
    Rating - Upper Moderate, Moderate
  • Quantum 2 - Market Level 7
    Rating - Moderate, Opening Price Point
  • Fusion [PFOA and PTFE free ceramic coating] -
    Market Level 6-8
    Rating - Moderate
  • Skandia - Market Level 6-8
    Rating - Promotional to Moderate
  • Xylan PLUS - Market Level 6
    Rating - Promotional, Opening Price Point
  • Xylan - Market Level 5 - Rating
    Rating - Promotional, Price is the Driving Factor

I must admit I was surprised that the ceramic coating, Fusion, scored as low as it did in comparison with other coatings. My position at the moment is that I should sell ceramic coated cookware on the mid market pans. Then customers can have a PTFE free surface at a price that reflects the quality of the cookware that they have bought. Expectations are then in keeping with the what the pan is likely to deliver.

Any comments welcome - including from Green Pan if they really do think that their technology is better than Whitford's - unless they buy from Whitford?? My knowledge runs out here, I do not know from whom Green Pan get their coating, or whether they manufacture it themselves. It gets difficult to trace the chain with all the rebranding that occurs.

Claire

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