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Aug 20, 2006 05:46 PM

Adios Teflon, where do we go from here?

I am getting rid of all my Teflon cookware (actually I am moving it to the vacation house where we won't use it so frequently). What is the next best thing? I cook alot, saute, eggs, sauces, vegetables, meats etc. What is best all around? Stainless steel, cast iron, copper bottom, enamel etc...
Any opinions?

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  1. I have thought about getting rid of all of my commercial aluminum Teflon lined cookware due to the toxicity of PTFE when exposed to high heat. I have never used Teflon on anything but a medium flame, but the growing evidence of health risks make me wonder if even that is healthy.

    Sitram has a new non Teflon non-stick technology that is very promising. I don't know of any commercial kitchens that use it, and I am wondering if there are any Chowhounds that have experience with the product?

    Well seasoned cast iron can be almost as good as Teflon. Pans with a thick bottom tend to be more resistant to sticking, as many sticking problems can be traced to hot-spots and uneven heating patterns. I don't have any experience with copper bottom pans, as I cannot afford them, but enamel is not that stick resistant in my experience.

    1. We return to the past & Le Creuset (or Lodge, etc). Of all my many pots & pans, nothing is as good as LC...Not all-clad, not calaphon, not copper. In fact, although I haven't yet taken the plunge, I am thinking about getting rid of everything except LC because LC is what I reach for day in & day out, meal after meal....

      1. I am pretty happy with my Calphalon One and am slowly building up my inventory. Not exactly as "non-sticky" as Teflon, but very easy to clean. The surface is great for developing fondt and searing food. Even heating. I also like the heft to these pots and pans and the handles, ergonomically they work beautifully for me.

        1. I've never used teflon but I assume it is so popular because of their non-stick quality and for people who want to limit their fat intake without using much oil. If one take care of his/her cookware, season them well, not use abrasive material on them, there should not be much of a sticking problem.
          There is nothing better than a cast iron skillet for cooking steaks and chops. It retains heat well and gives meat a beautiful brown crust. It is also great for sauteeing potatoes.
          For eggs, I like a simple thick aluminum Wearever skillet. Season it well and eggs will not stick. It is good for sauteeing meat, vegetables, etc. It will also give nice fond pan sauce. If you can afford it, all-clad and calphalon are excellet. All clad makes several is personal preference. Calphalon makes lines at different prices.
          For making sauces like bechamel, I like 1 1/2 or 2 qt all-clad saucepan. It is good size and heavy enough so that sauces don't burn.
          I only use Le Creuset for slow braising because their heavy enamel is great for simmering and low temperature. I find them too clunky for most other uses and their enamel interior needs too much babying. Also, I find enamel does not give a good fond for pan sauces.
          I think copper bottom pans are just a waste. Not enough copper to make much of a difference.

          1. I use a brand called Swiss Diamond - if you do a search, you should find a number of posts about it.