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Apr 27, 2007 07:52 AM

Best of the NonSticks - ISO NYT article months ago?

I'm looking to build my first set of good cookware, focusing less on name and more on performance. A few months ago, The New York Times (I think? or some other pretty big publication) ran an article where the author set out to test 6-8 of the major brands of cookware, specifically pans for their non-stick abilities. As you all probably know, not all "nonsticks" are created equal.

They used the Egg Test - frying an egg without any butter, grease, PAM, or what have you. I remember that some of the pricier brands failed. I think the best ones weren't even teflon coated.

Anyway, the point of this post is, if anyone remembers the article, and can post info so I can find it, that would be excellent. Also, any cookware recommendations for my quest would be great as well.

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  1. The article was by Marian Burros...she recced Le's the link...

    3 Replies
      1. re: fauchon

        I was all set to buy some nonstick Le Creuset skillets after reading that article, but some posters here on Chowhound complained about the same pans being impossible to clean and not that stick-resistant. Makes me wonder.

        1. re: btnfood

          They are fine, use a non-stick spray. But a well-seasoned cast iron performs similarly.

      2. I just did the same - was more interested in quality than name and followed consumer reports reccomendation for the Anodized cookware set by Kirkland at Costco - $175 -

        It has lived up to CR testing - cooks beautifully and the pots are all sizes that I use -

        1. I am sure that Ms. Burros is a very nice person and knows a lot of stuff but I can't help but think that anyone who cooks eggs inn a skillet at 660 degrees is going to be disappointed not matter what pan they use.

          My Le Creuset skillet is a nice pan but it takes a long time to heat and because it holds its heat so well it can't be regulated in any kind of short time span.

          For most of my basic skillet work I like a nice twelve inch teflon from target which I throw away after two years (the teflon wears off) and go get another.

          5 Replies
          1. re: gargantua

            I have a friend who does the same thing - gets a new Teflon pan every couple of years.

            And I will ask you what I asked her: Where do you think the Teflon went?

            1. re: ambrose

              to paraphrase Homer Simpson...

              mmm, teflon

              teflon itself is inert and has the same NSF rating as any other food handling material. As long as my guts don't get to 660 degrees we are all safe.

            2. re: gargantua

              I'm really not a fan of Teflon but if fried eggs are a big part of your cooking repetoire it can't be beat. What I really object to is that manufacturers slap the non-stick coating on everything! When was the last time you needed non-stick properties in a stock pot? And in bakeware, you have to grease "non-stick" pans anyway so what's the point? So I would buy a set of S/S with no coating then get a basic non-stick skillet and replace it regularly. And get a cast iron dutch oven and big skillet. And get aluminum bakeware. Remember to never overheat a non-stick pan.

              1. re: crawfish

                Non stick cookware should be one or two pieces of your collection, the rest should be 18/10 stainless, I hear that all the time. Obviously for making potatoes, or eggs, non stick is OK but you cannot make a good pan sauce from a non stick skillet, don't waste your money on non stick even though 80% of cookware sold in america is non stick, no one were smart, it should be the other way around.

                1. re: rog2867

                  I've been v. happy with my Swiss Diamond non-stick pan, and have had success making a good pan sauce in that pan.

            3. I have a couple sets of good cookware - one is AllClad - a gift, and very expensive, obviously - only one piece of it is non-stick, but it has been fabulous. My second "set" is from Costco - really nice quality stainless cookware - has endured the test of time also. I actually do not use most of my cookware and wish that I had bought just the sizes that I use all of the time. However, the way that I discovered what sizes I like and the ones I'll go back to all the time is from having the "set". I have 3 pieces of LeCreuset as well and I LOVE my little non-stick pan for omelettes, warming up tortillas etc. I had purchased a very expensive Calphalon - one of their upper tier lines, and it did not wear well at all. I am very particular about caring for my cookware, but the Calphalon still had a short life span. The LeCreuset non-stick and my AllClad non-stick are my favorites and actually I do use them all the time.

              1. For anyone who doesn't subscribe to NYT Select, the article you're thinking of was presumably one by Marian Burros, and it was not about non-stick coated pans.

                She decided to scrap her non-sticks because of health concerns, and tested several types of uncoated frypans.

                She found all pans were fine with a tablespoon of oil, but that Le Creuset worked best with only a thin coat.

                After reading that, I tossed my non-sticks, too, and went for French-made carbon steel. I figure that if it's good enough for professional chefs, it's good enough for me.