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Aug 2, 2008 12:01 PM

Does the hard anodized non stick cookware flake?

I am in the market for some new pans and have tried to research a few, but not any of the reviews actually tell me if the cookware will eventually flake. I have stainless and if you don't cook on low all the time, the food sticks so bad. I am looking for convenient cleanup and even heat distribution. I like the look of the dark anodized, but don't want to be disappointed a year from now. Thanks.

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  1. If properly cared for, no decent non-stick pan should flake. I've had my all-clad non stick for about 8 years now and no flaking. In the old days I had some cheaper calphalon non-stick that had the pebbly bottom in the pan..horrible stuff, flaked like crazy. My opinion is to by it from a reputible store that has a return policy if it were to happen. Always follow the care and cleaning suggestions.

    1. By the way, regarding your comment on your stainless. You're missing the joy of a good stainless pan. You can cook on higher temps w/ stainless you just need to know the secret. Put the oil or butter in the pan and heat (let's say you were going to make chicken fried steak, like I just did in my all-clad stainless skillet) when it's the right temp, place the meat in the pan and do not touch it for a few minutes. Resist the temptation to move it around in the pan or to check the underside. After about 4-5 min, gently nudge the meat to see if it has released from the pan. Once the meat has seared, it will completely release from the pan and you can flip it over. No sticking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandih

        I have tried that but have some really cheap stainless. I was just tired of the mirror look and was opting for the darker ones for a more modern kitchen upgrade. Does anyone have any info on Cuisinart? What are some good brands out there? And again , thanks.

      2. It does not flake, it wears off. In many of my HA pans you can see the plain aluminum showing through after 20+ years of stirring. It does not hurt the pan or you, it is just not as pretty anymore.

        1. Marian Burros of the NY Times dumped her non-stick and tested a variety of fry pans. She said Le Creuset and carbon steel gave "amazing results.:

          7 Replies
          1. re: mpalmer6c

            So does Swiss Diamond. It is non-stick, diamond coated, metal utensil safe with a limited lifetime guarantee. Love the stuff!

            1. re: Candy

              Well, a poster here a few months back said he contacted the Swiss Diamond company and was told the non-stick surface was Teflon by another name.

              1. re: mpalmer6c

                This is a link to info I found earlier today about the quantanium in the pans I am inquiring about.


                1. re: mpalmer6c

                  I handle the stuff daily and it most definitely not teflon. They use some of the same process to get the diamond surface to adhere, but it is a diamond surface. You can use metal in it, I even cut with a sharp chef's knife, on the surface of one of my pans and no mark was left. AP was passing on mis-information.

                  1. re: Candy

                    See their FAQ:


                    It's Teflon by another name, with the diamonds for scratch resistance.

                    1. re: Jennifer_B

                      It may have in it the same compound or whatever as Teflon, but it is very different in appearance and in how it works than teflon coated pans that I've used in the past. There isn't a "coating" per se, if that makes sense.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        I just wanted to add - I know some don't like to use Teflon b/c of potential health concerns. I just bought SD b/c I needed a large frying pan that day. Now that I have it though, it certainly performs better than standard Teflon coated pans in a number of ways, including no flaking, being able to use metal utensils and being a dream to clean. For me, I don't care whether it actually has Teflon in it or not.

            2. Hard anodized, by itself, is low stick, but not non-stick. It does not flake off, but as noted, may wear thin with long use.

              If labeled as 'hard anodized non-stick' I suspect it has a non-stick coating on the inside, possibly applied over an anodized surface. The outside will have dark gray (or possibly colored) of the anodizing, but the inside will be darker.

              12 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                Exactly what they look like, but it is not a layer that will peal off like paint is it? It was my understanding that it is sort of baked in or made into the pan? Idon't know. Maybe I should just stick with some all-clad mirror pans then I won't have to wonder.

                1. re: lmhn96

                  Aluminum naturally forms a tough oxide ('rust') layer, which protects the metal underneath from further oxidizing. But it is thin, and will wear away. Anodizing is a chemical process that produces a thicker oxide layer. In effect it is a layer of the aluminum (less than 1/100" of an inch thick) that has been changed into a harder, crystalline substance. So you are right, it is not a paint (though some anodizing is porous enough to take a dye).

                  Stainless steel also depends on a tough oxide layer for its rustless quality. For most types it's the chromium in the mix that forms this layer, though some high temperature steels also contain aluminum.

                  I haven't seen this in print, but I suspect that the slight porosity of anodized aluminum is what reduces its sticking qualities. In effect little pockets of oil fill the pores. The oxide layer on stainless steel is less porous., so doesn't take any sort of seasoning. Some instructions for seasoning cast iron talk about heating it to 'open up the pores'. So the porousity of that bare metal must help it develop and retain a nonstick seasoning (carbonized oil).

                  Others have mentioned nonstick coatings like Swiss Diamond. The nonstick part is chemically similar to Teflon. What is 'new' the way the metal is prepared so it can 'hold onto' this nonstick substance. A common method seems to be to produce a microscopically rough surface, and fill it in with the nonstick plastic. The 'mountain tops' then protect against wear, while the filled 'valleys' protect against sticking.

                  1. re: paulj

                    So, I'm not real smart here, is the anoidized pan going to last a while?

                    1. re: lmhn96

                      How about if I just refer you to Calphalon's FAQ?


                      There is one question about the pan turning silver inside, which they attribute to 'deanodizing', we've be calling that 'wear'. It is different from the flaking that you experienced with older Teflon.

                      I see they claim it is low stick because of its low porosity, rather than the other way around. I suppose in that regard it behaves more like enamel.

                      1. re: paulj

                        My mother's Caphalon turned silver inside after years of putting it in the dishwasher ....

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          That silver surface shouldn't be any worse for cooking than plain aluminum.

                  2. re: paulj

                    The old non-stick calphalon did not wear-off, it definitely flaked off the bottom. And whoever said that it does not hurt you might want to read up on ingesting that stuff. It's not very good for you.

                    1. re: sandih

                      So, if I want to invest in some nice pans for my family without going broke, where do I turn? I would like some opinions from board members with experiance in this matter. Which brands would you recommend?

                      1. re: sandih

                        My old Calphalon is a tad more non stick than my Griswold cast iron.
                        My Calphalons have seen a lot of use and show little wear but i hasten to add were NOT identified as non stick.
                        On a personal basis i rarely reach for "non stick" except for morning eggs.

                        If i had to start over again selecting pans i would again pick cast iron
                        with a non stick for eggs in perhaps 10 inch
                        Another Calphalon would be fine but a disposable cheap teflon would be fine.
                        For actual cooking give me iron!

                        1. re: sandih

                          Are there serious studies about the effects of ingesting Teflon? For example, is there any evidence that particles are digested and pass into the bloodstream and tissue, or do they pass through without change. Teflon is used on surgically implanted joint replacements and other medical instruments and materials such as sutures.