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Le Creuset non-stick pans

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chowess Sep 28, 2008 01:25 AM

I am thinking of replacing my teflon-coated non-stick pans and would like something that is good quality and long-lasting. I noticed that Le Creuset has a range of "toughened" non-stick pans out but they seem pricey. Are they worth it? Happy to pay the price if they really are. I own some of their cast-iron enamel pots which I have treasured in the past (great for long-cooking stews in the oven, for example) and I have no regrets about what I paid but I wonder if this extends to their non-stick pans. Also, could anyone shed some light on what is the latest on non-stick surfaces being toxic, carcinogenic, etc. Is this something of the past and nothing to worry about with current high-quality products?

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  1. MMRuth RE: chowess Sep 28, 2008 04:30 AM

    I don't have any LC non-stick pans, but love my Swiss Diamond one. There have been a number of threads on Swiss Diamond - it does contain the chemicals contained in Teflon. Apparently SD claims that because of the way they are incorporated into the surface, they are not problematic, but others on the board disagree. I don't have an opinion on that one way or the other, but have been very happy with my pan.

    1. tracyk RE: chowess Sep 28, 2008 06:10 AM

      Hi, while I LOVE my Le Creuset dutch ovens, I very rarely use my non-stick fry pan.
      I find that my seasoned thrift store cast irons and/or my all clad fry pans do a MUCH better job.
      I used to live for non-stick, but I now prefer to cook with either spray oil or ample enough butter or oil to do the job.

      1. b
        blondelle RE: chowess Sep 28, 2008 07:02 AM

        Nonstick pans as we know them have been banned in this country as they are a health hazaard. Manufacturers have by a certain date to stop producing them. Dupont is even developing "green" nonstick pans without PFOA and PTFE. There are several lines out now that use this new technology, but as they are first generation they have some issues. I would learn how to use stainless, and not rely on nonstick except for maybe one or two pans for eggs and fish.

        6 Replies
        1. re: blondelle
          JonParker RE: blondelle Sep 28, 2008 09:00 AM

          No, they aren't banned here. They are working to removed PFOA and PTFE, but there's no law against selling them. There is a voluntary phase-out.

          1. re: blondelle
            b
            blondelle RE: blondelle Sep 28, 2008 11:24 AM

            I had meant to say there's a ban on them that will take several years for companies to have to
            implement. They are allowed to be sold up until that date. Companies have been given that time in order to phase them out, and phase in new nonstick alternatives. Sorry!

            1. re: blondelle
              t
              ThreeGigs RE: blondelle Sep 29, 2008 07:37 AM

              Blondelle, which country are you in? There are no bans on nonstick pans, nor any Teflon(R) or PTFE product in the United States, and I'm unaware of any such ban anywhere else in the world.

              1. re: ThreeGigs
                b
                blondelle RE: ThreeGigs Sep 29, 2008 09:41 PM

                I'm talking about a future ban as I've just explained. Manufacturers will not be allowed to sell them after a certain date.

                1. re: blondelle
                  t
                  ThreeGigs RE: blondelle Sep 29, 2008 11:53 PM

                  As of today, no law has been passed in the United States, nor is any in any stage of legislation, that bans any sort of non-stick cookware now, or at any date in the future. The EPA has *requested* that chemical companies phase out the use of PFOA in the manufacture of PTFE (Teflon), and California has *limited* PFOA being used in the manufacture of food packaging ( fast-food wrappers, pizza boxes, beverage containers , etc) to 10 ppb in the finished product.

                  The problem is that California has no provision for enforcement, because neither they nor the EPA has the authority to actually ban PFOA.

                  On a side note, that may be a good thing if you live in California, as the bill also bans perfluorooctane sulfate (PFOS), which is used in something like 90% of all carpeting and furniture fabrics as an anti-stain compound. Got a nice expensive sofa you want to sell on Craigslist so you can get something newer? Sorry, against the law as of 2010 if it's stain resistant. Teflon frying pans? Completely legal. Even after 2015.

                  1. re: blondelle
                    ccbweb RE: blondelle Oct 3, 2008 07:21 PM

                    Just provide a link or something to point people to a place they can read the info on it and it'll sort out any confusion. Thanks!

              2. m
                mpalmer6c RE: chowess Sep 28, 2008 07:18 PM

                I am dubious. I looked around the LC web site and didn't see any explanation of "toughened," or what the material is made of. Myself, I use an inexpensive Vollrathfor eggs and such and otherwise use non non-stick.

                1. irisav RE: chowess Sep 28, 2008 08:56 PM

                  I too have an enameled cast iron pot - La chasseur which I believe is like Le Creuset's poorer cousin but it is fabulous.

                  However, when in comes to non-stick pans I think I would opt for scanpan. Rather than teflon they use a non-stick ceramic titanium surface which means you can use metal utensils and if necessary use a scouring pad to clean it (although have to wonder why this would ever be necessary in a non-stick pan) anyway my sister swears by hers.

                  As regards the health concerns as far as I'm aware they apply to cheaper non-stick cook wear, particularly when they start to shed their non-stick surface.

                  1. Robin Joy RE: chowess Sep 30, 2008 06:20 AM

                    Ok.....Would you now like to hear from someone who has actually owned some LC non-stick? I had an 11 inch cast iron skillet and it was total garbage. The non-stick surface rapidly became "woolly" and unusable, and I'm pretty careful in how I use, clean, and store my pans. This was nearly 20 years ago though and things may have improved.
                    For non-stick items I currently favour Tfal which is cheap and gets replaced as needed, or Circulon which is excellent.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Robin Joy
                      ccbweb RE: Robin Joy Oct 3, 2008 07:22 PM

                      An opinion about a piece of cookware from someone who _owns_ the cookware. I'm not sure that's permitted. But thanks, its helpful!

                    2. yogiwan RE: chowess Sep 30, 2008 06:50 AM

                      There are some uses of non-stick that are hard to beat such as omelettes. So if you want non-stick do not let all of the scare tactics get you upset. Just remember to not use the non-stick in heats over 450 to 500 degrees and any of the newer quality products will do fine for years.

                      For applications that need higher heat, use different cookware depending on what you are cooking. Clad stainless steel and cast iron (enamel coated or traditonal) can go from stove top to oven easily.

                      Select the cookware and bakeware to suit your needs and ignor the scare agents.

                      yogiwan
                      Your Smart Kitchen

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: yogiwan
                        m
                        mpalmer6c RE: yogiwan Sep 30, 2008 09:04 PM

                        Totally disagree. It's not scare sagentry to warn against using unlined copper.

                      2. Chuckles the Clone RE: chowess Sep 30, 2008 09:38 PM

                        I've got an 8" nonstick LC omlette pan that came as part of a set about 3 years ago. It doubles as the lid of a sauce pan. At first I was a little sceptical but I've really grown to like it, using it pretty close to at least once a day. I'm only minimally careful with it (no metal utensils but it goes in the dishwasher at least once a week) and it's holding up fine.

                        On the other hand, I also really like my 11" cuisinart non stick that I got for about $20 at bed bath and beyond.

                        Teflon is one of the most inert materials there is. That's part of why nothing sticks to it. If you eat it, it will come out the other end just like it went in. The problem is when it overheats. The gas released is said to be toxic, though as always, there are arguments on both sides. Teflon is still polytetrafluoroethylene, same as it ever was. So any worries you had in the past are still applicable.

                        1. redgypsy RE: chowess Oct 3, 2008 10:17 AM

                          If you mean the new stainless exterior, teflon-coated LC pans I have one. It's lovely. I bought it because I wanted something to make gyoza in and my enamel coated LC wasn't cutting it. I got it at the outlet store and didn't really find a large difference in price between it and any of the other teflon pans I was looking for. But I needed a large deep one with a glass lid so I had some pretty specific requirements. I don't know that the coating is any tougher but I like it. Note that I also have one of the small LC cast iron but teflon coated omelet pans which is fine but I don't use it very often because of it's diminutive size.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: redgypsy
                            c
                            chowess RE: redgypsy Oct 6, 2008 02:09 PM

                            Thanks everyone for your comments. When I originally posted my question I assumed that the new range of toughened non-stick pans by LC were available everywhere. After seeing some of your replies I realised that they seem to be out in only some countries (or at least in the United Kingdom - I assume France as well as that's where Le Creuset is from). Apologies if this has caused any confusion, and again, my initial question: Anyone out there who has bought these and has any feedback ? I found a link FYI which will hopefully clarify things.
                            http://www.lecreuset.co.uk/en-gb/micr...

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