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Dec 13, 2008 06:40 PM

Why is all bakewear non-stick?

Is this a stupid question? Perhaps. I know my fellow 'hounds will put me in my place if so.

I'm not much of a baker but growing up I remember my mom's pans not having any non-stick coating. I don't even think Teflon was around until my late childhood and then, she only had one skillet that had it which we used for eggs.

Some years ago, mr. rockandroller and I got rid of all our Teflon pans, I loathe it and don't think it's particularly safe. We don't have a ton of pans but what we have is either stainless or cast iron and it works just fine for us.

I discovered by accident, a rare recent baking episode, that I no longer have any loaf pans, no idea what happened to them, and that my sole muffin pan was really rusted and awful looking (I think it was non-stick some years ago but now just looked dangerous so I got rid of it). I went to 4 typical, regular stores today (not specialty or restaurant supply places) to try to get some inexpensive but decent loaf pans and a muffin pan. EVERYTHING is non-stick. Or silicone, which I just don't want to try. The way the silicone pan flopped around when I picked it up spelled disaster for me as a cook, I'm clumsy enough. Plus it just seems weird, and not having been around long enough to get a true measure of it's safety as bakeware (what you might ingest).

I ended up having to buy non-stick as there was literally nothing else. I suppose I could go to a W-S or try to find a restaurant supply place and spend $50 on one pan, but I really didn't want to spend that much. I had no idea it was so prevalent in bakeware.

Maybe it's because I don't bake much, but am I stupid? Why is all bakeware sold in the regular stores (BBB, department stores, etc.) non-stick? They sell pans and skillets in both stainless and non-stick, and BBB even sells some cast iron, so why is it just the bakeware that's non-stick?

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  1. Because it's what most home bakers want, I guess. Although not all non-stick is Teflon.

    Try the King Arthur website. They sell the Chicago Metallic line without non-stick coatings.

    1. You'd be surprised how inexpensive the basics are, even at a WS or restaurant supply place. I just bought non-non-stick cake pans at Sur La Table and they were about $10 each. No more than a non-stick pan would be at Target or Kohls or BB&B. I've also purchased pieces in restaurant supply places and not paid anything exorbitant. It's worth a look in some of those places, as you might be surprised.

      1. Retailers tend to put their money into inventory which will turn over quickly. So if 90%+ of their customers want non-stick that's what you'll find on the shelf. The average home cook (whoever that is) wants a pan they don't have to prep and one that is easy to clean. Non-stick fills those needs. It's not like non-stick makes the food taste bad.

        There are lots of choices out there but most are available online. For most baking I use the Le Crueset enameled poterie. Plus it's great for lasagna, scalloped potatoes,etc. For cookies I use an aluminized jellyroll pan with a silpat liner.

        1. You have totally the wrong idea about restaurant supply outlets. They are much. much, much cheaper than department stores, gourmet stores and the like. Just go to a site like Surfas or Restaurant Source and you'll find anything you want. For instance, I just got an anodized saucepan at one-quarter tge price of Calphalon. Uncoated sheet pans, by the way, are a mainstay of restaurant kitchens.

          1. I thought the coating on Bakers Secret (formerly EKCO), which is pretty common at the local supermarkets, was silicone rather than Teflon.