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Earth Pan vs Cuisinart Green Gourmet vs Starfrit ?

I would like to buy a non PTFE, non PFOA nonstick pan. Even if its unclear how harmful the older types of non stick are, I need to replace my non stick . Does anyone have any experience with any of these? Is food sticking really an issue with all of these? Any preference? Thanks

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  1. You can double check this, but I think PFOA was an ingredient used by Dupont in the process of making PTFE, but not part of the final product. Also, most non-stick pans use some form of PTFE, with main variation being in how it is bonded to the metal. If food doesn't stick to PTFE, how does PTFE stick to metal?

    It is possible that chemists have come up with alternatives to PTFE, but it is also likely that they have similar chemical compositions and characteristics. After all you want some of the same physical properties - nonstick, durable enough to withstand use, inert to cooking liquids, non toxic, etc. Read the fine print. Many companies talk about how superior their coating is, with diamonds and special bonding, but soon or latter you'll find a line in a FAQ admitting that the nonstick coating is indeed PTFE, or they might use the term 'advanced polymer'.

    If after 50 years, if it isn't obvious whether PTFE is harmful or not, how are we to know whether any of the replacements are any better? Have they been put through more rigorous testing? Been subject to longer term toxicology tests?

    If you don't know what you are running away from, it is hard to choose a truly
    safe destination.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj

      I glanced at web sites (mostly retailers and eco-reviewers) for these products. They all talk about ceramics. There is some plausibility to this. I have several inexpensive glazed ceramic pots that are relatively non-stick. Enameled cook ware, whether expensive 'French ovens' or dirt cheap steel, are also low stick. So maybe chemists have come up with ceramic formulations that adhere well to aluminum, and a lower-stick surface (smoother?) than older versions.

      But I am also wary of talking points like 'no chemicals' (isn't a ceramic a chemical), 100% petroleum free, 100% natural. One manufacturer admitted a reviewer that the use of 'nanotechnology' in their promotional material was a mistake by an over enthusiastic copywriter.

    2. For years there has been an ongoing argument about PTFE (Teflon) and its potentially detrimental effects on human health and the earth. PFOA chemical is used when processing Teflon; 90% of the chemical is released into the atmosphere during the coating process. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has given companies using PFOA until 2015 to completely eliminate use of the chemical.

      A couple of months ago I found out about some eco-friendly cookware from Starfrit. I purchased a 28cm Starfrit "Alternative" eco-friendly pan, and I'm relieved to have finally found something that works. While not all Starfrit's product are in the eco-friendly category, the Alternative line is. Their "Ceram-Eco" ceramic non-stick surface performed surprisingly well. It is made from natural ceramic powder so it doesn't contain any PFTE or PFOA chemicals. The thing I like most is NOTHING sticks on the pan.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cdube

        You are certainly entitled to your experience but my experience with these "ceramic" alternatives is AWFUL. They require a lot of fussing to keep them "non-stick," and have limited use in my cooking repertoire: eggs and pancakes are about all I have found them useful to cook. After the first couple of uses, everything sticks to them again and you have to start all over.

        I prefer using cast iron. Indeed I gave away every single piece of my TFal and Teflon and Greenpans in favor of cast iron -- both naked and enamel -- and I haven't looked back. I wish I had done it years ago. Cast iron requires minimal fussing, is wonderfully non-stick, lasts for generations and is cheap to own. My cooking has improved tenfold ever since I began using them. Who knew? I sure didn't.

        Cautions: Cast iron is heavy and probably not appropriate for someone with arthritis. The naked pans need to be seasoned properly and though there are lots of different seasoning methods, you have to find one that works best for you.

        1. re: Ambimom

          I don't recall these 3 brands being discussed here before, but Greenpan has gotten some attention.

          It is worth while checking with a retailer that takes user comments, such as Amazon. I look at the number of comments, and the kinds of things that the negative ones complain about. Sometimes they are trivial matters, or indications that buyer did not understand the product. But they can also indicate serious problems, ones that might not surface until 6mths of use. If there are few reviews, then you are on your own.

        2. re: cdube

          Re: Starfrit "Ceram-Eco" pans. I'm not sure how long they are supposed to last; but after a year of use mine is beat up, the handle rivet comes loose all the time and it is very far from non-stick. I guess that is what I get for buying cheap pans.

        3. This months Cooks Illustrated magazine has an on reviews of these types of pans. They really didn't think much of any of them.

          1. I have purchased two of these pans.

            1) Todd English green pan. My thoughts are that the product is a piece of junk. I did not even get a full two months use and ran into intense sticking.

            2) Cuisinart Green gourmet. I picked up this pan on a 4-for-3 deal on Amazon. This pan really does what it is advertised to do. I have fried bacon, skinless chicken breast, sauces, egg whites and absolutely nothing sticks. (Note: I do regular cleaning methods, especially around the rivets, but most time a rinse and wipe is enough to clean).

            That being said, 95% of my cookware is SS, I have one cast iron, along with this one Cuisinart Green Gourmet pan. I think it's a great additional item to have and would consider buying maybe one more piece on clearance (if available). However, I think buying a whole set is unnecessary (but that is my view on any cookware type).

            1. For their purpose I am more than pleased with Cusinart's Green Gourmet non-sticks -I've been using the omlette/ frying pans with great results. They really work well for me.

              However, as another poster has stated most of my cookware is not non-stick pieces -copper, cast iron, stainless steel all have their places and uses. But when the need arises these green gourmet pieces have out preformed anything else I've seen.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chin_monster

                Thanks , have now found a new alternative- what do you think about Chantel's enameled steel cookware? Is it really non stick?

                1. re: normnew

                  normnew, first, a disclaimer: we do not own a nonstick pan, and cannot imagine that we ever will, nor do we own a Chantal. We probably will try the Chantal Copper Fusion for our next pan purchase -- if there ever is a next pan purchase.

                  Having disqualified ourselves to speak to your question from personal experience, we have looked at the consumer reviews of the Chantal Copper Fusion on Amazon. Not one of the reviews addresses the only issue we care about, how well it cooks food. Most the consumer reviews there strike the tone, "I was robbed! It's not Teflon!" From this we surmise that, like all well-made enamelware, the Chantal enamel is moderately nonstick, but that, for those who cannot live without Teflon, it is no substitute for Teflon.

              2. I was astonished --- and dismayed--- when Cook's came out so strongly against the Cuisinart Green Gourmet pans. I have been using two sizes, a 10" and a 12" for some time now and find them exceptional. Hmmmm. EXCEPTIONAL. Nothing sticks, they will withstand higher heats so I can finish certain recipes in the oven without qualms, they use almost no oil (I don't believe in NO oil for a number of reasons). In short, I have been thrilled with this new line. In the past I have thrown away dismally worn non-sticks even by such makers as AllClad (granted, for the Emeril line, but still).
                Have other people --- who have actually USED these pans---- had experiences like mine?
                Or is everyone here wedded to cast iron, which I have to say doesn't, and never has, worked for me, with the exception of my sturdy Le Creuset braiser?

                2 Replies
                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                  BerkshireTsarina, I am in full agreement with you. I still absolutely love my 10" griddle/crepe pan. I have made egg whites and scrambled eggs without adding ANY oil. I have stir fried veggies, pan fried, and even did a quick sauce in it. I love this thing and clean up is instant. I will probably get the 10" skillet whenever it goes on sale and maybe the grill pan. I hope they continue to carry the individual pieces; I have no need for a set but for someone that must have all non-stick cookware I think the Green Gourmet pans are the best of the best.

                  1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                    Cooks Illustrated does not want to play a role in sustainability. While I check them out regularly, I'm finding Cooks Illustrated a bit elitist. They almost always lean towards very expensive stuff ("Le Crueset" and "All Clad" All Le Time) with no interest in sustainability, organics or other more responsible foods and merchandise. I'm starting to see too that they are not testing for a typical home cook. One needs to sort out their language the particular interests you have. When they say that 'the pan cooked a chicken breast well but not crepes" so they don't recommend; are you making crepes for dinner?
                    Cooks (the foodie/cooking industry as a whole) really needs to become a more significant part of the conversation regarding responsible food. If we ask for it it will come.

                  2. I am sorry. Isn't the traditional seasoned carbon-steel and seasoned cast iron pans essentially nonstick? It is certainly more green than any other techniques and more traditional. I think we should consider them.

                    1. I have a 12 inch greenpan which did well for several months. My husband loved it. Then it started sticking. It was very difficult to clean too. I couldn't get through to HSN because I didn't save the receipt and didn't have an account number so they wouldn't even let me ask for help on their website. Has any one else had this problem with their greepans. Have any of them gotten a solution or any help on this?

                      1. I have had the Cuisinart 10 inch Green Pan for about a year. I've went through the seasoning process twice this year (which is not widely known or followed) but in the last several weeks virtually all the non-stick properties vanished (seemingly overnight) on my pan. The surface is shiny and perfect without even a mark but suddenly everything sticks to it like clue. I tried to re season it and still no luck. I was going to write to Cuisinart but most of what I have read deem that a waste of time. Apparently they pin the meter on the bad CS quotient. I guess if you get a good year out of a 50 buck pan you should be happy...Not sure I am

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tevans

                          <I have had the Cuisinart 10 inch Green Pan for about a year. I've went through the seasoning process twice this year (which is not widely known or followed) but in the last several weeks virtually all the non-stick properties vanished (seemingly overnight) on my pan.>

                          This is the sense we have gotten from many of these Green Pan views. Some last longer than others, but usually about 6 to 12 months -- assuming daily usage. This is actually shorter lifespans than the Teflon cookware.

                          Anyway, what surprised me is that many people said what you said, which is that the cookware 'suddenly' turns sticky as if the whole pan surface all goes bad at the same time.

                          Consider the fact that you need to season your Green Pan, and that you know how to season a cookware, have you looked into cast iron cookware or carbon steel cookware? Both cast iron and carbon steel cookware require oil seasoning. I am not sure if it is exactly the same as the one you did for Green Pan. Once cast iron and carbon steel cookware are seasoned, they become nonstick, and can be used for a long long time -- until the entire cookware completely fall apart which can be 25 to 100 years for household usage.

                          For cast iron, the obvious choice is the Lodge which is pretty inexpensive and easy to buy:

                          http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-10-...

                          http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L10SK3-12...

                          For carbon steel pans, look for DeBuyer if you have the money. If not, Lodge also offers a carbon steel line. Paderno and World Cuisine also have good reviews.

                          http://www.amazon.com/DeBuyer-Mineral...

                          http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-CRS10-Sea...

                        2. I own both GreenPans from Todd English (sold by HSN) and the Cuisinart version. I use the fry pans on a regular basis and the sauce pots occasionally. Actually, all of my pots and pans come from one of these two manufacturers with the exception of a couple of isolated pieces, so I have a good sense of how they wear. The GreenPans do work fairly well for about a year of 3-4 a week use then they do start sticking. However, I have had no problem sending them back and getting replacements. I have only done this once and it is about time to do it again on one pan.
                          I have had the Cuisinart pots and pans for about 2 years and while they don't get as much use as the GreenPans given the different sizes I have, they get used regularly and I've experienced absolutely no problems with them. They have never stick and they require less oil - no such thing in my opinion of a pan that doesn't require any - and clean up is much easier. I don't do anything special with them, such as seasoning, except what I was told to do with them when I initially got them. I got the set of Cuisinart at Amazon for a great price and then bought a few larger pans. They also seem like they are heavier gauge than the GreenPans. Bottom line is while the GreenPans are a good product and if buy through HSN (you should be able to get the receipt if you log in to the site if the purchase was within 2 or 3 years), you can get a replacement, but if I were to recommend one, go with Cuisinart. However, no experience with their replacement process.