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Jun 29, 2010 09:00 PM

Cheap non-stick without Teflon (Ikea vs. Greenware vs. ???)


I'm finally breaking free from the roommates. Our cookware is currently a hodgepodge of cheap aluminum/Teflon and stainless steel pieces, plus my cast iron skillet. I'll likely keep the skillet, but leave the rest up for grabs.

To build my collection, I'd like to start by adding one stainless steel frying pan and one non-stick pan without Teflon. I've heard good things about Cuisinart Greenware, and about Ikea's ceramic-coated pans, but I'm not sure whether my sources are reliable.

Do you have any thoughts?

Sorry if this has been discussed. I searched "ceramic" "ikea" etc. but didn't find what I was looking for.

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  1. Really? I heard bad thing about Cuisinart Greenware, but it is just rumors. Keep in mind that there is nothing green about a pan if you have to toss it out every 6 months. I like to agree with a few people here that a well-seasoned carbon steel pan is almost nonstick, has high heat tolerance and it lasts very long (>10 years).

    As for things like Swiss Diamond pans, they are just doing false advertisements.

    Tanuki Soup is probably only person I met who has experienced a long living nonstick pan:

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Thanks for responding. Why do they only last 6 months?

      As I said, I plan to purchase a steel pan (or two) for sure. That would be my primary pan. But there are just certain dishes (egg/dairy are a great example for me) that are just so much easier out of a non-stick.

      1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

        Hi Bone,

        In your original post, you wrote stainless steel pan. That is not the same as a carbon steel pan.

        As for the 6 months comment, it was just a little jab. I believe these green pans are like Teflon pans. If you take real good care of them, then you can use them for a long time. For many people, they just don't last super long. If you look at the Amazon reviews, there are some good ones and some not so good ones. Most of the negative ones are about the longevity of it.

      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Hi CK,

        I'm quite fond of the Silit Silargan Fry N Serve pan you linked to, but unfortunately, it's rather pricey, and the OP was asking about "cheap" alternatives to Teflon.

        Actually, along the same lines as the Silit Silargan pan (not Teflon, but reasonably non-stick), I might recommend the Mario Batali 10" enameled cast iron saute pan, which has a smooth, cream-colored enamel interior (see attached photo).

        I agree with you that a nicely seasoned *carbon* steel frying pan is a joy to cook with. I use mine much more often than than either the Silit Silargan or Mario Batali pans, but not for eggs.

        For eggs (and especially omelets), I really don't think you can beat a nice thick aluminum frying pan with a high-grade Teflon coating. IME, if you handle such a pan with care (no metal utensils, even if the manufacturer claims they are okay), limit yourself to medium heat, hand wash it with a soft sponge and mild detergent, and use it only for eggs (and maybe the occasional fish), it will last a lot longer than 6 months.


        1. re: tanuki soup

          I agree. For eggs, Telfon coating is still the best and if one only dedicate this Telfon pan to eggs and low heating cooking, then it will last a long time. The problem is when one starts to use high heat and sharp utensils on it.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I am with you 100% on the sharp utensils part, but my omelet technique requires the last 30 seconds or so to be on the highest possible heat--if you're curious, I flip the omelet over, cheese side down, and blast the heat to crust up the cheese.

            With the specific heat of the omelet in the fold, I hope that's not a problem. But I'd still rather an enamel pan than teflon, if it's a reasonable alternative.

            1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy


              Enameled cast iron cookware are not entirely stickless like Telfon. It is not any more stickless than a well-seasoned cast iron cookware. In my experience, less. You can read a few posts and get other's experience on this:


              There are two issues of using an enameled cast iron pan for your technique. First, cast iron pans have slow heat response. I am sure you have noticed that in your regular bare cast iron pan. So when you blast the heat to crust up the cheese. The enameled cast iron pan will heat up very slowly. Second, enameled cast iron is not for fast temperature change especially at high heat because the enameled surface can crack under such condition. The second point may be less of a concern because I doubt you will heat up the pan too high for an omelet.

              If you don't like Teflon, you should also consider a carbon steel (not stainless steel) pan for you egg technique.

          2. re: tanuki soup


            In helping the original poster, what would you use for eggs in place of a Teflon pan. In other words, what is your second choice? My choice would be a seasoned carbon steel pan. Would you recommend an enameled cast iron pan?

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Given the OP's omelet technique, I agree that cast iron (enameled or not) is probably not the best choice. I'd do the same as you and go with carbon steel. After all, isn't the "carbon steel omelet pan" the traditional pan for making a French omelet? I think de Buyer makes a nice one. Actually, don't you use a de Buyer pan, CK?

              BTW, in Julia Child's famous omelet video, she uses a non-stick pan, IIRC.

                1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

                  Just came across this:


                  Consumer Reports ranks EarthPan high among other green pans. Meyer's Corporation Senior Sales Director admits that it does not hold up to the durability of Meyer’s popular Circulon line of non-stick pans: "The best green product is not going to be up to the performance of our higher-end non-stick cookware."

                  So maybe you can consider EarthPan, but keep in mind that even its manufacturer admits EarthPan, like most greenpans, is less durable than high end Telfon cookware.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Thanks. I also love the Fox News' backhanded commentary about global warming. I'm glad they could even sneak it into a frying pan review.

        2. Got it. Thank you both! Cookware is one area where I'm relatively clueless.

          With regard to the green pans, that's unfortunate. I figured the coating would be more resilient than that. I read the neg reviews, and assumed those people didn't know how to handle a non-stick (e.g. scratching the surface with a fork while cooking).

          Maybe I'll go with the Batali pan (enamel-coated is along the lines of what I'm looking for) and look into carbon steel pans as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

            I recommend carbon steel. I've converted to it for almost everything. No non-stick or cast iron. Here's a link where I found a good deal on them:


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