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Finally, a GREAT non-stick fry pan!

Caroline1 Sep 15, 2013 11:34 PM

For years I have resigned myself to the routine of using an 8 inch non-stick pan for about six months or so, then throwing it away, buying a new one, and starting all over again. Didn't seem to matter much which "non-stick" surface I bought, they didn't last. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try the new "green" ceramic non-stick finish, brand name "Thermolon." The first one I bought was from Walmart, with a cushioned handle, and I would probably have stuck with it, but it was NOT induction friendly. So back it went. Well, after I gave it a trial run first. Yep, I did like the finish and it seemed super slick and super non-stick.

Ultimately, I ordered this one:
http://tinyurl.com/l9wyxm3

I got mine from amazon.com but couldn't figure out how to supply a url to it that didn't disclose my entire shopping history, so this place looks like a good store too...

Anyway, only time will tell how well it will hold up for the long term, but for the short term I love it! And I'm really glad I returned the lighter weight pan with the cushioned handle, because it had limits on how hot an oven it could be used in. THIS puppy is good up to a whopping 800F...!!! So now, if I ever decide to forego sous vide for steak cooking, this means I can sear in this pan and finish in a 500F oven with no sweat!

If you're looking for a great omelet pan that multi-tasks and does lots of other dishes too, I highly recommend this one! Thermolon purportedly has none of the health or safety issues that come with other non-stick finishes. What could be better than that? And if it holds up for 18 months, it will have paid for itself!

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  1. DuffyH Sep 16, 2013 01:17 AM

    Caroline,

    I've been eyeing that same pan in 10" for a while, but the negative reviews of the Thermolon have put me off. Recently I found some who've had their pans for more than 6 months with good results, and I *think* it comes down to periodic seasoning.

    Were there instructions suggesting that with your pan? It seems one of the pan makers used to suggest it but now says it not necessary and..... I'm so confused!

    Help a fellow 'Hound out, will you? :)

    24 Replies
    1. re: DuffyH
      Caroline1 Sep 16, 2013 02:33 AM

      Henckels/Zwilling makes no recommendations about "seasoning." That, plus I have no idea how to go about seasoning a non-stick pan. "Seasoning" means getting enough oils and other food safe residues to build up to a point where they give non-stick qualities to a pan. I don't think seasoning Teflon or other non-sticks is possible. I've had NO problems with the Thermolon. The information that came with the pan says it is a "Thermolon Granite" non-stick coating that is safe to use up to 850F, so I was 50 degrees short of tis maximum in my original post. I am curious where you found bad reviews on the Thermolon. I thought I had read all there was, but I must have missed something.

      My suggestion would be to buy it someplace that will take it back and give you a refund if you're unhappy with its performance. But I suspect you will like it!

      1. re: Caroline1
        DuffyH Sep 16, 2013 05:19 PM

        Hi Caroline,

        The seasoning I refer to is the same process used on stainless steel, not the cured durable stuff we use with our cast iron and carbon steel.

        In a nutshell, heat pan, add about 1/8" oil, bring oil to just barely at smoke point. Remove pan from heat and let cool. Dump oil and wipe pan completely clean. Because it's not really cooked on well, as soon as dish soap hits it, it's gone.

        For the bad reviews, see Amazon. I was really surprised, it being a Henckels pan. http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Thermolo...

        I hope it turns out to be a killer pan. I wouldn't mind a durable lightweight non-stick pan, not one little bit. I hope you'll review it again later and let us know how it holds up.

        1. re: DuffyH
          kaleokahu Sep 16, 2013 07:07 PM

          Hi, Car and Duffy:

          Let me try to shed a little light on Thermolon. You're both mostly right.

          It's a Stanley Cheng (Meyer Corp.) coating that has been put on a LOT of "celeb" and other pans. The first iterations were terrible (Can we say, "Todd English"?). So they changed the formulation or process, and apparently for the better. Unfortunately, they still call both formulations Thermolon.

          Which formulation is which? Ah, there's the rub!

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu
            Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 05:47 AM

            So far, mine is outperforming traditional non-stick surfaces by a country mile, but how far down the road will I still be saying that? hmmmm...

            1. re: kaleokahu
              DuffyH Sep 17, 2013 04:56 PM

              <Which formulation is which? Ah, there's the rub!>

              Kaleo,

              Thanks for giving us that evolution, it does clear things up a bit. And explains the almost universally bad reviews for some of the pans made with it, while others fare much better.

              I've chosen to believe that Caroline has the good stuff. Why? Go ahead, ask. I'll wait.

              So glad you asked! Caroline must have one of the good ones for 2 reasons. First, because she's Caroline. I mean, that's reason enough, yeah? Second, I just don't want to believe that Henckels/Zwilling and, by extension, Demeyere, would embrace a crappy coating.

              1. re: DuffyH
                Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 08:37 PM

                Just in case I run into failure mode, I'm keeping a can of Pam handy! Thanks for your faith though. But you're risking giving me a big head! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1
                  seedyone Sep 27, 2013 04:50 AM

                  Having read somewhere ( I think it was the folks @ Cook's Ill.) that most spray-on oils, like PAM, contain lecithin & will build up a residue on non-stick pans over time, I tried another way.

                  I bought an Orka mister ( http://tinyurl.com/k4s5qne ) & have had great success.

                  A few tips on it's use: 1) experience tells me that oils & rubber O rings can conflict over time, so I use a small funnel to fill the thing to avoid contact. 2) respect the "Max Fill" line. 3) after each use unscrew the pump to release the pressure then re-tighten before storing even for short periods. This takes the pressure off the seal.

                  After about 12-15 pumps you will get a sustained spray of whatever oil (or other liquid) you choose to use.

                  Used sparingly, the oil remains in tiny droplets that won't pool as readily.

                  Having one for salad oil & another for cooking oil works wonders.

                  1. re: seedyone
                    Caroline1 Sep 27, 2013 08:50 AM

                    You live in the hands of good fortune! I think I've had about for or five of those oil spritzers, some expensive, some not, and for the most part they all start shooting a stream instead of a mist before they need to be refilled the first time. <sigh>

                    As for Cooks Illustrated, it sounds as if they're handing out bad information AGAIN....!!! And that they've talked you in to wasting your money *IF* you only bought the oil spritzers in order to limit how much lecithin you put in your non-stick frying pans. Here's some information about lecithin. It's truly GOOD STUFF!
                    http://tinyurl.com/b9pvxbk
                    The article goes into detail about what lecithin is and it's benefits. We can't live without it! And I guarantee lecithin will not make a non-stick pan sticky. EVER! (Assuming you wash and care for it properly.)

                    One important but fun fact about lecithin is that it is an emulsifier. In fact, it is the Vitamin E/lecithin in an egg yolk that allows us to transform a "vinaigrette" into a mayonnaise! It's the lecithin that make the binding link that allows oil and water to bond and stabilize in the same molecule.

                    So NO! NO! NO! Lecithin will NOT build up on a non-stick pan and make it stick. On the other hand, if you don't wash your pan, you'll develop sticking problems, but not because of lecithin. Things like cooking oils, egg yolks, many vegetables and all animal proteins have a goodly amount of lecithin in them....

                    But I AM sending the damned pan back because it doesn't seem to have a shred of non-stick left in it, and that's in only two weeks of occasional use.... <sigh> So it's back to my good old "non-stick" cast iron!!! Just the way God intended. '-)

              2. re: kaleokahu
                DuffyH Sep 21, 2013 01:51 PM

                I'm seeing both white (cream) and the gray Thermolon. Is there a difference? Is the white the old stuff? Or can it be made in any color they want?

                1. re: DuffyH
                  kaleokahu Sep 21, 2013 09:49 PM

                  Hi, Duffy:

                  I do not know. All I know is that some packaging screams: "new formula" and "2". See, e.g., the CH "review".

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

              3. re: DuffyH
                Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 05:45 AM

                Duffy, I've never heard of that "cure" method for stainless steel. At the risk of sounding like a boor, that "curing" method sounds to me like an outright waste of oil! It will do nothing to the pan that just pouring in the amount of oil you need to do something like searing a roast, and then sear away. What is gained by this?

                I have now read the bad reviews on amazon.com,and to be honest, I would have gone ahead and bought the pan. There are 107 five star reviews to a grand total of 61 ratings at four stars and below, 23 of which give only one star. Those aren't terrible odds. However, since it's me who is betting on them, I won't be surprised if I land in the one star ranks. That's my kind of luck!

                Non-stick is an elusive goal that I don't think any manufacturer or researcher, including NASA, has yet to achieve. Some of the things I don't like about non-stick is that it is impossible to get a thin film of oil on its surface, but you have to put enough oil in the pan that it can only pool pan wide. That's NOT low fat cooking! And how fragile the surface is is a major pain.

                If housekeepers were not a necessity of life for me, I would go back to well cured and wonderful omelet pans of yore, but housekeepers are not cooks and do not understand or follow directions, so using non-stick pans greatly reduces the risk of me going viral every time a housekeeper scrubs out my omelet pan with SOS. Live and let live, and accommodate when you can. Works for me... '-)

                1. re: Caroline1
                  kaleokahu Sep 17, 2013 09:46 AM

                  Hi, Car:

                  "It will do nothing to the pan that just pouring in the amount of oil you need to do something like searing a roast, and then sear away."

                  Nope. For never hearing of this method of "seasoning", you have a high level of certitude! It is a qualitatively different animal than just oiling the pan normally. In fact you usually need to *also* oil the pan as the preparation requires. I can't fully explain what is happening (whatever is there is not visible to the naked eye), but it's real.

                  Now then, the effect isn't permanent, and it's certainly not as durable as the seasoning we're used to with CI. It would not survive your housekeepers' SOS pads.

                  If you want to try it, Duffy's method differs slightly from mine. I stop heating at just *below* the oil's smoke point, and she apparently takes it just *to* it.

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu
                    Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 10:42 AM

                    Sounds bizarre to me. Why wouldn't simply wiping the interior of the pan with an oily paper towel accomplish the same thing? Maybe someday when I'm bored out of my gourd I'll give it a try to see if I find a discernible difference. What! ME a Doubting Thomas? Oh, well. Somebody's gotta do it.

                    1. re: Caroline1
                      kaleokahu Sep 17, 2013 10:58 AM

                      Hi, Car:

                      Well it sounded bizarre to me, too, when I first heard about it. I probably posted about it being a non-starter, too.

                      But then I got my (aluminum) omelet pan and the book by Chef Rudolph Stanish and tried this method. Worked great. Then I read on the Vollrath University website about doing the same with SS, and "seasoned" my W-S Thermoclad skillet. THEN, I thought "Why not?", and tried it with tin-lined copper and enameled cast iron. They're all a little different, but the "seasoning" improves food release in all of them.

                      My theory is that this heated-then-cooled method creates a(n admittedly) weak bond between the oil film and the pan, that a simple cold or hot wipe doesn't.

                      Aloha,
                      Kaleo

                    2. re: kaleokahu
                      Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 08:34 PM

                      hmmmm... I'm not volunteering as a tester, BUT...! *IF* it really does make a difference it seems logical it would be because the oil sets up some sort of "lattice" across the surface of the pan that promotes better performance. *IF* that is the case, then why wouldn't simply heating the pan, then applying a coat of oil with a paper towel and reapplying the heat work? No matter. It all seems a little "iffy" to me, but hey, magic DOES happen in kitchens, so why not? But if anyone wants my share of the pixie dust, it's okay. I can't think of a reason why I would need it. Things seem to be fine as they are.... '-)

                      I'm such a cynic!

                      1. re: kaleokahu
                        m
                        mikie Oct 29, 2013 07:26 AM

                        The instructions that come with the Viking cookware include "seasoning" pans. Wash with soap and warm water, rinse, place the pan on the stovetop and pour in some oil and heat. Prior to the oil smoking, remove the pan from the heat, pour out the oil, wash in warm soapy water and comence cooking. Obviously, you need to add oil again prior to cooking.

                        I don't understand how this works, but if the manufacturer, in this case Demeyere, thinks it's important, then who am I to argue. I've done it on both saute pans and 9.5" skillet.

                        1. re: mikie
                          kaleokahu Oct 29, 2013 09:27 AM

                          Hi, mikie:

                          Interesting that Viking says to wash the pan with soap after "seasoning". I would just rinse it out, or scrub it out with salt and oil, but if it works...

                          Another strange trick I learned from the Stanish book is to use only salted butter. For some reason, foods stick less (and/or the "seasoning" lasts longer) than when using unsalted.

                          Aloha,
                          Kaleo

                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            DuffyH Oct 29, 2013 02:02 PM

                            Hey Kaleo,

                            I've seen something similar. Some people recommend adding seasonings, i.e. salt & pepper, to a cast iron skillet before adding an egg. In the skillet I could see it working like semolina on a pizza peel, acting like ball bearings for the food on top of it. But salted butter seems odd to me, because the salt isn't in suspension, is it?

                            1. re: DuffyH
                              kaleokahu Oct 29, 2013 03:13 PM

                              Hi, Duffy:

                              I'll leave it to someone like Harold McGee to tell us why salted butter works better than unsalted (since Stanish can't). I can't explain it.

                              You are right that the salt in salted butter is in solution, not suspension.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                      2. re: Caroline1
                        DuffyH Sep 17, 2013 05:02 PM

                        Caroline,

                        <I won't be surprised if I land in the one star ranks. That's my kind of luck!>

                        I'm pulling for you, I hope it lasts years! And hey, if things do start to stick, you can always give it a complete cleaning and then season it like it's stainless steel. :)

                        As for seasoning SS, you're not alone among people who think it won't work. I was like Kaleo, though, and figured it would be fun to find out. I'm a believer, it does work.

                        1. re: Caroline1
                          C. Hamster Sep 17, 2013 05:05 PM

                          You're right.

                          You don't season SS

                          1. re: C. Hamster
                            DuffyH Sep 17, 2013 05:26 PM

                            <You don't season SS>

                            *You* don't, but people who know how much it improves pan performance do.

                      3. re: Caroline1
                        j
                        John Francis Sep 20, 2013 12:42 PM

                        My T-Fal nonstick skillet wasn't so nonstick when I put it right on the burner after unwrapping it. Then I read the instructions on the package, and they said the pan should be seasoned and gave instructions. So I did what they said, and the T-Fal was immediately as slick as can be. That was about 6 months ago and it still is. Just for your information, not a recommendation, since you want a pan that will take very high temperatures and the T-Fal doesn't.

                        1. re: Caroline1
                          DuffyH Sep 21, 2013 05:03 AM

                          <The information that came with the pan says it is a "Thermolon Granite" non-stick coating... >

                          I noticed that addition of "Granite" and it made me wonder if that's how they're distinguishing the new formula from the old, or if it's simply a bit of label puffery to allow the high-end makers some cachet to set them apart from the rest of the Thermolon herd. I suspect the latter.

                      4. r
                        Rigmaster Sep 17, 2013 08:23 AM

                        Thermolon is a ceramic non-stick coating and shouldn't need seasoning. Not sure if there are long-term studies about it's durability or overall safety, but it's meant to be better than before. Handwashing is still recommended as harsh detergents in dishwashing liquid probably aren't good for it's smooth surface.

                        All coated products are subject to coating flaking off so it's never accurate to think of any as 100% safe.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Rigmaster
                          DuffyH Sep 17, 2013 05:12 PM

                          Rigmaster,

                          I can't recall where I saw it, but one cookware maker is now warning against using dish soap or DW detergent made with lemon or citric acid. That's about all the high end (i.e. "effective") detergents and a good chunk of the dish soap liquids. This was for stainless steel cookware, but again, can't recall the maker.

                          Now I'm wondering if this isn't part of the reason some people are getting 'stuck' with sticky Thermolon 6 months after buying it.

                          If lemon dish soaps are harsh, I guess my fallback oven cleaner is out of the question?

                          Just kidding. I only use oven cleaner on my frypans when the underside gets all gunked up. :)

                          1. re: DuffyH
                            g
                            gourmanda Sep 20, 2013 06:39 AM

                            FWIW, back when we had our dishwasher installed 15 years ago, the installer admonished us to never, ever use detergent with lemon in the description. He said it would scratch/mar the glasses and plates. Never did use anything with lemon and those same glasses are still scratch free! The DW racks, OTOH, have rusted out to the point of needing to replace the whole darn thing :(

                        2. w
                          willownt Sep 17, 2013 09:43 AM

                          If you provide an amazon link, we won't be able to see your shopping history...only you can, because you're signed in.

                          It looks like you mean this one?
                          http://www.amazon.com/Zwilling-TruCla...

                          1. Chemicalkinetics Sep 17, 2013 10:28 AM

                            Thanks for the review. Yes, these ceramic pan can go up to much higher heat than the normal Teflon pan. However, many of them last shorter than Teflon pans as well. Let us know how long this puppy will hold out for you.

                            By the way, don't worry. No one can see your shopping history.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 10:37 AM

                              Thanks, Ck.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                d
                                divadmas Sep 27, 2013 01:46 PM

                                ceramic pans work ok but a lifetime warranty is worthwhile. not just the nonstick but esp on larger pans and unless there is heavy bottom perhaps with laminated disk, pans will warp under high (and not terribly high) heat or if you deglaze. you will notice on glass top stoves esp but the warpage is not minor and happens even if i am careful.

                              2. Candy Sep 17, 2013 01:01 PM

                                I am a Swiss Diamond fan. Pricy? Yes, but I have used mine for 7-8 years with no scratching or peeling.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: Candy
                                  Caroline1 Sep 17, 2013 01:36 PM

                                  Mine is two or thee years old and no longer releases as well as it did when it was new. I don't use it much anymore because it doesn't work on induction. Rats!

                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                    Candy Sep 21, 2013 02:00 PM

                                    I've had mine a lot longer than that and have had no problems. Sorry to hear that you are having difficulties.

                                    1. re: Candy
                                      kaleokahu Sep 21, 2013 10:07 PM

                                      Hi, Candy:

                                      My SD lasted tolerably well for about 5 years. Then it gradually lost it and started to stick badly. I recently deep-cleaned it by boiling vinegar in it then scrubbing with baking soda. My judgment is that it's back to about the 3 year mark. 9-10 years would make it a good value (This was a $100 gift). Scratches, though, none.

                                      My biggest bitch about my SD is its ever-looseing handle. I can just tell (from experience) that if I tighten it any tighter, she's gonna break.

                                      Aloha,
                                      Kaleo

                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                        Caroline1 Sep 22, 2013 01:18 AM

                                        Have you tried contacting the company? I'm pretty sure mine came with a lifetime warranty, but I'm not sure because I threw the card away!

                                        1. re: Caroline1
                                          kaleokahu Sep 22, 2013 09:14 AM

                                          Hi, Car:

                                          No, I haven't. The SD "lifetime warranty" is pretty worthless and it excludes handles (and virtually everything else):

                                          "SWISS DIAMOND warrants to the original owner of the cookware that it is free of defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product. This warranty does not cover glass lids or handles.

                                          This warranty does not apply if the Use and Care instructions published in our literature have not been followed. This warranty does not cover damage or destruction caused by misuse, abuse, accident, overheating, alterations or commercial use. This warranty does not cover stains, discoloration, scratch marks or dents. Incidental or consequential damages are expressly excluded by this warranty.

                                          SWISS DIAMOND will repair or replace, at SWISS DIAMOND’s discretion, any item found to be defective. Should the defective item no longer be available, for whatever reason, an item of similar function and value will be substituted. This warranty is expressly not a money-back guarantee.

                                          In the event the cookware needs to be returned for repair or replacement, it must be mailed back prepaid."

                                          Frankly, a lot of my motivation about non-stick went south after I got and seasoned my bare aluminum Stanish omelet pan. About the only time I reach for the SD is when I make pancakes, which isn't very often.

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                        2. re: kaleokahu
                                          Candy Sep 22, 2013 12:49 PM

                                          There is a warranty with those pans. I'd contact SD in NYC and request that they replace it. I never heard from any of my customers about loose handles or sticking issues. I had one or two come back shortly after purchase. One customer swore the rim of the pan just started peeling.....yeah if you stack something heavy on it. I cannot remember what the other was, it has been awhile. SD replaced them pronto. We all in the store us SD for non-stick and none of us has had a problem.

                                          1. re: Candy
                                            kaleokahu Sep 22, 2013 01:11 PM

                                            Hi, Candy:

                                            Really? You think SD would replace my perpetually loose-handled pan even though their warranty specifically *excludes* handles?

                                            What I don't want to happen is the Le Creuset Gambit, where you send them your pan, they "retire" it because of liability reasons, and they toss you a bone in the form of a meaningless discount (e.g., 20% off MSRP) on a new one. I'd rather J-b Weld the handle into place.

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo

                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                              Caroline1 Sep 22, 2013 01:20 PM

                                              What's it gonna cost you to ask? '-)

                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                kaleokahu Sep 22, 2013 02:20 PM

                                                OK, for you, I'll ask.

                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                  DuffyH Sep 22, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                  I'll hold the bets. 0:)

                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                    Caroline1 Sep 22, 2013 03:45 PM

                                                    Tell us when the new pan arrives. '-)

                                    2. financialdistrictresident Sep 17, 2013 01:33 PM

                                      I buy NSF rated non-stick pans and never have a problem. The brand is Winco. I have an 8 1/2" (small) and a larger size. They last for years.

                                      Have no idea about health or safety issues.

                                      1. DeborahL Sep 19, 2013 11:04 AM

                                        The CHOW editors actually tested a GreenPan with that new Thermolon coating. You can see their conclusions here:

                                        http://www.chow.com/reviews/9-greenpa...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: DeborahL
                                          kaleokahu Sep 19, 2013 11:23 AM

                                          Hi, Deborah:

                                          I note that your review concluded: "Like all nonstick pans, the coating doesn't last forever. And if you cook over high heat for prolonged periods of time, you shorten the surface's effective life."

                                          Was this based on months of use, or just a generic observation about all non-stick pans?

                                          I suggest you send your test Green Pan home with a tester for 6-9 months of heavy use, and then report on how the coating *actually* holds up. This would be far more useful to the CH community.

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                        2. DuffyH Sep 19, 2013 02:20 PM

                                          Caroline,

                                          Check out this thread (with a tip of the hat to Cowboyardee for mentioning it) at about post 13 or 14. It seems baking soda will restore a sticky Thermolon pan.

                                          File it under "good to know", just in case.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: DuffyH
                                            Caroline1 Sep 19, 2013 03:53 PM

                                            Sounds good, but are you pulling a Caroline and forgot to include the link??? '-)

                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                              DuffyH Sep 19, 2013 04:32 PM

                                              Well, slap me silly!

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/430267

                                              1. re: DuffyH
                                                Caroline1 Sep 20, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                LOL Thanks

                                                1. re: DuffyH
                                                  Caroline1 Sep 20, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                  Ah hah! Just read it. The "magic" is that baking soda is a very mild abrasive, so it seems that rubbing baking soda with a paper towel across the surface removes any super-fine residual foods or other particles that cause sticking.

                                                  If anything starts sticking, I'll give it a try. It makes sense. Thanks!

                                            2. w
                                              Worldwide Diner Sep 20, 2013 06:32 AM

                                              I don't cook every day but I love my Scanpan.

                                              1. g
                                                gfr1111 Sep 22, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                The tinyurl.com web site address which Caroline 1 gave us says that the frying pan is good only up to 500 degrees. The Amazon website does not comment on the temperature. 800 degrees sounds terrific, Caroline 1, but that claim must have come with the pan, or at least, it is not listed on the Amazon website.

                                                I must have bought an early green pan because someone on this board just said that the pan was first marketed in 2007. My experience with the pan was pretty good, considering how I abused it.

                                                I bought it from a late night television advertisement for (I think) $19.99. It was about 10 inches, as I recall. I heated up the coating way high and it did not start smoking the way Teflon pans do. Despite the fact that I cranked up the heat on the pan repeatedly, it remained non-stick for maybe a couple of years. Then it started sticking, but I never expect to get more than a year or so out of a non-stick pan., especially when I superheat them (which I always do). So my experience was generally positive.

                                                My chief criticism of the pan is that--as might be expected for a pan selling for $20--the pan is very thin and I prefer (and would be willing to pay more) for a pan with a thicker aluminum body.

                                                All in all, I would buy it again and will, considering its cheap price.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: gfr1111
                                                  Caroline1 Sep 22, 2013 01:19 PM

                                                  It does say safe up to 850F on the packaging that comes with the pan. It also says 500F at the top of the page here:
                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-8-Thermo...
                                                  But if you scroll down to the Product Description section, it does say safe to 850F there. I don't expect to ever have the chance to challenge that as my ovens will not reach 850F! But at least I feel that I don't have to worry about the pan melting if I put it in the hottest oven I can manage. '-)

                                                2. Caroline1 Sep 23, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                  Well, I take it all back. NOT so great. Made an omelet in it this morning with clarified butter. The eggs stuck to the pan like super glue! Took four hours of soaking to get it free. I'm going back to my tried and true cast iron non-stick. Some days you absolutely do NOT get what you paid for! :-(

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                    Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                    Is this the first time it sticks? Or are you experiencing this again and again?

                                                    I know a lot of these ceramic nonstick pans last about 6 months or so. Of course, this depends on the usage level. Your "1-week" life time is probably the shortest I have read online. :)

                                                    If these ceramic pans have the same lifetime as Teflon pans, then they would have taken over the market -- because (1) ceramic pans are potentially safer, (2) can be used at much higher temperature, (3) can withstand metal utensils, (4) potentially better for the environment.

                                                    As it stands, it is definitely not better for the environment due to their much shorter life spans.

                                                    Thanks for the update.

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      Caroline1 Sep 23, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                      Yup. First time I've had a sticking problem, and I have absolutely no clue as to why. Weird.

                                                      1. re: Caroline1
                                                        Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                        I heard that the pan will continue to last awhile after the first sticking problem. e.g. the problem may go away and then come back and then go away -- more frequently as time passes.

                                                        So maybe you can push for another few months of usage if you like.

                                                    2. re: Caroline1
                                                      DuffyH Sep 23, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                      Maybe try the baking soda cleaning first? It couldn't hurt.

                                                      Also, is there a chance the eggs were really cold? I've had quite a bit of sticking even in my DeBuyer pans with really cold eggs.

                                                    3. Will Owen Sep 23, 2013 06:52 PM

                                                      There's a chef in the group I go camping with a couple of times a year, and he always brings his portable cooking gear and enough breakfast stuff to share. I'd left my iron skillet at home last time, since Jim always has enough gear to share anyway. I was watching him throw potatoes and stuff around in what looked like a collection of those cheap black-lined nonstick pans they have at the Asian markets here in LA County. He was also using his regular utensils on them … so I asked. Yup, he said. They work really well until they don't, but they're so cheap he just buys them several at a time.

                                                      Of course this flies in the face of all many of us hold dear about conserving resources and sustainability, not to mention worrying about whatever might be in that coating, but as far as this guy is concerned a pan is just a tool, and if a cheap one works well enough for a few months that's all that matters. I will admit that the next time I was at my favorite Asian market I was looking over a few $10 nonstick "woks" …

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                                        Chemicalkinetics Sep 23, 2013 07:37 PM

                                                        < but as far as this guy is concerned a pan is just a tool, and if a cheap one works well enough for a few months that's all that matters.>

                                                        This is certainly something I have given some thoughts about. A lot of the >$100 nonstick pans have proprietary special Teflon coating which makes them last longer, but the extra longevity may not make up for the signficantly cost increase.

                                                        A Scanpan or a Swiss Diamond pan is about $80. Will it last 5-8 times longer than those $10 nonstick pan?

                                                      2. DuffyH Oct 2, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                        Caroline,

                                                        Have you been able to rescue the pan and restore it's non-stickiness? If yes, how please?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: DuffyH
                                                          Caroline1 Oct 3, 2013 04:37 AM

                                                          Tried the baking soda and that seemed to make it worse. I'm in the process of sending it back. When even an egg fried in deep butter sticks in a "non-stick" pan, you can bet your bippy it ain't non-stick!

                                                          HOWEVER..... If you've ever heard of Murphy's Law*, you need to be aware that you're talking to Mrs. Murphy! Back in the 60s when pyroceram pots and pans (aka Corning Ware) first came out, when I cooked in mine, it scorched! The ceramic scorched! It looked just like a used tile off a space shuttle! Which means there is some chance that I got the only Thermalon lemon ever to leave the factory... It's possible!

                                                          *If it can go wrong, plan on it.

                                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                                            DuffyH Oct 3, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                            <HOWEVER..... If you've ever heard of Murphy's Law*, you need to be aware that you're talking to Mrs. Murphy!>

                                                            Ah, I understand, and it explains why it took less than a month for your pan to fail. I'm never getting on line behind you, that's for sure. ;)

                                                        2. j
                                                          Jeff C Oct 3, 2013 05:01 AM

                                                          I have had several SCANPAN CTX pans with the ceramic non-stick. They are fantastic. Stainless clad w/ aluminum core. Induction friendly.

                                                          One pan, the 8" fry gets used 3x per day. Use any utensil in it, lifetime replacement, very solid pans.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Jeff C
                                                            DuffyH Oct 3, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                            Jeff,

                                                            How long have you owned them?

                                                            What is your cleaning routine?

                                                            Do you do anything to help preserve the non-stick character, such as season with oil?

                                                            1. re: DuffyH
                                                              j
                                                              Jeff C Oct 3, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                              Owned them 3+ years. heavily used.
                                                              cleaning routine= everything from a paper towel to clean out 8" after fried eggs (they do not stick) to pots crubber mode in dishwasher. I use metal tools in them. Purchased from Sur La Table and Great News (San Diego) ... Both stores will honor Scan Pan's life time warranty so you can just exchange it at the store IF it ever starts to stick.

                                                            2. re: Jeff C
                                                              l
                                                              LaBucherie Oct 28, 2013 10:27 PM

                                                              I've been using a 10" scanpan with the metal handle for about 2 years. Quite heavily. Made in Denmark -- pretty darn nice I think. I noticed it wasn't performing as well, lately, so I checked the website and the copy suggested that I let the pan soak in baking soda paste and then use a non-scratching (I forget the term they used) scouring pad to clean off the carbonization. That worked well and it's back in business. It was expensive (to my way thinking) and I've been pretty impressed with it so far. Perhaps I (or my partner :) ) could be caring for it better so that the carbon wouldn't have built up.

                                                            3. Caroline1 Oct 29, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                              For an update, I still have the pan. I had it sitting in the box waiting for me to tape it up and turn it back in to UPS, but then I needed a pan for something and took it out. Since then, I have discovered that making a paste out of baking soda and scrubbing the interior of the pan with it just about every use does encourage it to perform well as a non-stick pan. I just don't understand why I can crisp up one grilled cheese sandwich in butter and it doesn't stick, but try to do a second one and I've got problems. Oh well, baking soda is dirt cheap! '-)

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                i
                                                                INDIANRIVERFL Oct 29, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                These things are suppose to make life easier, and instead you have to go through a special cleaning routine. There are multiple solutions for multiple cooks.

                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                  DuffyH Oct 29, 2013 01:54 PM

                                                                  Caroline,

                                                                  Cook the grilled cheese on carbon steel. It'll taste better. :)

                                                                  Still, I'm glad to know there's a way to make it work as intended. I suppose a quick baking soda scrub isn't really any more trouble than using BKF, which it seems I use every time I cook in my SS frypans.

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