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EXCEPTIONAL 'NONSTICK' COOKWARE

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I'm in desperate need of some cookware that's nonstick, won't peel off in a few days, and cooks like a dream. If anyone can recommend something that'll make me cook like an "Iron Chef", please let me know!

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  1. Modern nonstick cookware is more durable than early versions. I have one piece of Scanpan Classic which I like, but haven't had it long enough to say how it will hold up. There are many other brands with the newer coatings.

    6 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      I never heard of it! I'll do some research. Thanks a TON!

      1. re: themasterbakes

        Silly me! I have heard of that cookware. I remember seeing the video on youtube! THANKS AGAIN!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9oeV...

      2. re: GH1618

        I'll double the Scanpan, I have both the classic and the pro, I prefer the metal handle, just me. I've had the classic pan for several years and it still is in good shape. The Pro is newer and is also functioning very well. I expect at some point they will start to loose some of the non-stick traits, but so far so good.

        1. re: mikie

          Thanks a lot Mickie!

          1. re: themasterbakes

            Oh, and Scanpan has a complete line that includes frying pans, sauté pans, griddles, sauce pans, the works.

            1. re: mikie

              Sounds like winner! Thanks you very much.

      3. I am loving the T-Fal Ultimate Hard-Anodized nonstick frying pan I bought on Amazon several months ago. It is a Cook's Illustrated recommendation and only costs around $20. There is a red dot in the center that turns darker when the pan has finished preheating. There are grooves in the underside but the main areas of the pan lie flat on my vintage Amana cooktop, which is essential with this stove. I use it almost daily; it hasn't warped, and still looks brand new.

        6 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          Cooks Illustrated, huh? They always have great recommendations! Thanks!

          1. re: greygarious

            Cooks Illustrated recommended the T-Fal Professional line. Is the Ultimate another line? T-Fal said their pro line was their top line. I was going to buy the Pro one but there are over 100 1 star reviews on Amazon. They say the center of the pan is raised which causes an oil placed in the pan to pool around the edges. Some also mentioned the coating coming off and flaking after a short time.

            I just picked up a gorgeous Moneta 10" ceramic fry pan from Italy at TjMAXX yesterday. It's from their Symphony line and was only $19.99. It's a higher end pan with gorgeous Italian design, and usually much more.

            1. re: blondelle

              I don't know if they are different lines or just a name change. My pan looks identical to the ones I see Kimball and Co. using on their TV shows. This is what I have: http://www.amazon.com/T-fal-Thermo-Sp...
              I've used it since February. The reviews are overwhelmingly good. The negative ones reference scratching and warping so it's hard to know how much credence to put in them. If the complainers used metal utensils or put their hot pans into cold water, they created these problems themselves. Not enough detail to make a judgment.

              1. re: greygarious

                I had T-Fal several years ago, and the coating flaked off in my food. My guests thought it was pepper! (lol)

                1. re: greygarious

                  Nope, not the same ones. The Professional has straight sides at an angle and are not anodized aluminum but rather aluminum clad with stainless steel.

                2. re: blondelle

                  "Cooks Illustrated recommended the T-Fal Professional line."

                  Agreed. Although I've never used it, it would be my choice if I actually used nonstick.

                  My girlfriend has a Better Homes & Gardens set. It's kind of textured with square pyramid thingies on the inside bottom. I don't know if that has anything to do with its longevity but those pans are still holding very strong after a few years -- Just a few scratches from the 11 and 16 yr old girls before they were told more than a few times not to use forks in them. Excellent stuff. Still slick as silk. Eggs need hardly any butter. Not induction capable though. I might ask my GF what line it is tomorrow (as it's almost 2am and she's sleeping). All I know is that it's red exterior and black interior with stainless and red silicone double-riveted handles. They are used daily when she cooks. The other 1/3 cooking is done in my stainless and cast iron when I cook. They also have been through the dishwasher a couple hundred times with high heat dry (before she met me before I started doing dishes).

              2. I just bought several sizes of nonstick skillets from Ikea. LOVE them. Nice heft to them and ovenproof.

                http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

                2 Replies
                1. re: c oliver

                  They look pretty good...but I need a whole set with sauce pans etc! Thanks anyway!!!

                  1. re: themasterbakes

                    I also own these:

                    http://shop.circulon.com/Cookware/Cir...

                2. I have a swiss diamond pan that seems to be quite sturdy, but I've only had it a year and mostly use it for eggs. It was recommended to me by a friend who swears by this brand.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: stockholm28

                    OKAY, THANKS!!!

                  2. Even though my new nonstick pan is supposed to be dishwasher safe, I treat it gently. My formula for keeping a nonstick pan in good shape for a long time is this:

                    1. Use only for low temperature cooking. Mine are used only for eggs.

                    2. Use only wooden or silicone utensils.

                    3. Hand wash with a dish liquid, a sponge, and no abrasives.

                    4. Store carefully. My new pan goes back in the box after use

                    I have a couple of old T-Fal pieces which are in good condition after 20 years.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: GH1618

                      I have 'rounds' of cardboard between all my NS skillets. And I agree with the rest of what you say.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        THANKS, 'C'!!!

                      2. re: GH1618

                        THANKS!!!

                      3. My go to non stick 10" skillet is a brand that Bed, Bath and Beyond carried for a while, "Tramontina." Its at least four years old, use it a lot, and it is still going strong. I think I paid $15 for it with a coupon, which are available all over the place. Last time I looked, they did not have it on the shelf, although I wasn't looking for a replacement. You can also pick up some pretty good non stick skillet/sauté pans at TJ Maxx or some place like that, and, of course, any restaurant supply store. If you get two years or so out of something you paid $15 bucks for, it would consider that a bargain. I would not recommend that you pay big bucks for a nonstick pan in the Calphalon/All Clad/whatever range of gourmet cookware. All non stick goes south at some point, and all you would be left with is an expensive cabinet ornament. I have no experience with TFal, but they aren't that expensive, and many people seem to have good results with them. As far as making you cook like an "Iron Chef," if you get suggestions on how to do that, please pass them along. Most of us could use them.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: trakman

                          Thanks!!!

                          1. re: trakman

                            Whether they're in Costco's current inventory, I could not say, but they carry Tramontina sets from time to time, at prices that can't be beat.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

                              1. re: greygarious

                                The longest lasting nonstick for me has been Tramontina 10 inch, from Costco. I can't even remember exactly when i bought it but maybe 6-8 years ago at least. I use it for eggs and keep the heat pretty low. I tried scan pan in a 12 inch and it lasted a couple of years. I just replaced it with a Fissler and after 6 uses the NS coating is flaking off where the utensil rests on the edge and the handle is loose.

                                1. re: wekick

                                  Is this the pan?

                                  http://www.amazon.com/Tramontina-Prof...

                                  I've had very good experiences with these pans. I just gave 3 5-yr-old pans to my son. They still have the sparkle associated with new Teflon. That said, I treated them very well. The 12" pans are prone to warping, even on medium heat, the 8" and 10" sizes less so.

                                   
                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    Yes it is.

                            2. Circulon is pretty hard to beat. Search this board for plenty of discussions.

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: Robin Joy

                                That's what I'm using and Costco usually carries a set for around $200.

                                1. re: Robin Joy

                                  I love the size and versatility of my 4qt Circulon saucier, the only Circulon piece I have. But I'd never get another one. Food sticks and scorches in the grooves, never coming out completely despite baking soda and various other soakings, simmerings, and non-scratch scrubbers. The non-stick properties were gone in the first year because of those concentric grooves.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    I found some awesome cookware last night. Here's the link!

                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9oeV...

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      My Circulon (two sets) have no grooves. You're talking inside the pans? Weird.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        I think it's what Circulon calls the "Hi-Low Release System" or something like that. Looking at a chart of their stuff, not all of them have it.

                                        http://meyer.custhelp.com/app/answers...

                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                          A lot of them claim to be nonstick, but too many reviews say they scratch and stick after awhile. If I'm going to shell out $800+ dollars for cookware, I don't want it to stick...EVER! (lol)

                                          Thanks for the reply!

                                          1. re: themasterbakes

                                            I've never owned any Circulon, I was just explaining the difference between grooved and smooth.

                                            My nonstick are the Zwilling Spirit, and they're fantastic. Really, the pans themselves are among the best I've ever owned, and that includes Mauviel and Demeyere. The great nonstick is the icing on the cake.

                                            http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                              WHOA! That's another brand I never heard of. The reviews were high also. Thanks a bundle!!!

                                              1. re: themasterbakes

                                                You're welcome. As I said, the underlying pan is exceptional, and well worth the cost. I would buy more of these in a heartbeat.

                                                In fact, we're ripping out our OTR micro/hood combo next week and replacing it with a hood. I'll want a small nonstick saucepan then for reheating pasta and soups. Can't think of a better pan than the 2-quart nonstick.

                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                  I have been struggling with that dilemma - Duffy - are you replacing micro and placing it elsewhere? what type of hood are you putting in?

                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                    Hi smilingal,

                                                    We're getting rid of the micro completely. At least, we're going to see if we can do it. If we find we can't live without it, we'll buy a mid-size counter model, ~1cf.

                                                    Our hood is by Xtreme Air, 900cfm. What we like is that it's thick steel, one piece construction with rounded corners (we're tall), well regarded, and although it's made in China, it's tested and repacked in California. The company gets high marks for customer service, too. It's also got a squirrel cage fan, which we prefer, too, for it's ability to move more air versus an axial fan. Probably more than you wanted to know, huh? :-)

                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                      No...thanks...now more for me to investgate! 900 is significant strength! I have been stuck...can't see living without the micro...strictly for reheating or frozen veggies...but don't want to give up the counter space.
                                                      and until I figure that dilemma...the backsplash is in limbo. Grrrrrr.

                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                        We pulled the micro on the 19th, Monday, and life has become interesting. I have to think before reheating something, because I've used the MW for so long everything was routine. So now I think, stovetop or Breville oven? What pan will best fit?

                                                        It's still not at all clear that we'll decide we don't need a MW. Strongly against it at first, I'm slowing coming on board the replace it bandwagon. Stay tuned.

                                                        ***We're not going to leave the ducting exposed. Our ceiling is 10' and we wanted a single piece chimney, so a local metal shop is making one for us. It should be ready next week.

                                                         
                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                          I don't have a real pantry but have one of those stainless steel shelving units that Costco sells as its equivalent. I have a Samsung MW/convection there. It's HUGE. I rarely need a second oven but when I do it's there.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            I so want to have that set-up. Our wire shelf pantry is in the garage, but that would be ok (it's right outside the kitchen) if we didn't use a MW every day.

                                                            We almost succumbed today, looking at mid-size units, about 900W.

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              Duffy I am chuckling but feeling your pain...at least you are moving...I am stuck in analysis paralysis. What is under your vent?

                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                Hi smilingal,

                                                                That's a GE Profile slide in induction range. Installed in January, I like it very much.

                                      2. re: greygarious

                                        Yup, my Circulon set has those ridges, too, and they can get gunked up. I use a scrubby on 'em, but (forgive if TMI) sometimes have to do a fingernail scratch over the ridges while washing to be sure the ridges are really clean.

                                        BUT, they cook well--no sticking, no hot spots, etc.

                                    2. My new favorite pan (and the one my Dude likes best) is a Zwilling Spirit sauté pan. It's got a Thermolon Granite coating. I've only had it 2 months, but it's going very strong.

                                      It's available as open stock or in sets.

                                      I'm a lifelong stainless steel fan, and like this one so much because it heats exceptionally evenly, rivaling the best aluminum pan I've ever owned, but it is very thick clad stainless. In short, the underlying pan is outstanding, independent of the nonstick coating.

                                      I follow the rules, never heating it past medium unless I'm boiling water, no metal ever, and I also never, ever use cooking sprays. When washing it (by hand, please!) I don't put anything else inside of it. People complain that ceramic nonstick fails within a month or two, but mine is as slick as the day I got it. I think they use high heat and Pam to fry their morning egg, then wonder why the pan failed.

                                      1. I have had a set of Anolon Advanced pans for about 8 years. The non stick is still good and the heat retention is excellent. Definitely worth the money.

                                        1. I've been using a Swiss Diamond frying pan for nearly six years and it's still in excellent shape.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: jillp

                                            WOW! They look sturdy and elegant. Thanks a TON!

                                            1. re: themasterbakes

                                              My Swiss Diamond works very well, though I only use it for eggs. However, it is marketed fraudulently (not indestructible, you can't use metal utensils, diamonds cover so small a part of surface as to be 'marketing diamonds'), they have a reputation for not honoring their guarantee, and they are very expensive. Read the reviews on Amazon, then make your decision.

                                              1. re: mwhitmore

                                                Thanks you very much!

                                          2. I have a set of Ameriware Professional (similar to this http://www.costco.com/Ameriware%C2%AE...) that I got at Costco at least 8 years ago and it still works like a champ. The titanium pans have been beat up and bent but there has been absolutely zero loss of non-stick ability.

                                            edit: these may be an 'improved' version, as i don't think mine are dishwasher or oven or metal-utensil safe :) I still love 'em

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Mr. Bingley

                                              Thanks Mr Bingley! The reviews were really good on these. I hope to find the perfect set as soon as possible.

                                              1. re: themasterbakes

                                                well, if you're looking for the 'perfect set' you will be disappointed I fear. I use these for the bulk of my everyday cooking, using only wood or nylon utensils. If something needs to go into the oven or get a nice super hot sear I break out the cast iron, as this set is not for that. Look at what/how you like to cook and shop accordingly, don't fret about getting a 'perfect' set but rather assemble a set that works for you :)

                                                1. re: Mr. Bingley

                                                  Good point. The only reason I have a "set" is because I went with induction a few years ago. Never before would I have even considered buying a set.

                                            2. I have and like the Cooks-Illustrated recommended T-Fal Professional (note that T-Fal has lesser grades, often the only ones available at Target and the like).

                                              But if you're serious about the idea of ANY brand flaking off after the first few days, then you are using way-too-high heat and need either to tone it down or (just as good) look to something like a cast iron or carbon steel pan, The latter is better for high-heat sauté cooking.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                Gotta do more than just hit "recommend." VERY GOOD point.

                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                  FIRE IS HOT! THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN. (lol)

                                                2. My Cuisinart non stick pans seem indestructible, especially if only wiped off after cooking. Their non-stick pots flake. Go figure.

                                                  19 Replies
                                                  1. re: law_doc89

                                                    Do you use each at no more than medium heat? Just curious as this has brought up an issue of interest to me.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I never use high heat...come to think of it, I don't ever broil anything either! I can use plastic utensils and before long, the coating comes off.

                                                      My mom has Calphalon and even hers stick like the Dickens!

                                                      1. re: themasterbakes

                                                        That's just so strange. I have SO much nonstick cookware, some at least ten years old, and it's all just fine.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          You must have an awesome set! I wish I were that lucky!

                                                          1. re: themasterbakes

                                                            Maybe you should look at your techniques?

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              I'm not only a 'master baker', but I'm an awesome cook!

                                                              1. re: themasterbakes

                                                                "Awesome cook(s)" aren't defined by their cookware. Search for "Sam Fujisaka." Glad you have such a good opinion of yourself :)

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I just hate crappy pots & pans! (lol)

                                                                  1. re: themasterbakes

                                                                    But, really, how do you define "crappy"? I hope you don't define "good" by price.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      Cookware that chip and cause foods to stick, I consider crappy! And I know everything that's expensive isn't quality. I just want something that's not going to peel, flake, warp, stick, or make me violent! (lol) OKAY???

                                                                      1. re: themasterbakes

                                                                        Excellent! So something like my Circulon' set that's $200 will work for you. Glad to know that.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Well, that's a lot cheaper than the $800 set I had my eye on! Thanks again! (lol)

                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                        I just looked at your profile...did you cook all those dishes? They really look good! (now my stomach is growling)

                                                                        1. re: themasterbakes

                                                                          :) If I said I cooked it then I did. Or when in a restaurant, then I gave praise...or not :) Cook your heart out without getting hung up on the cookware, sweetie :)

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            But the right cookware makes all the difference, SWEETIE!

                                                                            1. re: themasterbakes

                                                                              See, I disagree with you. I don't believe that the cookware makes all the difference. You can have the most expensive and still suck as a cook. And vice versa. It's the skill of the cook.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                I'm going to leave this with you, and then I'm going to call it a night.

                                                                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwJKD...

                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                          Never use high heat on non-stick. Cuisinart has discontinued the NS stainless pots, so I assume there must be a design defect.

                                                          1. re: law_doc89

                                                            Yep.

                                                      2. I have read this whole thread and I am unsure about something.

                                                        Are you looking for nonstick to be every pan, pot, stockpot, etc. in your kitchen for cookware or is the nonstick just a subset of the larger whole of all the cookware you are looking to stock your kitchen with?

                                                        Also, you stated above you never use high heat, do you ever use over medium heat?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: KungPaoDumplings

                                                          WOW! I can't believe I've gotten so many replies on this. Anywho, I want the entire set to be nonstick. When foods stick to a pan, I want to scream! (lol)

                                                          Yes I use medium heat!

                                                          1. re: themasterbakes

                                                            It is not possible to cook certain dishes optimally in nonstick pans, no matter how much self-confidence you have.

                                                            1. re: themasterbakes

                                                              Okay, so you're looking to cook in cookware that makes it so you don't have food stick to the pan? Is that correct?

                                                              Do you use medium-high heat as well? Or is medium the highest you ever use?

                                                          2. I agree with GH1618 that modern nonstick cookware longer than the older generations. Scanpan is a good example.

                                                            There are really several ways to look at this. You can either buy an expensive longer last pan like Scanpan (est $75-90), or you can buy a bunch of cheaper pans which do not last as long (est $10-15 each).

                                                            Another point I want to make is that nonstick cookware actually can last a long time for low temperature cookware. This is why a nonstick pot last much longer than a nonstick fry pan.

                                                            If you need a cookware which can endure high temperature and is nonstick-like, then you may want to consider using seasoned cast iron or seasoned carbon steel cookware. They are Telfon, but they behave close to Telfon nonstick.

                                                            1. Going back to the "Circulon" recommendations, the set that Costco carries is called "Circulon Premier Professional." It is induction capable (magnetic metal in the bases) and it is all non-stick. It is priced at less than $200. The set has: 8", 10" fry pans; a 12" fry pan with a lid; and 11" saute pan with a lid; and 6 qt. stockpot with a lid; and 1 qt. and 3 qt. saucepans, also with lids. Bought mine 3½ years ago and it all gets used a lot. Sometimes gets washed in the dishwasher. Held up really well. But, fried eggs don't just slip out of the pans anymore, although they do come out clean with the mere touch of a spatula. They seem to heat evenly on both induction and gas burners.

                                                              I also have 12.5" Scanpan frying pan (which I purchased) and an 8" All-Clad nonstick fry pan (which I got as freebie when I purchased some All Clad seconds.). Both the Scanpan and A/C came with "Lifetime" guarantees and both get used frequently. I treat these with more care than my Circulon, however.

                                                              My take on expensive brands of non-stick pans with lifetime guarantees: it is a pan subscription service. If the the coating dulls and gets sticky or starts to flake, I send the old pan and get a new one. My Scanpan was sent to me as a replacement when the prior one -- purchased in the 1990s --- started to flake around 2001.

                                                              Several friends bought sets of Swiss Diamond for five and six years ago. The sets have seen daily use (including use by teenagers) and seem to be fine.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: JWVideo

                                                                <But, fried eggs don't just slip out of the pans anymore, although they do come out clean with the mere touch of a spatula>

                                                                Hi JWVideo,

                                                                Try this - make a paste of baking soda and water, then use a sponge or paper towel to gently scrub your pan with it. Then wash it, dry it, wipe a drop of oil all around the interior. See if that doesn't restore your finish to factory settings. With your pan still close to perfect, you shouldn't need to do this more than once. Tougher stains and stickiness can take more applications or longer scrubbing.

                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                  or just use more butter :)

                                                                  1. re: Mr. Bingley

                                                                    Sure, but if JWVideo's got some buildup in his pan, as seems likely, it will continue to increase in stickiness. I use butter in my carbon steel and nonstick pans, but to enhance flavor, not to overcome a flaw. Better to deep clean it and make it perfect again. :-)

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                      Mr. Bingley:

                                                                      Actually, I do use a little butter these days --- for flavor and morale purposes, of course --- and there's never an issue with sticking when I do that. :-)

                                                                      It's only when a guest absolutely wants no fat or oil added to the pan that the eggs get fried in a bare pan. Without the added lubrication, the old, bare Scanpan is still relatively more non-stick than my well-seasoned CI skillet.

                                                                      Duffy:

                                                                      Thanks for the suggestion. Although I've done that a couple of times over the last 13 years, it is a good thing to remind folks about. It is kind of like using kosher salt to polish a CI pan's interior.

                                                                      First time I used this polishing was because a friend had sprayed the pan with some Pam for a relatively high-temp low-fat stir fry. (Hoo boy, can that turn non-stick to velcro!) Pan polished up a treat and was fine for another few years. I've known that fats polymerize during cooking and will build-up over time if you are not conscientious about scrubbing it out per the use and care instructions.

                                                                      A couple of years ago, when the finish seemed to be dulling, I tried another polish with a baking soda paste followed by the oil wipe but it didn't make any difference that I could see. I I think the surface is just starting to wear a bit with normal use over the years. Like most things you use for thirteen years, the shine can wear off but its still eminently worth keeping. :-)

                                                                      For the OP's purposes, the important thing is that the surface hasn't been flaking and it still has pretty good nonstick properties after all these years.

                                                                      1. re: JWVideo

                                                                        "Actually, I do use a little butter these days --- for flavor and morale purposes, of course --- and there's never an issue with sticking when I do that. :-)"

                                                                        amen to that!