NonStick Cookware Buying Guide

Nonstick Cookware

Are you on a quest for nonstick cookware? Here’s the skinny…

  • Foods do not burn or stick easily
  • Easy to Clean
  • Healthier cooking with less oil needed
  • Less expensive
  • Many colors available
  • Foods do not brown well
  • Most brands are not dishwasher-safe
  • Metal utensils cannot be used
  • Continued debates concerning nonstick safety
  • Less durable scratches easily
  • Should not be used at very high temperatures

Our Top Picks

Expert Buying Tips for Nonstick Cookware

When choosing your nonstick cookware, it is simple to determine the quality …just rub your fingers across the surface. If you feel any ridges or rough areas, don’t buy them! This could indicate poor quality, rolled-on coating, or just one layer. Look for a smooth, matte finish. This indicates the coating has been applied and cured correctly. If it has a shiny finish, it has a silicone coating. Silicone coatings can react badly with animal fats and are not the best choice for skillets and frying pans (Silicone is safe for baking).

The least expensive type of nonstick cookware generally has just one layer of coating and may scratch or peel easily. A better grade of nonstick will have two layers of coating and a sealer on top. As the price increases so should the layers and quality of the coating. It will be easy to tell the better quality when you compare. The best non-stick cookware will have three to four coats and a sealer.

Things to Consider

Not all of your cookware needs to be nonstick. Frying pans, skillets, and roasting pans are the best choices for non-stick. Nonstick cooking pans allow you to fry an egg with little or no oil. Scrambled eggs retain their sunny yellow color. Be sure to add a tad of oil or butter for flavor.

It is best not to use spray oil because it will form a gummy film that is difficult to remove. If you insist, olive oil is the best. They must be hand-washed with mild soap and soft cloth or sponge (best results when the pan is still hot).

Teflon-coated cookware makes up the majority of nonstick cookware. Most non-stick pans contain chemicals that are considered dangerous. Omitting the scientific names, these are commonly known as PFOA, PFOS, and APFO. The nonstick surface is inert until it is heated. At high temperatures, it releases harmful gases that can be fatal to pet birds, or cause flu-like symptoms in humans.

The experts maintain that non-stick cookware is safe with no health hazards when used at medium to low heat. It should never be used at extremely high temperatures (greater than 500 F). Wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils are a must to protect the surface. If you see scratches or flaking, toss the pan to be safe. Even if you ingested a flake of the coating it would not be absorbed or harm you.

Some of the specialized next-generation nonstick pans may prove to be a solution to the long-fought controversy over nonstick coatings. This will prove new and exciting nonstick cooking with unmatched quality and safety.

Many chefs choose other nonstick surfaces without the problems of a coating. Porcelain-enamel and well-seasoned cast iron are great alternatives.

“There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will.”¬†Robert Frost

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