Nonstick Cookware Review – The Top Ten from Chef Caron

Nonstick Cookware

nonstick cookwareI get irritated when I’m shopping for nonstick cookware. It’s hard these days to find legitimate reviews that aren’t just sales pages thinly disguised as reviews. So, of course, I’m setting out to write the reviews myself, just because that’s the way I roll.

You do have some options when it comes to nonstick cookware and there’s also a lot of controversy surrounding the nonstick coatings that are used in pans. Teflon® and the various other permutations of polytetrafluoroethylene have taken the biggest hit in terms of backlash for toxicity of the nonstick coating used.

But the key to avoiding toxicity with your nonstick cookware has more to do with how you use and care for the nonstick pan than it does with what the pan is made from. Any nonstick cookware that gets overheated is going to release toxic fumes. And any nonstick surface that gets scraped with metal utensils will release particles of the nonstick material into the food you are cooking. So just be aware of that reality when making your choices.

So let’s get technical here for a moment. There are three types of nonstick coatings you can choose from: fluoropolymer coatings made from PTFE, silicone coatings and ceramic coatings. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

nonstick cookwareFluoropolymer Coatings are all made with some form of PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene. PTFE is a solid and stable coating unless you scrape and scratch it or overheat it. The upward limit for PTFE stability is 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Of all the nonstick coatings, PTFE retains its coefficient of friction (slickness) the longest and is the most resistant to wear. But I can’t stress enough that you have to treat it with care – don’t scratch it or overheat it. Incidentally, this is the same material that bbq grill mats and baking mats are made from.

Silicone Coatings use synthetic resins that that are applied to the metal surfaces and then bonded to the metal by high temperature baking. The silicone coatings are used to make less expensive cookware, usually baking pans. They won’t hold up as well as the fluoropolymers.

Sol-Gel “Ceramic” Coatings: Sol-gel is a hybrid material that behaves much like ceramic, and has the appearance of a ceramic coating. This ceramic-style coating can withstand much higher temperatures than the fluoropolymers and consequently will probably last longer. Much of the popularity of the ceramic-style coatings is their claim to non-toxicity and the bright kitchen colors they come in.

No matter which type of nonstick surface you choose, the rules remain the same. The durability and safety of your nonstick cookware depends on following two rules – don’t overheat your pans and use soft tools only. These would include utensils made from rubber, silicone, wood and nylon. Don’t expect to get the browning or searing that you’ll see with a stainless steel or cast iron pan, because it ain’t gonna happen. So don’t complain about that after you buy your nonstick cookware. That’s just how it is. There’s a cost to every convenience.

So here’s my top 10 list for nonstick cookware, for now, and I’ll be posting a more detailed review of each specific product in the coming days. Stay posted.

T-fal E765SC Ultimate Hard Anodized Scratch Resistant Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Anti-Warp Base Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Gray

$99.45
16 new from $ 99.00
11 used from $ 68.66
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as of August 18, 2017 6:49 pm

Features

  • Hard anodized aluminum construction for durability
  • Unique Thermo-Spot heat indicator for proper preheating
  • Hard Titanium nonstick interior for the ultimate and longest lasting performance
  • Riveted silicone handles for safety and comfort
  • TechnoResist Anti-warp Base; Oven safe to 400F; Lifetime Limited Warranty

T-fal C530SC Signature Nonstick Expert Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Black

$89.99
$62.76
27 new from $ 59.00
2 used from $ 44.53
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Features

  • Heavy-gauge aluminum construction for fast, even heating; Thermo-Spot indicator for properly pre-heating fry pans
  • Nonstick interior and exterior for low-fat cooking and easy cleaning; PFOA, Lead, and Cadmium-free
  • Ergonomic heat-resistant handles for a comfortable grip; vented tempered-glass lids trap in heat and moisture
  • Oven safe up to 350 degrees F; limited lifetime warranty; dishwasher-safe
  • Dishwasher safe; oven safe to 350 degrees F

Rachael Ray Cucina Hard Porcelain Enamel Nonstick Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Agave Blue

$110.03
10 new from $ 110.03
3 used from $ 90.77
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Features

  • Rachael Ray Cucina Cookware features rustic, modern color, functionality and design to enhance mealtime warmth and hospitality, It includes two covered saucepans (1-qt/ 3-qt), one 6-qt covered stockpot, two skillets (8-in/10-in), and one 3-qt covered saute pan
  • Crafted with durable aluminum and sturdy hard enamel porcelain exteriors; espresso-colored, PFOA-free nonstick releases foods effortlessly
  • The 12-piece cookware set boasts dual-riveted rubberized stainless steel handles and shatter-resistant glass lids; includes slotted turner and spoon
  • Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the pots and pans are suitable for all stovetops, except induction
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty for cookware that is a welcome addition to serveware, dinnerware and other pieces in the Rachael Ray Cucina collection

12" Stone Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri, with 100% APEO & PFOA-Free Stone-Derived Non-Stick Coating from Germany

$79.99
$38.95
3 new from $ 38.95
1 used from $ 19.36
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Features

  • Utilizes a stone-derived coating from Germany that achieves non-stick perfection while remaining 100% free of APEO and PFOA, and the lesser known chemicals NMP and NEP.
  • Eco-friendly pan delivers unprecedented non-stick performance without the risk of exposure to controversial perfluorinated chemicals.
  • Features a hardened scratch-resistant coating that is super easy to clean.
  • Interior of pan made out of durable heavy-gauge die-cast aluminum, with a magnetized base for use with rapid heat transfer induction stoves.
  • Boasts a comfortable heat-resistant silicon coated handle that is reinforced to the pan via 3 solid rivets.

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Non-Stick Hard Anodized, 17 Piece Set, Black, 66-17N

$199.95
12 new from $ 199.95
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Features

  • Hard anodized exterior is harder than stainless steel. Dense, nonporous, and highly wear-resistant for Extra durability and professional performance.
  • Premium nonstick cooking surface reinforced with Titanium provides lasting food release. No oil or butter needed for healthier lowfat cooking options, and easy cleanup.
  • Solid stainless steel riveted stick handles stay cool on the stovetop and provide a safe and solid grip.
  • Oven safe to 500 F. Glass lids are oven safe to 350 F. Cook in oven or on stovetop.
  • Clear, break-resistant glass - monitor food as it cooks. Lid Fits tight to seal in moisture and nutrients for more flavorful results.

T-fal B130SC Color Luxe Hard Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Red

$95.99
3 new from $ 95.99
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Features

  • Durable aluminum construction for long lasting performance
  • Hard Titanium nonstick interior for the ultimate and longest lasting performance
  • Unique Thermo-Spot heat indicator for proper preheating
  • Riveted soft touch handles are ergonomically designed for a comfortable and safe grip
  • Even heat base for reliable cooking results; Oven safe to 350°F; Lifetime Limited Warranty

T-fal C085SC74 OptiCook Thermo-Spot Titanium Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Fry Pan Cookware Set, 12-Piece, Black

$49.99
10 new from $ 49.99
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Features

  • Reinforced with Titanium for longer lasting durability
  • Thermo-Spot heat indicator shows when the pan is perfectly pre-heated and ready to cook with
  • Riveted soft touch handles are ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip
  • Oven safe up to 350°F/177°C
  • Exceptionally durable dishwasher safe cookware for easy clean up

T-fal B165SI Initiatives Nonstick Inside and Out Dishwasher Safe 18-Piece Cookware Set, Red

$75.99
$66.95
20 new from $ 59.99
Free shipping
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Features

  • Easy non-stick 18pc set includes every piece for your everyday meals.
  • Exceptionally durable dishwasher safe cookware for easy clean up.
  • Durable non-stick interior for easy cleaning and cooking.
  • Ergonomic comfortable grip. Oven safe up to 350.F/177.C
  • Features the patented Thermo-Spot, a unique heat indicator that shows when the pan is perfectly preheated.

Simply Calphalon Nonstick 12-Inch All Purpose Pan

$49.95
$39.99
2 new from $ 39.99
14 used from $ 30.99
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Features

  • Calphalon's signature hard-anodized aluminum construction for excellent conductivity and even heatingThe interior surface is double-coated with Calphalon's sturdy, reliable nonstick coating
  • Tempered glass covers
  • 2 loop handles that are contoured, cast stainless steel with silicone
  • Oven Safe ; 400-degree F Utensils ; Nylon, coated or wooden utensils
  • Cleaning ; Hand wash