Best Non Stick Cookware Review – Chef Caron examines the options

Best Non Stick Cookware Review

the best non stick cookwareReviewing all the options currently available in non stick cookware is a daunting task to say the least. It’s not just that there are so many non stick cookware brands to wade through, though there are for sure. But more than that, it’s the fact that there are so many different opinions about what the phrase “the best non stick cookware” actually means. What makes it the best? There are several camps of thought on that issue.  Let’s take a look.

What do people mean by “best non stick cookware?”

Scanning through the forums that deal with the subject of where to find the best non stick pots and pans, the most common thread I found was regarding safe non stick pans. There’s a lot of concern currently about the safety of the tools we use to cook our food. And justifiably so.

Is there such a thing as a green non stick pan?

best non stick cookwareFor me the answer to that issue is simple, though a lot of people won’t agree with me on this. I believe the safest non stick cookware, and therefore the best non stick cookware, is stainless steel and second to stainless is cast iron. Many of you won’t even agree that those are non stick surfaces at all.  And if you’re comparing them to Teflon@ style products and spinoffs from that type of non stick surface, you’d be right.  But if you’re truly looking for some healthy non stick pans, those are the only ones that I would confidently say are completely non toxic.  And they are actually non stick cookware if you learn how to use them correctly. I’ll do another post on that later.

Is there any other safe non stick cookware?

non stick ceramic cookwareWell let’s be pragmatic here. Safety is a relative issue for many and it is often balanced with convenience.  For example, it’s statistically safer not to drive a car but we accept the risk for the convenience –  and most of us take measures to minimize the risk by driving sensibly. We can apply the same concept to examining the top rated non stick pans.

The two main problems with toxicity from non stick surfaces are particulates in the food and off-gassing. You can virtually eliminate both of these issues with proper and careful cooking techniques. Keep your heat low to moderate at all times. Never turn your burners on high, even to warm up the pan, and never expose the pan to sudden temperature changes. I’ve seen people take a Teflon® pot out of the refrigerator and put it on a hot stove. I’ve seem them take a hot pan and run cold water on it. These practices are not good. They wear down the non stick coating on the pan and cause it to break down, which means it’s going to end up in your food.

If you’re concerned about toxicity, you should also learn to toss the food in the pan instead of using a spatula. If you do use a spatula use a soft one. Even wood is a bit harsh for a Teflon® style non stick pan or ceramic too, for that matter. Silicone is the least problematic and if you do use a spatula keep the pressure light – the more you scrape on the pan with anything the harder it is on the non stick coatings.

All right already, so which is the best non stick cookware?

Okay, so if you don’t consider stainless steel or cast iron to be non stick pans, then which brand offers the non stick kitchen set? Well, you’ll have to decide if you want to go with the old style Teflon™ pans, or the ceramic coated cookware, or the new style of copper non stick cookware that has a ceramic style non stick coating on the surface.

If price is a consideration for you all of those options are still viable because every style of non stick cookware comes with a wide price range. Generally, the prices reflect the quality of the pan. So just remember you get what you pay for. For example a ten dollar piece of non stick ceramic cookware is not going to hold up as well or perform as well as a fifty dollar one.

Like I said earlier, I consider stainless steel to be the best non stick cooking surface, but if I had to choose from the three “truly non stick” surfaces, I’d take the copper. This isn’t a random or arbitrary choice. Copper is absolutely the best metal for quick heat absorption and uniform heat distribution. The copper is coated with a ceramic like non stick surface that isn’t as slick as PTFE non stick surfaces (i.e. Teflon®) but is more convenient to use and clean than a stainless steel pan with no coating.

According to the manufacturers, the non stick surfacing on the copper non stick pot set is tougher than PTFE and more scratch resistant. It also withstands the heat better. This doesn’t mean you can cook on high heat or use metal utensils them. It means if you exercise the same caution as you would on teflon cookware that your non teflon pans will last a lot longer and be safer to use.

It’s worth adding that I’m not alone in my position on this. Currently the copper non stick pots and pans are the top rated non stick pans across the board.  So they get my vote for the best non stick cookware if you don’t want to deal with uncoated stainless steel.

There you have it.