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View Full Version : Do you use non-stick pans?



Mucho Bocho
01-02-2014, 07:39 PM
I'm curious about why people use non-stick pans. So many pans available today are coated with PTFE. Perhaps some brands are better at fabricating their pans but their still using the same coating. Why would you use them as opposed to a well sealed carbon steel, cast iron or SS?

scotchef38
01-02-2014, 07:45 PM
For fish cooking you cannot beat non-stick.Stainless can stick badly at times,if you have an expensive fish it is not worth the risk.Carbon and cast work great but are no good if you are intending on deglazing the pan to make a sauce.

EdipisReks
01-02-2014, 08:00 PM
I usually use aluminum for fish. It doesn't stick anywhere near as much as stainless, but it sticks enough to build a nice fond for sauces.

brainsausage
01-02-2014, 08:04 PM
For fish cooking you cannot beat non-stick.Stainless can stick badly at times,if you have an expensive fish it is not worth the risk.Carbon and cast work great but are no good if you are intending on deglazing the pan to make a sauce.

I've never had an issue searing any protein in either stainless, carbon, or iron. High heat, apply oil/ghee, place protein in pan, and reduce your heat. I think many people try to flip fish too soon, and don't start with a high enough heat. It also helps if you pat the protein dry first. I've never had an issue with deglazing either. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant though, which is something I'm pretty skilled at:D

EdipisReks
01-02-2014, 08:07 PM
I've never had an issue searing any protein in either stainless, carbon, or iron. High heat, apply oil/ghee, place protein in pan, and reduce your heat. I think many people try to flip fish too soon, and don't start with a high enough heat. It also helps if you pat the protein dry first. I've never had an issue with deglazing either. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant though, which is something I'm pretty skilled at:D

What I think he means, and it's something I've experienced, is that the seasoning tends to come off carbon steel if you deglaze it. Little black flecks of polymerized fat in your sauce is typically considered a foul, in most leagues. :) It doesn't always happens, and tends to be less of an issue if your seasoning is, well, quite seasoned, but I've made a couple ugly beurre blancs because of the issue. They tasted fine.

I've had a couple stainless lined pans that didn't like to let go (my most recent Mauviel stainless lined pan had the roughest interior finish I've seen on a pan this side of a recent Lodge), even when the food was ready to go. I polished them out with sandpaper, and then they were fine. For a lot of stuff, the stickiness of stainless is a feature, not a bug. Fond is good stuff, as I'm sure you know. :)

mpukas
01-02-2014, 08:25 PM
no

mpukas
01-02-2014, 08:40 PM
there are plenty of non-stick green pans out there now. I got a decent one over the summer to try, but it's such an inferior pan in general to anything else that I never use it. Rarely use my ScapnPan CTX, and that's about as good as non-stick gets. Other folks that have used it love it.

I've found w/ SS that I have to get my pans REALLY clean to reduce sticking. If I'm gonna do something that might stick, like crepes or fish w/ skin on, I scrub them HARD w/ a fresh green scrubby, lots of hot hot soapy water - the soap turns grey from metal abrasion. Otherwise same protocol as for CS - heat for a good time, oil, heat oil, swirl - but not burn - pour off and use fresh oil to cook. When I get it right, I have no sticking issues at all.

Mrmnms
01-02-2014, 09:04 PM
Just for eggs really. From what I understand , most concerns are the potential gases that can be generated at high heat, like 550 degrees.

Lefty
01-02-2014, 09:32 PM
I use a couple Calphalon pans that I like. One is great, while the other is only good.

bkultra
01-02-2014, 10:17 PM
I own a single 10" non-stick pan (Vollarth Tribute). I mainly use it for eggs.

ThEoRy
01-02-2014, 11:54 PM
Nope. Can't stand Teflon. First thing I did when I took over my new gig was ban Teflon. After training my staff we have a new saying, "Teflon is for p#++@=&."

Johnny.B.Good
01-03-2014, 12:06 AM
I have a couple of Calphalon non-stick pans that I mainly use for eggs. It's nice to just wipe the pan clean with a soft sponge in 30 seconds. I make sauces in them occasionally as well. I seem to recall seeing Jacques Pépin use non-stick pans quite frequently on his PBS show...

99Limited
01-03-2014, 12:37 AM
I'm not too proud to admit I use non-stick pans. I have three Scanpan classics, 8", 10" & 12", that I use for fish, eggs and bacon. I also have full collection of Calphalon which had been retired. The Calphalon non-stick has become "mostly non-stick". I used that stuff daily for 10+ years, but non-stick doesn't last forever. Out of all the non-stick cookware I've ever had, I've never had any problems with flaking or peeling. I use to have some Club Aluminum that was coated with Teflon that I got as a wedding gift in '71. The two sauce pans I managed to keep over the years ended up with the coating being completely worn/scrubbed off.

daveb
01-03-2014, 12:47 AM
Yes. I heart Swiss Diamond. For some things; eggs, fish and alfredo come right to mind. de Buyer, Viking, Ware and some 30 yr old Cuisinart have their places as well.

Delbert Ealy
01-03-2014, 01:21 AM
Not unless I have to, I got a big cast iron pan a couple of years ago and I love it.
My daughter sometimes doesn't let the pan heat up enough, but she's learning. I use a little six for eggs and I have a blast, although my daughter is shocked to see scrambled eggs in less than a minute.
Del

Gravy Power
01-03-2014, 01:30 AM
Eggs at home, bust cast iron or blue steel at work for the eggs, as they're horrible for basting. Places I've worked that had them really didn't care about them. Wash, metal utensils, whatever it's just another pan. If you use it at home I wouldn't treat it like that though.

apathetic
01-03-2014, 07:16 AM
Haven't touched non stick since I moved to CS and CI

Mucho Bocho
01-03-2014, 10:03 AM
Great feedback. Personally I've moved away from anything non-stick a few years ago and don't miss it. I think the secret to cooking with any pan it as Del said, is proper pre-heating. I used to crank up the burner when preheating but I've learned to start with moderate to low heat (I use natural gas or Induction). Give the pan five minutes or so, while I set up the Mies, then adjust the tempature to the pan to the flame I'll cook at, adding the oil/butter/ghee/coconut/rendered fat... will indicate how warm the pan is.

I've got a collection of De buyer pans and none of them are totally black like the one earlier in the thread. They have more of a patina, not unlike our carbon knives. Darker in some spots than others but this has taken years to acheive. I use the 11" crepe the most and I never have any problems serving fried eggs over easy with runny warm yokes. they also wipe clean with a paper towel like non-stick does.

I retired my old collection of Calphalon pans that were 4-5mm thick.

Craig
01-03-2014, 10:56 AM
I've never used non-stick. I think I had one pan in uni that I left behind in a move or something because I never used it.

For a while I almost exclusively used cast iron, but I'll admit that eggs gave me trouble with sticking most of the time, fish a little bit too. Sauces and the like were never an issue though, I thought the whole black flecks thing was a myth or a result of bad seasoning until recently.

I got a couple of carbon pans recently and they're what I use most of the time now. Eggs hardly stick at all. I can't quite just shake the pan and have them move, since some spots are slightly sticky, but if I loosen them with a wooden spatula they come off with no trouble. Easy as anything to clean too, just give it a wipe and put it back on the heat for 10 seconds to evaporate the water and you're done. But I did discover the trouble with acid-based sauces making a white wine sauce. I also recently stripped and refinished a cast iron pan and had the new seasoning come off making a lentil soup that had a little lemon juice in it. Now I just use SS pots to make acidic sauces, which I don't really do that often.

My conclusion is nothing beats cast iron or carbon pans that have well-aged seasoning on them.

Chef Andy
01-03-2014, 05:41 PM
Just for eggs.

JHunter
01-03-2014, 06:01 PM
I keep a few in the house as my kids enjoy cooking certain things and its just easier for them.

Bef
01-03-2014, 06:30 PM
I see that a lot of people are using teflon cookware for eggs. I used to do that as well, but the white of the eggs is much better when cooked in carbon steel, in my opinion.

apathetic
01-03-2014, 07:09 PM
I see that a lot of people are using teflon cookware for eggs. I used to do that as well, but the white of the eggs is much better when cooked in carbon steel, in my opinion.

+1

And I would add that it doesn't stick on a seasoned pan especially if you keep one for eggs & pancakes only.

Talim
01-03-2014, 08:01 PM
I pretty much given up on "non-stick" pans. No matter how much you baby them, they just don't last.

Chef Andy
01-03-2014, 10:49 PM
I pretty much given up on "non-stick" pans. No matter how much you baby them, they just don't last.

I've had the same 3 6 inch non stick pans that I use at work for eggs for about 2 years now. They've cooked thousands of eggs and still work just as well as when they were new.

franzb69
01-03-2014, 11:07 PM
i use non stick pans just for eggs and fish.

everything else goes on carbon, cast iron or stainless.

mark76
01-04-2014, 02:56 PM
Me too, just for fish and eggs. I'm considering to get a Le Creuset non-stick pan for those (new where I live).

franzb69
01-04-2014, 08:52 PM
I have one of those le crueset non sticks. They're pretty good. But then if you consider where I live, there really isnt much in terms of choices here. Lol

Slypig5000
01-04-2014, 09:11 PM
I got curious about a year ago and picked up a non-stick pan just to through it into the mix. The only thing that I liked cooking in it were eggs and that fascination soon faded as the gf started scrapping the bottom with a metal spatula. So, I threw it out and really haven't missed it. My cast iron is still the best thing I've found to cook with, though I do have and use one stainless and one aluminum pan on occasion.

franzb69
01-05-2014, 12:17 AM
if only i could find smooth surfaced cast iron pans on here, then i would keep cooking with cast iron for eggs.

quantumcloud509
01-05-2014, 05:28 AM
no.evengotridorourricecookerandelectricflattopthin gylastweek.nonsticksucksdude.

Lefty
01-05-2014, 05:28 AM
I feel like I should go back and add this to my post:

I look at non-stick pans the same way I do a stainless knife; They are easy to use, clean and the results can still be really good, depending on what you expect. When I'm too lazy to think, sometimes I pull them out, but it's mostly a Harner or Catcheside carbon gyuto, and one of my deBuyers.

apathetic
01-05-2014, 06:15 AM
if only i could find smooth surfaced cast iron pans on here, then i would keep cooking with cast iron for eggs.

Just get a debuyer, it is smooth and perfectly suited for the task. And let's not forget the taste difference.

apathetic
01-05-2014, 06:25 AM
I look at non-stick pans the same way I do a stainless knife; They are easy to use, clean and the results can still be really good, depending on what you expect. When I'm too lazy to think, sometimes I pull them out, but it's mostly a Harner or Catcheside carbon gyuto, and one of my deBuyers.

A part from the need to season it in the beginning, I found that carbon pans do not require any more maintenance than non stick. Just rinse them, scrub them if necessary, and heat them for a minute to dry if necessary. I didn't need to oil them so far as the patina protects them perfectly.
My cast iron pans were all bought new, so they already came seasoned.
When it comes to knives, I find that I need to be more careful around my carbon knives as opposed to the stainless ones.

franzb69
01-05-2014, 06:39 AM
Can't buy debuyer carbon steel pans here. I livr halfway across the world from most of you. The only carbon steel pan I own is my paellera. I tried my paellera with eggs and they do an ok job. I just need to keep using it to improve the patina.

bkultra
01-05-2014, 11:50 AM
if only i could find smooth surfaced cast iron pans on here, then i would keep cooking with cast iron for eggs.

You could always sand down a modern pan like lodge.

seattle_lee
01-05-2014, 02:30 PM
Haven't used nonstick since I bought my first carbon steel skillet.

apathetic
01-05-2014, 05:04 PM
Can't buy debuyer carbon steel pans here. I livr halfway across the world from most of you. The only carbon steel pan I own is my paellera. I tried my paellera with eggs and they do an ok job. I just need to keep using it to improve the patina.

You don't have access to any other carbon pans? I would suspect that most would be quite smooth.

franzb69
01-06-2014, 02:19 AM
You don't have access to any other carbon pans? I would suspect that most would be quite smooth.

nope just paelleras of different sizes, and even then those are hard to find.


You could always sand down a modern pan like lodge.

that's what i plan to do. sand down the surface to improve performance.

just gotta find someone with a sander.

=D

brainsausage
01-06-2014, 02:51 AM
nope just paelleras of different sizes, and even then those are hard to find.



that's what i plan to do. sand down the surface to improve performance.

just gotta find someone with a sander.

=D

Is it just a matter of shipping costs? Or are you referring to your local availability?

boomchakabowwow
01-06-2014, 11:37 AM
i do. i admit it..i kinda like a non-stick for some things. like eggs.

i buy them from restaurant supply places. i wont pay big money for one like an AllClad. i find they all eventually will wear out.

you guys using the iron skillets. well seasoned, you can flip an egg with very little oil? like a quick blast from a spray bottle? or do you need more oil than say you would if you DID use non stick?

franzb69
01-06-2014, 11:39 AM
Local availability. Shipping costs will be quite astronomical with the size and weight. Then there's greedy customs officers and taxes. :-(

Craig
01-06-2014, 02:30 PM
i do. i admit it..i kinda like a non-stick for some things. like eggs.

i buy them from restaurant supply places. i wont pay big money for one like an AllClad. i find they all eventually will wear out.

you guys using the iron skillets. well seasoned, you can flip an egg with very little oil? like a quick blast from a spray bottle? or do you need more oil than say you would if you DID use non stick?

I never had much luck in my cast iron, I think because they're not quite as smooth, but in a carbon pan all I need is a couple of drops of oil.

Zwiefel
01-06-2014, 06:43 PM
I've used them a lot for a couple decades now. Happily and w/o shame. In addition to cast, stainless, le cruset (enameled cast)....but this new DeBuyer has me re-thinking the whole non-stick thing.

I'll keep my NS around for a bit, as I fill out my DeBuyer collection.....maybe get rid of it at the end of the year.

Bill13
01-07-2014, 09:53 AM
I use non stick pretty often too (feels like I'm at an AA meeting). I am learning I'm not the only one who thinks stainless is sticky! The carbon pans have gotten my attention so I may try one from rokoton with the cast iron handle.

Just bought 2 Vollrath tribute non-stick which are a little too heavy but are otherwise pretty nice.

hardline_42
01-07-2014, 10:45 AM
Can't buy debuyer carbon steel pans here. I livr halfway across the world from most of you. The only carbon steel pan I own is my paellera. I tried my paellera with eggs and they do an ok job. I just need to keep using it to improve the patina.

A carbon steel paella pan should perform the same as a de Buyer (or Vollrath, or Paderno, etc) in similar thickness. It just lacks the long handle. De Buyer even makes paelleras:

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSpWNmu9-u4Q3I0ZD4sxIHnMSC0N65OTQhyNW4OObQ1ZQkfPUPS

I prefer to use a thin crepe pan (de Buyer Force Blue) for eggs because the sides are low for easy flipping, but the performance is the same. Even though seasoned carbon steel performs beautifully, when it comes to eggs and other sticky foods, it's not ready to go out of the box. You need to keep cooking in it, and keep adding layers of seasoning before your eggs will slide out of it. Try and cook as much as you can in your paellera. If you preheat the pan (which you should always do before adding oil) and wipe it with a very thin layer of seasoning oil before adding your cooking oil, your seasoning will improve that much faster.

keithsaltydog
01-08-2014, 07:06 AM
I'm a carbon junkie knives,Woks,Pans,garden tools,chisels hopeless.But I do use a 12"circulon non stick for fish at home.Can char Salmon,& perfect middle cook.Never go above Med. High heat,& wash it with a sponge no pads.:D

Mucho Bocho
01-08-2014, 09:54 AM
Its interesting that nobody has raised any concerns around digesting the teflon coating that flakes/wears off. For me that what initially turned me off. I realize that teflon is everywhere including the packaging at most fast food restaurants. I don't know if the are any studies linking teflon to disease but I'm not waiting to find out the hard way. :my2cents:

hardline_42
01-08-2014, 10:44 AM
Its interesting that nobody has raised any concerns around digesting the teflon coating that flakes/wears off. For me that what initially turned me off. I realize that teflon is everywhere including the packaging at most fast food restaurants. I don't know if the are any studies linking teflon to disease but I'm not waiting to find out the hard way. :my2cents:

There isn't really much to be concerned about with Teflon itself. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is inert and is often used for body piercings and medical implants inside the body. The danger is in PFOA and PFOS, which are chemicals used in the manufacturing of PTFE (Teflon is a trade name of PTFE) and which can remain in trace amounts on non-stick cookware. Also, overheating the PTFE coating on non-stick pans breaks it down and causes it to emit toxic particles and gasses which have been known to cause many pet bird deaths.

FWIW, I don't use any non-stick cookware but, for those that do, a good-quality non-stick pan that is thoroughly washed before use and never overheated should be perfectly safe.

EdipisReks
01-08-2014, 11:10 AM
Yeah, teflon itself is totally inert to the body.

franzb69
01-08-2014, 12:07 PM
As far as I know, newer ceramic based non stick pans are ptfe free. So that's a non issue for those with pans like that.

hardline_42
01-08-2014, 01:44 PM
As far as I know, newer ceramic based non stick pans are ptfe free. So that's a non issue for those with pans like that.

Maybe. They are PTFE and PFOA free, but Thermolon and similar ceramic non-stick coatings are all silicon and/or silicone based. The lining on silicone-lined ceramic pans (EcoPan, et al) vary in quality and contents, and could contain fillers and dyes that are not so great for you. Essentially, you're trading in one set of chemicals for another. Silicone also doesn't do very well on a direct heat source, like a stovetop. Most users who have had problems with it complain that it loses its non-stick properties very quickly and is less durable than PTFE. Granted, this technology hasn't been out long and will undoubtedly improve over time, but I doubt it currently has any benefit over regular non-stick cookware.

panda
01-08-2014, 05:27 PM
Nothing wrong with non stick as long as it isn't worn out. But a crispy egg white with runny yolk cooked on carbon pan is a beautiful thing.

apicius9
01-08-2014, 06:45 PM
I've been happy with a Swiss Diamond non-stick pan for a few years now. It sees mostly eggs or fish.

Stefan

Miles
01-08-2014, 07:18 PM
I'll basically say the same thing I tell my students when they ask me about non stick pans.

I have a few at home. They mostly get used for eggs. That's about it. Sure, I'll occasionally use one for something else, if I happen to reach in the cabinet and that's the first pan I find, but they're basically for eggs. Treat them gently and as long as you don't overheat the pan which will cause the coating to start to break down, you'll get a decent life out of them, but they WILL eventually wear out. Since I'm not a proponent of eating worn and flaking non stick coating, when the coating wears out, the pan should be discarded.

Although I do have a couple of "fancy" non stick pans, I don't suggest using anything other than a basic heavy gauge aluminum non stick pan from the local restaurant supply. Regardless of the cost, the pan is only as good as the condition of the coating. If you have a $150 pan with a worn out coating, you now have a very expensive pan which is pretty useless. I'd rather not spend a bunch of money on a pan which I know I'm going to throw out a few years down the line so it's best to stick to the restaurant supply store.

I will offer one exception to that suggestion. Calphalon has a stellar track record for replacing worn out non stick pans. I sent a couple of very worn out pans and they replaced them with brand new top of the line pans. I've heard numerous other instances from other folks about similar customer service, so If I were to spend more than twenty dollars or so on a non stick pan, I'd buy Calphalon.

Mucho Bocho
01-09-2014, 11:15 AM
Great disucssion, Here's another thought, seems like most use NS pans for two reasons, so that when cooking food won't stick to the pan and for easy clean up.

Isn't it more desirable for our food to make contact and adhere/stick to the pan to create the Maillard? Also, In my experience, with a half dozen non-stick brands, I don't think that NS pans leave behind the same quality Fond found in Iron/alumnium pans.

Mrmnms
01-09-2014, 12:51 PM
I like NS pans at home, but never for anything that deserves a fond. Room for both on my rack. My first job was strictly cast iron pans on the stove , even for crepes. Good for the fore arms. We were given Calphalon pans to demo when I worked for a national corporate chain that will remain unmentioned . They lasted a couple days of service before they went home with me.

willic
01-11-2014, 03:38 PM
I used to use non-stick, but after cooking professionally, I realized how non-durable the finish is, and how it hates high heat... a well seasoned aluminum professional pan, or steel french style pan is nearly as non-stick as the plastic stuff!

willic
01-11-2014, 03:39 PM
My outlook is.... if you can avoid chemicals in your body, do so!

Talim
01-11-2014, 05:53 PM
My outlook is.... if you can avoid chemicals in your body, do so!

You do know that's impossible right? I mean you do have to drink water and all that stuff we eat are forms of chemicals that the body turns to more chemicals.

EdipisReks
01-11-2014, 06:45 PM
My outlook is.... if you can avoid chemicals in your body, do so!

good luck with that, unless you are composed purely of energy.

willic
01-11-2014, 07:03 PM
good luck with that, unless you are composed purely of energy.

LOL... you know what I mean! LOL

willic
01-11-2014, 07:03 PM
You do know that's impossible right? I mean you do have to drink water and all that stuff we eat are forms of chemicals that the body turns to more chemicals.

LOL.... Yep! I was referring to chemical additives and the like

Erilyn75
01-12-2014, 05:16 AM
I have one 12" ceramic pan that my husband mostly uses. I have SS but rarely use any opting for cast iron 99% of the time.

bkultra
01-12-2014, 12:12 PM
I have been spending a lot of time on German chef forums (learning about my new Turk pans) and it seems their high end non-stick pans are a brand called Woll. These can be bought here in the USA via amazon, but I was wondering if anyone here has used this brand?

OaknestHill
01-12-2014, 05:33 PM
I use the Swiss Diamond pans as some one else mentioned above and have been for a couple of years now. They seem to hold up just fine and I am very satisfied with their performance on multiple aspects. Anyone got any dirt on them? Hazardous materials etc?

bkultra
01-12-2014, 06:17 PM
I use the Swiss Diamond pans as some one else mentioned above and have been for a couple of years now. They seem to hold up just fine and I am very satisfied with their performance on multiple aspects. Anyone got any dirt on them? Hazardous materials etc?

They use PTFE (the same chemical as Teflon) but many claim them to be Teflon free. They don't buy their PTFE from DuPont so they don't use the term Teflon (DuPont's brand name for PTFE). They are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid, a chemical formerly used in the production of DuPont Teflon) free.