The non-stick cookware set in the detailed review
The nonstick cookware gain popularity regardless all those discussions about the health concerns. And even if there were risks, they can be kept under control when the instructions of the manufacturers were followed. Moreover, the new technologies almost remove all the drawbacks of the initial non-stick coatings. If you know the rules and do not break them, you can enjoy the easy cooking.
Story of Invention
A non-stick surface is meant to eliminate or reduce such an effect as sticking. When we apply this term within the preparation of the meal, we mean that it allows food to be cooked and not stick to the vessel. This result can be achieved by several methods. You can add a lot of fat in a pan, but in this case the food will not be healthy enough. You can use cookware with ceramic coating but it is not perfect as to this particular feature and sometimes still requires some oil. And the real non-stick version is a pan coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). We know this coating as “Teflon”. There are also anodized aluminum, enameled cast iron, and seasoned pans, which can be marketed as non-stick, but actually they are just able to offer better conditions compared to simple stainless steel for example and have nothing in common in traditional non-stick technologies.
Teflon is a synthetic chemical. It is discovered in the 1938. As it often happens, it was a result of laboratory experiment dedicated to completely different investigation. Scientists of the Kinetic Chemicals factory were looking for an agent needed for a refrigerator being not so toxic. The new substance was mixed and left for a night in order to get the expected gas. In the morning instead of this gas a scientist saw waxy agent, which proved to be very slippery. The new chemical was patented in three years and in four years more it was launched at market as a trademark Tefal. In 1956 the Tefal corporation was founded.
What is this magic material – PTFE? Well, this is highly inert chemical – a fluorocarbon solid, which does not enter into reaction with other substances. Moreover, it melts under very high temperatures and characterized with perfect electrical properties, that is why it is demanded for production of cables and aerospace applications. And it becomes in demand for cookware production too. This happens due to introversion of fluorocarbon solid. This material just refuses to contact with any other objects including foods. But how does it stick to metal base? The layers are united at the highest temperature (at around 800 degrees Fahrenheit).
Nowadays PTFE is used in a wide range of applications. You can find it in production of clothing with waterproof properties, spacesuits, the computer chips, and even stadium roofs, and cables. Its additional options are nonreactivity and almost perfect even surface that does not provide any friction. The manufacturers of bakeware and cookware are developing new formulas based on this chemical, including titanium, diamond, and other ingredients, which are expected to reinforce the coating.
What is non-stick good for?
Non-stick pans are ideal for the foods, which stick easily like soft fish, eggs, crepes, pancakes. There is nothing better than a hot omelet without the slightest hint at burning. And on the contrary the burnt eggs for breakfast are a wrong start for your day. That is why you should use a non-stick pan. The nonstick cookware allows baking, roasting, sautéing, and stewing almost without mess. There is no doubt in convenience of this solution for kitchen. You do not have to scrub the remains of meal from the inside of a vessel. It is almost clean and needs just washing with warm water and soft sponge.
At the same time, this coating is helpless if you are going to prepare a rich sauce and any meal, which needs to be caramelized. It is almost impossible to make that sticky thick mass because there are no pores in this coating. Besides you have no reason to use such cookware for boiling. And there is a risk when you try to cook steak requiring 6560 F or preheat it empty – please, refuse of these two things for sure.
What is inside and outside?
When we say “coating”, it means that there is some base covered with an outer layer. Is this important to know what is under PTFE? Well, the construction can be light and heavy and the weight depends on the base and number of Tefal laysers. So what is usually inside? The non-stick pans can be made of aluminum or stainless steel but in modern vessels the anodized aluminum is used more often. It is full of benefits. It is affordable, lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Being a perfect heat conductor this metal provides the fast and even heat distribution and almost rapid reaction to the temperature change.
In general there are plenty of brands, which offer different versions of nonstick coating. There is different number of layers. The thickness of the base can be different, As a result all the performance parameters vary including durability of the cookware. Though the shelf life depends on other factors also, like intensity of use, the cooking methods, the utensils applied and so on. By the way the heavier the pan, the more coatings it consists of and the more it costs. According to the experts, most nonstick cookware coatings should last minimum three year assuming that the vessels are used in accordance with the specified instructions.
Teflon vs Ceramic
Nowadays the ceramic provides competition as to non-stick properties. The consumers argue about ability of ceramic coating to prevent the foods from sticking properly. Indeed Teflon is able to provide more reliable protection from sticking. Another advantage of this coating is durability that is longer compared to ceramics. If we speak about composition of a coating, the ceramic is safer and made of natural minerals being environmental-friendly. Though, as long as you use Teflon pan in a proper way, it is safe. But if you heat it up to the high temperature exceeding the established limits, the toxic fumes can appear. And if it is worn out, it begins peeling or flaking – in this case you should dispose it. While ceramics just loses its non-sticking properties and can be used further on without them and without risk for environment and health of a user.
Who is who at the market?
In order to be sure that you buy efficient and safe non-stick cookware, you’d better consider the assortment of the well-known producers. We offer you a list of the reputable brands which are widely represented at the market.
All-Clad is regarded as the premium category and that means that here you will pay for brand level but of course for the quality as well. This is a legendary trademark which can boast of its good reputation and huge sales volumes and that fact inspire confidence as to the strict adherence to the existing safe requirements. This brand is well known in the world since 1967 when it was found. But only in 1971 it becomes known as a manufacturer of cookware. It uses the steel supplied only by USA companies. Due to such selectivity it can afford the high prices. The All-Clad cookware is mostly made of stainless steel. In order to deliver the needed conductivity the bottom of each item is made with copper. And in the assortment there are sets or separately marketed pieces with a nonstick coating.
Anolon is also reliable trademark being owned by the Meyer corporation – the largest cookware distributor in the USA, the second one in the world. It is represented in Hong Kong. Among its brands in addition to Anolon there are Circulon, SilverStone, NapaStyle, Prestige and BonJour. The described line was launched in 1989 and now it is marketed at midrange prices. Here there are perfect nonstick sets.
Circulon is the start of the Meyer corporation being developed in 1984. It was an innovation brand of non-stick cookware with hard-anodized aluminum as a base. They were almost the first at the market in the category dishwasher safe non-stick cookware. As far as the innovation was not patented, it was used by competitors very soon. The prices for Circulon items are midrange.
Calphalon is an older trademark. The company was founded in 1963. Since that time it has been developing its offer and as a result we have a wide assortment of kitchenware including various vessels with non-stick coating. Her you can find the accessories and a lot of stylish sets for any taste and budget – from high-end to midrange products. You can buy any of them and add some pieces separately if you need exactly that one.
Cuisinart is American brand dedicated to home appliance. It was launched in 1971 and now include a wide variety of products. Initially the business was a family-run one inspired by a French food preparation machine. Thus their first offer at the market was a food processor being rather expensive though perfect blender. Much later the high-priced cookware was introduced. In 1989 it was sold to Conair corporation. Their mission is to help the consumers to savor the good life.
Farberware is one of those lifetime American brands, which become better in due course. It offers a wide range of products for cooking and kitchen in classic styling. It is recognized and trusted. There are the right pans in its sets which are really needed in everyday cooking, the ideal frying pans made of durable stainless steel alloy. But its proud is a nonstick line with slick finish making it easy to flip prepared foods without any sticking. You are just unable to burn your food in these nonstick vessels. And they are completely safe.
T-fal is a French brand offering a cookware with the reliable nonstick coating preventing the foods from sticking. The name is a short combination of two words: Teflon and Aluminum.
The best ceramic cookware sets at the market
Ceramic-coated cookware is very popular and included in assortment of almost every brand. We recommend you to consider the following ones if you decide to buy the set.
Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
This set consists of 11 pieces and includes just everything you need in the kitchen. The items are made of hard-anodized aluminum with durable coating, which allows to apply metal utensils. The handles are made with use of silicone facilitating gripping. You can hold the pan comfortably and not be afraid that it slips out. The manufacturer allows using the cookware in the oven at the temperature of 400 degrees. The design of exterior is decorated by bronze-color while the interior is represented in a dark chocolate brown. The pans are accompanied with break-resistant glass lids. The set offers a wide variety of pieces, which can be too many for starting cooks or for a small kitchen where you cannot store all of them. In other words this is a set for large kitchens and those who are involved in cooking. And by the way, these pans are not used on induction cooktops.
Cucina Non-Stick Cookware Set
The set includes 12 items and is characterized with an interesting unusual coloring. The exterior is grey and decorated with stainless steel details. The bright accent is cranberry red handles. So the set looks playful and at the same time it looks rather strict due to main color. The pans are made of hard anodized aluminum with a nonstick coating which releases food without any problem. You can place the items in the oven and wash in a dishwasher, but they do not match the induction cooktops. Here there are small saucepans and pots of more capacity. You can find this set in another color solution: blue plus orange.
Calphalon Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
These pans with nonstick coating are able to perform even better compared to stainless steel concerning such cooking technology as searing and that is not often possible with this category of cookware. The surface is hard enough that is why you can use metal utensils. The base is made of hard anodized aluminum. As far as the handles are made of stainless steel, they stay cool when you cook. The pans can be covered with the tempered glass lids. The pieces are allowed being used in oven (safe to 500 degrees) but are not suitable for induction cooktops.
Pros of non-stick
- Healthier meal. One of the principle benefits of nonstick cookware is its option allowing cooking with less oil or even without it. So it doesn’t mean the fat or oil is forbidden. If you prefer, you can add them into a pan but it is not required. Though, you should escape using nonstick spray because a residue appears and reduces performance of a pan.
- Diversity. If we do not speak about Teflon, there are some other coatings marketed as non-stick and close to natural like ceramic, SandFlow, and Thermolon which are safe and eco-riendly.
- High conductivity. The conductivity depends on the pan material, which is aluminum in most cases providing the best heat distribution ever.
- Easy maintenance. The coating is non-porous being very even and sooth that is why cleaning up is very simple.
- Nonreactivity. The surface of such cookware is non-reactive meaning that it does not change the taste and flavor of foods.
- Perfect appearance of the dish. You can cook beautifully without breaking the meal apart or burning it thanks to coating.
Cons of non-stick
- Restrictions of utensils. Usually you are not allowed to use any utensils you want. The steel and sharp ones are not recommended. Everything that can damage the surface should be refused. The manufacturers usually offer nylon, silicone or wooden utensils. And forget about harsh abrasives and rough pads when wash such a vessel.
- Restrictions of cooking methods. You are allowed to cook over the low to medium heat in order to escape breaking down at high heat.
- Restrictions of shelf life. The non-stick cookware has comparatively short lifetime – about 3 years.
Once again we should start with such a requirement as refusal of metal for stirring the foods in a nonstick pan. This is the most important rule to remember. Though you can find the metal resistant sets at the market but even so we’d recommend being careful to avoid any scratches on the surface. And you do not need to clean a nonstick pan using a scouring pads, it is washed very simply just with warm soapy water. Forget about harsh cleaning detergents also. If it happens (when the shelf life comes to the finish) the food is a little bit stuck, you should dip a pan into warm water for a while. Otherwise it is easy to deglaze the vessel using metal scouring pad. Even if you do not see deep scratches, the coating is damaged.
Another thing to be refused of is a cooking spray. It ruins the cookware very quickly regardless of its composition. Again you hardly see the immediate result, but in due course if you continue use it, there will be an effect. You’d better prefer some regular oil or butter if you want to cook with it. As to aerosol sprays, they are good when you do not apply heat.
Storage does matter. The vessels with non-stick coating should be stored hanging without any contacts with the cooking surface. We do not recommend stacking them but if there is no choice, try to keep them away from anything that is sharp.
Do not forget to clean them after every use and – attention! – you should dry every pan inside using a soft kitchen towel. The modern pans are often allowed to be washed in a dishwasher, but if you want to extend their life, clean them by hand. The point is that the harsh chemicals applied in dishwasher are slowly destroying the coating. And please, do not hesitate and throw out the damages pans with scratches or chips which can get into your food and that is not very good though as experts insist such chips pass through your body without much harm. Anyway the damaged non-stick vessel can be not good for health concerns. Why is it so? Let’s consider this them on individual basis.
You do understand that everything that is surrounding us has a certain impact on our well-being. The more so if we speak about our meal. The products we choose and the way we cook them are very important for us to feel healthy. That is why we should consider the tools we apply during preparation of the food. There a lot of materials available for the producers of the cookware. They are improved by particular processing and with various supplements. Are all of them equally safe? Don’t they reduce the nutritional value of the foods? Perhaps, they evolve some fumes or elements, which are leached into the meal and poison it? These questions are of big concern nowadays. The scientists investigate the consequences of everyday use of various materials within this context considering the impact of temperature, chemicals and acids on them. Sometimes the results of tests are not optimistic and cause the restrictions as to use of some techniques in food industry so that we could avoid risks for your health
Teflon is one of those materials that is followed with a lot of disputes. We’ll remind that this is a brand name for products made on the base of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This material is not a hazard to healthy but in the technological process Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is used. This chemical is a reason for those toxic fumes which appear in the air when the Tefal cookware is overheated. They leads to flu-like symptoms in humans – the so called Polymer fume fever which is able to kill a bird. It can accumulate int the human blood and cause thyroid disease, high cholesterol levels and reduce fertility. That is why all manufacturers of the non-stick vessels are obliged by the regulative body to eliminate PFOA emissions by 2015. Though in 2005 was formed the Science Advisory Board to review those findings and according to its current stand there is no reason for consumers to refuse PTFE-based nonstick cookware. The researchers are going on.
If you want to cook easily and ready to follow the instructions of the producers as to safe used of the Tefal vessels, please, turn your attention to the assortment suggested here. The wide variety and affordable prices are for you!