Teflon pans are really good. They are non stick, light, and go in the oven. You can cook anything in them, from delicate fish to crepes.
As long as you don't want to go above 500F, good old Teflon is the best answer.
Quoting myself: Some people worry about Teflon being toxic, confusing whatever wears off during cooking with smoke from overheating it. Manufacturers prey upon such needless fears in their attempts to sell you their products.
Teflon has one of the lowest coefficients of friction known to man and it is pure, meaning there are no stabilizers, lubricants or plasticizers that would contaminate food. The only danger is from overheating.
Quoting Robert Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, author of "What Einstein Told His Cook":
"In terms of practical performance in the kitchen…Teflon coated pans have lasted up to 7 times longer as ceramic pans. Ceramics are by definition brittle, they eventually crack. They are simply not as long lasting or as well performing as Teflon."
Back to me: Teflon goes easily from burner to oven for finishing fish or holding eggs. It's only the broiler that's of concern.
I have two sauté pans, both of which can go in the oven. I've got a Tefal brand one (one the Jamie Oliver ones) and a Le Creuset non-stick. They both work great, though I think the Le Creuset is holding up better to constant use than the Tefal one.
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
Scanpan is another option, though a pricey one. It has a titanium and ceramic coating that can withstand use of metal utensils and can go into the oven or broiler.
I found my Scanpan on sale!
I love my scanpan. It may be pricey but it willlast forever. It can be put in the oven.
Shuna is a pastry chef in New York City and author of the acclaimed blog Eggbeater.
Teflon will tell you their pans are non-toxic up to 500F. Do you take the temp of your pan before you cook in it? Some tests have shown that a parakeet will die in a room where a teflon pan is being heated.
My favorite "non-stick" surface is my enamel cast iron pans, many of which I've purchased in 2nd hand stores. Considering many of them were antique when I bought them, they'll outlive me before the surface is damaged! I also season my cast iron pans to the point of being non-stick. It IS possible to have a non-stick surface be NON-TOXIC.
I have been trying to use my cast iron as much as I can, but I find that for egg dishes, mine is just not non stick enough. I basically use my scanpan for frittatas and such.
Thank you all for your recommendations. I couldn't find a Scanpan that's rated for higher than 350° and T-fal, where I could find any information at all, seems to have the same limitation.
Chef Ono, I tried searching online for Teflon cookware and despite specifying Teflon, I got all kind of other non-stick cookware showing up. Can you give me the names of some brands you like for this kind of cookware? Maybe that will help me find what I'm looking for. Thanks!
according to this, scanpan nonstick is rated to 500 degrees. http://www.surlatable.com...
Shuna, Teflon doesn't actually begin to break down (produce toxic smoke) until the temperature exceeds 660F, far above the smoke point of any cooking oil. While your cast iron pans could take that kind of heat, you'd have another problem to deal with -- fire. Not to mention a ruined meal.
As for the canary, any smoke, including that from an overheated cast iron pan can kill a bird in short order. Smoke is toxic to humans as well. That's why we have vent hoods in kitchens. And why vets caution to keep birds out of the kitchen.
Diana, Teflon is a DuPont trademark; many manufacturers simply refer to the substance as "non-stick". Brand choice can be highly dependent upon budget. My advice is to invest in All-Clad d5 or Mauviel if at all possible.
Lots of choices, but I've been very happy with my All-Clad 12" for 10 years for stove to oven uses.
Chef Ono, the d5 line doesn't have any non-stick pans, per All-Clad's website, but their MC2 line does; is that what you meant?
It's a good thing for us cooks that All-Clad makes better cookware than Web sites. Here's what I'm referring to:
The d5 is a 5-layer stainless and aluminum sandwich, one of those layers being magnetic (important if there's an induction cooktop in your future). The MC² was designed for economy and lacks a stainless outer layer. They also make a 3-layer stainless version but the d5 is well worth the slightly higher price if you ask me.
If you decide to go with All-Clad and can afford to be patient (or can't afford not to be patient like me), keep your eye on Williams-Sonoma. They put these pans on sale regularly for half price.
Thanks! This appears to be exclusive to Williams Sonoma, which is why it wouldn't show on All-Clad's website. There are a surprisingly large number of negative reviews on this pan at W-S's website, but I will take your advice and wait for a sale.
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