I like cast iron, but my husband likes to cook with non-stick. Is Cuisinart fairly decent or should we look at another brand? Any details regarding quality and longevity, stove-to-oven are welcome. Thanks!
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Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I can't speak to Cuisinart because I own Master Chef All Clad and have for 30 years. I love the stuff. :) In case no one on this site has personal experience with Cuisinart cookware, Amazon is a great place to check out reviews.
Oops..just saw the non-stick part of your post. I only own one 12 inch non-stick pan. It's Calphalon. I rarely use it, but I like it a lot.
I've never used their non-stick, but I have a Cuisinart baking sheet which has been unimpressive.
I also don't have any Cuisinart non-stick but I have several pieces of their stainless and I'm not a fan. It burns and stains quite a bit. So I'd really do some research before I invested in their non-stick. I'm also a cast-iron person so I don't have a great non-stick recommendation but maybe others who use it more can weigh in.
Diana B is a trusted home cook.
If it's going to get a lot of use, splurge on All Clad - you'll never regret it and it will perform well for you for a long time.
Sorry, I forgot to add that if All Clad is just out of the question, America's Test Kitchen rated T-fal's non-stick pan very highly and you always see them being used on their television program.
Oh! We'll keep an eye out then, thanks!
These answers have all been really helpful- thank you so much everyone. Going to go with the All Clad.
Lucky hubby. :0)
I am trying to phase out all of my non-stick crockery. Cuisinart makes some impressive multi-layer stainless steel pans, specifically the MFC "Chef's Classic" and the "French Classic" ranges. I have a 10" pan from them and it is very well constructed and cooks incredibly well. I also have a Cuisinart 2 qt cast iron Dutch oven that has performed exceptionally well. I've used it for everything from making hummus, to posole rojo, to braised beef cheeks.
My advice is unless you husband cooks a lot of pancakes (in which case you might invest in a griddle pan) you should have him try stainless steel. I guarantee he'll be impressed.
Yes! I really don't like non-stick and have a fear that the coating is somehow poisoning us. My husband and I go round and round on this. He thinks my cast iron pans stick, but it's because he tried them early on before I'd gotten them well seasoned. Now they are gorgeous. The problem with stainless has been the sticking, for example when he does fried potatoes. Are we just doing it wrong?
It's weird because I have an electric stainless steel pancake griddle that works great, but I think it's because I can see exactly what temperature it is at all times. We also have had great success with ceramic covered cast iron. Thanks for your insight. I'd love to get him off the non-sticks.
Thistle - the non-stick coating is not a health issue unless you see the coating begin to flake away in patches. If that happens you have to discard the pan immediately. This annoys me a great deal, because aside from that it is a perfectly good pan. Therefore, unless you want to be extremely careful and only use silicone/wood utensils on your pan and make sure to be very careful when washing, I would opt for stainless or cast iron.
The reason why items like fried potatoes and such might be sticking is for two reasons - first is that you may not be using enough fat when you cook. With a stainless pan, using just cooking spray is simply not enough - you need to use a decent amount of oil, butter, or (especially with potatoes) duck fat. Another possibility is that you could have the flame up too high. Modern multi-layer stainless pans are so well conductive to heat that if you have a gas hob, you might only need to turn it to the medium setting to get temps of 300F or higher and above on your pan in less than 4 minutes. If you feel uncomfortable estimating the temperature of your pans, I would recommend investing in an infrared thermometer. They're much cheaper now than they used to be, and they are perfect for getting an accurate instant reading on the surface of your pans and pots when on the heat. This way you'll know if the pan is too hot or not hot enough and will prevent over or undercooking, which also is a reason for food sticking and burning.
Thanks for your time on this, Jan. It won't let me reply to your points below, but I do think we are using too much heat, as you suggested! We're going to look for one of those infrared thermometers. Thanks so much.
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
This is such a broad topic that I hardly know where to start! FOOD52 really needs a science feature. I agree with a whole lot of what Jan Weber says--especially about using enough fat in stainless. Another tip is to give what you're browning enough time to brown, don't keep moving it around.
I disagree with a couple of other things. Firstly, there are varieties of non-stick coatings, and not all of them have been implicated as potential health problems. For example: ceramics (often inexpensive but apparently don't hold up well) and the ceramic-titanium in Scanpan (which is pricey, but I have some and have been impressed; you can use metal utensils with it). I don't know anything about the All Clad non-sticks and don't see anything immediately on their website.
Secondly, it's not the chipping away that's the problem. It's the fumes they emit when heated. That's a problem that might be easily solved by proper use, ventilation, and maybe the infrared thermometer Jan Weber recommends. But, of course, it's even more easily solved by making a different choice of pan.
Good luck! Thanks for starting the conversation.
Am really glad I asked the question (though I wished I'd asked it in a non-stick vs stainless way, as that's what I really meant I guess) because I'm learning so much from these comments. The fumes are what concern me, as we don't have proper ventilation. Thanks for the info!
Good to know that was your intent Thistle. A search of the Hotline will give you even more info. I just searched "non stick" and got a lot of past threads, they're worth checking out:
Awesome! I'll be sifting through those. Thanks again!
Well, most sources say that PTFE-based non-stick coatings can be used up to 500F/260C . However, they also say that they should not be used for broiling or cooking inside of an oven, so obviously don't used non-stick for that purpose.
About browning - that's a good basic tip I forgot to mention. If you want your food to brown when frying or sauteeing, don't move it around in the pan. Using enough fat will allow for a consistent browning as well as there won't be patches where the heat-transfer is uneven.
One clarification, since I see you reference ceramic-coated cast iron. The non-stick ceramics that I mentioned, the ones that apparently don't hold up, are something different.