Please help me rate this factors from most important to least
- hold nonstick properties over time
- easy food release
- high heat resistance
- metal-utensils safe
I neither own nor recommend nonstick cookware. If you use "regular" good quality cookware properly, one will rarely, if ever, have food stick to the pan.
I use Calohalon non stick skillets. I have many other pans that I prefer, but there are times when I just want to use them. They are quite heavy bottomed, so they brown things well, they have metal handles so are oven proof up to a certain degrees (I always have to look it up because I don't do that often enough to remember what degree) and of course, clean up is a breeze and they are lighter than my cast iron or All Clad.
I never use metal when I use them. I put protectors on them because I stack them. I've only had to replace them once in many years. I think my family wasn't as diligent in caring for them as I am.
Probably not a popular opinion, but I'd go by price- I've found expensive nonsticks to be a waste of money, though if you're very careful and use them rarely, the second generation ceramics are pretty good.
I totally agree, just buy something generic from a restaurant supply store, not one of the fancier brands.
Save your cookware dollars for nicer pieces that aren't non-stick.
I like the newer nonsticks . Just tossed some older pans and bought the ceramic nonstick (usually white or gray) and they work well. There are a few safer coating out there now. Look in Home goods for some good buys. Buy good quality pans, it is worth it in the long run. Non stick over time and high heat resistance are the most important for me. Metal utensils will always be an issue if you are not careful.
There's actually surprisingly little problem with quality in modern low cost non sticks. Perhaps because of the aluminum glut, many come with quite satisfactorily substantial bottoms. Modern manufacturing methods, where machines are more and more making and setting up the factory machinery, allow for amazing precision in low cost manufactured products, unknown a few years ago- the quality of guitar you can get for $500 these days is astonishing. The only real issue I've had in the last ten years was with a pan ("La Cucina, I think) that I bought at Safeway as a fill in for under $15. It cooked perfectly well, but the way the handle attached just didn't work. Brands I've had excellent results with in recent years, all in the $20-$25 range for a 10" skillet, are "Tramontia" (metal handles-- the Calphalon handle helpers fit them), Revereware and Farberware (the latter two old brands that have gone discount- maybe Tramontia is too)
Smaug, I agree but some are really cheap. Home Goods has a nice selection reasonably priced, and I look for a decent handle as you mentioned. the low end stuff can have flimsy handles.
I have some nonstick pots and pans but prefer using the regular pans and cast iron whenever I can. I don't know, seeing an egg slide around the pan makes me wonder just what is that surface made of? JMO I'm with Chef June, I rarely, if ever, have anything stick to the pan.
I don't think sticking is so much an issue. I didn't use nonsticks for a long time, and of course there's no real trick to avoiding food sticking, but it does inevitably involve a lot more oil and grease, especially for vegetable dishes. As I greatly dislike overly fatty food, including the great majority of restaurant cooking, being able to make a meal for two with a tsp. or less of oil really appealed to me.