How to transition away from non-stick

I feel silly posting this question, but here goes: I want to get away from non-stick pans, mostly because I can't get the family to use the non-stick appropriately (ie, they are unlikely to pay attention to using the proper utensils, etc). plus we don't get around to replacing the nonstick until they are REALLY scratched up and it finally occurs to us that it's likely being ingested. Then it takes us months to grab a new cheap pan from TJMaxx. I'm ready to go all-clad but how do I make the switch in cooking? I am fine with using oil, etc but for example when I fried polenta rounds in olive oil in my regular all-clad pan today it sticks no matter what. Is this just the norm that I'm not used to, or can I season the all-clad's to minimize sticking, or do I need to cook in a different method? I would season a cast iron - I have a Lodge but it rarely gets used because I'm a weakling and have trouble lifting it on my own! My wrists feel like they'll snap!! PS If someone can convince me there are nonsticks out there now that do not have ingestion hazards I'd be interested, maybe I've got outdated thinking on the subject.

  • Posted by: LaMar
  • September 2, 2019


Gammy September 4, 2019
Have you investigated carbon steel skillets. They should be treated much like cast iron and need to be seasoned, but are much lighter in weight and contain no non-stick materials. many woks are carbon steel. Made In is one reasonably priced brand I see advertised that I'd like to try.
Nancy September 3, 2019
For both your general and specific questions (h2 cook without nonstick pans and h2 fry polenta), yes cast iron is a very good choice.
Large(10-12") skillets are classic hardworking equipment and can be used for almost everything from breakfast for eggs through to dinner's roasted chicken .
If you find the standard pans too heavy, get a 6-8" size or lighter pan for smaller tasks.
Alsi, switching away from nonstick doesn't necessarily mean using all one type of pan (like layered stainless steel) for all tasks.
You may find different materials and weights better for different tasks.
Last, on the polenta, try frying it in stainless steel on lower heat setting and see if that doesn't work better.
Kristen W. September 3, 2019
Oh, also a well-seasoned wok is very nonstick and has no chemical coating that leeches into food (as far as I know, anyway). It can work for certain things...
Kristen W. September 3, 2019
Greenpan makes a ceramic nonstick that they advertise as being totally non-toxic. I have one and I like it a lot. It’s also supposed to be scratch-resistant, though I still kind of baby mine out of habit so I don’t really know how scratch-proof it is. I think there are just some foods (eggs, for example) that do much better in a nonstick pan so it’s nice to have one in addition to stainless.
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