Why I Hate Non-Stick Cookware

December 29, 2009




See those black stripes? That’s not burger grill marks… That’s the non-stick cookware that has come off the grill onto the burgers! GRRRRRRR

This happens to me all the time, with every pan I buy! Am I the only one? I’ve had this problem with just about every non-stick cookware I buy. I don’t get the really cheapo stuff, either– this is the pricey stuff from WalMart. I got this pan last year. I was shocked it lasted so long, because my frying pans and loaf pans start to flake off within months. This is disgusting. I don’t have the receipt anymore, so I can’t return it. This stuff is toxic!! Why do they make cookware with it??
:hmph: I’m a peevish disputant, to quote the term by Matthew Henry.

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10 Responses to “Why I Hate Non-Stick Cookware”

  1. Mizé Says:

    I use non stick cookware only for eggs.
    Been a bad blogger friend lately, sorry for my absence. If you check Night Clicks you´ll understand why (I hope).
    Anyway, I´m here today to wish you:
    Happy New Year!
    Hope 2010 brings all the best for you & your family.
    Warm hugs, Mizé.

  2. Secondary Roads Says:

    We’ve had problems @ Secondary Roads with no-stick cookware, but it was the result of using too high temperature. Try dialing down the heat.

    Also had excellent results with Calphalon products, available through amazon.com. I bought one for Sylvia a few years ago, and once we learned how to use it, have had great results. (Your mileage may vary.)

  3. RE - Entrepod Says:

    oooh my, teflon coming off on food means the food is inedible since the teflon is poison. best advice is to avoid coated pans – use Stainless Steel Pans. I use revereware which I bought when I married 25 years ago; and it’s still like new. a scrubbing with an sos and they shine and conduct heat like the best calphalon or allclad stainless. remember most stainless steel pots and pans are made by Revereware and branded to other companies. and yes Revereware is still made IN The USA. use a light vegetable oil spray or a lil butter and you should have no stickage. 😉

    Happy 2010 to you and yours

  4. Connie Says:

    Mine is hit or miss… it either falls apart immediately, or lasts for years. Doesn’t matter the price or brand.

    Hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday season!!!

  5. Trent @ SmartShopIt Says:

    I agree with Mize. Nonstick for eggs only. Nonstick does not work well for grilling, searing or sauteing. You don’t get good carmalization when sauteing vegetables or grilling/searing meats. Plus you do not get the fond necessary to build a pan sauce with nonstick. I love my grill pan from Le Crueset. Also doubles as a panini maker if you buy the optional top press. Yeah, cleaning is not as nice but that’s the price you pay.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Sheila Sultani Says:

    I’ve probably ruined 100 teflon pans because I don’t follow the “rules” –

    1. Cutting Serving Portions With a Metal Knife or Utensil
    Cutting desserts or meatloaf in the pan with a metal knife or utensil can pierce the coating leaving your pans unsightly, cause foods to stick and rust to form. Use rubber or silicone spatulas to portion and serve from your cookware or bakeware.
    2. Storing Pans Improperly
    Storing pans haphazardly along with other metal implements, can cause scratches in the finish. Always nest your nonstick frypans and bakeware carefully, and do not alloy other metal pan covers with thin sharp edges to sit inside your pans.
    3. Drastic Water Temperature Changes
    Placing a very hot non-stick frypan into cool or lukewarm dishwater can cause your pan to warp. A warped pan will not have even heat distribution and cooking abilities will be reduced. Always allow your pan to cool completely before immersing it.
    4. Using Metal Spatulas, Whisks or Tongs
    Refrain from using any metal utensils in your nonstick to stir, turn food, scrape food residue, or blend foods right in the pan. The best utensils to use are wood, plastic, or silicone. Many companies are now making silicone whisks which are terrific for that quick blending. Even occasional fork-turning can nick and scratch your pan.
    5. Cleaning With a Scouring Cleanser Pad
    Using scouring products that are metal based or have harsh cleansers, can wear off the coating on your pans. Always use plastic scourers or soft sponges. Allowing your pan to soak for a moment will usually loosen foods and enable you to clean it with just warm water, mild soap and a soft cloth.
    6. Cleaning Pans in a Dishwasher
    Dishwasher detergents generally are too harsh for most nonstick cookware and kitchenware, and will eventually cause the finish to wear off. Bakeware that has scratches in it may also not dry completely and could rust. Handwash your nonstick implements and dry completely before storing.
    7. Cooking on High Heat
    Most nonstick cookware is made for low and medium heat cooking. Too high a heat can wear down or blister the finish, as well as cause pans to warp. To maintain your pan and increase its lifespan, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cooking heat.
    8. Storing Foods in Your Nonstick Pans
    Foods should never be stored in the pans but should be removed and pans should be cleaned carefully and dried before storing.
    9. Cutting Your Pizza With a Cutter
    Cutting your pizza right in the nonstick pizza pan will mar the finish. Always slide your pizza out unto a wooden cutting board, and then apply the pizza cutter to portion servings.
    10. Using Your Bread Pans for Meats or High Acid Foods
    Nonstick bread pans provide for easy removal of fresh baked bread. But using these same pans for meatloaf or other foods will wear off the finish quicker, as some foods reduce the lifespan of your pans, making them harder to clean and more prone to rust. Keep bread pans just for bread, and designate another pan for other foods. This way you’ll ensure no pan residue ends up on your freshly baked bread.

    • Rebecca Says:

      Wow, thanks for all your advice, everyone! I’ve determined that pampering my non-stick cookware is too much work! Gah! Shall I tuck it in bed each night and feed it bon-bons during the day, too?? 😉

      Give me back my stick-y stainless steel. Down with non-stick!

  7. Mom's Cafe Home Cooking Says:

    Flaking non-stick coating can also be due to lower quality. For years I used Baker’s Secret baking sheets but when the coating started flaking I replaced with new ones. Both new sheets flaked within 3 uses and that is with using nylon utensils and handwashing with no abrasives. I replaced one of the new ones with the same and it also flaked within 3 uses. The new Baker’s Secret baking sheets are of considerably lower quality than the ones they made years ago. I replaced with Wilton baking sheets and have not had a problem with flaking. The Wilton baking sheets are a lot heavier. I also replaced my non-stick cookie sheets with air-bake sheets and a professional grade baking sheet that I use Silpats on. Silpats are even nicer than non-stick baking sheets! Non-stick pans and baking sheets shouldn’t be washed in the dishwasher either as that will ruin the coating.

    I only have a couple of non-stick fry pans for certain uses. The rest are stainless steel. You can’t get a good sear using non-stick pans.

  8. Rebecca Says:

    Odd, some of these comments I didn’t get in my email notification! Your comments are all amazing.

    Mize and Trent: Yes, I think I will only use non-stick for eggs.

    Secondary Roads and Sheila: I don’t think I have the heat up too high. I never use metal utensils in the pans.

    RE Entrepod: You are SO right! I love Revereware, but it is so expensive. But I think it’s what I’m going to get. I love that it’s American made!

    Connie: I had hoped that this latest pan, a pricey one, would last longer than it has. My purchases are very hit-and-miss, too… but mostly miss!

    Mom’s Cafe: Yes, I used to buy Baker’s Secret, then the quality tanked. I’ll have to check out Wilton, but I do prefer stainless steel. Your cookie sheets sound great!

    Thanks so much for your knowledge, everyone! It is extremely helpful.

  9. Tricia Says:

    I absolutely second RE-entrepod’s comment, and add with urgency: Cooking with no-stick cookware is very unhealthful! Please don’t use it for anything! (And no, I don’t sell cookware of any kind.) Aluminum, of course, is also very unhealthful.

    I just found your blog today, by the way!