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Old 07-12-2006, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exactly150
I buy the cheapies from Walmart, and chuck it after 6 - 8 months.
The problem with this is that we have become a society that thinks nothing of throwing things away. It is a waste of resources IMHO.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:07 PM   #12
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Well, the non-stick pan is thick. So I turn it up on very high heat to heat it up quicker. Even with high heat, it still takes like 3 or 4 minutes for it to get hot. I do not know how much longer it would take me if I set it on low to medium. I stir-fry a lot, which requires high heat. Carbon steel is rare to find. Virtually all pans that I find are those non-stick ones.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:14 PM   #13
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I also disagree that non-stick pans can't be used on high heat without damage. I have several Calaphon pans that I have routinely used on high heat (but not as hot as my stainless or cast iron pans) and they remain in good condition.

The difference is really in the quality of the pan and the type of non-stick surface used by the manufacturer. It pays to buy good stuff, if you can afford the initial outlay, as they're cheaper in the long run.

As for danger from non-stick surfaces, that's way overblown. The problems are during the manufacturing process, not when you use them at home. The old problem of fumes from overheated Teflon does not exist with modern non-stick surfaces, and ingesting pieces of the non-stick coating is not dangerous because they can't be digested and pass through the body harmlessly.

One other suggestion -- take the pan back to the place where you bought it. Chances are they will give you another, or give you credit toward a better pan. Williams Sonoma is great about that, even with expensive pans that are several years old -- if the coating is coming off, they'll replace it.
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:47 AM   #14
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While "A poor workman blames his tools" is true to some extent ... I don't think you can fault the tool if the workman reaches for a screwdriver to remove a bolt. Different tools have different uses. Different cookware materials have different properties and uses.

Nonstick cookware is not intended for blazing hot cooking - like a proper stir-fry requires. For that - you need either a carbon steel wok, or cast iron if there is no other option available although cast iron will not be as good since it is not as responsive as the steel nor does it heat the same way. Don't know where you live anticuchos - but if you have an Asian market around you can get one there (probably the lowest price you will ever find) ... and you can find them on-line. And, ironically, as any cast iron cook will tell you - once it is seasoned (just like cast iron) it is just as nonstick as those pans with chemical coatings - and can take a lot more heat.

And for FryBoy ... if I might be allowed to quote directly from DuPont, "If, however, TeflonŽ non-stick coatings are allowed to heat to abnormally high temperatures such as 500°F (260°C), the non-stick cookware can emit fumes that may produce a temporary flu-like condition known as "polymer fume fever." " - aka, Teflon Flu. Yes, the workers producing it have the greatest exposure ... but it doesn't mean you're not exposed at home using the end product if not treated properly. The actual "fume" point is closer to 465-F for nonstick coatings.

All cookware has it's advantages, disadvantages and limits. I have some Calphalon nonstick anodized aluminum ... I get a good sear on meat and caramalize onions without any problem ... and never used more than Med-Hi heat. If I want blazing hot temp for stir fry - I use my steel wok, for something like blacked chicken or catfish I break out my cast iron skillet. If you overheat Stainless Steel you can discolor or warp it, if it is SS with an encapsulated disk on the bottom the aluminum can melt and run out onto your stove top, if it is a try-ply the aluminum can bubble and warp the pan. While the "ultimate" cookware for many is French copper cookware with a tin lining ... tin melts just below 450-F. And if you overheat your $200 LeCruset 6-qt pot ... you're going to be looking at a crazed enamel surface (which will begin to chip) or instant chipped shards of enamel in your food.

If you have a thicker than some other aluminum pot ... so you have to wait a minute or two longer for it to heat up to the same temp on Med-Hi instead of Hi .. does that really matter if you don't ruin a pan needlessly?

Like Norm on New Yankee Workshop says ... read, understand, and follow the instructions that come with your tools. To which I would add - understand what your tools can do before you buy them.
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:40 PM   #15
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throw it away

Quote:
Originally Posted by anticuchos
Are non-stick frying pan suppose to go bad in like 2 months? Because I am starting to see a few tiny cracks on the surface!!! Bits of it probably ended up in my food. :( How concerned should I be if some did ended in my body?
Then do a google search on the word teflon.....and you'll be out buying cast iron skillets before the week is up.
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
... if I might be allowed to quote directly from DuPont, "If, however, TeflonŽ non-stick coatings are allowed to heat to abnormally high temperatures such as 500°F (260°C), the non-stick cookware can emit fumes that may produce a temporary flu-like condition known as "polymer fume fever."
You quote selectively. The above sentence is immediately preceded by this sentence: "In the 40-plus year history of TeflonŽ non-stick coatings, there have been no reported cases of consumers contracting polymer fume fever or other health effects as a result of in-home normal cooking use."


The real danger is not from Teflon but a chemical used in the manufacturing process, called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), also known as C-8. As Dupont notes on its website,
A published, peer-reviewed study (April 2005) in Environmental Science & Technology [.pdf] found no PFOA in TeflonŽ cookware. No PFOA was detected even when the cookware was scratched with a knife. Studies using FDA standard testing methods also found no detectable levels of PFOA in non-stick coatings used for cookware sold under the TeflonŽ brand. The Danish Technical Institute and China Academy of Inspection and Quarantine tested TeflonŽ cookware and did not detect PFOA.

However, according to a recently published study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), PFOA was detected in minute quantities in cookware using extreme and abusive test methods--methods that do not reflect what happens when consumers use cookware. The quantities of PFOA detected through these extreme measures were too small to measure migration of the PFOA out of the cookware. Published, peer-reviewed research clearly shows that cookware is safe for consumer use.

Non-stick cookware is safe to use, despite the media-driven hysteria surrounding C-8. Granted, it should not be heated to "abnormally high temperatures," but then neither should any cookware.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:26 PM   #17
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I've gone through a lot of cookware in my life. Unless it's some odd-sized pan you aren't going to use much, it's a waste of money to buy the cheap stuff. It's actually more expensive in the long run, because you keep having to replace it.

My first good cookware was Le Creuset, and while it was good for slow cooking, it heated slowly and the saucepans and skillets stuck something awful, no matter how I tried to season and prepare them. They also weighed a TON!
But, when I burned one of the wooden handles on my gas range, I sent the pan into the company, and they sent me a brand new one.

When my husband bought me a complete set of Magna Lite cookware, rubber handles, pot-hanger and all, I thought he'd been way too extravagent. He said the cookware was guaranteed for 100 years. Unfortunately, the company that made that particular cookware went out of business, perhaps because they claimed their product was non-stick, which it is NOT! But after 19 years, every piece is still like new. I have a big soup kettle that is big enough to feed our whole village.

Then, DH started buying me Calphalon. He'd seen what Cook's Illustrated had to say about the cookware... second onlty to All-Clad, but still pretty durned good, and rated as "Best Buy".
We started with one $200 skillet, and kept adding until we have a great assortment. They are a bit heavy, but I love them. They really don't stick and have great heat distribution.
I do sear meats in them, and have no problem browning or caramelizing, so whomever says you can't hasn't tried it.
When the oldest, most used one started losing some of it's non-stick coating, we sent it back to the company. It took about 6 weeks, but they sent us a brand new one.
We also have one of the new type...can't remember what they call it. But it's a wonderful non-stick, light-weight Dutch oven.

I'd like to echo something Michael advised: Always read the instructions and take proper care of your appliance. You'd be surprised how many people will stick a metal fork in a non-stick pan.

By the way, I bought one of the best pots I ever had at a rummage sale for $2. That was over 30 years ago, and it was old then. And it's still in use...when I discovered my daughter didn't have a stock pot, I gave it to her.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:26 AM   #18
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Constance - Magnalite cookware is still around! Although the warranty is now down to 50-years. If watching the cooking demonstrators on TV is an indication of anything - it seems to be most prevalent cookware in Louisiana, outside of cast iron. I think it's the ONLY cookware I ever saw Justin Wilson use.

Doug - I did not say nonstick cookware was bad, evil, or a health hazard when used properly. DuPont states that there are no problems in NORMAL home useage (which would mean used according to the instructions) ... but admit there are problems if those instructions are not followed and the pans are over-heated. Yes, I did quote selectively - the factors constituting abnormal use - I have no problem with the "correct" use of nonstick. We're really on the same page even if you don't realize it. If I didn't believe nonstick cookware was safe to use I wouldn't have any in my kitchen - and I certainly wouldn't have bought my kid sister a set a couple of years ago.

Like any other tools - there are different tools for different tasks.
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