Is Any Nonstick Cookware Real?
Q: I've used my RevereWare for 25+yrs and use some cast-iron skillets which are probably 50+yrs old. I tried non-stick (Teflon and Silverstone) a few years ago and found them very bad - usually placed on a base of inconsistent thickness and unpredictable heating/cooling qualities, plus required use of special tools. I'd like to get an omelette pan (and if this works, ultimately much more) of nonstick material. Two simple requirements: 1) I can use ordinary tools instead of the flimsy plastic and nylon which Teflon, Silvastone, TFal and Calphalon require. 2) Does not become unusable in heavy use after a few years (like Teflon or Sivastone). Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
A: The QVC line (Cook's Essentials) is suprisingly well-made and in addition to the attributes already listed, has a very thick disk on the bottom which permits use of very high temperatures without warping. I sent one pan to a friend and he loves it. I use a line called Ultrex which is almost identical to Cook's Essentials except it is "coated" with the patented non-stick coating called "Excalibur" which is the identical coating used on All-Clad if I'm not mistaken -- one of the far more expensive lines. The Ultrex line has all the features mentioned for Cooks Essentials, but a 55 year warantee rather than life. Unless you wish to spend far more money for a non-stick pan, I highly recommend either shopping channel's line of cookware. I'm sure many will scoff at that suggestion, but it really is very good, substantial cookware, extremely reasonable, and one has nothing to lose in trying one piece. Full refunds. I agree with this. I have had my Ultrex for about 5 or 6 months now and love it. My set came missing one pan, I called up, they sent me a replacement without any questions. No peeling or scratches, no sticking of anything. So far, it is great. I started with a 10 piece set, added another saucepan with a steamer insert and also got 2 cookie sheets. I've tried lots of different kinds of non-stick cookware over the years, and, to tell the truth, the best I've ever found is well-seasoned cast iron. It's as forgiving as one can get. My husband keeps forgetting and scrubbing it with Brillo--so I rub it down with oil again and set it in a low oven for an hour, and it's "healed." I've found little need to use Brillo; the most it ever really needs it a bit of abrasion from a plastic scrubbie, and usually not even that. I can saute on high; I can simmer on the lowest heat; we can even bring it with us camping and use it on the campfire! You could stir it with a mace if you wanted to, and none the worse for the wear. As opposed to "applied" non-stick surfaces, it only improves with use. It's heavy and it's ugly--but I wouldn't trade it for any fancy cookware at any price. And the price is great, too--we got three good heavy pans that we've been using now for ten year for $10 the set.
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