The use of non-stick cookware in the United States spread like wildfire following its introduction to the market by DuPont in 1945. And, the American chef, professional or otherwise, has really never looked back.
It should be noted that the term “non-stick” can be applied with different meanings. Some refer to the non-stick qualities of cookware materials like iron or stainless steel. Here, though, it is being used to describe Teflon or other PTFE coatings.
And, there have been advancements. The 1980s saw the introduction of ceramic-based non-stick surfaces that have been infused with everything from titanium to diamonds to increase its strength. But, they still fall within the non-stick class of cookware.
Non-stick cookware is everywhere. It would not be far-fetched to guess that there is at least one piece of non-stick cookware in every American kitchen today. It is the go-to cookware for nearly every cooking demographic in the country, whether you’re an amateur or pro, young or old, on a budget or in the money.
What makes non-stick cookware so popular? It comes down to three things: it’s inexpensive, there’s a lot of it out there and it gets the job done.
You can get a complete non-stick cookware set for as little as $30. There’s just no other type of cookware that can offer that price point. It will not be the greatest set in the world, but for someone on a budget who needs a way to heat up soup it’s just the ticket.
On the other hand, you can find high-quality non-stick cookware sets for as much as $600 or more.
The advantage is that non-stick cookware is not beyond the reach of any budget. But, why does the price for non-stick cookware fluctuate so much?
It’s not so much what’s on the inside as what’s on the outside when it comes to non-stick cookware. The non-stick polymer coating can be sprayed on to a variety of metals, which can be incorporated into any number of designs with varying build quality. That way, you have your choice between an $8 non-stick aluminum pan and a $140 non-stick stainless steel pan with a copper core.
Why do people love non-stick cookware? Well, because food doesn’t stick to it! Good non-stick cookware can be used even without butter, oil or spray and food will still slide right off of it. This paves the way for healthier cooking, too, which only adds to the value.
Since a non-stick polymer can be applied to any metal you are not really limited in the quality of non-stick cookware that is available. A non-stick polymer is most commonly applied to hard anodized aluminum to create affordable cookware of good quality, but it can just as easily be applied to stainless steel cladding, titanium, bronze or even porcelain enamel.
So, whatever cooking benefits you’re seeking, whether it is light cookware, cookware with good heat conductivity and so on, you should be able to find it with a non-stick coating if that’s what you prefer.
Non-stick cookware is also easy to care for as long as you take care not to scratch or chip the coating. If you follow this simple rule your non-stick cookware will provide years of service at a price that fits your budget.