Why is Non-Stick Cookware so Popular?

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.

Cost

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?

Variety

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.

Cooking Ability/Quality

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.

Heavy Metal: A Cookware Material Review

Sometimes too many choices can make a decision more difficult, and thing is certain when choosing a new cookware set: you have a lot of choices.

Cookware is manufactured using all kinds of materials, but the most common are anodized aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, enameled metal, metal coated in a non-stick polymer and titanium. There are more, and copper can stand alone or be incorporated with some of these materials because it is a good conductor of heat, but these are the main categories.

So, let’s take a look at the properties of each.  

Anodized Aluminum 

You can probably find inexpensive pots and pans made from simple aluminum, but most aluminum cookware sets will be anodized. This is an electrochemical process that enhances aluminum, increasing its non-stick properties and rendering it non-reactive to acidic foods.  

The benefit of this over a non-stick polymer is that it is not easily damaged by metal utensils. It is also very durable considering how much lighter it is than cast iron or stainless steel.  

The drawback is that durable, lightweight non-stick quality tends to come at a higher price than cheaply made inexpensive cookware sets. That being said, Amazon have very competitive prices for anodized cookware sets such as the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Cookware Set. read the review

Stainless Steel  

Stainless steel is durable, non-stick, stain-resistant and stylish. Stainless steel can be manufactured in several different ways with varying balances of metal added to the required chromium that makes it “stainless,” and these differences can impact quality and cost.

Something to remember about stainless steel is that it does not conduct heat very well and is often combined with either aluminum or copper. This is done by adding a disc of material to the bottom of the piece to help distribute heat, or the stainless steel is “clad” over an aluminum or copper core so that the conductive material runs up the sides and so better distributes heat.

Knowing how your stainless steel cookware is constructed will help you know how it will perform. In either case, though, high-quality stainless steel cookware performs very well. One of the best Stainless Steel cookware sets is the Cuisinart MCP-12 MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set. read the review

Stainless steel cookware can be heavy and it should be polished from time to time to keep it looking like new, and it should be hand washed.

Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware may be the most durable of the lot. It is heavy, dense and can survive a beating. It also cooks evenly and is easy to care for once it has been properly “seasoned.”

Seasoning cast iron cookware is necessary to keep it from rusting and to bring out its natural non-stick properties. It involves coating the metal with oil or shortening periodically throughout the life of the utensil. After seasoning a cast iron utensil should only be cleaned using hot water, and dried with a clean cloth.

Raw cast iron cookware is generally inexpensive and durable, which makes it a good choice for small investments. But, it is also very heavy and bulky and can be tiring to use for everyday cooking. 

Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled cookware is metal cookware that has been coated with enamel – a kind of smooth glass created with high heat. The metal coated could be aluminum, cast iron or some other metal.

Enameling can improve heat conductivity for more even cooking, as well as provide a non-reactive surface for cooking acidic foods. It is also very attractive and often comes in bright colors that can liven up a kitchen. 

Le Creuset have set the benchmark for practical, functional and beautiful enameled cast iron cookware

The drawbacks are usually cost, as well as being mindful of chipping the enamel. These pieces are not fragile, in fact they are chip resistant but they should be hand washed and they will chip if banged on with metal utensils. read the review

Copper 

Copper is common as a core metal in high-quality cookware because it has superior heat conductivity. This enables a copper utensil to evenly distribute heat as well as hold precise temperatures very well.  

Copper is also very beautiful, and gives a kitchen an unmistakable Old-World feel.  

The concern about copper, however, and the reason why it is used more frequently as a core is because it is highly reactive with foods and can alter the taste. In fact, most copper cookware is lined with tin or steel, so the only real benefit as compared to a clad utensil is the style and appearance.  

Finally, copper cookware is comparatively expensive, but it is beautiful, unique and delivers high-quality performance.

Titanium 

Titanium combines super lightweight material with durability to make the perfect cookware for all-day use, or for people who can’t lift heavy objects. The question is whether the weight of the cookware you use is a significant factor in your cooking.  

The reason is because titanium does not evenly distribute heat and so will be lined with another metal. In other words, aside from being lightweight and durable, the titanium metal provides no other benefit.  

Titanium cookware sets are amazingly durable considering how light they are.  

So, you can see that there are many material options when it comes to cookware. So many, in fact, it is important to consider your needs and budget before jumping into a purchase. Hopefully, these short descriptions will give you an idea of how to best outfit your kitchen.  

 

 

 

 

Berndes Milestone Non-Stick Cookware Review

berndes-milestone-nonstick-cookwareHeinrich Berndes with his wife Sophie both love cooking and realize the importance that good quality cookware makes to the outcome of a recipe.

In 1921 they decide to start a company in Arnsberg, Germany, which is dedicated to producing top quality, functional and practical cookware from then until the present day.

Berndes have a number of cookware lines that take into account most cooks taste or preference in cookware material, style and budget.

This review is for the Berndes Milestone Line of Non-Stick Cookware.

This cookware range is made from vacuum-pressure cast aluminum that provides superior heat distribution and is guaranteed never to warp. Now that’s what I call a great guarantee.

The cooking surface is manufactured with the restaurant tested, Dupont Autograph 2 Gourmet non-stick surface which is designed so that it will never chip, crack, blister, bubble or peel.

There are extra high ridges that elevate the food above fat and grease which gives you a healthy cooking result as the fat and grease drain away from the food.

Bernes Milestone cookware has heat and break resistant glass lids so the you can keep an eye on what’s cooking without having to lift the lid.

The two sets reviewed were the 7 pce and 10 pce and they are equally as good as each other, it is just a matter of whether or not you feel that you need the extra pieces.

The 7 Piece Set Includes:
• 2-qt. Covered Sauce Pan
• 9.5-in. Open Fry Pan/Skillet
• 11-in.Covered Saute Pan
• 7-qt.Covered Stockpot

The Berndes – Milestone 10 Pc. Set (Black) includes

Berndes - Milestone 10 Pc. Set (Black) - Home

  • 1.25 qt covered saucepan
  • 2 Qt. covered saucepan
  • 9.5-in open skillet
  • 11-in open skillet
  • 9.5 covered saute
  • 10 Qt. covered stockpot.

What do we like about this product:

• The cast aluminum pots and pans are guaranteed never to warp.
• The cast aluminum gives quick even heat without hotspots.
• The cookware looks good
• There is a limited lifetime warranty
• The handles are a combination of stainless steel and phenolic which are designed to be comfortable and oven safe to 450°F.

What we don’t like:

  • Hand washing is recommended, and we are never fans of having to hand wash cookware. However the non-stick surface does make it easy to clean.

There are a number of additional items available so that you can add to your set if required. Including a stylish fondue set.



Is It Anolon or Analon Cookware

anolon-advanced-cookware-setSo many people get confused with the spelling of Anolon, and its quite understandable because Analon seems to flow better.

However, there is nothing confusing about the quality of the product. Anolon cookware is made from non-stick hard anodized aluminum.

The Anolon Advanced Nonstick Hard-Anodized Aluminum 12-Piece Cookware Set shown on the left has the DuPont Autograph 2 nonstick coating on both the inside and the outside so that you are assured of excellent performance, durability and importantly – easy cleaning.

Because Analon cookware has a hard-anodized finish you will find that your pots and pans have even heat distribution and there will be no hot spots, which of course means – no scorched food.

The SureGrip handles are made from silicone rubber so they are comfortable to hold and remain cool to the touch they are also oven-safe to 400°.

You can keep an eye on the food as it cooks as the lids are clear and made of tempered glass. Each lid has a SureGrip handle with a large loop so that you can pick up the lid easily.

This set shown includes

  • 2-qt. Sauce Pan with Lid,
  • 3-qt. Sauce Pan with Lid,
  • 4-qt. Sauce Pan with Helper Handle and Lid,
  • 10-qt. Stockpot with Lid,
  • 8-in. Omelette Pan, 10-in. Omelette Pan,
  • 5-qt./12-in. Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Lid.

The 10qt stockpot is large enough to make a hearty pot of soup, stew or chilli for even the largest family or for when you have friends over.

So you see it doesn’t really matter if you spell it Analon or Anolon, this cookware works just fine whatever you call it.

To read our full reviewon the best non-stick cookware set, click the following link: Anolon Advanced non-stick 12pc cookware set

Cookware Review: Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Saute Pan

Our first review for the Rachael Ray line of cookware has just been added. We decided on the oval saute pan as this is a very popular piece in the Rachael Ray range.

Rachael Ray was definitely thinking outside of the box when she designed this range of cookware. This pan is quite unique with its oval shape and bright orange trim.

We like it. It’s modern and fun but most importantly it does the job.

Read the complete review here: Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Saute Pan Review