Finding Best Nonstick Cookware: A Complete Buying Guide
You are probably here because you care about your kitchen. And maybe because cooking is your thing. And if cooking is your thing, then you must set your kitchen right. Cookware is undoubtedly among the essential components of a kitchen. Whether you are just setting up your kitchen or you have been using it for a decade, you will always have reasons to buy more cookware. And you will also need to change the existing ones.
Nonstick cookware is among the most important cookware found in the kitchen today. They have many benefits. They do not burn your food. They save you the stress of difficult washing. They also don’t require oiling and preheating. If you are considering buying nonstick cookware, you may want to know which ones are the best. You may also want to know where to get them for the best price. You may want to know which one is ideal for your cooking style and which one to run away from. This may require the expert opinion, and that is why this guide is here.
Its main purpose is to help you make the right choice in your purchase of nonstick cookware. Your selection of cookware will not only affect the ease of cooking, but it will also affect the quality of the food. So, you must make your choice right.
Common Nonstick Cookware Questions
I know many questions are going on in your mind right now. They are the same questions that everybody buying nonstick cookware is asking. Before buying nonstick cookware, people do ask:
- Is nonstick cookware safe for your health?
- What are the factors to consider before making my choice?
- Which among my cookware is better as nonstick?
- Where can I get the best nonstick cookware for the best price?
- Do I have better options?
This guide will take you through these questions and try to provide comprehensive answers.
Is Nonstick Cookware Really Safe?
The simple answer is yes. The best nonstick cookware is safe. You might have heard that nonstick cookware causes cancer. Many people claim nonstick cookware contains chemicals that are poisonous to humans. The truth is that up till 2013, nonstick cookware contained a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
This chemical is believed to be dangerous to health. A lot of research studies were carried out to test this, and the results suggested that PFOA could cause cancer, infertility, liver and kidney diseases, and some other health problems. But crucially, since 2013, manufacturers of nonstick cookware no longer use this chemical.
Today, chemicals used to make a nonstick surface are not toxic, which means the best nonstick cookware available today is safe. If you need it, go for it. Just make sure that you get the best. And of course, we are here to help you achieve that!
Factors for Buying Nonstick Cookware
As with buying anything, there are many factors to consider before making a purchase. If you want the best nonstick cookware at the best price, then you must consider the following factors:
- How safe is it?
- What type of chemical is used to coat it?
- What material is used to make it?
- What type of cladding is used?
- How durable is it?
- What brand or manufacturer made it?
- What is the warranty and return policy?
- How heavy and strong is it?
- Is it compatible with your cooking stove?
- How much will it cost?
- Will it serve the purpose you intend it for?
How Safe Is Nonstick Cookware?
As mentioned earlier, nonstick cookware was previously coated with PFOA. This made it unsafe back then. But since 2013, manufacturers no longer use this toxic chemical.
Of course, there’s no harm in checking to be absolutely sure. We recommend you find out what was used for your cookware’s nonstick coating before you buy it. If you do this, you can be sure that your cookware is safe for what you are going to consume.
Many manufacturers of nonstick cookware do write PFOA free on their product. If it is written on the nonstick cookware you are buying, go ahead. But if it is not written on the product, then before you pay for it, please ask questions.
What Type of Chemical Is Used to Coat It?
If we want to classify nonstick cookware based on the chemical used for coating them, then there are two major types: Teflon and ceramics. Teflon is coated with poly tetrafluoroethylene, while ceramic cookware is coated with silica gel.
Both of them work well, preventing food from sticking to them, and they are easy to clean. But if you have to choose between the two, we recommend Teflon. Teflon doesn’t get scratched easily so it preserves the material better.
And yet, there is another type of nonstick cookware you may consider. It is called hard anodized nonstick cookware. Instead of coating this cookware with a chemical, it was anodized to give it nonstick properties. This guards against any danger that a chemical coating may pose. We will discuss this type of nonstick cookware later in this guide.
What Is the Material Used to Make It?
Speaking of material, it is important to choose cookware made from the best materials. Every product is as good as the material used to make it. There are different materials common in use today. The manufacturer’s choice of material depends on the exact cookware.
The best cookware material for health is a material that does not contaminate the food. You must avoid cookware made from reactive metals. The most common materials used for making nonstick cookware are aluminum, steel, and copper.
What Type Of Cladding Is Used?
Not only should you consider the material used for nonstick cookware, but you should also think about the cladding. At least 5 ply cladding is the recommended cladding for nonstick cookware. Common claddings in the industry are 3 ply cladding, 5 ply cladding, and 7 ply cladding. With 3 ply cladding, it usually has 3 layers of different materials while 5 ply cladding has 5 layers and 7 ply cladding has 7 layers. The surface layer must be non-reactive.
With 5 ply cladding, heat can be conducted evenly from the bottom to the surface.
How Durable Is It?
You won’t want to be replacing your cookware every month, so you must consider its durability before you pay for it. Some cookware can last a lifetime and some lasts just a year or two. But even for the same kind of cookware, some products last longer than others.
As stated earlier, Teflon lasts longer than ceramics. If durability is an important factor for you, then you should go for Teflon.
What Brand of Manufacturer Made It?
Many manufacturers have made names for themselves over the years. Experience cannot be ignored. These manufacturer’s products had gone through a series of reform. It will be better to buy from those popular name and reliable brands. Though famous brands may be expensive, they actually worth their prices. After all, if they are not getting it right, they won’t still be in the business.
Is It Compatible With Your Cooking Stove?
Induction burners are popular these days, but some cookware is not compatible with them. Steel cookware is. Manufacturers usually specify this on the product. You must check that the material you are buying is compatible with your burner. We will also discuss more on this later.
How Heavy and Strong Is It?
At times, you may also be interested in the weight. And it is very crucial. Light weight may be desirable, but there are many reasons also to consider heavy cookware. The cookware must be strong enough to ensure even distribution of heat. It is not that it must be too heavy, but it must also not be too lightweight. If the cookware is too light, it may scratch easily. This is even worse if it is a ceramic coated cookware.
The Warranty and the Return Policy
Once in a while, there is a product out there that will not be perfect. In such a situation you may need to return your cookware for a better one. Check if what you are buying has a warranty. And also try to understand the return policy of the seller. The best nonstick cookware always comes with a warranty.
How Much Will It Cost?
The price of your cookware is very important, although good quality material always comes at a high price. Still, you can get the best nonstick cookware at a reasonable price.
The durability will also determine the cost. Some nonstick cookware will practically last forever, which means your purchase is a one-off payment. Then, there are some that you will need to replace from time to time.
Either way, you should avoid spending a fortune on those categories. Whatever the case is, make sure that you compare the price before you finally make your purchase. You can usually get the best nonstick cookware at a very good price.
Will It Serve the Purpose You Intend It For?
What are you actually purchasing the cookware for? You must be sure that the nonstick cookware will serve the function better than stainless steel, carbon steel, or any other material. Think about which cookware should be nonstick and how to get the most out of it in your kitchen.
Now, let’s look at how to find the best nonstick cookware sets.
Best Nonstick Skillets
Skillets are a very important part of your kitchenware. You need them to make omelettes and everything sticky. The best nonstick fry pans make cooking and cleaning easy. They also save you a lot of money on soap and cooking oil. Plus, if you cook every day, you may need these pans every day. That is why it’s necessary to take your time when picking the ones that are right for you.
Getting the best nonstick skillets involves everything we discussed earlier, but you should also pay special attention to the chemical used to coat your skillet. In addition, you should consider the weight. It must not be too heavy or too lightweight. If it is too light, heat conduction to the surface will not be even, and a very light skillet may also scratch easily.
Your nonstick skillet must distribute heat evenly. It must also be balanced on your cooking surface, and it needs a handle that’s comfortable to the touch.
Best Nonstick Sauté Pan
Like skillet, like sauté pans. You need nonstick sauté pans for sautéing or for searing meat. These pans can also handle liquid foods. Because they are bigger than skillets and used for a larger volume of food, it is even more important that you pay attention to the coating used. Ceramic coated nonstick sauté pans can scratch easily, so they do not last long. Teflon is better.
Also, check the manufacturer’s comment on safety. It is essential that the heat is evenly distributed. You must check the cladding of the nonstick sauté pan you are buying before you pay for it. It’s recommended that you buy one with a minimum of 5 ply cladding.
Best Nonstick Copperware
Copperware may look beautiful, but it may not have more value than that. You may be easily deceived by the beauty and the fact that copper is a good conductor. Unfortunately, this material is actually not copper – it’s actually aluminum.
The copperware you see for sale is made of aluminum and a copper colored pigment. The chemical coating used here is ceramics, which makes it even less reliable. But if you love beauty, and you want to go for it, just make sure you get the best nonstick copperware available.
Best Nonstick Induction Cookware
As discussed earlier, more people are using induction stoves for cooking these days. This makes cooking faster, safer, and more efficient. Induction cooking also preserves cookware, but not all cookware can be used on an induction cooker. This type of cooking makes use of the magnetic property of the stove and the cookware to generate a heat-free cooking technology.
To be compatible with induction cooking, cookware must be magnetic. Its bottom must also be flat to fit into the stove shape. Magnetic materials include cast iron and stainless steel. Even the best nonstick copper cookware and aluminum cookware are not compatible with induction cooking, and the same goes for glass cookware.
So, if you use an induction cooker, you must select nonstick cookware that is compatible with your cooker. If you are out in search of the best nonstick induction cookware, make sure you go shopping with a magnet in your pocket. When you see cookware you might like, place the magnet on the cookware. If it sticks, then the cookware will work for your induction stove. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
Now, if you forget to bring a magnet along, don’t worry – you can still buy your induction cookware. Most manufacturers of nonstick induction cookware usually say whether the product is compatible with an induction stove. If it is printed on the product you’re looking at, go for it. Otherwise, you should keep looking.
Best Non-Toxic Nonstick Cookware
If you consider the fact that nonstick cookware is coated with chemicals to ensure that nothing sticks to the surface, then you may be a little nervous. We have discussed earlier that the chemicals used are not dangerous to health, but that is only if the cookware is working perfectly.
At high temperatures, nonstick cookware tends to scratch. This may release the chemicals used into the food. You can avoid this by avoiding a chemical coating altogether. The best non-toxic nonstick pan is one made by anodizing. Instead of chemicals, this technology uses an electrolytic process to anodize the surface of the cookware to become nonstick. These may be more expensive, but they’re worth it if safety is a concern.
Nonstick Cookware Frequently Asked Questions
What is the maximum temperature to use with my nonstick cookware?
It is recommended that nonstick cookware must not be heated above 500oF (260oC).
What kind of nonstick cookware can be used with an induction stove?
Magnetic nonstick cookware. If its base attracts a magnet, it is compatible.
How will I know if the nonstick cookware is safe for my health?
Check for the chemical used for coating it. If “PFOA free” is written on it, then it is safe.
Is all nonstick cookware coated with chemicals?
No, some are anodized to give nonstick property. But most of the nonstick cookware is coated with chemicals.
Is three layer nonstick cookware good enough?
The minimum recommended layer is five. It is better to look for nonstick cookware with 5 ply clamping or higher.
Is nonstick copperware made of copper?
Copper can be used to make nonstick cookware, but the common nonstick copperware you see on the market is not made of copper. Instead, it is the ceramic type made of aluminum and only coated with a copper-like silica gel. This isn’t worth more than standard ceramic nonstick cookware.
Nonstick cookware is vital in every kitchen. It makes cooking easy and fun, and it minimizes your reliance on cooking oils, so you can reduce the amount of fat in your food. But it does come with different qualities to consider.
The most important issue is safety. Since nonstick cookware is usually coated with chemicals to keep food from sticking, you must make sure the chemical materials are safe. The two common materials used are poly tetra fluoroethylene (Teflon) and silica gel (ceramics), which are safe and nonstick.
But at high temperatures, the materials can wear out, and the chemicals may contaminate the food. Teflon is more durable than silica gel coated nonstick cookware, but the best option is hard anodized cookware. This cookware is anodized by an electrolytic process, avoiding chemicals coating altogether and still serving the same purpose.
Another factor to consider is the material used to make the cookware. The best nonstick cookware is made of materials that distribute heat evenly. The material must also not react with the food. The way the materials are coupled is important. This is called cladding. Some cookware has three layers, some have five, and some have even more. It is recommended that you choose cookware with at least five layers of materials, also known as 5 ply clapping. The outer layer is usually non-reactive.
You should also check if the cookware you want to buy is compatible with your stove. Induction cookers are becoming famous today, and they have many advantages over the electric cooker and the gas cooker – but not all cookware is compatible with an induction cooker. For instance, aluminum cookware is not going to work with your induction stove. Be sure to keep this in mind when you shop for the best nonstick cookware.
Lastly, think about cost. Although good materials are expensive, you can still get a high quality nonstick cookware for a reasonable price. Make sure you get the best value for your money. There’s a lot of excellent nonstick cookware out there that isn’t too expensive, and we hope you find the set that makes cooking every day a breeze!