I don’t have any regrets about renting our house while we were in Spain. It gave us some additional financial flexibility and, thankfully, the renters took great care of our house. For the most part. One of just a few casualties were our nonstick skillets. I guess not everyone knows that nonstick coatings and metal spatulas don’t mix. Oops. Let’s just hope that they didn’t poison themselves with Teflon scrapings…
Alas, I have been left searching for what will be our next nonstick. I’m pretty sure that I bought that Calphalon Signature Omelette Pan Set at Bed Bath & Beyond right after college. You probably have, or have had, the same pans. I’m certain you’ve seen them prominently displayed there on an end-cap. This is the current version:
Workhorses. A totally fine set of pans. I could’ve just ordered a replacement pair and been done with it. But no, I had to go poking my nose around Home Goods today to check out my options…
My immediate conclusion was that any store that sells discounted seconds is not the best place to purchase a nonstick pan. Sorry, Home Goods. I love you, and TJMaxx, and Ross, and all the others, but every pan I picked up already had at least one nick in the nonstick coating. I’ll have to stick with their not potentially poisonous wares instead.
Home Goods’ selection, however, did give me food for thought. Should I be considering ceramic? I hadn’t really thought about it. Since I already had two perfectly good traditional nonstick pans in my collection, I never paid attention to the introduction of ceramic into the market. Research was added to the agenda.
I immediately came home read a variety of online reviews, which, of course, we all know confuses you more than ever. Everyone thinks their product in the best, or that someone else’s product is the absolute worst. These days, scientific research is so often in the pockets of whichever lobby is paying for it – and the makers of Teflon haver some pretty big pockets. Completely confused, I turned to the authorities…Monsieur La Table and Chef Sonoma.
Coincidence or not that I arrived at both the Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma sites to find sales on nonstick cookware? Well, I guess if my search history grants me savings, I’ll take it.
The top rated nonstick set at Williams Sonoma was also Calphalon, but from their Elite line.
One thing that I really liked about these pans was the option to add lids…for an additional $60…but I have on many occasions wished that my pans had lids. This was enough to keep me interested, so I dove into the reviews. I doubt it will surprise you that they were either “amazing” or “horrendous”. More reviewers than not thought they worked like a charm, but the ones who didn’t noted things like the nonstick surface immediately peeling off. Yikes!
I decided to take a gander at the ceramic options. What I discovered is that both Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma (and every other cook shop in the world?) have partnerships with ceramic pan pioneers GreenPan. GreenPan cookware is coated with Thermolon™, billed as a healthy ceramic non-stick coating which is safe to use – no PFOA (a key ingredient in Teflon), no lead, and no cadmium, exposure to all of which is linked to serious health problems. No bad stuff sounds good, and GreenPan claims to not use any harmful chemicals in the production of their pans, but the name Thermolon still sounds pretty creepy to me.
I narrowed it down to two pan sets: the Greenpan™ Black Ceramic Nonstick Fry Pan Set at Williams Sonoma…
…and the GreenPan Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Skillets, Set of 3 at Sur La Table
The WS set is a 10″ and a 12″ pan in black for $99.95. The SLT set is an 8″, a 10″, and a 12″ pan in blue or red for $99.96. For a penny extra, I can have a third pan! That should sell me right there, but I’m crazy and am still weighing the options. The shape of the WS pans looks like lids can be added. Although, I haven’t been able to find them. The handles on the SLT pans look more ergonomic, but I don’t just love the color. (Ridiculous, I realize – especially since I don’t display our pots and pans.) Either way, the reviews are fantastic, which, paired with a promise of health-conscious manufacturing, has pretty well tipped me in the direction of ceramic over other nonstick technologies.
Any tips before I take the plunge? Do you use ceramic pans? Have a favorite brand/style? Do you love that olive wood spoon in the Sur La Table pan?? I might buy there just so I can add that on! Ugh, Williams Sonoma has them too.