Archived Responses: 

Cooking Pans w/o Teflon?

Feb 2005

Hi all- Not to sound like a paranoid person who has nothing else in her life to worry about -- but I wanted to ask for recommendations on brands of cooking pans without teflon. I've been reading recently about how long the non-stick chemical (perfluorooctanoic acid) stays in the environment, our bodies coming out in breast milk and what not... so I thought I'd look into alternatives. Since I need to replace my pans anyway. I've thought about All-Clad, just not the non-stick pans, but does anyone know about Caphalon? And how does that differ from pans with teflon? Or are there any other brands I should look at? Thanks. Jenn

I personally like the all-clad pots and pans. They are stainless steel so are non reactive. They are also heavy so the heat distributes evenly. They also deglaze very well. The calphalon are made of aluminum and does react to acidic foods. Another good quality non reactive brand to consider is Le Creuset which is enamel coated cast iron. These are really heavy, cook well with even heat and come in pretty colors. Many people swear by the old fashion cast iron pans but they do react to acid foods as well so I am not fond of them. Hope this helps. Sandy
It wasn't my first thought when I went shopping for cookware, but we ended up getting a great set of hard-anodized (virtually non-stick, cleans up great, no teflon or other coating that you have to worry about scratching) pots and pans at Costco, of all places. I think it was about $200 for a set with more pots and pans than we need. I've had it a year and love it, no complaints. JP
We have calphalon pots/pans - the hard anodized - and we love them. They make cooking so much easier - even heat, nonstick etc. The only drawback is that they don't go in the dishwasher (you must wash them by hand with scotch brite pads) and you have to use special spatulas/etc. Until we broke the pots/pans in, the washing was quite honestly a pain but now they clean up very easily. I recommend them without question. calphalon fan
The Pampered Chef sells pots by Dupont. You can go to their site & read about the pots. Go to & click on products then click on cookware & you can read about them. Also this month if you host a show you can get some free pots. If you are interested in purchasing any or even for free, then contact me & I will set that up for you. That way you can try the pans without even buying them. Shelly
We switched to cast iron stir fry pans and griddles b/c I got tired of replacing worn out pans, and I'm worried about teflon causing cancer. Lodge sells preseasoned pans for next to nothing and I've found good deals on We made pancakes on a griddle the first time we used it with no sticking at all. try it!
I have used Calphalon pans, but do not know if they have the same icky stuff that teflon pans do. However, there isn't any reason why you have to use nonstick pans for anything anyway. Good quality, regular pans will not cause food to stick if you use them correctly: make sure the pan is quite hot -- I meant heat it up under medium/high heat for several minutes before cooking, and your foods should crust rather than adhere to the pan. I use my All Clads for everything (including fying eggs, which are the worst stickers!), and heating them up thoroughly before cooking makes everything come out without a problem. Heather

Hard Anodized vs. Non-stick cookware

Oct 2004

Is hard anodized cookware better than non-stick cookware? Why? Both sets are from Tools of the Trade, Macy's. How about Wearever non-stick cookware? Is there a difference in the maintainence, use, durability, cooking? Thank you, RJ

if i may just throw in another option (just to make it interesting!) might i suggest stainless steel all-clad. now, before you gasp, there is a very affordable option in the emeril brand. these are all-clad quality, yet EXTREMELY affordable ($200 for the 10 piece set). the all-clad triple lining doesn't extend up the sides of these pans as it does on it's original, much more expensive cousins. it's only on the bottom. using non-nonstick cookware takes just a little getting used to but in the long run much better. teflon is always sprayed on which is why non-stick pans wear out so quickly. with the stainless pans you need to use a little more oil and heat the pan thouroughly before putting any food in it. it's sort of like learning to cook all over again, but your pans will last longer...even the cheap emeril line. -if i can learn to cook again, so can you!
You need both kinds. You need non-stick for quick cooking chores, like eggs, pancakes, fish, etc. You need something heavier for sauces and soups, for boiling water (for rice, etc.), for searing and browning and cooking things over high heat. I wouldn't recommend buying a set if you're planning to cook a lot, because you don't want all of one or all of the other. You probably want at least 1 non-stick skillet, and plan on replacing it every few years. They are good because they're easy to clean up. A non-stick roasting pan is nice too but they are often expensive considering their short life span. The thinner less expensive non-stick pans are OK though I find they warp and then don't sit flat on my burner. I usually buy whatever is on sale on Amazon. Wearever would be fine if you are only buying 1 or 2 pieces. Then you need 1 or 2 heavier, higher quality saucepans, plus maybe a stockpot/dutch oven. These you should be able to pass on to your grandchildren so buy one at a time and spend a little on them. I ditched my anodized in favor of stainless-steel-clad aluminum. The anodized will discolor from acid food like tomatoes, also I didn't like cooking in a dark pan - I like to see what's happening in there. I have several different steel clads and I use my medium-sized pot (3 Qt?) the most. All Clad is great but it's very expensive - other makers are selling these too. Also I like to use a cast iron skillet occasionally for frying bacon or chicken and making cornbread; they are pretty inexpensive. Also a big heavy enamelled cast iron Le Creuset dutch oven just can't be beat for gumbo and other slow-simmered dishes. But it's a bit of a luxury. I guess my advice would be, don't buy the set, invest in a couple of pieces and add on as you find you need things. Ginger
I have hard-anodized (nothing fancy, just a set from Costco) and LOVE it. Before buying, I asked around, and friends that cook a lot unanimously recommended anodized over non-stick. I agree - I don't have to worry about using special implements or risk scratching the finish (always a problem for me with non-stick - I've thrown away too many baking pans to count), it heats evenly and cleans up beautifully, even if I let it sit a bit. Plus, with Teflon being questionable for the environment, I was happy to avoid non-stick altogether. JP
I have tried both, & from my experience I like Pampered Chef non- stick pots & pans. They are oven safe & have a lifetime warranty. I have burned some food in one of the pots & it flipped right out. If you want more information or a catalog showing you the pots & pans, then please contact me. Shelly
There is a difference between the two. You can't really brown things in a non-stick pan the way you can in a hard anodized pan. Contrastingly, cleanup is easier with a true non-stick pan, especially for stuff like scrambled eggs. You can probably use metal utensils with hard anodized, but not with non-stick. Neither can go in the dishwasher. If it's an option (they are expensive) consider buying from the All-Clad line (available through Williams Sonoma). They have a lifetime warrantee, as long as you take proper care of them. Even though they are expensive, it's worth it if you never have to replace it. still cook sometimes

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

Could anybody tell me the pros and cons for All-Clad cookware? Is 3 or more ply cookware truly better than a regular stainless steel cookware ? Is the much higher price (over $100 for a sauce pan) justified ? Thank you, Simona
I have several different types of cookware. I have a set of Calaphon that is about 6 years old, a few Le Creuset pots, an All Clad Ltd (has andonized steel on the outside) saute pan and 2 All Clad stainless, non-stick frying pans. As a cook I really like the All Clad pans. They produce the most even heat I've ever cooked with. The pans tend to run on the hot side so it's great for braising and carmelizing veggies. The non-stick versions are great for eggs, french toast, etc.. I haven't bought a pre-packaged set of pans because I don't think the cost is warranted for boiling water or heating up tomatoe sauce. I do think they're worth the investment for the larger saute pans and non-stick frying pans where the consistent and even heat really does improve your cooking results. I also like the Ltd (andonized steel on the outside) vs. the stainless outside finish. It's much easier to keep looking good, I haven't noticed any difference in cooking between the two outer finishes. Kathy
We found a great set of stainless cookware at Costco, the set is made in Italy and they put the Kirkland name on it. They are a copy of the all clad type of cookware for a lot less moolah. They are pots and pans are a sandwich of stainless inside, aluminum in the middle and stainless on the outside. The stainless layers are heavy gauge and the pans all have a good finish. There is a large, medium and small fry pan. Large, medium and small pots, with a steamer for the middle sized pot. All the pots have stainless covers and the handles for all the pots and pans are stainless with heavy rivets (This means all the pots and pans and lids can also go into the oven) instead of being spot welded. They cook evenly and efficiently (you can use less heat for the same result). The whole set is about $180. Allot less than all clad. We have had no problems with them and my dad bought a set. Being the most finicky yet rough on his cooking equipment gourmet cook I have ever met is amazingly also completely satisfied with them. mbarone
The one advantage of Stainless Steel coated All Clad pans, vs the LTD finish is that the stainless models can go in the dishwasher. Ellen
I bought an All-Clad stockpot for nearly 1/2 the regular price at . They sell items w/ visual imperfections (though I couldn't tell) but w/ the All-Clad full lifetime factory warranty covering functional manufacturing defects. This site also sells other items. Michele