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Non-stick in the kitchen?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Just wondering what chefs are actually referring to when they talk about "non-stick pans". Cuz I'm pretty sure they don't mean teflon :D Or do they.....
post #2 of 16
hahaha yes they are referring to Teflon pans. However its becoming more and more of an out of style thing because of the chances of the Teflon itself becoming one with the food, not only giving off a taste that is nasty but has come to be known as a chemical/poison.

They are a huge help but at the same time are dangerous. I mean I guess its all about the preferance of the chef thats using them. I use them at home but would never ever use them in a professional kitchen. Why make it easier for the dishwashers?! :lol:
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Lol it IS Teflon! Really! I always thought commercial stoves got too hot for Teflon so it was too risky to use.

I've seen pans in pro kitchens that look like they have some sort of dark coating...I just presumed it was some sort of other super secret coating. :)
post #4 of 16
Yeah its probaly teflon. Teflon pans are good for somthings link omlets and things if you use them for anything else they usualy end up getting scratced and ruied. Iv never seen any nice teflon pans used to the point to where i think they were dangerouse. Iv seen crappy ones that were bought at walmart(thanks to the old cheap owners) crap out, well it was more the plastice handles than anything. Also when we use teflon pans now they dont go to the dish sink we wash them.
post #5 of 16
Most pro kitchens use teflon pans for one, and only one thing: Omeltettes, or related egg dishes.

3 things kill the teflon: High heat, scratches, and soap. They never last very long in a professional kitchen

Adamm, don't knock the owners for buying the pans at Mall-wart. A good quality one will only last a few weeks longer than a cheapo one, so might as well buy the cheapo ones at half the cost. And if the handles melt, then it proabably means that the flame is too high or the pan not centered on the burner.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #6 of 16
Wow, I feel so alone, I have well seasoned carbon steel omelet pans and saute pans, and wok. And my special treasures, several pieces of cast iron for special items. They are all non stick.
Do not even like the look of eggs or omelets with "that" stuff, Yuck!
post #7 of 16
Teflon is the trade name for a few plastic formulations. The one most common in cookware is more specifically "PTFE." There are other a number of other non-stick coatings. For instance, Scan-Pan uses a ceramic titanium composite with a (non-teflon) closed plastic polymer bonded to it. Some non-stick or semi-non-stick surfaces are more texture than composition. Sitram makes a texutred line, for instance.

So there's all sorts of non-stick. Some of the plastics are Teflon, some are other plastics like Teflon, some are plastic polymers which aren't particularly like Teflon other than in their release properties. All of them have different properties in terms of their resistance to overheating, scratching, chipping, wear, etc.

In one form of another, usually tending towards the cheap, non-stick has become a staple in most commercial kitchens. Their advantages lie with cleaning as much as cooking. Cleaning takes time and time is money. Although non-stick surfaces do wear out fairly quickly so does most low end commercial aluminum cookware. They get so warped and dinged you can't cook oatmeal.

Fried eggs and omelettes seem to be the example of foods which do well in nonstick you hear most frequently. In my experience though eggs don't stick in a properly clean, pre-heated, pan with the right amount of butter, oil or other fat. In a pressure commercial environment, a proper preheat is a luxury. The typical strategy is to turn the flame up to "fusion," add oil when the bottom starts to melt (0.3 sec), and food when the oil smokes (0.02 sec). However, I learned in a less frenzied environment and learned to depend on the tendency of almost all foods to "release" when they reach perfect doneness combined with proper pan movement to time a lot of my cooking. Eggs especially.

Like Nan, I prefer seasoned carbon steel to the other forms of non-stick for nearly all purposes. It does require some extra care though. In fact I also prefer carbon or "hard anodized" aluminum to stainless for anything that doesn't require a non-reactive surface.

Hope this helps,
post #8 of 16
a wealth of good info here.

In my home kitchen, I use inexpensive non stick pans for easy over eggs. Other than that, I have no use for them. I buy on sale at Linens and Things, and toss them the moment they don't release as they should.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a seasoned cast iron pan I cook just about everything in, even eggy things. Don't have a problem with sticking....but I've noticed that carbon steel is used a fair bit for things like eggs and crepes. Is there an advantage to this over cast iron?
post #10 of 16
Cast iron pans are extremely heavy and bulky, so they aren't particularly practical for things like intense breakfast line cooking.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #11 of 16
Blueicus hit the weight issue on the nose. Another difference is that carbon steel is very responsive, while cast iron is very slow. Steel isn't quite as light or responsive as aluminum, but close; and it's similarly priced. Like cast, it seasons and is very strong -- much stronger than aluminum. Cast iron is great for frying chicken, baking corn bread and popovers, and other tasks where the combination of conserving temp and a low stick surface make all the difference. In other words it's specialty cookware. I like steel as the backbone of the skillet collection. If I were building a new set today, I'd get three Vollrath Tribute stainless (8, 10, 12), three Matfer carbon steel (8, 10, 12) and 2 cast iron (14" chicken fryer, 10" corn bread).

post #12 of 16
Cast iron pans are also a good replacement for a comal for making tortillas.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
That's a good point, cast iron isn't as good for things that need precise temperature control.

And also Blueicus makes a good point about the weight and handling ability. Think I'll nip down to the Chef Warehouse this weekend and find some nice carbon steel.
post #14 of 16
Hate to break it to you, put Scan-Pan's pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, same as any other non-stick cookware. (That's per their own web site. I think there are people selling it who've claimed that it's PTFE free.) I don't know of any non-stick coatings that actually don't stick that aren't, or of a very closely related compound.

The normal failure mode of non-stick pans is that the PTFE fails to stick to the pan, and comes up. It's actually a pretty tough material, and if you can make it stick to the surface properly, it's hard to damage.
That's what scan-pan claims to have done. They coat their pans in titanium ceramic, which is supposed to provide a substrate that the PTFE adheres to well, and allows the use of a thinner coating, which makes it harder to mechanically damage. I have no experience with their product, so I can't say if they've done it right or not. It's a sound idea, though, and I do know a very similar process is used on some industrial equipment, and it holds up well. (There are a couple other people selling the same sort of thing. There names escape me; I don't know if they're using the same process or if they've got their own methods to the same end.)

There are some patents covering the use of various Ti compounds as direct non-stick coatings. I don't know if anyone is actually making stuff out of them, yet or not, nor if they work.
post #15 of 16
Besides of Teflon, there are still many others types of non-stick cookware, which include the Debron, Fluon, Halon, TFal and SilverStone.

However, I personally think that the Teflon is among the best of all.
post #16 of 16
You should reseason the pan.

Over use they lose that new non stick

heat the pan up slowly with some oil (veggie or whatever) and then let the pan cool and remove the oil

the oil will fill in the gaps and since its cooled slowly it will be locked in there.

never hit the non stick with soap and water. you kill the non stick.

dont use metal EVER in it. only use silicon or rubber
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