Quick Small non-stick pan suggestion?

IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
We are a cast iron/dutch oven household for most of our cooking tasks. The only exception to this, is we usually have a small, cheap 8-inch nonstick to make a quick egg or omelette in. Well, the handle on our old one snapped in a way that we cannot fix without welding, and its a little beat up anyway.

Since the last time we bought a pan, the conversation around non-stick seems to have really exploded. Reviewers on amazon point to chemicals that are teflon-like but named other things, leading to lots of 1-2 star reviews on reasonably priced pans. I was wondering if someone here has already done a bunch of research into this so I don't have to spend a few days figuring out whats legit.

I'm looking for:
- 8 inch pan
- Like 40$ USD at most, preferably less if its not going to last a while.
- Nonstick without some period of seasoning, its primarily for frying eggs.
- Easy to clean for quick before work breakfast
- Not Cancer?

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 23
    I think the three I know of (to avoid) are PFOA/PFAS/PTFE(TFAL)

    So that leaves essentially coated ceramic pans like this:

    https://www.greenpan.us/products/frypans/searsmart-ceramic-nonstick-frypan-8-inch

    Edit: I have a similar one and it works A+

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited September 23
    If you use silicone utensils and hand wash most nonstick will last a very long time. I have a pair of All Clad I got on clearance for $40 that have lasted 9 years now. Dishwashers and metal utensils will destroy most nonstick.

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  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    I bought some greenpans and they're ok. I've had them for 3 or 4 months and would rate them 3 stars. Nonstick started great, but now seems to be wearing off in some spots? Really not sure what's happening there as it looks totally fine, but eggs stick in a couple spots. Other big issue I have is that they heat very unevenly.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Since you're familiar with cast iron, carbon steel, though it does require seasoning and some fat/oil with every cook like cast iron, retains its durability and heat retention properties. Additionally, it does not require seasoning as frequently as cast iron due to its smoother surface and increased durability. You will not be able to cook as cold as a nonstick pan, but it will heat an omelette or any thick egg recipe better than true nonstick pans. It's also induction cooktop compatible.

    Ceramic is better, but I'd be suspicious of any ceramic pan < $40. In fact, I'd probably aim exactly for $40 if you're going for ceramic, knowing that unlike carbon steel, the coating will eventually wear down and lose its nonstick properties with use and cleaning, which is not completely repairable like carbon steel. However, this will occur more with daily use than high temperature use, unlike nonsticks. I looked around, and greenpan basically owns the market. The one in bowen's link is $80, but they have $40 versions, probably just anodized aluminum coated rather than full, which means that cheaper versions are less resistant to warping, wear and tear, and impact damage. Also note the shape of the $80 pan - it has more cooking space, but a steeper angle to the pan edge, which may make spatula maneuvers a bit harder than with shallower pans. Keep that in mind as well when shopping.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited September 23
    I really like my carbon steel, they're a middle ground between cast iron and lighter aluminum or stainless. It's pretty low/no maintenance. Just wipe em out with a paper towel.

    However, they do require seasoning and if you're trying to avoid cooking your eggs in fat they fall short.

    I mostly just poach eggs if I want them without butter, but for an omelette with sticky ingredients or crepes a nonstick will be less work.

    Edit: Aluminum nonstick heats up much quicker too if you're in a hurry. It's why I wouldn't suggest enameled cast iron.

    dispatch.o on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I might look into a carbon steel pan later. We actually have a very small Wagner that's very smooth and we use to toast spices and make Chhonk, but Its not suitable for eggs because of high walls, and honestly if I'm making an egg in the morning I just want the chance of sticking to be none, if possible.

    We dont use our dishwasher anyway, so that's not part of the convenience package I'm looking for. I also dont mind spending more on the pan, but honestly we are hoping to start hunting for a house/hopefully re-plan our canceled wedding next year, so more expensive cook ware sets are something I can add to a registry. Still need to replace the broken handle pan for now.

    So like, this:
    https://www.greenpan.us/products/frypans/rio-ceramic-non-stick-frypan-7-inch-turquoise

    Is there a cancer coating on it, or is it just cheap because the ceramic is a coating on the aluminum that might chip relatively quickly?

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Looks like it's the latter. I have one of those pans too, definitely lower quality than the other style so you only get like 3-5 years out of it instead of like 8+.

    Mine's just starting to chip (looks more like it's fading or something, hard to tell) now about 5 years later.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited September 23
    bowen wrote: »
    Looks like it's the latter. I have one of those pans too, definitely lower quality than the other style so you only get like 3-5 years out of it instead of like 8+.

    Mine's just starting to chip (looks more like it's fading or something, hard to tell) now about 5 years later.

    Likely the quality of the ceramic and the amount/type of aluminum insides are factors. Aluminum pans can warp, thin ceramic wears faster, etc. Notice how it's only oven safe to 350: quite low for a ceramic pan.

    You can refresh ceramic if it loses some nonstick by an abrasive polish, though I am not familiar with the process. It won't be as good as factory, but still functional. Proper care includes realizing it is more brittle than metal, so no stacking things on top, excessively harsh scraping or cleaning, and always use oil or other lubricant to protect the finish. Kind of like caring for a ceramic or soft metal knife

    Paladin on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »

    Calphalon uses a form of PTFE (teflon) tho

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    zepherinCalica
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Unless you heat the pan to 500, which if you're just cooking eggs you shouldn't ever get close to doing, Teflon toxicity will be miniscule

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 24
    That's good to know. Test kitchen seems to point to a little, standard coating OXO pan as what I'm essentially looking for, but I was worried I missed some general scientific consensus that these were bad for you.

    I appreciate all the links and notes, even for small things I get overwhelmed by Amazon reviews standing in for good advice.

    Iruka on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/anolon-reg-nouvelle-copper-luxe-nonstick-8-5-inch-hard-anodized-skillet/5177182?keyword=anolon-nouvelle-copper-luxe
    https://anolon.com/collections/nouvelle-copper-cookware/products/nouvelle-copper-luxe-hard-anodized-nonstick-frying-pan


    Is $40, and they have the 8.5 and 10" for $50. The pans kick ass, I've had a set of them for 8 years, and they are still in great shape despite not really being particularly well taken care of. The thick base makes them heat nice and evenly.

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    @tinwhiskers have you used these on electric and gas? We have gas and I've been looking at new coated skillets in passing. We currently have some coated pans from Costco that are starting to flake so I'm very close to nuking the collection from orbit.

    I've also been working on pushing my wife toward using uncoated pans more often, now that I've shown her how easy they can be to clean with a little effort.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    @Mugsley

    I've only used them on gas and have had no issues with the coating. Even the one that has the lip bent in, because someone dropped a cast iron dutch oven on it in the sink.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I use the OXOs and they are great for their price. They are not a primary pan in my household though, so the wear and tear is minimal.

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  • HandkorHandkor Registered User regular
    I have really taken a liking to the rock frying pan series. The finish has been a lot more durable than teflon and keeps it's non-stick for much longer. We recently switched to an induction over and had to replace our non-stick pans and they sell a cast iron pan with this coating on top, works great.

    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/all-brands/heritage-the-rock.html
    Ignore the prices on Canadian Tire website, everything there is always overpriced until it goes on sale at the price you would find in online store, usually 75% off. Their 8" model is listed at 70$ but when on sale it's like 12$ which is what you'll find on amazon any day.

    bowen
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