Adding a nonstick cookware set to your kitchen arsenal is just a smart choice these days. Not only will it make cooking delicate foods, like eggs, crepes, hash browns, and fish, easier but cleaning easier too. Less fuss and time cooking and cleaning means more quality time for you, and that’s certainly something we all can appreciate.
- Best Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Budget Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Value Nonstick Cookware Set
- Best Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
What makes a good nonstick cookware
Besides releasing food effortlessly, a good nonstick cookware should also have all the good traits you normally find in other cookware. This means it should have great heat distribution, maneuverability, and comfort.
Great heat distribution will allow you to cook your food evenly, and will also thereby make the nonstick coating last longer. Great maneuverability will allow you to better handle fast-cooking foods. Finally, great comfort, by providing a good balance between body and handle, will allow you to cook with ease, as well as easier to achieve a full, clean flip.
Types of nonstick coatings
There are two types of nonstick coatings you will find in the market today:
PTFE: Though PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is commonly associated with the coating for cookware, it actually has a wide range of applications. Believe it or not, it’s a common material in joint replacements. Because it doesn’t absorb water, can withstand extremes of heat and cold, reduces friction, and resists UV rays, this makes it ideal for them. Understandably so, then, that the unique makeup of PTFE also lends itself particularly well in cookware use.
Oftentimes, when talking about PTFE, you will see it commonly referred to as Teflon. That’s because Teflon is also a brand name that has become the generic name for PTFE. Here is an interesting fact: Like so many great discoveries, Teflon was not something that was discovered by design but by accident. The inventor, Dr. Roy Plunkett at Chemours (formerly known as DuPont), was experimenting with two chemical compounds, namely tetraﬂuoroethylene (TFE) with hydrochloric acid (HCl), when the mixture reacted to create an insoluble. As the state of this substance was chemically stable and particularly useful upon further analysis, chemists then went on to develop it further, which later became Teflon.
Today, Teflon has become the gold standard in nonstick coatings, and it’s said to last longer than ceramic ones. Despite this though, it’s not uncommon to see many still in favor of the latter. Much of this is largely attributed to the the health concerns surrounding its use. In this regard, it’s said when exposed to high temperatures, the coating will start to degrade and release toxic fumes that may kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms.
So, is PTFE or Teflon coating safe to use? Yes, it is, as long as you do not exceed the recommended maximum temperature for cooking with it which is 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This means cook your food over low to medium heat but never over high heat with it.
Ceramic: The other type of nonstick coating is ceramic-based which is made from silicon and oxygen. More specifically, it is made by using silicone oil in the pores of the cookware’s surface. While ceramic coating is synthetic free, and is thought to be more eco-friendly than PTFE, it doesn’t last as long as PTFE though. In fact, many have said that it only lasted about a year, after which it would generally be rendered replaceable. The main cause of this is its silicone oil which will eventually get washed or cooked away, even with proper care.
Speaking about proper care, here are some tips on how to use and care for nonstick cookware.
How to use, care, and maintain nonstick cookware
It is important to note that all nonstick cookware sets will eventually lose their slickness even with proper care. Regular use and exposure to heat will wear out the coating, after which you need to replace the cookware once it becomes completely dull.
While you can’t avoid the inevitable, you can certainly prolong the life of the cookware. Below are some tips you can follow to do this.
- Nonstick pans will require some fat to be effective; therefore, dab a small amount of vegetable oil or butter onto them before you start cooking.
- Don’t heat your nonstick cookware on the stove while it is empty. This will cause it to overheat which may break down the coating.
- This may sound counter-intuitive but never use nonstick cooking spray on your nonstick cookware, as this may make the cookware more prone to sticking.
- Though some nonstick cookware sets are advertised as being dishwasher safe, we advise against this, as heat, harsh detergents, and metal-on-metal contact may damage the coating.
- To clean your nonstick cookware, use hot, soapy water with a soft sponge, and never use steel scrubbers or heavy-duty sponges.
- Don’t use metal utensils on your nonstick cookware. Only use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils.
- Never run your nonstick cookware under cool water while it’s still hot. Doing this will rapidly wear down the coating.
- If possible, don’t stack your pots and pans on top of each other, as this may scrape the coating. If you must insist, at least place a cloth between them.
Nonstick Cookware Reviews 2017
Best Nonstick Cookware Set – Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection Set
If you’re looking for the best nonstick cookware market has to offer, go for the Anolon Advanced Bronze Collection set. This bronze hard anodized cookware set is bound to catch your eye with its design.
This 11 piece cookware set comes with a thermolon nonstick interior, and break resistant glass lids. However, none of the pieces in this cookware set is dishwasher friendly so you’d have to handwash them.
Thanks to the aluminium base that promotes even heating and the nonstick lining, there is almost never any bits or pieces that are stuck to the surface of the cookware.
This means, even though you’d be hand washing your cookware there wouldn’t be any scraping or stubborn stains involved.
Best Budget Nonstick Cookware Set – T-Fal C111SC Signature Set
For a first time buyer looking for value, I would suggest getting the T-Fal C111SC Signature Set. T-Fal has become a household name these days, almost everyone knows about their nonstick cookware. This is one of the cheaper T-Fal cookware sets.
Costing only around $70, this 12-piece set is a bargain. However, you should realize that you won’t be getting the usual 12-piece cookware that other brands offer.
This is because T-fal includes 3 nylon cooking tools (spatula, scoop and ladle) in the set. Other than the nylon tools, you’d be getting 2 saucepans, 2 fry pans and a dutch oven.
Best Value Nonstick Cookware Set – Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel Non Stick Set
If you don’t mind using light cookware, the Rachael Ray porcelain enamel cookware set should be on your list of cookware to check out. This 10-piece cookware set would be perfect for anyone who’s on a budget.
The pieces of this cookware have a coated porcelain exterior and a nonstick interior. This means you have to be a little careful while using these cookware because porcelain is rather fragile and prone to chipping.
Thankfully, all the pieces of this set are dishwasher friendly so if you’re someone who loves cooking but hates cleaning up after, take a look at this Rachael Ray set.
Best Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set – Circulon Symmetry 11-Pc Set
The hard anodized 11-piece cookware set by Circulon is another nonstick cookware set that I would recommend.
The handles on this hard anodized cookware set are remarkable. Not only are they ergonomic but thanks to the silicon lining the handles remained slip-resistant even when my hands were oily.
Cooking was also rather simple when I used pieces from this set. Heat transmission is a plus point because all my dishes cooked evenly.
Moreover, the signature impact bonded stainless steel base also made it possible for me to use this set on almost every cooktop surface there is.