Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Say Goodbye to Non-Stick Coated Pans Forever! Safe Alternatives.

For years we used non-stick frying pans in our home. It was only one frying pan that we'd replace at early signs of flaking or too much wear. For some reason we falsely believed there weren't true alternatives.  I was delighted when the trend turned "Green" a few years ago and a new line of pans was introduced that boasted their PFOA/PTFE (a known carcinogen that must be removed by 2015) free coating. I remember how disappointed I was when that pan stopped being non-stick in less than a month. I thought, that's it we just need to move on from non-stick.

The problem is, we just don't know how safe non-stick cooking surfaces are. Of course our friends at DuPont want us to believe there is no risk to our health. DuPont is also the same company that was fined for hiding data on the toxicity of PFOA and for contaminating the Ohio River and the water drinking supply near it's plant in West Virginia. The Environmental Working Group, a source I heavily trust, has done plenty of research on non-stick cookware. You can find more information here and here. There are many other sources available, you just have to do your own research and decide what's best for your family. I will strongly advise if your non-stick coating doesn't work like it once did or if it is flaking off in parts, please remove it from your home. It's no longer a solid surface and poses a higher risk of exposure to toxins.

We only used our non-stick for eggs and pancakes. I say only lightly, I tried for quite sometime to convince my husband we had to let go. Finally we have agreed on these alternatives and they have been serving my family now for about a year, just perfectly. For us, investing in our kitchen pots and pans has been something we've done over the years. We didn't run out and drop $500 on pans. We've found investing in quality pans is a lifetime investment. There's no running out twice a year to replace a LeCreuset or All Clad pan, their quality is superior.  I purchased the last of our collection, the LeCreuset reversible griddle/grill pan at the outlet we have close by for over 50% off retail. Truly I wish we never wasted money having to replace non-stick pans when they wore out, I wish we just invested in one quality pan that would last a lifetime in our kitchen. I will admit, I have found a few of our LeCreuset pans at a TJMaxx/Marshalls and occasionally you will find All Clad there. I say jump on the deal if you see them.

Le Creuset griddle/grill reversible pan, all you have to do is flip it. I love when one pan has 2 uses! It has become our egg and pancake pan, obviously meats on the griddle as well! It is made of porcelain enameled cast iron. LeCreuset has been producing pans in France since 1925. The pan cooks incredibly evenly and slowly heats over time. We love it!

We have two All Clad stainless steel frying pans, the bottom one is a 14 inch. Nesting in it is our All Clad Omelette pan, it will fry two eggs at once.  I simply use a quick spray of cooking oil and fried eggs come out perfect, proving you don't have to use a ton of oil to successfully cook in stainless pans. Sometimes I run into issues when trying to fry something like breakfast sausage in my stainless pans, it's better served in the oven or on the griddle pan. The best thing about these stainless steel pans is that they always come clean with a little elbow grease.

To the right is one of my favorite pans. It's a LeCreuest 5qt Braiser. This pan is perfect for meals that need a little stove top precooking with a finishing off in the oven. It is also a cast iron enameled pan.

Now, we are a non-stick free home with those 4 pans. I no longer have to worry if we are releasing toxic chemicals into the air or adding unknown carcinogens to our cooked food. I must admit, there is something magical about using pans that have historically been found in the kitchens of so many culinary  inspirations, such as Julia Childs.

Please note, Tuesday Tips are never sponsored posts. They are just simple tips I like to share from my home to yours. 


  1. Thanks for the great advice. I have been struggling w/ this one at my house.

  2. I love this post! We're gradually phasing out our nonstick pans, as well. I WISH I could just chuck them & go buy Le Creuset!! Thanks to your advice on Twitter, I'm watching Marshalls and TJ Maxx whenever I'm there (we don't have one close) and gradually switching out our kitchen basics. No more plastic - switched to glass. Now, we just need to get all the skillets, pots and pans updated! I'm watching for that Griddle/Grill now.... =)

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences with these products - I am definitely into the idea of keeping good pots and pans around for a long long time.


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