Monday, October 8, 2012

Design Tips: Nonstick Cookware - A New Breed

Three years ago I bought a set of high quality and expensive brand name Teflon lined cookware. I hoped for the best, with previous experience with cheap “non-stick” pans working well for a couple of months, then having the coating peel and disintegrate even with the most diligent care. I hoped paying more would make for a better pan.

I wanted to cook with less fat. I also hoped for easy cleanup, especially after cooking eggs. How I hate losing half an egg in a scramble to the pan! Not to mention the mess…

Three years later, even the pricy Teflon lined cookware is failing. Three years of intensive use is better than I expected, but I’m still disappointed. I’ve never used metal utensils, nor stacked them, used high heat and always washed them according to direction. I even clean them with baking powder periodically! That helps, for a use or two.

And I started reading articles like this one in The New York Times about all the dangerous chemicals in non-stick cookware that gets leached into food, especially at high heat. I got squeamish and decided to find something else.

Ceramic non-stick cookware recently, maybe around the same time I bought the Teflon pans but they were really expensive! But they promised long-lasting performance without the nasty chemicals. Marketing fluff or for real? I still wasn’t sure.

Lately Dupont, the manufacturer of Teflon has launched a campaign to refute the claims of ceramic coatings. They’ve reformulated their coatings and promises “Teflon ® nonstick coatings outlast ceramic coatings 7 to 1. Click  here for their website.

100 percent believable? I don’t know. Safer? I do believe so, at least at their most expensive "Platinum" line. Life is dangerous, live it well, but don’t knowingly put yourself in harm’s way

And, in defense of Dupont, the word “Teflon” is a lot like the brand names “Kleenex” and “Band-aid” in that the registered trademark becomes the generic household name for a whole category of products. If you go to the dime store and ask for a “Teflon” pan, they will point you to a very cheap set that may or may not truly be a Dupont product.

I just purchased a new set of pans from Swiss Diamond. I may be full of it, but I think they will last longer than three years with the non-stick properties intact. I also believe the coating will leach fewer chemicals into my food. I also believe the newest Dupont Teflon coatings are much safer than they used to be.

I do not believe any of these coatings are “green” or safer to use than a cast-iron or stainless steel pan. I think those are truly the most durable and safe. Granny’s cast iron skillet lasted more than 50 years before being lost at the bottom of a flood, and my own copper-bottomed stainless steel cookware from the 80’s is still going strong, if not exactly mint condition.

Time will tell with my new ceramic coated pans. 

Until next time!
-Elaine Bothe

Photo courtesy of Swiss Diamond

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


Anonymous KristynE said...

Hi Elaine,

We are so excited that you have decided to try Swiss Diamond pans! However, I wanted to clarify that Swiss Diamond is PTFE-based nonstick (like DuPont Teflon) - it is not ceramic based. The use of diamonds in the coating reduces the amount of chemicals used, because diamonds are naturally nonstick (unlike the titanium or other metal reinforcing agents for typical nonstick coatings).

If you have questions about the formulation of the Swiss Diamond nonstick coating, please contact us at

Kristyn E.
Swiss Diamond

October 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM  

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