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What to Look for When Buying Nonstick Cookware

Sure, being a good cook and having high-quality ingredients are a big part of what makes a meal delicious. However, right along with the quality of the cook and the food, the tools you use in the process can have a huge say-so on the overall potential of your finished result. When it comes to cookware, of course, nonstick is almost always a sure bet.

This post was in collaboration with Calphalon. All opinions are 100% my own.

Unfortunately, choosing the right nonstick cookware for your home kitchen can be quite difficult. There are nonstick cookware options at many different price points, from many different brands, and of varying quality and look/feel. With all these options out there, it can be overwhelming just knowing where to begin.

But no worries—we’re here to help. To aid you as you begin your search for better kitchen tools, here’s a quick guide on what to look for when buying nonstick pans for the kitchen. You’ll see that as long as you know what to look for, choosing the best nonstick pan is a piece of cake…or perfect balsamic chicken. Let’s dig in.

1: Proper Coating

You’ve probably heard the news about the cancer-causing nonstick coating that was used for quite some time. However, the good news is that most

nonstick cookware—if not all nonstick cookware—are no longer made perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is the cancer-causing substance. Just make sure that you see “PFOA-free” on the packaging or on the cookware itself when you search for it.

Nowadays, there are two primary types of nonstick coatings used for cookware. The first (and the most popular) is Teflon (or PTFE), which is a water-repellent coating. This can be found commonly—from T-fal, Calphalon to All-Clad.

The second type is called ceramic. However, it’s actually a silica-based gel instead, like Scanpan, GreenPan and Zwilling. While both are proven to be safe and effective in the kitchen, Teflon pan is reported by thousands of users to last longer in comparison to ceramic.

2: Affordable Price

When it comes to kitchen cookware, the concept of getting what you pay for is almost always true. Sure, you can save money initially by purchasing cheap cookware. However, you’ll most likely have to replace it sooner than later, costing you even more money and hassle over time.

You don’t have to opt for the most expensive options, either. The thing is, even the most premium of nonstick cookware is bound to wear and tear as the coating begins to peel off. Instead, purchase nonstick cookware that

comes at middle-of-the-road pricing. They will last a bit longer than cheap versions and will serve you better in your cooking endeavors.

3: Quality Material

Most nonstick cookware is made of one of two materials: either aluminum or stainless-steel tri-ply. When it comes to quality and performance in cooking, stainless-steel tri-ply cookware offers more even heating to ensure your meals are cooked thoroughly. However, they are usually heavier and more pricey in comparison.

On the other hand, aluminum cookware tends to heat up more quickly but is not the best for an even distribution of heat. Furthermore, aluminum cookware can’t be used with induction burners so if you have these burner-types, opt for stainless-steel tri-ply instead.