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Cookware is expensive so we wanted to make sure we made the right choice. Below you can find our guide to the 5 of the most popular coatings as well as 3 to avoid!
- High Level Breakdown: Comparing the 8 Different Types of Non Stick Coatings
- Why Is Choosing The Right Coating Important For Non-stick Cookware?
- 8 Types Of Non-Stick Pans Coatings
- Can You Recoat A Non-Stick Pan?
- Which Non-Stick Coating Options Are The Safest?
- Which Coating Options Are The Most Effective?
- Common Questions About Non Stick Coatings
- Final Thoughts: Which Type of Nonstick Pan Should You Buy?
- High Level Breakdown: Comparing the 8 Different Nonstick Coatings
- The 5 Best Nonstick Coatings We Love
- Common Questions About Nonstick Coatings
- Final Thoughts: Which Type of Nonstick Pan Should You Buy?
High Level Breakdown: Comparing the 8 Different Nonstick Coatings
|Type of Nonstick||Is it safe?||Nonstick-ness||Heat||Total Score||Our Favorite|
|Carbon steel||9||7||10||26/30||Lodge 12 in. Steel Skillet|
|Enameled cast iron||8||9||9||26/30||Lodge enameled|
|Seasoned cast iron||9||7||8||24/30||Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet|
|Hard anodized||8||7||9||24/30||Calphalon contemporary 12in|
|Teflon (PTFE)||4||8||6||18/30||Don’t recommend|
The 5 Best Nonstick Coatings We Love
Take a look below to find out what each nonstick coating offers and whether or not we would recommend them today!
1. Ceramic Coating (Used in Hexclad!)
Easily considered one of the best nonstick surfaces on the market, ceramic cookware coating is durable and effective. Ceramic nonstick skillets are incredibly easy to clean and won’t require any specialist cleaning care.
Ceramic cookware has been used for decades for a reason. Ceramic nonstick skillets maintain heat exceptionally well, and when applied as a coating, it stops delicate foods, like acidic foods or cooking eggs from sticking to your nonstick skillet and inevitably burning.
- Affordable price – especially when compared to metallic nonstick cookware!
- Excellent heat retention – ensures that your ceramic skillet can maintain high temperatures.
- Eco-friendly coating – the nonstick surface found in most ceramic nonstick skillets is entirely free of toxic chemicals.
- Prone to scratches – metal utensils should be avoided when using a ceramic skillet
- Nonstick surface lacks durability – the nonstick surface tends to only last a year which isn’t the most economic choice out there.
2. Carbon Steel Cookware
This isn’t entirely nonstick, which means it will need to be seasoned to ensure that the nonstick surface works effectively. To achieve this, you will need to constantly heat a layer of oil onto the pan to form a nonstick coating. Because they have to be seasoned we only scored it a 7.
Carbon steel cookware is incredibly effective at maintaining heat. We scored it a 10/10 because there’s no comparison. Although it tends to heat delicate foods unevenly, it is still an excellent choice for cooking eggs, acidic foods, and searing meats such as steak and chicken.
Overall, if you’re looking for a durable set of nonstick skillets and don’t mind seasoning a pan to form a nonstick layer, it can be a decent option! Carbon steel pans are safe to use so you don’t have to worry about any health issues.
- Excellent temperature retention – This nonstick cookware can maintain constant high temperatures. That’s what makes it our #1 pick on our list of the best high heat pans.
- Solid durability -This nonstick cookware is easily one of the most durable options on the market.
- Lightweight design – carbon steel cookware is perfect if you prefer lighter cookware options.
- Requires seasoning – Similar to iron cookware, you will need to season your carbon steel nonstick surfaces before use.
3. Enameled Cast Iron (Le Creuset, Lodge)
Enameled coatings are made by combining powdered glass with any cast iron pans. Both pan and the glass are heated up, causing the powdered glass to melt and fuse with this cookware.
Once your cookware has been coated in enameled cast iron coatings, the chances of iron leaching into your food are extremely slim. This is why professional kitchens tend to stock up on enameled options as opposed to seasoned cast iron cookware.
We gave this a total score of 26/30, near perfect in every category. It’s great for nonstick, safe, and heats up very well.
- Eco-friendly coating – No harmful chemicals or toxins are used in enameled iron cookware and cast iron pans.
- Incredible heat distribution – Ensures that your food is cooked evenly without any burnt or undercooked sections.
- Fantastic durability – cast iron pans are easily one of the most durable materials used in cookware products.
- Sometimes pricey – This is why it is mostly found in commercial kitchen settings.
- Can be chipped – Enameled cookware is sensitive to sudden temperature changes, which can cause chips and cracks.
4. Seasoned Cast Iron
Unlike similar nonstick coating, seasoned iron cookware is completely free from any harmful chemicals. What’s more, when your cookware is seasoned, the amount of iron that can be leached is drastically reduced. We gave it a 9/10, which is near perfect. The only issue is the amount of iron that could be potentially leached into your food.
My opinion is that seasoned iron are the best pans for cooking steak!
- Chemical-free – Seasoned iron cookware is completely safe for use in the kitchen.
- Incredible nonstick properties and durability – You can expect your iron pots and nonstick surfaces to last you for many years.
- High availability – Iron is one of the most traditional and popular types of cookware available.
- Requires seasoning – You will need to season your nonstick skillets before use to ensure they are nonstick.
- Can be heavy – It may not be suitable for chefs who prefer lighter style cookware.
5. Anodized Aluminum Coating
The main worry many chefs have with anodized aluminum pots and nonstick skillets are that they might be prone to leaching aluminum oxide when scratched. This can be toxic in high doses, which is why you mustn’t scratch the surface of aluminum cookware when cooking. This is why scored it an 8/10 for safety. They are perfectly safe as long as they don’t get scratched too much.
Thankfully, your typical anodized aluminum coating used today will not leach significant amounts of aluminum, making it a safe and effective option in most kitchens. In my opinion, hard anodized pans are safe to use.
- Superb versatility – You can be sure that you will be able to find a range of anodized aluminum pots and nonstick skillets
- Dent resistant – High levels of durability mean that aluminum nonstick skillets are sure to last you a while.
- Fantastic nonstick properties – You don’t need to worry about food sticking to your nonstick skillet when cooking.
- Difficult to clean – Most anodized aluminum nonstick skilletsaren’t safe for use in a dishwasher.
- High price tag – The best hard anodized aluminum options can be too pricey for use in your home kitchen.
Common Questions About Nonstick Coatings
Which nonstick coating is most durable?
Ceramic coatings are some of the most durable and toxic-free options on the market. A ceramic coating can withstand high-temperature levels, which is why it’s perhaps the best nonstick skillet material.
How long does a nonstick coating typically last?
Most nonstick coatings should last for anywhere between 2 to 3 years, with some high-quality options lasting for up to 5 years. To ensure your coating lasts as long as possible, avoid using abrasive sponges when cleaning your nonstick skillets.
Is Teflon a dangerous material?
Although there are some rumors about Teflon being toxic, this is no longer true under normal use. Modern Teflon is generally completely safe to use, so you shouldn’t need to worry about Teflon causing health issues!
Final Thoughts: Which Type of Nonstick Pan Should You Buy?
Whether you work in a professional kitchen or are responsible for mealtimes at home, picking the right nonstick pan is a great way to wave goodbye to burnt food. Using our guide, we are confident that you can find the right nonstick pan for your kitchen needs.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.