Non-Stick Frying Pan – How to Choose a Non-Stick Frying Pan ? When buying a frying pan for the kitchen, the hostess has to face the problem of choosing between simple and cheap metal products and more expensive ones with special coatings. The modern non-stick pans can fry without fat or needing a long burn-out.
- What is a Non-Stick Coating for?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Coatings
- The Base of the Pan – What Materials is It Made of?
- How Not to Make a Mistake When Buying a Non-stick Pan?
- We Take Into Account the Model of the Stove or Hob
- How to Properly Use a Non-stick Frying Pan?
- Can a Frying Pan With a Damaged Coating Be Used?
What is a Non-Stick Coating for?
Frying pans with non-stick coating come with many useful qualities. They differ from simple metal ones in that:
- Products do not burn, and food does not stick to the surface;
- If pastries or meat are overcooked, no pieces of food remain at the bottom;
- When cooking, it doesn’t need a lot of fat. You need to grease the surface a little;
- As soon as the process is finished, you can easily wash the pan with a soft sponge.
Frying pans do not get dirty from the outside because the coating is applied to both surfaces. The product retains its appearance throughout its entire service life.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Coatings
There are positive and negative qualities not only in the base but also in the protective coating itself. They depend on the material used and sometimes on the method of application.
The base is typically made of aluminum. The composition is applied only from the inside, and the outer walls are enameled or polished. It is easy to determine the Teflon coating in appearance: it has a dark tint. Teflon was the first material used to create non-stick coatings. It is suitable for quick frying or cooking at moderate temperatures (stewing, baking).
There are no advantages of the material over other types. But Teflon has disadvantages:
- Hard objects can easily damage it.
- For mixing the food, special spatulas and plastic spoons are needed that do not damage the protective shell;
- Its scratched pan is considered unsuitable for further use;
- Teflon can release harmful substances at temperatures above +200°C;
- Requires the use of fats when frying.
Overall, Teflon pans are not advisable to use for cooking meat dishes. It is convenient to fry scrambled eggs, stew vegetables, and bake dough products in them.
Ceramic-coated frying pans are distinguished by the way they are made. Products with a roll are covered with ceramics in the state of flat blanks and then stamped, giving shape. Such forms have a thin base and a protective layer.
However, the favorable properties of ceramics are their environmental friendliness. The material does not emit any harmful or strong-smelling substances. The ceramic layer is a sintered mass of clay and silicon sand. In appearance, it resembles opaque glass or glass ceramics.
Suitable for long-term heating, frying, and baking. It allows you to cook stews or cook following the principle of pilaf. The covering maintains heating to +450 °C.
The stone frying pan is made using a technology similar to the previous ones: a protective layer is applied to the metal base. The stone is covering consists of composite material, including high-temperature resistant polymers and marble or granite dust fillers. Unlike Teflon, it does not contain toxic fluoropolymers.
Compared to Teflon, it has higher wear resistance. You can use metal objects to stir food, but cutting food directly into the pan is not recommended. The service life of the frying pan depends on the number of layers and the thickness of the protective shell.
The coating can be determined by its appearance using a characteristic feature: a dark layer of polymers contains numerous inclusions of stone chips. It looks like light specks on a dark background.
You can heat the pan to high temperatures. It does not release any harmful chemicals. Also, you can fry meat, stew, or bake on marble and granite products. You can’t fry them without using fat, so you must lubricate them a little.
The disadvantages of ceramics:
- Instability to abrasives and chemicals
- High cost of dishes
When buying a quality stone frying pan, choose a product with a bottom thickness of at least 6 mm and walls of about 3 mm.
Pans with a titanium layer are more expensive than Teflon ones. Manufacturers motivate this by the long service life of the protective layer (10-25 years). When choosing a pan on your own, you need to pay attention to the composition of the alloy with which it is processed: the greater the amount of titanium, the stronger the metal film.
Titanium is considered an inert metal and does not react with acids and alkalis, does not oxidize products, and does not suffer from their long stay in the container. The innovative material allows you to heat the pan to the high temperature required for frying meat. Any food can be baked and stewed in titanium products. The material is resistant to scratches and allows using metal utensils when cooking.
Diamond Non-stick Coating
Nano-coating with diamond grit is a variant of stone composite material. It consists of heat-resistant polymers (tetrafluoroethylene) and the smallest particles of the technical diamond. The composite is applied in 2 layers.
The first has average strength and serves to bind the base metal with the top film. High-strength characteristics characterize the outer nano-coating. When cooking, you can use metal objects. The frying pan with a diamond layer maintains the temperature to +450 °C.
Unlike other types, you can wash diamond products in the dishwasher. Manufacturers claim their products last more than 10- years. Also, the products are pretty expensive due to diamond chips.
The Base of the Pan – What Materials is It Made of?
When choosing a container with a protective coating, you need to pay attention to the base’s material. All utensils are made of metal, coated with a thin layer of different materials that form a protective shell. The most common materials:
- Aluminum (cast and stamped);
- Cast iron
Each type of material has its advantages and disadvantages.
An extruded aluminum frying pan is the lightest and cheapest product. The metal layer most often does not exceed 2 mm. But with strong heating, such dishes are deformed, and microcracks form on their surface. After their appearance, the protective layer is rapidly destroyed.
An aluminum pan with a non-stick coating, made by injection molding, has a bottom and wall thickness of about 3 mm. It does not deform when heated and can serve longer than stamped products.
Its price is higher, depending on the quality. It cools quickly and has a high thermal conductivity. So, the product is not suitable for induction cookers. Besides, It is not very convenient to bake pancakes, fry cutlets, and cook other dishes, for which it is essential to quickly form a crust on the surface of the product pieces.
Steel and Cast Iron base:
Steel and cast iron pans are made by casting. The material’s thermal conductivity is less than aluminum. The dishes heat up longer but cool down more slowly. It allows you to get a good crust with quick frying.
The cast iron frying pan has a disadvantage, which is the large weight and fragility of the product. Thick-walled (at least 3 mm) containers should be preferred when choosing steel and cast iron utensils.
How Not to Make a Mistake When Buying a Non-stick Pan?
When choosing a frying pan, you should bear in mind:
- The absence of a non-stick layer of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA);
- Absence of cadmium, lead, nickel, and other harmful metals;
- Bottom shape: for grilling, for simple frying, wok or stewpan;
- The size and shape of the pan itself.
We Take Into Account the Model of the Stove or Hob
Most non-stick pans brands are suitable for use on any stovetop. When buying cookware for an induction cooker, you only need to pay attention to the base material: it must be steel or cast iron. It is best not to apply a protective layer to the bottom.
How to Properly Use a Non-stick Frying Pan?
Before first use, wash a new container in warm soapy water and rinse. Before cooking, you must grease its surface with a thin layer of fat. Depending on the type of protection, it is allowed to use only special equipment (for Teflon) or simple metal spatulas and forks without sharp edges. After use, the pan is washed with dishwashing detergents and stored in the usual way.
Can a Frying Pan With a Damaged Coating Be Used?
The strict ban applies only to products with a polymer composite film (Teflon, stone, diamond). The damaged layer may release harmful substances or flake off when moisture penetrates under it.
Ceramics, especially sputtered ones, are harmless and can be used even with scratches. But in damaged areas, food will burn, and the coating will quickly collapse.
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