Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

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AerialWombat
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Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by AerialWombat » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:46 pm

I'm a bachelor that moves every year. When I move, I tend to donate most of my household goods to a thrift store, and buy new stuff for the next house, instead of packing up extra crap. I'd probably be considered an extreme minimalist, the polar opposite of a hoarder (but probably equally crazy!).

When I relocate, I tend to buy cheap cookware that is pretty beaten up by the end of their year lifespan. I only need two items - a 5 quart pot and a 10" frying pan.

This year I decided to spend a tiny bit extra, and bought a "Green Pan" pot and a "The Rock" frying pan. The Green Pan sucks, The Rock has been great, but I'm sure there's better stuff.

Instead of buying new stuff, I wouldn't mind getting something that will last several years, for these two particular kitchen items only. Any suggestions for durable non-stick pots and pans?

Thanks!
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livesoft
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:54 pm

Sort of off topic: I cook many things in a microwave in a big glass mixing bowl with a handle such as from Pampered Chef. It has lasted decades and also serves as a serving bowl and a small sink that I can throw a spoon, a smaller bowl, a cup into for soaking, hand washing, or whatever.
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:00 pm

If you are talking about “Teflon” like pans with a coating, Very few if any last for 20 yrs plus.

I think cast iron can be seasoned and used to the point where they are non stick. Rarely washed, just wiped out , theydo become nicely non stick.

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elcadarj
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by elcadarj » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:04 pm

These: https://www.costco.com/Tramontina-3-pie ... 03378.html

Do not wash, wipe them out. Do not use metal utensils.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by AlohaJoe » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:06 pm

I find review websites generally better than asking on forums. Normal people rarely test more than 1 or 2 things (who is going to buy 10 different brands of 12" skillet and spend a week cooking with each of them? Are you going to repeat that exercise every 3 or 4 years?), so all you really get is "I bought X and it works fine for me" type answers.

Here is Cook's Illustrated:
https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_to ... l-cookware

Here is Wirecutter:
https://thewirecutter.com/kitchen-dining/cookware/

Here is Consumer Reports:
https://www.consumerreports.org/cookwar ... -the-year/
https://www.consumerreports.org/frying- ... s-or-less/

onourway
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by onourway » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:27 pm

Cast iron.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:36 pm

Air Fryer
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squirm
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by squirm » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:45 pm

Seasoned cast iron.

jbuzolich
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by jbuzolich » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:46 pm

Exactly, do not wash other than a light wipe down by hand with soap. Air dry. No dishwasher machine runs. Buy commercial grade if you see them. I have a favorite Tramontina Pro from Costco. Used a good number of years, then started to flake a little. I mailed to the company and they mailed me one back at no charge with the lifetime warranty.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:47 pm

Another vote for cast iron. Pick up a copy of “Cook It In Cast Iron” by America’s Test Kitchen. Not only does it include good recipes, the book provides a guide to purchasing and maintaining cast iron.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by BL » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:01 pm

I have been picking up Calphalon fry pans and small kettles at TJ Maxx on occasion. It is not the top of the line model that I had previously (large fry pan, tossed, and large kettle, still using, which were very good), but they are not bad for a few years at least, and the cost is reasonable.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by leeks » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:10 pm

squirm wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:45 pm
Seasoned cast iron.
+1

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Teague » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:12 pm

Cast iron and carbon steel both can be fairly non-stick if all conditions are right. But they are not as non-stick as the teflon type coatings.

Those coatings have their own problems, mostly in the durability department. They degrade over time when subjected to heat, which is of course the whole idea of cooking. I've given up trying to find a non-stick coated pan that lasts more than a couple of years. I don't think that product exists. So I buy a decent but fairly cheap pan (Costco, Sam's, or a restaurant supply store,) replace it every 1-2 years, and recycle the aluminum in the old pan.
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msi
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by msi » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:37 pm

Anolon is great. Much better than the Calphalon and T-Fal we used to buy.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by badger42 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:00 am

For non-stick, we have really good luck with cheap-ish stainless steel commercial grade pans.

Something like https://www.katom.com/080-SSFP11NS.html works really well.

Seasoned cast iron is great too (definitely my favorite for searing off burgers, steaks, etc) but the non-stick is really better for things like eggs.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by MA405 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:29 am

Calphalon Unison series.
No longer made but still being clearanced here and there, not too difficult to find new. In my opinion, head and shoulders above other non-stick cookware. Quality is apparent as soon as you pick one up. Check reviews on Amazon, etc . Made in USA too.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by SoAnyway » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:37 am

OP, I've not read all your posts but I've so appreciated those that I have read. They inspire me. :happy Sometimes they remind me of my younger self.

As with Hedgefundie on this forum, you've clearly, uh, "lived a little", which I admire and respect, even if (or maybe because) - although I've always had some "Aerial Wombat" (and Hedgefundie) in me and still do - I'd NEVER have had the courage to take the risks and do the things you've done. ; ) In any event, your posts are a good reminder to me to always keep some of that in me. SoAnyway....

Re. your question, if you truly only need a 5 quart pot and 10" frying pan, I concur with the others: A SEASONED (this part is key to assure the non-stick part that is evidently important to you - see below) cast iron version of each is the way to go.

Benefits: Dirt cheap (esp. if you buy used, which you DEFINITELY should - see below); Unbelievable conductivity and even-cooking compared to most other cookware materials (I'm sure if you ask the materials/metallurgical BH engineers on this forum, they'd be happy to tell you all about why that's true, God love 'em); No weird/semi-toxic coatings like Teflon that might scratch off and get into your food vs. a situation where maybe some iron scratches off and gets into your food - No harm/no foul in that case. After all, iron is a needed mineral for all humans esp. women....; Will serve your stated needs forever or until your needs change, whichever comes first (see "Downside" below); and Can easily go on the stovetop or in the oven, or move from stovetop to oven if your cooking methods call for that. IOW the metal handles will NOT melt in the oven.

Downside: Real cast iron cookware is REALLY heavy to nimbly move around - esp. that 5-quart pot - and you'll ALWAYS need to grab the handles with a good silicone pad - or if you're willing to spring for them, the silicone handle covers you can buy. Trust me, you'll only grab the handle of a heated cast iron frying pan on the stove barehanded ONCE before learning the lesson. Ask me how I know.... :oops: By way of illustration, here's what happened to Dustin Hoffman's character in Kramer vs. Kramer (FF to 2:30 if you're not a filmlover*) when he did it. That scene also reminded me of my younger self, lol, but again I digress....

Bottom line: So long as you (a) maintain your upper-body strength (harder for women due to lower center of gravity, and for both/all sexes as we age) and (b) are able to make the needed adaptations re. never touching the heated gear barehanded, the downsides mentioned above won't be an issue for you, OP.

Oh, the other minor downside: As others have said you need to take care to maintain the seasoning on the pans and NOT overthink the cleaning; light wipe down only, and NOTHING MORE. More to the point and importantly since you're a bachelor, do NOT let anyone unfamiliar with cast iron gear wash it. Ever. True story: Years ago, a date I'd cooked a romantic dinner for wanted to be "helpful", and offered to do the dishes as I went off to get into something more, um, "comfortable". All good until the next morning when I awoke to the horrifying sight of my (previously black, ugly, pimpled - IOW what any real cook would call a PERFECTLY-seasoned) pan that was now showing signs of its original silver. :shock: Apparently, my date couldn't believe how "dirty" my pan was and decided to take a steel wool pad and some hefty elbow grease to its finish.... :oops: Years of my hard loving work, literally down the drain.... :(

SoAnyway, if you're sold from this and others' posts for seasoned cast iron, OP, here's the secret: Many folks who appreciate the beauty/utility of seasoned cast iron eventually "age out" due to strength issues or other reasons. They donate their gear to thrift shops, in the hope that someone who can appreciate it despite its downsides (see above) will put it to good use. FWIW, in my 50s I'm currently fighting the good fight but I suspect that most of my lovingly-seasoned cast iron gear will eventually land in such a shop. So while it's cheap to pick up a cast iron pot or pan at Costco, Walmart et al., do yourself a favor and save yourself time/$/energy: Any cast iron item you buy new at a retailer will have to be "seasoned", which requires lots of work. Better to buy something used where that work's already been done. Read up elsewhere, but the short version is that new cast iron gear is a silverish color and will suck your time and frustrate the crap out of you as you try to get it to the nonstick quality that you want. Don't buy that. Seasoned cast iron is pitch black inside and outside, shows years of loving care and use in preparing lovely family meals. All that is to say: It's ugly as h*ll, lol. You can thank me later if you do the following:

Go to the housewares section of your favored thrift store in your new locale. Do NOT even look at or pick up any of the many offerings that look eerily similar to the "Green Pan" and "Rock" pans you've previously contributed to other thrift store shelves. You're on a mission here and don't have time for that. Instead, look for the blackest, ugliest, pimply-est, piece-o-____ pots/pans within sight. (Don't be alarmed if you see rust; you'll probably pay less and you can brush it off when you get it home.) Once you've located them, check the handles. Anything other than metal should be eliminated from contention, and anything that's of the same metal as the pan/pot body - or if you get lucky, with an included and removable silicone cover attached to such a handle - is a potential candidate. Then lift each candidate by the handle(s) with only your dominant hand. If it isn't way (and I do mean WAAY) heavier than you're used to, move along; it's not a worthy contender for a permanent place in your kitchen - or kitchens plural if you do actually move every year. Personally, I look for the "Lodge" brand when shopping for seasoned cast iron gear, and I ONLY buy used: I'm well beyond the days of seasoning from brand-new. Other BHs may have other recommended brands. Good luck!
:sharebeer

*For any movie lovers-slash-followers of the "What movie have you recently watched?" thread on this forum who haven't seen it, Kramer vs. Kramer - starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep - is a CLASSIC. There's a reason it won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Streep), Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay that year. Just sayin'....
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Last edited by SoAnyway on Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:24 am, edited 5 times in total.
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nativenewenglander
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by nativenewenglander » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:02 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:00 pm
If you are talking about “Teflon” like pans with a coating, Very few if any last for 20 yrs plus.

I think cast iron can be seasoned and used to the point where they are non stick. Rarely washed, just wiped out , theydo become nicely non stick.
I have a 10" Erie cast iron skillet that's 100 years old. I use it everyday for bacon and eggs. To clean it I use a nylon brush with water, no soap ever. Then wipe with a paper towel and hang it back up. I bought from a friends yard sale 20 years ago.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:29 am

nativenewenglander wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:02 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:00 pm
If you are talking about “Teflon” like pans with a coating, Very few if any last for 20 yrs plus.

I think cast iron can be seasoned and used to the point where they are non stick. Rarely washed, just wiped out , theydo become nicely non stick.
I have a 10" Erie cast iron skillet that's 100 years old. I use it everyday for bacon and eggs. To clean it I use a nylon brush with water, no soap ever. Then wipe with a paper towel and hang it back up. I bought from a friends yard sale 20 years ago.
That is wonderful. My pans have lost their non stick and out they go.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:46 pm

Another +1 for cast iron.

I have this cast iron combo where the top of the Dutch oven is a frying pan and it works great. It is only three quarts so it would be a little easier to handle if you are not real strong.

https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Cooker-Pre ... way&sr=8-1

I have heard that you can use cast iron on a glass top range but I would be real cautious about doing that.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Workable Goblin » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:54 pm

Watty wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:46 pm
I have heard that you can use cast iron on a glass top range but I would be real cautious about doing that.
Yes, that's why I didn't get cast iron cookware when I was replacing a bunch of old cheap "non-stick" junk. I didn't get non-stick cookware either, and what I can report from the experience of using "stick" cookware to cook eggs, stuff in peanut sauce, and other = sticky foods is that...well, it's not really so bad, actually. Being careful in cooking (e.g., use lots of oil for eggs) can eliminate most problems before they even start, and afterwards depending on the pot you can be kind of aggressive in your soaking and scrubbing because...well...it's stainless steel after all. No need to preserve a delicate non-stick surface coating.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by peseta » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:45 pm

As somebody linked above, Cook's Illustrated likes the T-Fal Professional pans, and I concur. The non-stick surface is excellent and surprisingly durable. Plus, they're not too expensive, so when they wear out, it doesn't bust the bank to get another one.

I know a lot of people are fans of the cast iron, but they're just too much upkeep for me for repeated use. I do have a nice seasoned one in my cabinet for appropriate uses (cornbread, burgers, etc.).

I have tried the All-Clad non-stick, which worked great at first, but the non-stick surface was no more durable than the T-Fal.

peseta

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by bradpevans » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:06 pm

BL wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:01 pm
I have been picking up Calphalon fry pans and small kettles at TJ Maxx on occasion. It is not the top of the line model that I had previously (large fry pan, tossed, and large kettle, still using, which were very good), but they are not bad for a few years at least, and the cost is reasonable.
The calphalon elite (available at Williams Sonoma) is AMAZING
Goes on sale quite often. Sauté pans thick enough to hold heat / sear
Eggs fly out of the pan

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Audioarc » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:55 pm

Calphalon Stainless. Not non stick.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by nativenewenglander » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:11 am

nativenewenglander wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:02 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:00 pm
If you are talking about “Teflon” like pans with a coating, Very few if any last for 20 yrs plus.

I think cast iron can be seasoned and used to the point where they are non stick. Rarely washed, just wiped out , theydo become nicely non stick.
I have a 10" Erie cast iron skillet that's 100 years old. I use it everyday for bacon and eggs. To clean it I use a nylon brush with water, no soap ever. Then wipe with a paper towel and hang it back up. I bought from a friends yard sale 20 years ago.
Don't forget cast iron can go right into the oven too for cooking certain meals. We have a set of All Clad pans which can do the same. I'm not sure you can put nonstick cookware in the oven. As we only have one small nonstick skillet which I never use.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by lazydavid » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:13 am

For the skillet, get a commercial nonstick, like this one from Sam's Club. They're cheap and perform well. We take one with us when we travel, because the condos we stay in always have horrible cookware.

For the pot, I would actually suggest a enameled cast iron dutch oven. Way more versatile. Actually the most-used cooking vessel in my kitchen, hands down.

$55 total expenditure, and you'll have great cookware that you can use for many years, or not feel terrible about dumping the next time that you move.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:34 am

For about thirty years or so, we had a stove with a traditional electric cooktop. A "good" brand, purchased new.

Every piece of non-stick cookware we ever bought, any kind, cheap or expensive, lost its nonstick quality within a couple of years. At first my wife assumed that it was because I was using too high a temperature or scratching the coating, so she bought some "good" nonstick pots and pans and forbade me to touch them. After a few years of careful use, only by her, keeping temperatures low, using only plastic utensils, etc. they lost their nonstick quality. We agreed that there was no such thing as durable non-stick cookware and from that point on bought cheap stuff in supermarkets and bargain stores and threw them away when food began to stick.

Five years ago we got an induction cooktop. It heats very evenly across the whole bottom of a pan. Of course we had to buy a fair amount of new, induction-compatible cookware. Every single piece we bought, cheap or expensive, has maintained its nonstick quality.

I conclude that even heat distribution--so that the center of the pan doesn't get any hotter than the rest--is probably more important than anything about the coating itself.
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by dratkinson » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:49 pm

I've often looked for cooking utensils at thrift stores.

Found a Griswold No 8, 704K, 10" cast iron skillet. Was crusted and ugly. Cleaned up nicely. Much lighter than new cast iron. The only way to fry eggs.

Found a 10" slim heavy-blade carving knife. Used a Dremel tool (HF clone) and diamond cone bit (HF diamond bit kit) to cut notches into blade to turn it into a 10" bread knife. Much easier to cut whole loafs of bread than by using a serrated steak knife.
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by SoAnyway » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:40 am

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:34 am
For about thirty years or so, we had a stove with a traditional electric cooktop. A "good" brand, purchased new.

Every piece of non-stick cookware we ever bought, any kind, cheap or expensive, lost its nonstick quality within a couple of years. At first my wife assumed that it was because I was using too high a temperature or scratching the coating, so she bought some "good" nonstick pots and pans and forbade me to touch them. After a few years of careful use, only by her, keeping temperatures low, using only plastic utensils, etc. they lost their nonstick quality. We agreed that there was no such thing as durable non-stick cookware and from that point on bought cheap stuff in supermarkets and bargain stores and threw them away when food began to stick.

Five years ago we got an induction cooktop. It heats very evenly across the whole bottom of a pan. Of course we had to buy a fair amount of new, induction-compatible cookware. Every single piece we bought, cheap or expensive, has maintained its nonstick quality.

I conclude that even heat distribution--so that the center of the pan doesn't get any hotter than the rest--is probably more important than anything about the coating itself.
Yes, EVEN heat distribution is absolutely key. With all due respect, nisiprius - and MUCH respect is due, given how much your posts on other investment/PF topics have helped me, but I digress :wink: . SoAnyway...

OP the FIRST issue to address is the cooking method of flame vs. electric, before one ever gets to the particular pots/pan/gear. Nisiprius has provided great advice for those not cooking on a flame stovetop, e.g. electric coils, electric flat-top, induction electric cooktop. Again with all aforementioned due respect, I'd sooner set up a teepee and campfire than EVER live in any apartment/house without a gas/flame cooktop, lol. But maybe that's just me.

OP, since you appear to move every year, have you included in your home selection criteria the type of cooking power (gas vs. electric)? It makes a difference as far as the responses to your post..... For example, if by some weird set of circumstances I found my myself cooking on a flat-top electric surface, there's NO WAY I'd risk shattering it with a heavy cast-iron skillet/pot..... Just sayin'.... :confused
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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Itadome » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:46 am

As mentioned in other posts non stick coating is not durable and will last you 2-4 years . (see https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/02/why ... -best.html).
I would keep to somewhat cheap non stick, and if you want to invest in 'durable' pans , do so for stainless steel , where spending more (ie a good quality 3 ply such as All Clad) gets you a better and more durable product than non stick.
As most have said, cast iron last a lifetime (and is cheap!), however while I have and love cast iron pans, they are not a plug and play substitute for non stick (hand wash, dry, season etc).
Best way to get a non stick to be durable is to use it only when is absolutely necessary - mostly omelettes or eggs dishes. Everything else can be done in either stainless and /or cast iron.

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Re: Durable non-stick cookware suggestions?

Post by Franklint » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:53 am

Cookware with a “nonstick” coating is unnecessary and good marketing.

All you need are some stainless steel cookware (such as All Clad D3 or D5 products) and cast iron cookware as previously mentioned. Despite the expensive all clad cookware I have, my $30 lodge cast iron skillets are my go to items.

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