A good quality pan that is made with a slightly porous metal is one of the
best non-stick pans you can buy. The iron skillet is an example. Aluminum is
another good choice because it heats very evenly and is fairly responsive to
changes in heat.
But pans like these have to be cured (see Iron
Skillet). Pans made with porous
metals such as iron or aluminum can oxidize while food is cooking and
discolor foods cooked in them. This is more of a problem with a sauce
that are acidic.
There are many excellent quality pots and pans with non-stick coatings. It
used to be that only pans of lesser quality were coated, but now most of the
better manufacturers make good quality non-stick pans.
Dr. Gourmet Recommends:
I have a variety of sizes of non-stick
pans. For both gas and electric cooking
aluminum is a reliable metal with good
reactive heat properties. I have been partial
to Calphelon products but most of the aluminum
non-stick pans on the market are variations
on the standard that they set. If you look
at their products and compare with pans
from All Clad, Cuisinart or Circulon they
are very similar.
Here is an example of an 8 inch Cuisinart
pan that is on sale. If you look at places
like Macy's, Linens and Things and Bed,
Bath and Beyond, you will find similar
This is a similar pan in a 12
inch version and if you have limited space it
is probably best to have these two. I do like
having a very large 16 inch skillet for those
times when you are cooking for more people or
have a bigger job.