Non-Stick Pans

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 bargains.

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.