Nonstick Cookware

Written by Charles Peacock
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Nonstick cookware must have been seen as a godsend when it was first introduced. I, unfortunately, am not old enough to have experienced that moment, but my days as a dishwasher have given me a full appreciation for the benefits of nonstick surfaces. Let's take a look at some of the types of nonstick cookware out there, and how to care for them and keep them in top condition.

Not All Nonstick Cookware is Alike

A lot of people (and until very recently I was included in this group) think that there's only one type of nonstick cookware: the Teflon-coated stuff you find on supermarket and department store shelves. While this type of cookware is cheap and definitely nonstick (at least temporarily), it's also dangerous for a variety of reasons. The first is that it is prone to flaking, so you can wind up ingesting harmful flakes of Teflon in your food if you're not careful. The second reason is that if you overheat this type of cookware, the Teflon will actually burn off, releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere that can harm people and actually kill birds (it's true, I swear)!

If you want nonstick cookware, it's good to invest a little more and get something that's safer and performs better. Several lines of high-end nonstick cookware are available that are virtually scratch and flake-proof. These products have non-stick layers fused into the cooking surface, so it's basically impossible to scratch it or burn it off.

Another big surprise is that some types of very old cookware are in fact nonstick. Would you believe that grandma's old cast iron pan was nonstick? Well, if you season it right and cook with it regularly, you'll be amazed to find that eggs slide off the surface just as easily as they do in those space-age nonstick pans.

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