Non-toxic non-stick frypan? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I LOVE the ease of cooking with and cleaning my non-stick pan, but I am worried about its toxicity. What kinds of pans are still non-stick, but also non-toxic? The more affordable, the better!

TIA
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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Cast iron! If you get a new pan, it won't be non-stick at first, and you might even have a period of "why the heck did I get cast iron again". Very shortly thereafter, your pan will be so nonstick that you wonder why the heck you ever thought of using any other non-stick pan.

Cast iron is also inexpensive. New cast iron pans can be have for less than $30 dollars. (and we are talking about quality pans. Personally, I like lodge, because they are made in the us, and are very good quality.) Cast iron is one of those things that if you can get it used, its actually better than new. Despite the fact that many pans say they are preseasoned, it still takes some time to really get them seasoned. An old pan may already be well seasoned.

You also don't wash them like normal pans. Actually, now that mine is very non-stick, and thus I don't get stuff stuck to the pan, I usually just wipe it out after use. Until then, I scrubed with salt, then rinsed, heated the pan to dry it, and then put a layer of oil/butter on. The reason cast iron is non-stick is that over time, a layer of fat builds up. there are a lot of previous threads on cast iron pans throughout this forum. hth

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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a very well seasoned cast iron pan. i never use soap on mine, and it is probably about 20 years old. nothing sticks to it.

sometimes you will have better luck starting with a cast iron pan from the thrift store since it has probably been seasoned through use. otherwise at first you will have to use a little extra scrubbing power to clean it.

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Old 03-10-2009, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tip about cast iron and glad to know that it might not be non-stick at first. How long do you think it takes a new pan to become non-stick? I will check my local thrift store as well. Oh and is it okay to use soap to clean it or are you not supposed to for some reason?
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by happy2bamama View Post
Thanks for the tip about cast iron and glad to know that it might not be non-stick at first. How long do you think it takes a new pan to become non-stick? I will check my local thrift store as well. Oh and is it okay to use soap to clean it or are you not supposed to for some reason?
Honestly mine took about 6 months of regularly cooking in it with lots of fat (bacon!) and wiping it down with coconut oil. But then again, mine was a new "pre-seasoned" pan. Getting one from a thrift store that's already seasoned is much better.

There are different schools of thought on cleaning them but most people don't use soap. The surface is porous and so the soap can end up in your food and ruin your seasoning. You can scrub them down with salt or put water in them and boil. Both work great.

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Old 03-10-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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we use an enameled cast iron skillet. it is a tad more expensive, but you don't have to mess with seasoning. it's pretty non-stick... i make omelets with very little problems. and most are dishwasher safe. hope that helps.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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Another CI fan here.. I have tons (6, 8, 10, 12" skillets, wok, muffin pans, pizza pan, 10 & 12" dutch ovens, 10" griddle...). It does take some time to get seasoned, and you pretty much always have to use oil of some sort (I stick with butter, olive oil & coconut oil, mostly). But, its truely fantastic stuff, and I honestly don't know how I'd cook without it. I really don't!!

ETA: We clean by scrubbing whatever bits are left in the pot/pan (not much, usually), with hot water and then drying on the stove or in the oven (depending on how much I have dirty and/or whether or not the oven was used recently).
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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Cast iron! If you get a new pan, it won't be non-stick at first, and you might even have a period of "why the heck did I get cast iron again". Very shortly thereafter, your pan will be so nonstick that you wonder why the heck you ever thought of using any other non-stick pan.

Cast iron is also inexpensive. New cast iron pans can be have for less than $30 dollars. (and we are talking about quality pans. Personally, I like lodge, because they are made in the us, and are very good quality.) Cast iron is one of those things that if you can get it used, its actually better than new. Despite the fact that many pans say they are preseasoned, it still takes some time to really get them seasoned. An old pan may already be well seasoned.

You also don't wash them like normal pans. Actually, now that mine is very non-stick, and thus I don't get stuff stuck to the pan, I usually just wipe it out after use. Until then, I scrubed with salt, then rinsed, heated the pan to dry it, and then put a layer of oil/butter on. The reason cast iron is non-stick is that over time, a layer of fat builds up. there are a lot of previous threads on cast iron pans throughout this forum. hth
Cast Iron is awesome. I have never personally owned one of those teflon or other brand nonstick cookware because I am a pet bird owner. I had been using stainless steel cookware (bought from salvation army) and cleaned them with brillo pads, but only recently dished out the money for a cast iron frying pan. I'd always meant to, but never had the money.

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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I have seven Cast Iron pans on my stove. I don't even bother putting them away because I use them every day! I have a small skillet (just right for cooking 1-3 eggs), a super large skillet (for family size portions), a griddle, and four more skillets of varying sizes between the small and large ones. I season them the slow way in the oven because it seems to season more evenly and better. When cooking, be sure to use enough oil/grease/lard/fat/butter to coat the bottom. Now for an important secret to keeping food from sticking..... heat the pan up FIRST before adding oil, then let the oil heat up.... then add the food to the HOT cast iron. I had trouble with corn muffins and eggs sticking, but came across this tidbit somewhere (I think Joy of Cooking cookbook, not sure) and tried it... haven't had a problem since. I also have four Cast Iron oven pans and one day I'll have the Dutch oven set!
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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Now for an important secret to keeping food from sticking..... heat the pan up FIRST before adding oil, then let the oil heat up.... then add the food to the HOT cast iron. I had trouble with corn muffins and eggs sticking, but came across this tidbit somewhere (I think Joy of Cooking cookbook, not sure) and tried it... haven't had a problem since.
Hehe, I came across this through trial and error.

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