One of the oldest items in my kitchen is a hefty, battered up cast iron skillet handed down from my mom. Cast iron skillets are many a domestic goddess’s cooking tool of choice because they are relatively cheap, they last FOREVER (a well-cared for skillet can even be handed down for a couple of generations,) and—my favorite feature—when well-seasoned, they have a naturally nonstick surface. However, they can also be quite difficult to work with since they tend to be pretty heavy, and they are notoriously difficult to maintain. You can’t just throw your skillet into the dishwasher after you’ve finished cooking; they require a lot more TLC. In order to keep your skillet in tip-top shape, you have to clean it gently, avoid boiling water in it to steer clear of rust, and spend some time “seasoning” it. Frankly, who has the time?
So while I won’t be throwing my own skillet out any time soon, I did think it was time for a kitchen upgrade, and I started shopping around for a new, lower maintenance nonstick pan. I searched best nonstick cookware set reviews 2016 and found a few helpful tips that may help you in your own search for new cookware.
Not all nonstick surfaces are created equally. When shopping for nonstick cookware, stick to those made with thermal instead of Teflon, as the latter breaks down in extreme temperatures and releases various carcinogenic and toxic gasses. Thermolon, on the other hand is 100% safe. Its only disadvantage is that it isn’t as long lasting and will start to break down with frequent use.
You may also want to look at hard anodized cookware, which doesn’t rely on a layer of coating to give it a nonstick surface, again making it safer than Teflon. It is also relatively affordable, easy to clean, and heats up quickly and efficiently.
At the end of the day, much of the choice depends on your budget and how often you’re able and willing to replace your old cookware. If you don’t mind having to shop for new pots and pans every few years, there are plenty of modern new options for your nonstick needs that will suit a range of budgets.