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tomf
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Alternatives to teflon pans?

I got rid of the old kind of teflon pans that chipped off. I keep reading that teflon heats up and releases some kind of poison. We have some stainless pans and you need to use butter for them not to stick. I had a nice cast iron pan until Judy's dad burned a plastic spatular into it from leaving the stove on with it in the pan, his last time cooking. I see these green ceramic pans "as seen on TV and they look like they may be good. I plan on getting a large cast iron pan to replace my large teflon pan. So what I would like to know is what do you know of the health hazards of teflon? What pans do you use and what do you use as oil? How well do the cook? Thank you in advance for any help.

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realizing that for everything in existence there is a conspiracy group dedicated to telling the world how dangerous it is.....

Teflon (trademark) aka PTFE (generic) does "out gas" when over heated. somewhere in the 450'F range.

the fumes released are deadly to birds in the house.
no questions about it, way too many tragic stories there.
mammal lung function is different that bird lung function - birds are super sensitive, mammals can also be affected but you'd need a kitchen the size of a shoe box, totally sealed, and a Texas sized Teflon coated pan.

bottom line: the "it's poisonous" is true, but true along the lines of too much water will kill you. which, btw, is also true.
ingestion of chips / flakes / etc is of no consequence.

I have a batch of stainless, couple cast iron and I keep a 10" Teflon pan on hand for the odd jobs. they go no-non-stick after a while, so it's a $10 pan that gets tossed out when it becomes sticky. you can pay $300 for non-stick pan and have it go south equally fast; so I don't.

on the new batch of non-stick materials:

there's some fake stuff like Swiss Diamond - which loudly advertised itself as Teflon free - they used a generic PTFE - I think the feds finally put a stop to that bit of "Teflon free" advertising

then there's a high temp plastic - a polyester if I recall correctly -

then the new crop of "ceramics"

and of course the ever newly hawked but non-specified mystery materials.

frankly, if they won't tell you what it's made from and it's made in China - I'd not go near the stuff.

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I threw out all of my non-stick pots and pans many years ago. I bought a set of steel pots of various sizes for boiling water for pasta, for making soup for three, and another for making large amounts of pasta or whatever (which I hardly use). My mother in law gave me a casserole type pan, enamel over cast iron, almost like a wok, but not so high, that is branded as Wolfgang Puck that I use for slow cooking meats with liquid in the oven or on the stove top for sauteed asian noodles. Pretty versatile. What I most often use are a 12 inch and a 10 inch cast iron pan. I also have a smaller 6 inch cast iron pan but hardly ever use that. All that supplemented with a ten inch steel pan.

Absolutely no need for non-stick, just use each kind of pan within it's tolerances and not exceed them. Cast iron is good for high heat cooking with oil. Not so good for low or medium low cooking, imo, as the food gets discolored from the iron pan. I never use cast iron with a sauce recipe or with a water dish like poaching. Use cast iron for medium high sauteeing onions, cooking hash browns , house potatoes, and meat. Cast iron excels at medium to medium high heat cooking that requires a tablespoon or two of oil.

Stainless steel excells for low to medium low heat cooking, for example carmelizing onions. The exception is for boiling, poaching or deep frying, high liquid cooking methods. Stainless steel is good for deep frying, any kind of frying really, for sauteeing vegetables at a medium heat or lower, for cooking any vegetable or mushroom that leeches out significant amounts of water. Remember, if it's watery it doesn't do so well in iron because the food gets discolored and takes on some of the metallic iron taste. That's the strength of stainless steel in that it stands up well to water. So that's what I use to boil, low heat carmelize, poach, fry, and medium heat sautee vegetables.

Clean up
The weakness of stainless steel is that you can't use them at higher heat settings because they tend to make food burn and stick on and present a difficult clean up afterward. Used for lower heat cooking and the cleanup is easy. Food easily falls off and the stainless steel will not discolor. Misuse it with a high heat and it may discolor.

Use cast iron for high heat and the clean up is easy. Just scrub it with a non-scratch pad, wash it in water then put it on the stovetop under a medium heat to dry. Never use dishwashing soap on cast iron unless it's a last ditch effort to get rid of a heavy odor, which really shouldn't ever happen. Use the cast iron pans for what they're best for and the clean up will always be easy. Food scrapes off with little effort at all.

The best stainless steel cooking pots and pans have a thicker bottom. Thin bottoms tend to warp and be less solid and imo not transfer heat in an even manner.

If you use the above pots and pans in a manner appropriate for their strengths and the clean up will be easy, the food will be tasty and you will extend the life and usefulness of them.

There is no need for non-stick pans. I do not miss them since I learned how to use stainless steel and cast iron appropriately.
Last edited by webmaster on Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:14 am, edited 5 times in total.

Charlie MV
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We don't use Teflon either. A seasoned cast iro pan is first choice. Right now our second is a thick stainless pan with an oven ready handle. We use an olive oil based spray liberally to prevent sticking. We're looking for one more. I'll be watching this thread . Good question Tomf. Thanks.

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Oils

High heat oil
I use safflower oil or sunflower oil for high heat frying or medium heat sautee. The temperature rating for both is high heat. Safflower oil is inexpensive and is neutral tasting and neutral odor. I never use Canola oil because it has a fishy odor and can leave that fishy taste in food. Because Safflower oil is a high heat oil I end up using it most on high heat cooking in iron pans but it can also be used in low heat applications.

Low heat oil
Olive oil is a low heat oil and I rarely use it except when the taste of the olive oil is somewhat essential to the taste of the dish. Olive oil is good for cooking garlic to a golden color. It can be useful for quickly sauteeing shrimp at a medium to medium low heat. I also use olive oil as a replacement for butter. Olive oil can always be substituted for butter and if you care about your health then that is what you should do. More on that below. I rarely ever use olive oil. Because this is low to medium low heat cooking, if I use olive oil I am pretty much always using it in stainless steel.

Oil for taste
I have recently discovered sesame seed oil for vegetables. It can be brushed on to broccolli or other vegetable and roasted in an oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Or you can splash a teaspoon to a tablespoon at the end of a sautee, for example green beans, immediately followed by a dash of soy sauce, no more than 1/3 to a 1/2 of a cap, the soy sauce bottle cap. This can work on either stainless steel or cast iron cooking.

The sesame oil/soy sauce combo works just as well as a splash after the veggies have been removed from the cooking pan.

Butter is unhealthy and overpowers food
Butter is worse than cigarettes. Eating butter on a daily basis will very likely kill you faster than smoking cigarettes. Every stick of butter should come with a Surgeon General's Warning on the label. Butter is truly evil.

There is no need to ever cook with butter. Butter is unhealthy. Butter masks the taste of food. Butter overwhelms the taste of food and the herbs used in recipes. Practice using vegetable oils and you'll find that food tastes better because they combine well to bring out the taste of the vegetables and whatever herbs you are using.

The Julia Child/French method of cooking that relies on butter is a lazy way of cooking. It rings the fat bells in your brain the way MSG rings bells in your taste buds. It's a cheap shortcut to toss a large amount of MSG, sugar, salt or butter into food. It takes more skill to expertly use temperature, method, herbs, a sensible amount of salt and the taste qualities of the food itself to create a rich and tasty dish.

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I never use aluminum or non-stick.

Preferred choices, Cast Iron ~ Stainless and Glass

Eric

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prettygurl
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I use mainly lodge cast iron. I do have a couple nonstick items but I will get rid of those once they start to die.

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ElizabethB
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Good topic. I have cast iron - a couple of pieces from my paternal great grandmother. Most of our cooking is done in copper clad stainless. I have a couple of pieces of hard anodized aluminum (Calphalon). I have 1 non stick Calphalon skillet - not Teflon - for omelets.

Where oils are concerned we use only olive oil because of G's weight issues. I have several - a couple of premium extra virgin first cold pressed - one robust and one complex. Then a bottle each of extra virgin and regular olive oil for cooking. We never fry (sigh - I miss fried catfish).

My weakness is sauces. I love sauces. When George is out of town I occasionally treat myself to eggs benedict, pan grilled asparagus with beurre blanc sauce, fish with picatta sauce, veggies with cheese sauce. Sorry Roger you are probably totally disgusted. I love butter. I found a local farmer that grows organic vegetables, raises organic chickens and cows. I can get fresh butter. Worth dying for. The latest research shows that breathing is 100% fatal. Go figure. I do enjoy butter, cheese and cream but I don't eat it in excess. Not even every day. Healthy eating is more about moderation and avoiding over processed food and junk food. To me the biggest enemy is carbs. That is very hard for me because I love Bread, pasta and potatoes. We will have carbs MAYBE once or twice a month. For the next few weeks I will have to incorporate more carbs to increase G's caloric intake after surgery. Even then it will be a small serving each day. Slice of toast, or 1/2 cup of grits with breakfast or 1/2 cup potatoes or pasta with dinner.

I love to cook and I love to eat my cooking. I am 5' 3" and weigh 128 lbs. I will be 60 years old on the 26th of this month. My blood pressure and cholesteral are all good. I do not actively exercise other than gardening and taking care of the house. That will change because I will have to keep George company with his recovery exercises.

I recently quit smoking. The most difficult thing I have ever done. I still "want". I have smoked since I was 15 years old.

After all is said and done I opt for a combination of cook ware. Cast iron, hard anodized aluminum, and copper clad stainless. BTW my pieces of Calphalon are the professional grade. Love it.

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webmaster wrote:Oils

High heat oil
I use safflower oil or sunflower oil for high heat frying or medium heat sautee. The temperature rating for both is high heat. Safflower oil is inexpensive and is neutral tasting and neutral odor. I never use Canola oil because it has a fishy odor and can leave that fishy taste in food. Because Safflower oil is a high heat oil I end up using it most on high heat cooking in iron pans but it can also be used in low heat applications.
I haven't looked up the current numbers, but when I was learning to cook, peanut oil was touted as having the highest smoke point. Useful if the flame gets away from you on a gas stove and you turn it down just a smidge too late. :oops: My favorite brand of sunflower oil stopped being made :evil: about three or four years ago, and the available sizes/brands are muy caro, so safflower it has been ever since, if I don't put olive oil into the pan.
webmaster wrote:Low heat oil
Olive oil is a low heat oil and I rarely use it except when the taste of the olive oil is somewhat essential to the taste of the dish. Olive oil is good for cooking garlic to a golden color. It can be useful for quickly sauteeing shrimp at a medium to medium low heat. I also use olive oil as a replacement for butter. Olive oil can always be substituted for butter and if you care about your health then that is what you should do. More on that below. I rarely ever use olive oil. Because this is low to medium low heat cooking, if I use olive oil I am pretty much always using it in stainless steel.
When DH was diagnosed w/diabetes Type 2 in 2004, I went to his classes with him and was ready to turn the whole kitchen inside-out to comply with the requirements of a diabetic-friendly way of cooking. I've had a weight problem ever since the car accident in 1995, so this looked like a good idea in general. However... DH kept eating ice cream, bringing it into the house, doing other food things that were not diabetic friendly. There's only so much one can take, and after X years with this guy, I said to myself, "The he** with it ["heck" of course :wink:]--I'll do the easy stuff."

So my go-to sauté oil is olive oil. I use a lower flame than I did when learning to cook and am trying to retrain DH to start with a "not full blast" flame when he's at the stove and I'm doing the prep. We also use olive oil as-is in salads or other low-temp uses. It's a staple in our kitchen. :)
webmaster wrote:Oil for taste
I have recently discovered sesame seed oil for vegetables. It can be brushed on to broccolli or other vegetable and roasted in an oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Or you can splash a teaspoon to a tablespoon at the end of a sautee, for example green beans, immediately followed by a dash of soy sauce, no more than 1/3 to a 1/2 of a cap, the soy sauce bottle cap. This can work on either stainless steel or cast iron cooking.
No argument there: sesame oil is Food of the Gods. Ah....
webmaster wrote:Butter is unhealthy and overpowers food
Butter is worse than cigarettes. Eating butter on a daily basis will very likely kill you faster than smoking cigarettes. Every stick of butter should come with a Surgeon General's Warning on the label. Butter is truly evil.

There is no need to ever cook with butter. Butter is unhealthy. Butter masks the taste of food. Butter overwhelms the taste of food and the herbs used in recipes. Practice using vegetable oils and you'll find that food tastes better because they combine well to bring out the taste of the vegetables and whatever herbs you are using.

The Julia Child/French method of cooking that relies on butter is a lazy way of cooking. It rings the fat bells in your brain the way MSG rings bells in your taste buds. It's a cheap shortcut to toss a large amount of MSG, sugar, salt or butter into food. It takes more skill to expertly use temperature, method, herbs, a sensible amount of salt and the taste qualities of the food itself to create a rich and tasty dish.
And here I will call Bull...feathers! Sorry, but that's the way it is: cigarettes are an evil unto themselves and deserve an entire discussion. Both of my parents smoked the entire time I grew up, poisoning all of us, so I know way too much about second-hand smoke. Oh, yes: it's another major migraine trigger.

OTOH, I learned to cook from the man I lived with in college. I didn't know how to cook before living with him. While living with him, I began to track my migraines and food intake within 24 hours prior to a migraine ("triggers" were unknown then). This of course led me to greater awareness about the ingredients of my food long before the locavore/know your farmer movement of today. It turned out that margarine had more chemicals, artificial cr*p, and inedible junk than absolutely anything else in our kitchen did, so we changed to actual, honest-to-God butter. No food coloring, no added thickeners, no added anything. In fact, not even added salt! if one read the labels carefully.

As with anything in life, the key to using butter is to use it in moderation, preferably as little as you can get away with. Sauté with oil for most days of the week, but when you're making toast--use a thin application of butter. After not using it every time you turn around, that very small amount will taste fantastic!

Making baked chicken with potatoes? ==> Put cottage cheese or maybe some regular cheese and steamed broccoli into those baked potatoes. Save the butter for, oh, baking brownies or peanut butter cookies.

There are many applications where the gluten-shortening properties of butter are not equally replicated by oil, esp. in baking. The moisture content of peanut butter cookies or brownies, to say nothing of the taste, will be very different with oil vs. butter. Perhaps a pain de la terre (country bread) with a hard crust will still work with oil substituted for butter in the dough, but for most home-baked slicing/sandwich breads, butter is needed to keep the gluten strands from completely taking over. (I've found that up to 1 Tb of butter, much less than usually recommended, is needed for a two-loaf bread recipe.)

But for your own health and happiness, try cutting the butter down across the board (salt, too--sodium was and is a major migraine trigger for me). It may mean writing in a cookbook or on a printout the date and the amount of which ingredient you used and the result achieved, but in the end you'll have a more healthful product that the people you cook for like to eat. :)

Other than my weight, I'll put my lab numbers up against anyone else's any day. As of April 2012, Blood pressure, avg. 107/70 (well, maybe not when writing posts like this one! :lol:). Cholesterol somewhere around 165, HDL:LDL ratio "good," according to my doctor. Blood glucose (fasting), approx. 92. Perhaps not perfect, but very good:

--I am not a vegetarian
--I do use *gasp!* butter in my baking; sometimes in my cooking
--I eat cheese. Oh, he**: I LOVE CHEESE. :oops:
--and milk. and yogurt. and cottage cheese.
--and veggies. and fruit. and more fruit. and yet more fruit.

Oh, and about that Teflon...DH insists on using a Teflon pan when he cooks. :x We have an incredible collection of enameled cast-iron, some Creuset and some Hoan (same kind of product), and some stainless-steel cook pans. But no, he'd rather off-gas all kinds of junk into the air. :evil: I've suggested many times that he simply "season" one of our enameled cast-iron pans so that it becomes, effectively, a non-stick pan, like many woks become after being used for a while. But noooooo....

Cynthia H.
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tomf
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I agree with you Cynthia margarine is very bad stuff, even my diet person says butter is better. All things should be done in moderation right? There is a Lot of useful information here, I use olive oil but I am thinking of trying safflower oil, thanks Rodger. I am going to replace my large cast iron pan, so I will be looking for a good one. Is there any brands that work better, or are they all about the same?

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I've had no problems with Lodge brand cast iron pans. They come preseasoned and ready to cook with. Just read the care instructions re how to wash and care for them and it should last a long time.

As far as butter and cigarettes, someone who worked in a cancer center with me said that it's all about dosage. Cigarettes in moderation won't kill you like a pack a day habit. The problem with moderating bad foods is that there are so many of them. A little butter now and then won't kill you. I agree 100%.

But the problem with that approach is that often butter is not the only bad food being eaten in "moderation." A little ice cream now and then won't hurt you. A little doughnut here and there won't hurt you. A hamburger now and then is ok. All in moderation, right? It adds up. My parents are the self-inflicted victims of that kind of self-deception.

Don't kid yourself when it comes to food. My parents used to go on about how unhealthy smokers are, all the while stuffing their faces with butter, salt and sugar laden products. Now they're very ill with cardiac and diabetes problems. It is a fact that more people die every year from the food they eat than from cigarettes.

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I ditto the stainless steel pots and pans and the cast iron frying pans, and dutch oven! I try to avoid aluminum pots, pans, and bakeware, due to the aluminum in the brain connection to alzheimers (sp). And I do opt for a lot of glass bakeware. Also aluminum tends to be hard to clean to me.

I love butter, and will not allow margarine or any hydrogenated oil in my house!
I make a lot of my own butter from fresh, raw goat milk.

From the research that I have done: butter is very good for me, supplying many nutrients that I need. And that said (sorry webmaster), I would have to totally disagree about butter being worse than smoking. The only thing worse than smoking is: too much sugar in the diet, which I have that issue too! And my doctor warned me of the dangers of smoked foods being higher and the incidences of lung cancer greater from these foods, according to my doctor. I am making an informed and interesting transition over to lard in cooking. This will be a difficult transition, for me, but I need the healthy fats and vitamins found in lard. And yes, I am a smoker! And based on my doctor's recommendation, I do severely limit my ingestion of bacon, ham and grilled or barbecued foods. I do still eat them, but less than once a month.
(Check out Dr Mercola, online, he is more concerned with his own mother's sugar intake than that she is still smoking.)

I fight to keep my weight up to the 130 mark, so obviously, I do not abuse the use of fats in cooking or eating.
I prefer olive oil, and olive oil pan sprays, but if low heat cooking I often blend the olive oil with butter.
Any fat heated to its smoking point becomes an unhealthy fat, so you have to watch your smoking points when cooking.

I have a limited amount of Teflon, and only use it very carefully at very low temp, because I do have love birds in my house. I avoid it when I can use something else just as well for a job.

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I haven't tried the newer non-stick pans due to fear of death by choking :P but back in th 90's I stopped using them when my throat started to get blocked up resulting in persistent hacking cough every time I used one (picture a cat with a furball).

I didn't associate it with the pans until I realized this didn't happen when I used any other material pot or pan -- stainless, glass, or cast iron.

I got rid of all non-stick pots and pans. Well seasoned cast iron pan has been my choice of "non-stick" ever since.

...I had to go through the second phase of turning out the baking pans when I thought I was going to die from eating a muffin made in non-stick muffin pan. I was looking for a madeleine pan recently and found that it's not easy to find bakeware not coated with non-stick. Is silicone bakeware any better? I actually bought a silicone madeleine pan but haven't used it yet due to nagging worry.

Aluminum pots and pans -- the fact that they get pockmarked after a while should be a clue that they just can't be good for you, you know? I do use anodized aluminum exterior with stainless interior layer ones. I think thick/heavyweight exterior aluminum ones perform better than thin copper core/sandwich stainless ones.

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tomf wrote:I agree with you Cynthia margarine is very bad stuff, even my diet person says butter is better. All things should be done in moderation right? There is a Lot of useful information here, I use olive oil but I am thinking of trying safflower oil, thanks Rodger. I am going to replace my large cast iron pan, so I will be looking for a good one. Is there any brands that work better, or are they all about the same?
Is it a Griswald? Send it to your buddy in Washington. :D

Eric

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tomf
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I am going to replace the one Judy's dad killed.

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applestar - sounds like you are especially sensitive to those chemicals. any birds in the family tree? (g) it's actually not so much of a funny - there are people who will croak at a single peanut, for example.

I suspect you will not experience the same reaction to silicone pans/bakeware. but I will point out that bakers have been using (various) metal pans for a few thousands years via the "grease&flour" method - hard to argue with that history of success.

ref trying the "new" ones - the hi-temp polyester had seriously mixed reviews and evaporated from the marketplace rather quickly. the "ceramic" one also have mixed reviews but not quick to the same "worked for a week then it stuck" degree. theory holds the ceramics should be completely PTFE/PFOA free. well, it's a theory.

one needs to read the on-line reviews of these various pan brands and their underlying technology with a really cocked eye. the most outrageous one I found (quite some time back) was the user who lauded the pan to heaven; had it for three years and still performed like day one; etc, et. al. & el'barfo, which all worked until you got to the "and I use it at least once per month" - dunno about you, but in my kitchen a 10" fry pan will see 36 uses within a week, forget the 'three year' thing.

aluminum, the much maligned metal. did you know it's the most prevalent metal on the planet?
one wonders how humans evolved with so much aluminum in their environment.

aluminum is a (chemically) very reactive metal. any kind of acid foods will attack it, along with acid water, etc. the hard anodizing helps that surface reactivity a bit, but it's not a 'cure' for the underlying physical chemistry.

aluminum cookware ranks about minus 99,850 on the list of "how aluminum gets into your body" - dill pickles are one of the worst contributors via the alum used in the brining/curing process. the whole aluminum causes Alzheimer thing has been completely discredited. another bit a faulty skewed medical research out of UK. next up, toothpaste; WHAM - there, take that ADA!

I have some 3mm thick copper pots with stainless interior - none of those have ever discolored even the hu-mongous 10" evasee I use for stir frying on my biggest gas burner cranked up to full flame. I right regular run them full heat on for frying and saute and browning. the copper transmits the heat evenly so there is no "discoloring" as does happen in thin stainless.

we do have some 60-70 year old (and they just won't die . . . ) Revereware (thin) stainless pots, one or two of which have been crisped to a discolor so many years ago like it could even matter anymore - but there are people who insist a shiny stainless steel pot may not a single scratch or mar have.

it's all a matter of perspective.

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We have a glass cook stove in the kitchen, my wife some times drops things, so I rethought getting more cast pans.
We were looking at some different pans, one set had diamonds embedded into the coating, the price reflected this, another has titanium embedded into it. From what the people said at the stores the nonstick pans I have may not have teflon on them and my be fine, I am not sure how to tell.
I have some coated nonstick aluminum pans, I don't think the heat dispersal on aluminum is as good as other metals.
Dillbert as far as getting aluminum in my system, I am exposed to so much at work that a pan would be nothing.
On a side note; the woman at the store with the titanium embedded pan was telling me all about the wonders of titanium. A lot of people look at titanium as some magic metal, in a way it is. There are a number of titanium alloys all with different properties. I work with it every day almost. I make the wing parts like the flapper assemblies, and other mission critical assemblies. Some of the titanium parts are very large, I can't go into any more detail than that.

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hendi_alex
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We use two old cast iron skillets for the majority of our cooking. The teflon pots and pans were tossed out many years ago. I almost never wash the skillet, but rinse and dry it immediately after each use. If the surface starts to get a little dull, the skillet is given a light greasing between uses. A little non stick spray and eggs almost never stick.

We mostly use the skillet for anything that works in it, then use 18/8 stainless for pots. We also have a wok that has gotten seasoned similarly to the iron skillet.

Butter, is probably one of our biggest vices. Just love the stuff. I figure most everything, including butter, sugar, even fried foods, and processed meats are o.k. in moderation. We usually keep the portions small and try to space out servings over time. Butter goes into baked goods and is used on bread. We use olive oil and garlic when seasoning is desired. Sugar just goes into deserts, no sweetened drinks. Fried foods, what is reasonable? For us, under about six times per year. Processed meats for me, no more than about one pound per month, but probably average more like half a pound.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Before you pitch out that cast iron pan, make a wood fire big enough to bury the pan in hot coals after the flames die down..a good 2-3 inches of coals on top and below. When the whole pile cools down, you will find a virtually brand new pan in the ash heap. Needing to be re-seasoned of course. This is also a good method to separate quality cast iron ware from junk.

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>>Swiss Diamond
it's fake marketing hyperbole. the pans are made with Teflon aka PTFE.
"diamonds" have not anything to do with it.

>>titanium
it's light, it's strong, it's hard. other than that, what?

>> I don't think the heat dispersal on aluminum is as . .
time for some research. there's two factors involved:
thermal conductivity
thermal capacity
you need to keep in mind, thermal conductivity is a function of cross sectional area. really "good" conductors that are "very thin" may well perform "less more gooder" than "thicker" but "less conductive" metals.

otoh, thermal capacity is measure "by mass"
aluminum holds heat much more better - pound for pound - that cast iron.
but typical an aluminum pot/pan just ain't so heavy as a cast iron pot/pan.
so - 'ignorant' theory says it's 'better' - actual reality - 'not better'

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hendi_alex
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One option is to buy a cast iron heat diffuser. There are many designs, but when using this kind of product, most any pan will heat uniformly.

Image

https://www.amazon.com/Cast-Iron-Diffuse ... pd_sim_k_6

Dillbert
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Location: Central PA

h-a

I went over the top with copper flame tamers:
https://bellacopper.stores.yahoo.net/

no, not spam. don't sell them, no interest in them, just a customer

it's outrageously over-priced. I know because I work in the metal products field and I know what 1/8 copper sheet costs.

of course, if you have to buy a 4x6 wholesale sheet, that costs a lot more than a couple of the BellaCopper plates - but on a per square inch basis, they're in outer space.

it is good stuff, the best, likely.

Green Mantis
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Location: Alberta, Canada zone 1a

Wagner is another good cast iron frying pan brand.

Don't buy anything made in china. :eek:

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I got a pan for christmas that I love. I donated my other older comparable pan.

It and OrGreenic, its ceramic and non stick. I love it you can cook anything in it without ANY oil and nothing sticks. It is a dream and actually pretty cheap, I saw them at a craft store of all places for right around $20. I highly recomend you try this, I got my boss on board and he loves it as well.

https://www.orgreenic.com/?gclid=CIaVg4 ... MgodGXsA7A

Yes it is a "As seen on TV" thing which worried me at first but it really works. :wink:

gumbo2176
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Location: New Orleans

hendi_alex wrote:One option is to buy a cast iron heat diffuser. There are many designs, but when using this kind of product, most any pan will heat uniformly.

Image

https://www.amazon.com/Cast-Iron-Diffuse ... pd_sim_k_6
I'm a firm believer in heat diffusers, especially when cooking things like beans, stews, gumbos, etc. that need to cook down for hours on end till they thicken up and get done.

I have a couple of them I use regularly and have given them as gifts to friends that like to cook. They all swear by them once they use them because it cuts way down on things sticking to the bottom of the pans when on low heat just simmering.

gumbo2176
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Location: New Orleans

As for cookware, I use a variety. I have several cast iron pots and pans with the largest being 12 qts. with a lid. That big pot must weigh close to 25 lbs. by itself. I also have some stainless and recently got one as a gift for helping a friend do a little work at his house. It is a 12 qt. stainless steel turbo pot. I also own a very nice commercial set of non-stick cookware I use a good bit of the time.

All the old heavy aluminum cookware from the 70's is still around, but not in use. I did cook lots of meals in those pots over the years but health concerns made me decide to shelve them.

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tomf
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Location: Oregon

I was wondering about the Orgreenic pans, maybe I will try some the price is right.
Treehopper; thanks for the tip, I will give it a burn.
I may have to try the heat thingys under my pans.
Has any one tried ceramic knifes, I was told they are very good. I saw some a Costco.

Dillbert
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>>ceramic knifes

they have only one "advantage" - being ceramic they are hard as heck and "hold a edge" longer than steels.

they have a couple disadvantages - at any serious length / size they're very pricey.

drop it, it breaks - non-repairable. broken tips are fairly common. they're brittle - just like glass - not recommended for a 'boning knife' - tossing it in the kitchen junk drawer will result in chipping and breaking.
they cannot be sharpened without uberspecialized tools; not a DIY thing.
'grinding out a chip' - not gonna happen.

for a short (3 - 4 inch) size paring / petty / utility knife, like $10 in the supermarket, not a bad deal. with minimal care, they stay sharp a long time.

a ten inch / 240mm ceramic knife....? I'd never go there unless I had a wall mounted lock box to keep it safe.....

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gixxerific
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tomf wrote:I was wondering about the Orgreenic pans, maybe I will try some the price is right.
Yeah Tom give it a try I was amazed with the pan. There may be better ones out there but for $20-$25 can't remember the exact price, you can't beat it. Just make sure you season it once a year which you should do with any good pan (smear with oil and cook at 300 for a few hours).

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tomf
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Re: Alternatives to teflon pans?

Update; I found some ceramic coated pans, the store had 3 levels of pans from the green one, then a bit better set and one that was a bit better than th others, still not that expensive, for way less than the price of a dimond coated pan I got 3 pans. The coating is like the green ones only white, gexxerific you are right the cermaic pans work so good, nothing sticks to them, I made scrambled eggs with cheeze today and it just slid around never sticking. The brand I got is Bialetti, aeternum



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