Our 3rd annual Fry Pan Trade in is about to enter the 3rd week. We’ve seen a huge amount of grungy old pans in but we’ve also seen many almost new pans, that died within a year of purchase.
By now many know that consumption of coated pans must stop. There are great alternatives and it only takes a small amount of time and attention to be ultimately successful.
This year we have had a huge amount of customer engagement, through Facebook and Instagram, our Newsletter and in store. We’ve had a few really great questions come up and I realized that we haven’t clearly addressed them in the past so I thought I would reply to the top 4 most frequently asked questions here.
Customer: I’ve seasoned my pans well but they are sticking after a few uses?
Jed: Post seasoning is not very well promoted. Even some of our main suppliers don’t cover this very well.
To fix this you should quickly season after cooking, once you wash your pans. Put them on the heat, add a small amount of grape seed oil, wipe around the oil with a small piece of paper towel and let it just come to a smoke – light smoke! Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool. This will allow the pan to be ready to go for the next use. Sometimes you may find that you’ve used enough oil or fat in cooking that you do not need to do this ‘after’ process but most of the time you should.
This video covers the easy seasoning process that is recommended by de Buyer.
You can use the same process to maintain your pans.
Customer: How do I know if my pans are coated?
Jed: This is an excellent question and something so simple that I haven’t really thought about it. It’s very easy for me to not see the forest through the trees when I am going on about coated pans.
Quite simply, coated pans are anything with a film applied to the pan. This can come in many versions and look quite different. They can be black, blue, white, gray, speckled, etc. They are made of different materials but what I have learnt in over 25 years of selling pans is that they all wear out. Every brand, no matter how much you paid for it. Listen to me talk to Joe Perkins about it on CFAX
But if there is any confusion about if your pans are coated or not, please either bring them in or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will determine what they are.
Customer: I bought Diamond (or Titanium) coated cookware without Teflon. They told me it would last forever.
Jed: Been there, done that. So very sorry to say but these are the two things that I’ve learned about the high-end reinforced cookware.
- They wear out, albeit it takes a bit longer, but it will happen.
- The makers of these products love to tell us all about the diamonds or titanium and how strong they are. True, diamonds and titanium are very strong, but chemical coatings aren’t. I have actually been told by wholesalers that there are no chemicals in these pans and the non stick is made from ‘water’. WHAT? My point is that due to their ignorance and arrogance I have been lied to just to make the sale. If I was to believe the false statements passed around at our industry trade shows I would come back home and spue the same statements.
The answer – These pans are made logically, that the diamonds and titanium form a rough surface where the coating sits below the peaks of the hard material and so the coating is ‘protected’. However, overtime, high heat ends up killing the surface and reduces the quality of the pan to a point that it wears out – ending up as garbage.
Customer: The company that I bought from said that the coating isn’t Teflon and that it’s ‘safe’ to use.
Jed: They may be right, that the coated surface, made of chemicals from oil, like plastic, is not Teflon. There are several big producers of coatings.
But ‘safe’ – this again is just a salesperson passing on industry misinformation. The chemical formula that we all grew up with was proven to be carcinogenic – proven to cause cancer. So the manufacturers changed the formula, changing the composition of the ‘proven’ cancer causing chemicals and launched a massive PR campaign to promote the health and safety aspect of their products. They did tests, and these tests were almost exactly the same as the tests from the 90’s. They stated that under the right heat, the pans are perfectly safe. They hired media agencies, lawyers and doctors to campaign for them – this is a multi-billion dollar industry by the way, They put no PFOA and PTFE all over everything – like the average person knew what that meant, but if it’s not in there then all must be good, right? The issue that I have is that there is absolutely no evidence that there is not long term health effects from the ‘new’ formula. Why? Because there has not been money or time invested to prove otherwise.
It’s impossible for me to trust that the chemical industry has our best interests in mind. If they don’t sell, they don’t make money. If they can’t make a product that isn’t 100% safe then they are out of business.
Buckets of shame – these are pans that we’ve collected during the trade in
We’re here to help
Please let me know if you have any questions along your journey. I and my whole team are here to help you successfully transition from coated cookware to non coated. Sometimes it can take a bit of work, but the results are well worth it for you and our planet.