We’re about to start our 3rd annual FRY PAN TRADE IN EVENT

What is that you ask? We’ll, let me tell you.

First, some background on Teflon and chemical coatings – which are all the same by the way. Other chemical companies LOVE to tell me that they are not Teflon. Potato, Potato.

Second, our line-in-the-sand from 2016, where we purged all coated items from our inventory and vowed never to sell chemical nonstick coated items. This is why we don’t sell waffle irons.

Third, a wake up call for our planet.

And lastly, this year.

Starting Friday September 13th, 2019!  Bring us any coated pan and we’ll sell you one of our fry pans at 30% off. The pans that we recommend to use for higher heat frying are the de Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel, the Lodge Cast Iron and Staub Cast Iron. These are our favourite choices for fry pans, but we will, of course, have all fry pans as part of our Trade In Program.

de Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan 

Why am I doing this?

Because it really matters to my family, and all of us at Cook Culture. We understand, without a shadow of a doubt, that ALL coated fry pan (Yes, absolutely every one) will become garbage within a fairly short amount of time. It may be 6 months, or 6 years, but they will wear out and become useless garbage.

This understanding came to me over time.  I’ve been selling cookware since the late 80’s and have tried many types of coated cookware. Many brands that I’ve sold initially worked very well. This was great and I sold container loads of coated cookware over a few decades, however within a few years we started to see cookware return with worn out coating.

At first we warrantied the cookware, as I thought it must have been defective, but a small amount turned into a large amount, and it didn’t matter what brand it was. 

The tragedy is that those containers of cookware became garbage and no matter what I did to change brands, and chemical coatings, the same thing happened. Over time, all coated pans wear out. This is a fact. I’ve challenged every coated pan wholesaler and manufacturer to show me one that doesn’t. To date, all I get is a shrug.

This said, some of our suppliers are super keen to do what they can to help us. Companies like Browne and Co (who import de Buyer), Counseltron (who import Lodge) and Zwilling (who own Staub). These fine companies are shining examples of true partners, who really give a shit, and put their money where my mouth is.


This Trade In Event is my way to make amends – remember, I was a part of this destructive sales’ practice for a long time. It took me years to see that what I was doing was so very wrong. 

I know that if I sell non-stick cookware, then customers that trust me will buy it. This is wrong. It’s 2019 and retailers should be more responsible and not sell cookware that they know will become garbage (everyone in our industry knows this). Unfortunately this is the practice of every retailer that sells cookware. As far as I know, we are the only retailer with a ‘no coated cookware’ policy. 

I am not proud of this. There was a time when I believed that I HAD to sell non stick to stay in business, and maybe that was true at that time. I know that in the 90’s, or even the 2000’s, that if I’d told people that we’d stopped selling coated cookware to help the environment I’m quite sure that I would’ve received a blank stare, and zero sales. At that time, Cast Iron cookware was still collecting dust in the bottom drawer of peoples’ ovens or set out in a garage sale. 

The future is bright

Today is a much different environment. We have people come to us from far and wide to get the right advice on how to get away from coated cookware. This is because it’s not a simple thing to do. Using coated cookware makes cooking with a fry pan very, very easy. Pre-seasoning, cooking, and post seasoning, Iron cookware takes work, and knowhow, but it’s so worth it. Using a very high quality cast iron or carbon steel fry pan (which doesn’t have to cost a lot of $$) gives you better results. Actually, once you get used to using Iron pans you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to buy, or sell, coated cookware. The only reason that retailers do it is to make money. With the intention of being blunt: Any retailer that sells coated cookware obviously doesn’t care at all about the environment or their customers, even though that I’m sure they’ll tell you that they do. Actions speak louder than words. (Yes, this is a public call out for my fellow retailers to be more responsible for our planet) Coated fry pans create a HUGE amount of unnecessary garbage and take large amount of resources to produce. If you put your old pan in your blue bin it will end up in the landfill. 

For the general public, today is a good day to change. Today is a good day to watch my super exciting 36+ minute video on seasoning Iron cookware and get yourself pumped up for coming in to trade in your old coated pans. It just may be the best day of your life.

What can you do?

So remember, people selling coated cookware are bad, like the devil sort of bad. (Nudge, nudge) People that make and sell non-coated cookware are good, like Boy Scout type good. People that sell both are confused, but still bad. 

Until Oct 11, 2019, bring us your horrible coated cookware and we’ll sell you the last fry pans that you will buy, for 30% off regular price. You will never need to throw out your cookware again. 

What do you do with the used pans?

We take your old pan to a recycling facility that will deconstruct your pan so that it can be recycled. Each year we’ve taken in over 2,500 lbs of cookware that very probably would have been garbage.

A few pans ready to be recycled

11 responses to “We’re about to start our 3rd annual FRY PAN TRADE IN EVENT

  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are not only giving wonderful service to your customers, you are doing what you can to get the word out to people! Every time anyone does this it has more than just an accumulative effect, and hopefully, slowly, people will wake up to the sad truth that our planet needs all of us doing all we can. I appreciate your message.

    1. Thanks, Cathy! I appreciate that you appreciate it! I’ve definitely become more aware of this wasteful issue as time goes on and have come to learn that there isn’t a valid reason for anyone to sell or buy coated cookware. With your enthusiasm and help, we can spread the word! We all at Cook Culture can not make the change needed by ourselves, so I hope that more retailers wake up to this sooner than later! Thanks! Jed

  2. Thanks Jed!
    I watched The Devil We Know video last night. I didn’t sleep well.
    My children are getting early Christmas presents of new pots and pans.

    1. Hi Kathy, Yes, it’s a disturbing documentary and spreads further light on what these companies do to continue to make money. Fortunately it’s coming to light and people can make an educated decision on what’s the best cookware for their family. Jed

  3. Curious to know that your thought are on the ceramic coated pans are? Would these be eligible for the trade in as well? I love the carbon steel and cast iron pans that I have.

    1. Thanks, Chris. We definitely take in the Ceramic pans. Actually, we see a load of them back because they too, like all coated cookware, wear out. See you soon!

  4. …..wow. I have “ceramic coated” fry pans, that I’ve purchased many moons ago from your store. Are these ones bad too? I knew Teflon was bad but that’s all I know. I guess I should do more homework and bring in some pans….. *sniff sniff, these pans were pretty pricey.

    1. Hi Anna, Ceramic pans can work great but they do have a life. As long as they’re working for you then keep using them. We do this Trade-In every year so they can come in anytime. Jed

  5. In light of the recent climate strikes and the global warming grief we are experiencing, thank you for doing what you can!

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