Non-Stick vs. Stainless Steel

When my husband noticed that I frequently take mental notes while watching Alton Brown (A.B.) on Food Network, he knew exactly what to buy for me. So, for valentines day, my husband bought me Alton Brown’s I’m just here for the food cookbook. Indeed, this year, he read my heart.

One of the first things that I searched for was, what A.B. recommends for pots and pans. I love non-stick pots and pans but no matter how expensive they cost, they always STICK after a few months of usage. So, here’s what I got from his book page 125.

“In the last couple of years Teflon has come under considerable fire for giving off dangerous fumes. I first became aware of this in 2003, when several bird owners filled me in on the fact that Teflon fumes can easily kill exotics like parrots and cockatiels. Although the verdict is still out on the general health hazards of Teflon, I’ve decided to play it safe and have discontinued its use for high heat cooking like sauteing.”

Does Teflon cause cancer?  Do a google search on this question and see what is the latest verdict.

I recently purchased All-Clad Stainless Steel set of pots and pans. If it weren’t for a gift certificate that we got for Christmas, I probably would not splurge on the entire set. I have used the 12 inch saute pan for deep-frying. Yes, food sticks but cleaning is not too difficult either. William Sonoma sells $3 or $4 Bar Keeper’s Friend and any rainbow like stain comes off like magic.

A.B. uses $12 teflon-coated 8 inch non-stick pan to make his omelette and frying eggs. I don’t think he recommended a brand name for non-stick. I have tried Circulon and Analon non-stick, and under high heat, these non-stick will stick. Now, I am trying Caphalon non-stick. Verdict is still out on this one.

One question comes to mind. My electrical panini maker/grill is non-stick and it often operates under high heat. I have used it about 5 times under very high heat condition and so far, the non-stick is still good. I wonder if the non-stick on the panini maker produce toxic fumes?


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