NON STICK OR STAINLESS STEEL?
So, you’ve decided to ditch your old, temperamental frying pan and you’re ready for an upgrade. Should you opt for a non-stick pan or might a stainless steel pan be the better option? We cast some light on this crucial consideration.
• Convenience and ease of use
Non-stick pans are great for everyday cooking- from scrambled eggs to pancakes. Non-stick pans are especially suited to beginner cooks and no preheating is necessary. If you dread doing the dishes (who doesn’t?), this easy-to-clean pan will certainly lessen your load.
Stainless steel pans don’t contain non-stick elements. To prevent sticking, these pans require preheating (by heating the correct amount of oil or butter at an appropriate temperature level) and maintaining the correct heat level throughout the cooking process. A stainless steel pain therefore calls for a slightly more advanced cooking skill set. It also takes longer to clean after use to prevent surface stains.
Our CLASSIC range of frying pans are available with or without a non-stick coating. All frying pans in our IQ and CTX ranges come standard with our patented Stratanium non-stick coating
• Heat tolerance
Non-stick pans are not designed to tolerate as high temperatures as Stainless Steel ones are, and typically can’t be used in an oven. However, SCANPAN non stick pans are oven safe up to 260°C. A non-stick surface makes it difficult to evenly crisp, sear or brown food, as these cooking methods require high heat and some level of surface sticking. This could make for limited cooking options with red meats. Non-stick pans, however, are significantly better at cooking flakey fish and other more delicate foods without damaging them. When choosing between a non-stick or stainless steel frying pan its best to consider which types of food you cook more, and that will influence the decision.
Deglazing (the process whereby scraps and liquids that are left in the pan after cooking meat is added to stock, wine or water to make a sauce), searing and browning is best performed with a stainless steel pan. The use of a stainless steel pan creates endless opportunities to add depth, flavour and texture to dishes. Whereas non-stick pans leave more room for error for beginners and allow one to perfect messy french toast, omelettes and pancakes without causing chaos in your kitchen. Stainless steel pans are suitable for oven use, provided that handles are heatproof.
Our IQ range of frying pans (including lids) are oven-resistant up to 260°C.
• Affordability and durability
The surface coating on non-stick pans traditionally tend to wear with use, over time. Non-stick pans are no longer suitable for use when the coating starts to chip or flake, as this might create a potential health hazard. That being said, SCANPANS design and manufacturing process nullify this issue, and you can even use metal utensils on them without scratching the surface. This should never be done with other brands of non-stick cookware.
Stainless steel pans, though typically more expensive, are far more durable due to the lack of coating. However, it’s important to take into account that stainless steel pans require proper cleaning and continued maintenance to ensure that it remains in good shape. You can never leave a stainless steel pan to soak or dry with food in it without damaging the surface. It requires quick cleaning, best done by filling it with water, and boiling and stirring the stains off immediately after use.
• Health considerations and environmental impact
As a result of the surface coating, non-stick pans require considerably less oil or butter during the cooking process than uncoated alternatives, which makes it an ideal tool in the preparation of healthy meals where the focus is on limiting fat intake. On the other hand, the durability of well-maintained stainless steel cookware could make it the more environmentally friendly choice. Depending on how durable your chosen non-stick pan is, as most need to be replaced frequently. This is not the case with SCANPAN products, as they are so durable.
In the past, concerns have been raised around the use of potentially harmful chemicals in the production of non-stick surfaces, including PTFE and PFOA. The use of PFOA as part of manufacturing has been phased out and non-stick pans have been free of PFOA in their coating since 2013, this is however not necessarily true for their manufacturing process and high heat could potentially still cause a harmful reaction. SCANPAN was the first non-stick cookware company to guarantee that their cookware does not use PTFE or PFOA in either the production nor the finishing coating of their ranges. Other non-stick pans currently available on the market are therefore also safe to use, as long as they are not used on high heat and are replaced when surface coatings are no longer intact.
SCANPAN is committed to producing high quality, durable products that are both safe to use and that limit overall environmental impact – from manufacture to use. We therefore use 100% recycled aluminium which is processed through the squeeze casting method to manufacture our frying pans. Our frying pan ranges are PTFE- and PFOA-free throughout manufacture and as finished products.
As for the choice between non-stick and stainless steel? It is an individual one based in budget and individual preferences, related to diet needs, experience, taste and whatever it is that makes your food work for you. Your cookware should match your unique cooking needs and should be the ultimate determining factor when deciding on a frying pan. To get the best out of your cooking experience, we recommend that you buy a combination of both quality non-stick cookware for simpler day-to-day cooking, as well as durable stainless steel cookware to add depth and flavour to those Sunday lunches. Your mother-in-law is sure to be impressed by this combination (you are welcome!).