Best non-stick cookware?

To all you kitchen-friendly Dopers: Can you recommend a good set of non-stick cookware (pots and pans, etc.?)

I have spent some time trying to understand the current market and it’s just horribly confusing to me, because I don’t cook much. It’s no longer just Teflon; there are dozens of non-sticky substances, and I don’t know if there’s a good way to evaluate them. There’s just so much marketing out there.

If it matters, I will mainly be sauteeing/stir-frying veggies in it and maybe the occasional vegetarian fake meat product.

I currently use something called GreenPan with a Thermolon coating, and it was good for the first few weeks and then rapidly became very sticky – there’s still stuff coated on it from last year.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

You might try your luck with ceramic cookware.

I prefer stainless steel myself, but those take an effort to clean. I use ceramic for certain items like beans or pasta.

Isn’t the GreenPan mentioned in the OP ceramic cookware?

And what I’ve heard is most all non-stick surfaces fail eventually, so it’s best just to get a cheap Teflon pan and use it as long as the surface is good.

You can do the cheap teflon pan thing, and indeed that’s what I remember Anthony Bourdain recommending in Kitchen Confidential. I will say though that my All-Clad non-stick skillet is still going strong a year and a half in, and is still more slippery than I’ve experienced with new cheap non-stick pans. They can be pricey though, even on close-out. I cook enough egg dishes though that I find it a more than acceptable expense.

My choice is a well seasoned cast iron pan/skillet.

Another vote for cast iron, it really is a fantastic medium for cookware.This will probably make others grimace, but I find the best way to clean them is to immediately shove them under running water and use a plastic bristled brush. I find they come out perfectly clean in just a few seconds. I then tend to put them back on the stove for a few mins to ensure all the water gets evaporated.

That said, I do still have some cheap teflon pans that I got from the supermarket. I use one for bacon and the other for eggs. They are still going strong after two years’ service. I don’t know why, but I find that only cooking the same thing in the pan seems to help the teflon surface - in the past I have cooked bacon and eggs in the same pan and the surface eroded very quickly.

I cook stir fry and vegetarian dishes mainly in a stainless steel pan now. If you’re cooking with liquids and sauces it’s just as easy to clean as a non-stick.

I still use a teflon pan for eggs and veggie burgers, since they stick like nothing else to stainless steel. But acidic things like tomato sauces are very hard on a non-stick surface, so better to cook those in a stainless pan.

Part of the thing with non-stick pans is that you have to be careful with both the utensils you use in them and with the level of heat you use with them. You will wreck a non-stick, especially teflon, if you use it with high heat. Of course using metal utensils even once is also right out, you’ll inevitably scratch it and then it’s all downhill. I’ve found with teflon pans and not using more than med to med-high (no more than 6 out of 9 on my stove), stuff just steams and good browning doesn’t really happen.

That said, I got this pan for Christmas: Ozeri stone earth and so far it’s fantastic. It’s heavy, heats evenly, and even following the rules for a non-stick (heat at the high end of medium, no more) it browns a steak beautifully, or fake chicken burgers, or caramelizes brussels sprouts. It can be used in the oven up to 400F. I love it. I’ve only had it two and a half months, but so far it’s the best non-stick pan I’ve ever had.

Seconding the “just grab a cheap one at Target” answer. The coating always fails, so why spend more than you have to? Either that or well-seasoned cast iron. We use both.

We bought a set of Paula Deen cookware from Target a few years ago and are very happy with it.

I had purchased a frying pan of this kind of T-Fal several months ago then decided to get a set. I am a from scratch kind of cook so any pans I get do get a real work out. I have had Scan Pan and Calphalon cookware sets. Which had warranties I could have used to replace them but didn’t want more of them. That said I had been using the frying pan for a while and liked it a lot! It lets you know when its warmed up (the frying pans only) and ready to use which is good for budding cooks (two twenty something sons finally learning to cook for themselves). When you are done it about rinses clean with no residue or slimy feel to it. I always look for non stick cookware to be dishwasher safe (I learned this from the Calphalon) and metal utensil safe.

Sorry to go off topic but while skimming the headlines, my sporadic dyslexia kicked in and I was wondering why somebody wanted a non-stick coworker.

#11 reported.

After years of use/abuse my stainless steel pots and pans are still bright and shiny. If they weren’t a little scratched at the bottom (from metal utensils) they’d look practically new. All I really do is clean them with soap and water after I’m done using them. The only one I really have an issue with is a little one I use for sauteing. But some Bar Keepers Friend and some elbow grease and it cleans right up.

They’re expensive, about $100 a piece (when I bought a whole set), but in the long run that’s probably cheaper then buying $15 ‘cheap teflon pans’ and tossing them every few years after the teflon is gone. There’s no reason why these won’t last forever. It’s been 6 or 7 years and I see no reason why I won’t get 50 more years out of them. Short of losing them or physically damaging them, I don’t see how I’m going to hurt them.

Also (slightly off topic), these are very heavy pots so I still keep my thin cheap pots around for when I just need to boil water for pasta or something, it’s a lot quicker.

Stainless cookware isn’t comparable to Teflon, though. They aren’t no-stick pans, so of course they’ll last longer.

There not ‘no stick’ but I’ve never had anything stick to them.

This is what I use too, but I sure hate to clean it and of course I have to eventually.

A non-stick cast iron pan would be nice for my magnetic induction cooker. I think I saw one on QVC show one time.

I’m a huge fan of these Good Cook non-stick sauté pans.

They’re inexpensive, built extremely well, and last forever.

This. Since I bought a couple of cast iron skillets (one big and one small), I’ve had no more use for my teflon pans.

I have several of these type pans. I have a cast iron skillet, but it’s just too damn heavy, especially with that short handle everyone insists on putting on them. I have several Berndes pans that I bought a number of years ago. Thick, absolutely flat bottom for even heat, but a bit expensive. The everyday pans I use, and the best value for the money are the T-fal Techno-Resist Base pans. They have an anodized nonstick surface and are fairly tough. I’ve had these two for a couple of years now and they get a lot of use; best of all, replacement doesn’t cost you a week’s salary. Use proper tools and don’t crank the heat up past medium, and they’ll last for quite awhile.