Quality nonstick pans for induction - Swiss Diamond or...?

saltimboccaFebruary 10, 2012

We recently swapped out our halogen cooktop for induction - and it is amazing, I must say, I'm blown away by its performance - and am looking to replace my old non-ferrous pans with induction-compatible versions.

What I need to replace is mostly the non-stick items. I did manage to find a nice 10" All-Clad skillet for half price at T.J. Maxx, but that was the only ferrous non-stick pan in the store.

I've been looking at Swiss Diamond, and their stuff looks great (despite the fact that they deceptively claim not use Teflon/PTFE, but I don't really care about that), but the price is astronomical - an 8" frying pan, with no lid, lists for almost $140, and the cheapest Amazon price is still over $100. I find it hard to justify that for what's basically just an egg pan.

Does anyone have experience with this line and can vouch that it's worth the price? Or suggest alternatives? I'm mainly looking for both small (8") and large (12"+) frypans, and medium to large saute pans, ideally with lids.

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leel

Any non-stick pan goes south sooner or later--usually sooner, so there's no sense in paying a fortune for them. I've found the Farberware Millenium works beautifully & is very reasonably priced. It's got a nice heft, and I've been using my skillets for more than a year now, and they're still in good shape.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:28AM
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saltimbocca

I'm tempted by the argument that a decent cheap non-stick is the way to go - I used to think that myself, after having owned a variety of non-sticks, from T-fal to Le Creuset, that all started flaking within a few years at best.

But about 10 - 12 years ago I picked up a set of Dansk Master Series non-stick for a song at a Dansk outlet store. Over a decade later they are still virtually as non-stick as the day I bought them, with nary a flake on any item, even the fry pans that have seen nearly daily use over the years. Granted, I treat them well - only plastic utensils, no super high heat, cool before hand washing - but still, their longevity has been impressive. Losing the ability to use these pans is my only regret in having moved to induction.

Dansk no longer makes these at all, let alone an induction-capable version (they were discontinued closeouts when I got them way back then), but I figure that if non-stick pans could be made this well that long ago, someone today must be making some at least as solid. So I'd like to hear from anyone who has actually been using theirs for years without a glitch.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 8:38AM
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cookwaresnob1

Zwilling's new line of Spirit fry pans with Thermolon coating are induction capable. The Thermolon coating is one of the chemical free ceramic coatings. They are beautiful pans and are VERY non stick. I use mine on gas, and love them. I have the 8", 10", and 12". These are also oven and broiler safe (up to 850 degrees)!

Hope it helps,

Brad

Here is a link that might be useful: Zwilling Fry Pan

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:05AM
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lalithar

And then there is scanpan CTX that my friend swears by. I got a 8" skillet for eggs... Let us see

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:47AM
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saltimbocca

Thanks for the tips. I've rounded out my non-stick induction collection with an amusing and motley array of international specialties: a huge 12-3/4" Scanpan CTX skillet (Denmark), a couple of smaller Magefesa skillets (Spanish), a big Swiss Diamond covered saute pan (Swiss, obviously - and half price at T.J.Maxx!), and a 10" square Fundix (Dutch) pan that is sort of a griddle but with slightly raised sides and a lip for pouring, which turns out to be great for bacon - the square shape means you can fit lots in it, the flat bottom and aluminum/stainless construction means it cooks very evenly, and the lip makes it easy to pour off the fat afterward.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:55AM
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FLsandytoes

coowaresnob1, lalitha and saltimbocca, how are you liking your pans now, half a year out?

I'm not too familiar with nonstick, limited to shiny aluminum frypans, cheap but excellent heavy Tramontina stuff that holds up well, as long as I keep heat to medium. My current 3 year old pans still look and act new, no color change or major scratches. I've had no experience with nonstick saucepans, stainless steel nonstick, or any of the new ceramic coatings.

I'm switching to induction next year and will need new cookware. I've been using Calphalon Tri-Ply steel for the last 12 years, and would like to go to lighter weight stuff. So I'm considering some nice heavy aluminum, but as you know, there's not a lot to choose from. I've looked at your lines, and am also interested in Mauviel M'stone, which has a non-PTFE ceramic coating similar to the Zwilling.

Are they all buzz-free, or do some buzz at certain cooking levels? I'm told that my cast iron and carbon steel pans should be buzz-free, as will my one Demeyere piece, a very heavy Proline 11" skillet.

I'm feeling pretty confident with frypans that I know what I need to fill in, but for saucepans I will be starting from scratch, and I'm really torn. As I said, I'd like to lighten up, and know that aluminum will be generally lighter than my old clad stuff, and should also provide nice quick but even heat, which is all good. I suspect it will perform better than clad stainless. But is that true? Will the Zwilling Spirit perform the same?

I'll be needing a batterie of 2 saucepans, a saucier, a sauté pan and an 8 quart soup pot. I've no problem switching to soft spoons, whisks and such, and given the non-stick's easy cleaning, I'll happily switch to hand washing to preserve the finish. Finally, I'm very good about using cookware at the recommended heat setting. I've learned patience, and don't mind waiting for a pan to come to the right temperature.

I'm not the only cook in the house (ok, I'm the only SERIOUS cook) and have no problem getting a couple of cheap skillets for my Dude and mother to abuse. They're used to certain pans being off-limits. :)

So.... given all I've laid out, do you think I'd be happy for a long time with any of these cookware lines? I think so, but of course that's wishful thinking, based on not much fact. Your opinions and experiences are VERY welcome!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 11:22PM
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scpalmetto

I don't believe aluminum will work with induction, perhaps you mean stainless steel? Some of that works and some doesn't. We are putting in an induction cook top in a few weeks and I have taken to carrying a small refrigerator magnet in my purse. When I go in stores that carry pots and pans I whip it out to check which pieces it sticks to.

I too am looking for a non stick pan for the DH to use. He simply cannot remember to use medium heat, he torches everything and ruins pans so I need cheap and induction capable. I found a KA 12" at Tuesday Morning but it was $85. No way I am spending that much for a throwaway. I have ordered a Fissler Crispy frypan for myself but that one will be off limits. LOL

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 7:35AM
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FLsandytoes

Aluminum will work just fine, provided it has a magnetic steel base plate. Since I wrote my post, I've installed a GE Profile slide-in induction range and acquired a good selection of pots and pans.

I picked up a few more nonstick pans, in addition to my existing carbon steel pans. I have 2 Mauviel M'stone pans, a 3 qt. sauté and a 6 qt. soup pot. I added a $16 score from TJMaxx, an Invoca skillet. It's 5mm thick, made in Italy. A few days ago I picked up another 3 qt sauté, the Zwilling Spirit with Thermolon coating. This one is nice thick tri-ply.

I bought the Zwilling because the Thermolon ceramic coating is supposed to be able to sear better than others, and it does sear well at medium heat, although it's not appreciably better at building fond than conventional nonstick. For that I'll stick with an uncoated stainless pan. My dude is cooking sausage patties in it right now, and just announced that it beats all our other pans for even cooking, with all sausages being equally browned, edge to edge. Better even than my thick Invoca aluminum, which is saying a lot.

I went with commercial stuff for my saucepans, choosing Vollrath Optio and for my saucier, Vollrath Tribute. I especially recommend the Tribute as an alternative to All Clad d5 or Demeyere Atlantis. It's not as pretty, but it's very, very thick tri-ply, with about 3mm of aluminum in it. The Optio saucepans have really thick disk bottoms that cover almost all of the base. Much better than most others. The handles are hollow and round and easy to grip. I've also got a 6 qt. Optio sauté pan for bigger frying/searing jobs and an 8 qt. Optio stockpot. The Optio pans are a true bargain, some of them costing under $20 from foodservicewarehouse.com.

None of these pans buzz on my range. The Mauviel and Invoca are hard anodized aluminum with integrated steel plates. They don't heat up fast, but they do respond well to changes in heat level, so they're very useful. They perform exactly as if they're on a gas range.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:08AM
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scpalmetto

Good to know what works and what doesn't. My old All Clad and a number of odd pieces are not magnetic except for a few frying pans. I have an Italian saucepan and some LeCruset that will work. I bought an inexpensive set of Kirkland pots and pans from Costco just to use until I slowly fill in. It was only $169 for 13 pieces but none were non stick. I've never used non stick for fond, the good stainless works better for me.

I'll look for the Zwilling and hope the DH doesn't annihilate it like he does with every other pan. I had not heard of Vollrath but I like that they are made in the US and they have excellent reviews. All in good time.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 4:08PM
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FLsandytoes

scpalmetto,

Good luck with the Zwilling. I recently had to rescue the Mauviel M'Stone sauté pan from the dishwasher. I caught it just in time, too, poor thing. I wanted to smack the dude upside the head with it, but refrained. Not only would it leave a mark on him, but also on my permanent record, something I strive to avoid at all costs.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:58AM
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