Stainless vs. nonstick -- your opinions please!

tmac96February 24, 2005

I have always used nonstick and have liked it. No problems with nonstick coming off ever, but then again, I haven't been cooking on my own for that long! Anyhow, I assumed that as I buy my first "real" pieces of cookware (as opposed to the stuff that got me through college), I would buy nonstick. I see that many on this board prefer stainless though. I have a few stainless saucepans and really like them. Can you tell me why else I might prefer them?

(I still plan on buying at least 1 nonstick piece -- probably an everyday type of pan. But was now thinking of getting more stainless. Newbie needs help!)

ALSO, as far as SS, I am intrigued by the Member's Mark set at Sam's Club. I like how the try-ply extends up the sides. Other than the post below, I can not find reviews of this set. Any other thoughts or opinions? Other SS pieces or sets I should look into?

Thanks in advance!

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Stainless is great for fast heating, as in pasta cooking. It's also good for browning things. Does a better job than anodized alum. on those things. So, your best bet is to get some pieces of each depending on what you plan to use them for. All Clad, in my opinion, is the best stainless. The anodized alum good ones are Calphalon and Analon. I'm sure there are other good ones also. You can buy some inexpensive stainless for water boiling, etc. at a store like Marshalls. Save the money for really good heavy stainless fry pans. Try to get the clad bottoms for better heat distribution on any stainless you get. Sorry I know nothing about Sam's Club stuff. Go to Amazon and check their weekly specials, "try me" pieces and closeouts. Over time you'll get a great unmatched set for a good price.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 5:14PM
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You shoould have a good non-stick for things like eggs, or othere things that stick and use low temps. SS clad is good for about everything else. It can take high heat, throw it in the dishwasher, and non reactive to acidic substances like tomatoes and wine.

A real good brand made by All Clad is Emeril Ware. There a re couple of types, but the best one has a copper disk you can see along the bottom edge. It is not near as expesive as All Clad.

Another thing you will need in your arsenal is some cast iron. I would suggest at least one skillet and a dutch oven. Very inexpensive, will out live your future great grand children if taken care of. And once you have it properly seasoned, works as good as non-stick

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 1:36AM
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Grab the Sam's Club Member's Mark Tri-Ply. I, like you, just bought my first serious cookware in the past year or so. The Member's Mark stuff has been great. Cooks great, cleans great, looks great. It is the same construction as All-Clad stainless, and you can get an entire set for the price of one All-Clad pan. I also bought a Calphalon non-stick for eggs and some Le Creuset pieces such as dutch ovens and caseroles. Incidentally, there are some knock-off enameled cast iron brands out there that are probably similar in performance to Le Creuset for a fraction of the cost, as well.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 7:45PM
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The main functional reason to use non-stick would be for cooking eggs, which are so prone to sticking. I have never heard anyone claim to have or need a non-stick sauce pan, but just about everyone has at least one non-stick skillet. We have a huge set of Al Clad stainless, but only two pieces of non-stick - a small and a large skillet, which are used exclusively for eggs.

As the others have pointed out, non-stick does not brown as well as stainless does.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 1:47PM
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I don't have the knowledge about different brands or materials or types of pans that a lot of the people on this forum do. I do like to cook and I use a real mish-mosh of different pots and pans, some are 35 years old and some are new. I have one 12 inch non-stick skillet and 2 smaller 8 inch non-stick skillets for eggs (for when I want scrambled and he wants over easy and we want to eat at the same time!). That's all the non-stick I find that I need.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 3:14PM
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Here is a message I posted on another thread regarding Sam's Club Member's Mark cookware:
I just purchased the Members Mark tri-ply stainless cookware from Sam's Club last it, love it, love it. After cooking for many years with RevereWare and other assorted mediocre cookware pieces, I determined that the cookware I owned was not cutting it...I guess I never wanted to believe that my faithful RevereWare was really crummy cookware. After using friends' All Clad and Calphalon TriPly, I realized that the triply ply construction/aluminum core really makes a difference in the process and the results (versus disk bottom cookware, where the triple ply is only on the bottom of the pan). I had one piece of tri-ply cookware (a 2 qt. saucepan by Martha Stewart Everyday that I got on clearance for $13.00) and have loved it, but I can't find it any I was on the hunt for a reasonable alternative. I couldn't afford to purchase the necessary pieces I needed in All Clad and had read favorable reviews on the Member's Mark. It is a very comprehensive cookware set, and includes all usable pieces. I would say the performance is as good as All Clad, at almost one-quarter of the cost. I've always been skeptical of buying "cookware sets", but the value for the money of this set made sense. I also purchased 3 open stock pieces of Calphalon anodized non-stick on sale (a "chili pot", "everyday pan" and square griddle) for the times only non-stick will do. Run, don't walk to Sam's, and get that set. You will not regret it one bit.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 12:56PM
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We're down to just one non-stick pan - an 8" skillet for DW's scrambled eggs. I use a well seasoned carbon steel omelet pan for my omelets or fried eggs.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 10:35AM
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I always recommend buying a variety of types and styles instead of a preformed "kit" of pans. The above tip on shopping Amazon sales is good. You'll find professional grade pans selling at a fraction of retail.

I use a mix that includes stainless, castiron, anodized alum, etc... my favorite non-stick is from the calphalon commercial series. There is no "perfect" anything, but check out the "everyday" pans by calphalon. I have the 14" in both regular and nonstick and love them, but wait till their on sale, what is normally a $159.00 pan can be found for less than $40.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 11:34AM
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Along with other posters, I use non-stick cookware mainly for eggs. If you're interested in a new non-stick fry pan, I would suggest you check out the Scanpan brand. It's *far* better than any other non-stick pan I've ever used.

On the site below, you can check for sales and introductory offers for Scanpan pans.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scanpan

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 4:32AM
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Guess I am reviving an old thread. My opinion for what it's worth (I am a new cook):

Started my "cooking" escapades with SS pots and pans (Cuisinart chef classic w/disc bottom). Not a bad setup. DW prefers non-stick. So we had some old non-stick pans laying around for her. I've fried meatballs, breaded cutlets, etc in the SS pans, and they worked very well (never went higher than medium heat, or about 7500 BTU).

Suprised DW with two 12" Cuisinart SS skillets with non-stick interior. She likes them. And I like them! Frying sausage alllows me to use less olive oil compared to SS. Used them the other day to make Shrimp Fra Diavolo. No complaints.

All in all, as a new cook, I like both and use both for things other than eggs. Meatballs will always be cooked in the SS skillets however... mainly because of the fond.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 9:01PM
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This reply maybe too late for you but may not to others...

What kind of cookware depends on your cooking technique mostly, and also what kind of stove top do you have, gas or electric?

If you have gas, you'd want to chose cookware that is made in 1 piece (exclude the handles) such as the 3-play SS from Calphalon, All Clad and Sam's Member's Mark. This would allow even cooking up to the sides also. When you see cookware with a separate thick bottom, it only heats at the bottom and not on the sides. Your cooking time would take longer and you'd need to stir more often. These cookware would work on electric stove better than gas stove. However, if you want to invest in a good quality cookware, avoid these separate-bottom cookware. On low quality craftmanship of some of these cookware, I've heard that the bottom can fall out.

Technique of cooking: At times, I like to brown the meat/fish, then stick the whole thing (pan/pot and all) in the oven for even cooking. This way, I don't need to use 2 different cookware. If you use this method, you may want to look for SS cookware or copper, etc. that can handle as high heat as possible. This way you wouldn't need to worry if the cookware will warp or not. Another thing you'd need to keep in mind is choosing a non-plastic handle so it won't melt in the oven. Although, I've seen some plastic handles that can handle high heat too. Check out the manufacturer manuals.

As for non-stick, even if the manufacturer says that the cookware can handle high heat in the oven, you may not want to do this for health reason. I know this is a controversial topic still but it is said that teflon which uses in non-stick cookware, when cook at high heat gives out an invisible toxic fume. This fume may cause cancer and other illness. You normally don't find people who has birds as indoor pets using non-stick cookware. They know (or should know) that the fume from teflon woudl kill their pet birds. Think what would this do to humans in a long term.

Now, I know that Calphalon claimed they don't use teflon in their products. However, the products they use are purchased from DuPont which is a company that produces teflon. Thus, it's still questionable.

All that said, you can still use non-stick cookware if you prefer. I use them occasionally as well, but don't use it at high heat for cooking just to be on the safe side. Besides, a quality product such as All Clad and Calphalon, don't need high heat to cook. It is built that way intentionally to save energy also.

By the way, I've cooked eggs with my Calphalon SS pan without getting it to stick on the pan. I preheat the pan in medium heat, add a little oil for a few minutes, then add the eggs. Do the same when cooking other food as well. Also, try to take food out from the refrigerator a bit early to bring it down at room temperature before cooking. It will prevent food from sticking to your SS cookware.

When washing SS, I presoak and add a few drops of liquid dish soap for half to an hour. The food would comes right off when washing. Just remember not to soak SS too long such as overnight.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:07PM
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I think you need some extra information about this topic here.
So you can make a comparison with other brand.

I think this can help you.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:58PM
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