BEST?: Anodized vs. Stainless vs. Tri-ply vs. Cast iron

tejj22May 9, 2005

I am looking to drop my non-stick due to concerns of of possible health issues it causes. I really dont care if they are true or not and can't prove it so why chance it.

I am trying to compile a list of the pros and cons of the following types of cookware in an effort to decide on my next purchase.

Anodized Aluminum


Stainless Steel

Cast iron

I am not really concerned about brands for the time being but instead the techmologies used. I am currently leaning toward tri-ply but am finding it difficult to find alot of info. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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tejj, Why restrict yourself to just one? Every material used for pots and pans has different strengths and weaknesses. Different applications will find various winners. Did you mean disc bottomed stainless when you wrote stainless in the above list? I own some of each and find little practical difference in the two when dealing with a pot with a big bottom and shorter sides. With taller sided pans, TriPly will heat quicker and more evenly and has a weight advantage. We handwash all of our pots, and I sometimes tire of the extra BKF step but those who prefer dishwashers cannot abide any aluminum or iron. Large aluminum pans tend to warp. Not an issue on gas ranges, but a problem with electric. And then there are the cost and quality variations by brand within each of the materials,lol...Jackie

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 3:38PM
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Thanks jackie37. I believe I am going to start off with the Member's Mark Tri-ply. I would prefer to use the dishwasher and I have an electric range.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 7:37AM
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Well my vote for most cooking would be SS, (clad or disc) DW safe.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 8:31AM
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I have the Member's Mark tri-ply clad and absolutely love it. It is the same construction as the All Clad, except the price is much more attractive. If you compare the construction/specs/looks of the two, you will see no difference....except the handles on the Member's Mark are much more comfortable in the hand. I did a side-by-side cooking comparison of my Member's Mark and a friends All Clad and found no discernible difference. It is such a "well kept secret" and is now becoming very popular. Get it before it's gone!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 9:56AM
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I purchase the members mark. And after cooking in it one time-I noticed a great difference from our non-stick t-fal pans.

Problem: I cooked peppers, onions, and turkey in a little bit of pam in the small pan. Now there is a cloudiness on the pan. Why is this? Is there anyway to correct this? I realize they are pans and will get scratched etc? But I am a little preturbed.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 3:29PM
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From what I have read on this web site, pam is not a product to be used with stainless.

Barkeepers Friend should remove the cloudiness.

I would suggest using olive oil or other vegetable oil instead of pam.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 1:56PM
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I don't use Pam or any product like it because it either temporarily discolors the pan (stainless steel) or makes the "non-stick" so gummy. The same goes for using it on baking sheets. The stuff seems to adhere itself permanently to any surface....good grief, it's just not worth it LOL. Barkeeper's Friend works very well on stainless steel.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 2:09PM
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I have a new set of Calphalon Tri Ply Stainless Steel pots and pans. I am disappointed with them because they have already discolored from just a few uses. I hand wash them and am careful with the type of soap/sponge. I realize these are not "non-stick", however, the amount of stick that has occurred is ridiculous. I usually use a small amount of butter or olive oil before cooking, but that doesn't even work a little. Am I doing something wrong? I may be exchanging them, if so, what kind should I get?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:02PM
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I use Demeyere Atlantis cookware. I find that the Silvinox surface treatment on their cookware really helps with the cleanup. Usually it comes clean in the dishwasher. If I burn something on, I can soak it for 15 minutes in soapy water, and it comes out. Once in a while I need to use just a little bit of Barkeeper's Friend Cookware Cleaner on it--just a light sprinkle on a wet pan, swish it around about twice with a paper towel, and it cleans up to like-new appearance.

And did I mention that the Atlantis goes in the dishwasher? The Silvinox treatment toughens up the surface to such an extent that Demeyere recommends washing it in the dishwasher rather than handwashing it, because the dishwasher detergents are stronger and do a better job of cleaning.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 10:02PM
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Thank you so much for the helpful information. I will look in to those options.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 5:02PM
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A well equipped kitchen has different pans for different jobs.

A stainless ply is a great all-around pan, but for some jobs, cast iron is best and it is very inexpensive and actually good for you (it increases the iron content of most foods).

I applaud your decision to remove most of the non-stick from your kitchen. Non-stick should be relegated to specific duties, essentially eggs, where the health benefits of less fat are well known as opposed to potential health concerns with teflon.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:27AM
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First, make sure you always pre-heat your pan before frying anything. This will usually take about 3 minutes. Pre-heat the pan on the heat you will be using to cook with. Second, pre-heat the fat you are using to cook with before you start cooking. For a small amount of butter or olive oil this usually takes a minute or so. Third, keep your cooking surface scrupulously clean. You can do this easily with a little barkeepers friend followed by a thorough rinsing or a little detergent and rinsing. If you do these 3 things you won't have the problem with sticking you're talking about.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:12PM
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I have the same tri-ply Calphalon and absolutely love them! They can go from stove top straight to the oven without any worry. Same as cast irons, which I too, own some pieces seasoned and others enameled coated.

You won't need to exchange your Calphalons if you follow Deanb's advises.

When you preaheat, do so in low to medium heat. In a matter of fact, always start out that way with any type of pots/pans. Avoid throwing in frozen food. Rather, bring the food to room temperauture as much as possible before cooking to avoid stickiness.

Also, don't use cold water to cool any pot/pan while it's still hot. Let it cool naturally before washing them.

Next.... though, it's been over 2 yrs. from the initial post, the link below may help someone else.

It is a good article explaining about cookware materials and their pros and cons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cookware type whether is It safe

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 12:49PM
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Ease of cleanup has absolutely no relationship the whether or not the pan will perform the cooking job better. I buy my pans based on how well they cook, not how easy they are to clean. Always buy high quality cookware suited to the task and buy for life.

I've found properly seasoned cast iron to be superior for frying, deep frying, hearth cooking, searing meat, cooking cornbread, eggs and a number of other foods. Nothing sears better than cast iron. Cast iron's limitations are few but include reacting with highly acidic foods like tomato bases and lemons and accelerating the oxidative degradation of cooking oils at high temperature. This is remedied by using high quality enameled cast iron. Seasoned cast iron cookware gets better with time, unlike chemical non-stick coatings.

For precise temperature control required in sauce making, candy making etc, stainless-lined solid copper cookware such as Falk Culinare is superior. Very few companies produce copper cookware worth buying - Falk is in my opinion the best and their bimetal process is actually used by the other major manufactures of quality copper cookware.

Stoneware for baking is wonderful material and should be used more often. Same goes for clay cookery.

It is always more important to have a wonderful, healthy meal than it is to save a few extra minutes doing dishes.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:44PM
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