Where did the good, cheap non-stick pans go?

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, ALJune 27, 2012

About 15 years ago I bought a very ordinary but fairly thick/heavy $5 non-stick generic sauce pan and even when the handle broke, it's been a great utensil until about the last year. Someone has put a couple little scratches in the bottom and they've started to expand. Now eggs and other food are starting to stick a bit.

So I went looking for a similar replacement and could find nothing and even at WM, they're SO EXPENSIVE, like nothing under $25, and not what I want anyway, even if they were free. What I settled for is a pan that looks and feels very different but the label said "non stick" so I got it. (Not at WM, so don't blame them, although that's always fun.) Ugh! I might as well be trying to fry eggs on glassware. I had to scrub so hard (but with only a nylon plastic scrubber) the very first time, it's already damaged. I think it's just painted black, and I don't want to use this dumb thing anymore at all. All I have ever had to do with real non-stick pans is hit them with hot water from the sprinkler thing at the sink, everything comes right off.

What is going on? Where did all the real non-stick pans go? At this point, I would gladly pay much more for one but just can't find any. Has this type of item moved only to specialty stores? I'm not much of a shopper and not many places to shop around here anyway. I guess it would be OK to go in a mall next time I'm in a city if I knew I could find a good pan.

Thanks for your input!

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Costco. but they are in packs of two for about $20. Count the uptick in price to general inflation.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Though not "cheap"... not really high-end either... I recommend Calphalon. BB&B usually has a set of 2 skillets for under $50. Before you say... TOO much $$... consider they're return/replace policy. Had heard they were GREAT on replacing things so took them up on that offer about 3-4 months ago. My 2 skillets (possibly 10+ years old) and favorite sauce pan (efinitely older and part of a set) were starting to be a little non-non-stick. I never used metal tools iin them and rarely ran them thru dishwasher.Packed up the 2 skillets and sauce pan and sent them back... cost a few $ for shipping. About a week and a half later got BRAND NEW replacements. Skillets were exact replacements. Sauce pan a little different... imagine original no longer made.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:06PM
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    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Thanks for the inputs!!

It occurred to me to look on the bottom (duh!) It says Mirro. I'm thinking it probably cake from K-mart. I went to their website but unfortunately they now make the stuff I saw at WM (Wearever) which isn't the same kind non-stick pan I have and want to replace.

I do have a big Calphalon pan but even when new, it was never non-stick, just resistant.

Never been in a Costco or BB'n'B but will check to see if these chains have a location in Destin. We're going down for the day Wednesday.

I think I should have said "common" in the title above. Cost really isn't an issue at this point. I just need another good, truly non-stick pan.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Cost should be an issue. Because non-stick pans will wear out, you don't want to invest money in them. My Costco pans are from Tramontina, which is also sold at WalMart. Check Target and K-Mart as well.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:42AM
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I imagine the kind of pan you were looking for was the old teflon--where have they gone? Teflon is such a horribly dangerous carcinogen that it's been outlawed, FINALLY (after Dupont and the government working hard for decades to keep the public in the dark about just how extremely dangerous the stuff is).

You can still get cheap non-stick pans--cast iron. For 10-20 dollars, you'll have a pan that, properly seasoned and maintained, will far surpass the non-stick properties of any chemically applied non-stick surface, AND that will last you the rest of your natural life, and which will be handed down to your grandchildren. Truly, if you have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, nothing compares. AND it's safe for your family--actually healthy for them because it imparts needed iron into the food you cook (rather than seasoning it with a known carcinogen).

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Agree with azzalea about cast iron. Have my Grams' CI and a few newer ones. Wouldn't give those up for anything. But if you do want a non-stick pan. Forget Teflon coated. They are going by the wayside. Bad non-stick qualities and bad for you. Ceramic non-sticks are extremely good pans. Not the ones you see on infomercials(Orgreenics or something like that). Real good quality ceramics. The original "GreenPan" is great. Have had mine for a year now. Nothing sticks, easy clean up and it goes from stove top to oven.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:56AM
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You'll have to spend more for a good pan these days. Teflon is dangerous and it's going off the market. I just got a ceramic skillet at BB&B (used a 20% off coupon) and like it a lot. And, the cost of just about everything has gone up over the years, so a new pan would cost you more these days, even if you cold find Teflon.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Thanks for the responses. I wish there had been more publicity about this. I would have stocked up sooner. Hard to believe there's no technology to make something equally inexpensive that works as well. I'm sure y'all are right about cast iron. Just not interested, too heavy and greasy.

And, the cost of just about everything has gone up over the years, so a new pan would cost you more these days, even if you cold find Teflon. Well of course! But one wouldn't expect a jump from $5 to $25 in 15 years!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 7:40AM
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you might also consider carbon steel pans. They come from the factory a lot slicker than modern cast iron (more like the old Griswold or Wagner cast iron), and they're about half the heft of cast iron.

I'm in the process of evaluating some carbon steel pans by deBuyer and Paderno. So far, I like them both; the shape of the Paderno is a little shallower but the pan is heftier; the deBuyer is lighter but deeper. Both are built to last and will outlast me, for sure, and the seasoning is approaching nonstick status. Yeah, you can't put them in the dishwasher, but they sear great and there's no worry about any problems with a nonstick coating wearing off into your food.

Here is a link that might be useful: paderno

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 3:59PM
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They're not as cheap as before, but I had good luck finding non-stick skillets at Marshalls and TJ Maxx. I have induction, and that makes it even more difficult, but those two stores get in various European brands I've never heard of with ceramic-type non-stick. The ones I got last year are Italian, and I love them. They have different ones all the time. There are a whole bunch of Valerie Bertinelli non-stick skillets and griddles in both stores right now.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:30PM
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I recently purchased a Valerie Bertinelli non-stick frying pan for around $12.00 from marshall's. It was a great pan for the price, however, after using it several times, I found that the handle gets extremely hot. So hot that you have to use a hot pad to touch it. It's one of those plastic handles that shouldn't conduct heat, but it does. I wouldn't recommend Bertinelli line for that reason :(

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 8:26AM
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