Deep down I always suspected this, but recent reports have come out suggesting the harmful effects of nonstick Teflon cookware, including the ever-popular Calphalon brand, which really opened the market. Teflon is also a major topic in the very disturbing book I am reading called Slow Death by Rubber Ducky, which talks about the danger in all of our everyday household goods.
Most of the questioning surrounds the environmental concerns of Teflon and its generic equivalents revolve around the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as the chemical C-8, which is used to bond the nonstick coating to the pan. While the Environmental Protection Agency says that cooks have little to worry about if they use nonstick cookware properly and if they do not expose the pots and pans to over 500 degrees of heat, PFOA at very high levels has been shown to be toxic in birds and animals and cause cancer, birth problems, immune disorders and other unpleasant health conditions in humans. Although it’s easy to enjoy the no-hassel clean up that comes along with nonstick pans, I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to consuming harmful chemicals. Most things actually cook better with stainless, especially if you like to brown. The real issue though is eggs, as they are very hard to cook in a stainless pan and the cleanup is really difficult.
I already had a set of All Clad Pans and use the All Clad Stainless Collection 12″ omelet pan for eggs, but it becomes really hard to clean if you get the heat up too high. After reading about the heat consistency copper pans, I decided to try the Copper-Core 12″ fry pan, which I use with Canola Oil or Macadamia Oil which work better under high heat that olive oil. This pan reacts extremely well to heat and temperature changes, which allows omlettes and eggs to cook more evenly at lower temperatures, making the pan easier to clean. I am also planning to try out some of the other pieces from this collection to see how they differ from the Stainless collection for other types of cooking. Overall, the transition away from nonstick cookware has not been that painful and a little extra work on the cleaning side is much preferred to exposing my food to chemicals. You can also always rely on Bar Keepers Friend, for any difficult cleaning job on a stainless pan.
Be sure to check out our All-Clad Review page for a review of All-Clads four most popular lines; the All-Clad Stainless Collection, the All-Clad Master Chef 2, the All-Clad Cop-R-Chef and the All-Clad Copper-Core.