I do not understand how this can work on an induction cooktop if it is aluminum?
The gradient color scheme is impractical. The darker color should be on the bottom because that’s where food gets burned, discoloring the cookware.
It has a ferric layer on the bottom for induction heating. The heat will then diffuse throughout the aluminum via thermal conduction.
It’s similar to gluing an induction disc to the bottom of each pot and pan. If you have a layer of magnetizable metal (iron) on the bottom, it’ll heat up and transfer the heat to the rest of the pan, no matter what it’s made of. In that way, you can even make ceramic pots induction-ready. Similarly, many cookware have a layer of copper inside to improve conduction.
You can see the disk in this photo
$99 induction disc
A lot of people are concerned about Teflon™ and similar non-stick coatings. Don’t be. The first mistake is that people confuse Teflon with PFOA, which manufacturers have voluntarily promised to stop using in a few years. PFOA is a toxic carcinogenic chemical that is (was) used in the manufacture of Teflon (and microwave popcorn!). So if you work in a Teflon factory or live near one, yes, you should be concerned. But no modern Teflon pan has any appreciable traces of PFOA once it leaves the factory so it’s a non-issue.
Second, Teflon is biologically inert and the molecules are too large to be absorbed into the body. That’s why it’s used in medical equipment and implants. Basically, it passes through your body and excreted. Hence, don’t freak out if your Teflon pan is flaking.
Teflon only becomes a problem at about 500F, when it breaks down and becomes vaporized. It can then be inhaled and become a respiratory irritant. Asthmatics and those with respiratory illnesses are most at risk. Healthy people may not react at all. And of course, the vapors can kill birds.
So what does that mean for people who like to fry in their Teflon pans? Again, I’m not concerned because the smoking point of cooking oils is way under the 500F decomposition/vaporization temperature of Teflon. The smoking point is where oils breaks down and become toxic to the eyes and lungs. Most oils used for frying smokes in the 300F-400F range, with a few approaching 450F. In other words, you’ll faint from the oil vapors before the Teflon will do anything to you. In fact, a study in the 1950’s showed that vapors from normal cooking oils is more toxic that Teflon.
Furthermore, high temperatures char meats, which is known to produce the carcinogens heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In other words, you shouldn’t be frying or grilling at such high temperatures anyway.
Needless to say, for foods with a lot of water, this isn’t even an issue since it’ll never get hotter than 212F – less than half the vaporization temperature of Teflon.
The only issue I have with frying in Teflon is carbonization, where oils gets “baked on” to the non-stick surface because of repeated exposure to high heat. You’ll see this on lots of high end frying pans. For example, we have a set of expensive Circulons where the Teflon coating is as pristine as when we bought it 3 years ago. But about half the surface has a thick black coating from carbonization. VERY hard scratching with my fingernails reveals the undamaged Teflon underneath. So clean your non-stick pans thoroughly with soap every time, making sure no grease remains. This is usually not an issue with pots, which normally won’t get above 212F. Pans however get hot enough to bake on the grease.
Only one review for the pot on Amazon. 5 stars and very positive.
My biggest question is the quality of the non-stick coating. There are many types of Teflon, with different technologies to make it durable. Some add substances to the coating while others concentrate on the way the coating is bonded to the metal. Others like Circulon and T-Fal add ridges or dimples to lessen contact with utensils and food.
Wow, I feel like I just took a college course. Seriously, very well written and I am appreciative of the information. I do have a question about a comment you made at the end of your post about washing coated pans with soap. I have heard NOT to do this and to clean them immediately with only water and a wash rag. So, which is correct?
Cast iron pans should not be washed with soap as it degrades the seasoning, but there is no problem washing teflon pans with soap. Some people will say its not neccessary due to the claim that nothing sticks to teflon, but it doesn’t hurt the pan at all
I’m that guy that’s going to point out that Lesley is incorrectly referred to as Leslie at one point in the write-up, while saying nothing at all about the item up for sale.
I have found that properly treated “non-stick” pots & skillets can can last for many years. When you first get the equipment wash each item thoroughly. Proper methods of seasoning non-stich cookware can be found on line. Be sure to follow these guidelines. After seasoning the cookware, try to use it at the maximum of 3/4 power. Do not clean with soap & water. In most cases you should be able to clean the pans by running a paper towel around the inside of it, if that does not clean it, put plain water in the pan and heat it on low and the paper towel will soon clean the bottom. Do NOT use soap & water OR THE DISHWASHER. If the bottom is in reall bad shape and you have a lid put about3/8" of water in the bottom and put on the lid (No lid - Aluminum Foil). Simmer for several minutes, scrape the bottom with the approriate non-stick cookware. If all else fails clean with soap & water & re-season.
The chemistry nerd in all of us thanks you!
We passed that on for you.
Sometimes those are a desperate cry for help to be sure you’re reading the storyline. Other times it’s the result of a serious cold. You can decide for yourself which you prefer.
I would just like to know if this is a good set of cookware?
Yea, me too. Is this worth $80 or not?
If you have food burning on the outside bottom of your cookware you may want to reconsider your technique.
COnsidering that the smallest pan with no lid sells for about $16, it’s certainly a good price. Beyond that, there is only one significant feature: the ability to use induction with all the benefits of aluminum. The colors are also attractive. Other than that, I see nothing beyond any average non-stick cookware. While it’s nice that the nonstick coating is name-brand Teflon, there’s also nothing special about it to make it more durable. Some coatings, for example, have additives like titanium while others add ridges for durability.
COnclusion: Good price for the set if you can use all the individual pieces. I’d definitely recommend buying if you do induction cooking, but those with standard stoves probably won’t be wowed.
Boilovers are common in this home. As are eggs cracked on a pan that runs down outside. It’s not so much the bottom of the pot, but the bottom of the sides.
It’s one of the reasons I don’t use cookware that needs seasoning. There are many hygienic reasons for cleaning with soap and water. Greasy surfaces attract and retain airborne dust, dirt, hairs (including pet and rodent hairs), pollen, mold spores, bacteria, insects and insect parts. These are all potential allergens. The presence of these particulates has been verified in a graduate project of a colleague. Basically, if it’s small and floats in the air, it can get stuck onto the greasy pan much like flypaper. Just run some newspaper over your face and you’ll see what a thin layer of grease can attract. The longer the pan is unused, the more foreign particles get stuck on.
While these particles won’t sicken most people, doesn’t the thought of them disgust you? Even though I know that heat will kill any pathogen, I still don’t want mold spore and insect parts in my food. Would you dine in a restaurant where you know the food had these “harmless” contaminants? With non-seasoned pans, a simple hot water rinse before cooking will get rid of them. Not so with a greasy surface since grease repels water.
Furthermore, washing with soap and water gets rid of prior flavors. I, for example, hate hot chilis and ginger. A simple wipe or rinse with water won’t get rid of chili, since the hotness is oil-based. Finally, there’s always the danger allergic reactions if you’re serving people you don’t know well. A peanut dish last night can kill someone with peanut allergies even if today’s dinner has no peanuts.
For all of these reasons, most modern chefs in Hong Kong now wash their woks with soap and water. Traditionally, cooks were told to simply scrub the wok with hot water and a brush so that it would retain a non-stick surface.