Monday, August 20, 2012

A rant in the key of frypan

Why - WHY - does my non-stick cookware always end up sticky?

And how can I get it unsticky again?

I follow all the rules - don't use metal anything, don't use spray oils, clean thoroughly.  But eventually it sticks.  At the moment it's our expensive Circulon frypan that has me annoyed.  Previously, I've bought el-cheapos.  They eventually peel their coating.  I don't like the peeling.  It makes me very nervous about eating the stuff I've just cooked.  So last time I forked out the big bucks.  Admittedly, it's lasted quite a bit longer than the cheapos and there's been no peeling, but now we are back to sticky cooking.

So does anyone know how to get that annoying layer of sticky off my non-stick surface without ruining the frypan?  And if I can't unstick it, should I buy another expensive pan or just by cheap ones and replace them at will?  What do you use?  What's lasted the longest for you?

16 comments:

Fiona said...

I don't know how to unstick non-stick cookware. I have an analon frypan, which has lasted for four years. It does stick, when I do bad things with food, but a soak and clean brings it back to life - followed by a reheat with fresh oil. Some foods will stick when they are not yet cooked properly - I've finally learnt that chicken just sticks while it is cooking, then unsticks once it is cooked. Go figure.

I tend to go to the product review website when making purchases that I want to last for a good long time. People are pretty honest and can be quite loud if products haven't lived up to their hype! Its an easy way for me to figure out which brand in a particular product is worth investing in.

CardsAsGifts said...

I don't know whether it has anything to do with the stickyness but what I do know is that you need to handwash them, never put in the dishwasher, even if they say it is ok to, because using the dishwasher wrecks the coating really quickly. I would write to circulon, or call them and ask for their advice, telling them your story and how you bought theirs hoping to have a better experience.... they might replace your current one, who knows!

CardsAsGifts said...

I have a Sunbeam one with a 25 year warranty. It did say you could put it in the dishwasher but the surface cracked quickly, called their warranty department and they replaced it. Since then I have not put it in the dishwasher and it has been fine.

Jessica said...

I gave up on non stick. I prefer shiny now, and then I can soak it and scratchy it as much as I like. A friend did a facebook poll on non-stick pro/con, and apparently low cooking temp is really important.. High temps destroy it faster.

Karen said...

My expensive frypan sounds like yours. I am thinking that I will either head back to the cheapies when I finally get fed up with this one. Or just get a shiny one like Jessica :)

I have heard the low cooking temperature theory too. Unfortunately, my husband likes to stick it on the hottest gas flame he can get, and it often happens without me noticing...

Deb said...

Which product review website do you use?

I understand the chicken thing. Last night I had the same thing with meatballs. "Just leave 'em be," I said to myself, "and stop pushing them around before they're ready."

Deb said...

Yes, I have avoided the dishwasher. Besides, they take up too much room. I have lovingly washed them by hand but they haven't returned my love by staying non-sticky. I'm too whimpy to write to the manufacturer! You are brave and fearless!!!

Deb said...

Yes, I'm feeling like I'd prefer a shiny one and brutal scratching afterwards. I have heard good things about cast iron...every used that? But then they are so heavy I don't know if I could lift it off the stove.

Deb said...

See this is where non-stick cookware becomes totally stupid. No high-temperatures???? What do they think we use frypans for??? Lightly warming the chicken???? Of course I want to use high heat with it!!! That's why I put it on the stove and not on top of a hot water bottle.

Deb said...

Ooh! I read this article http://chefstales.com/2010/02/10/making-a-homemade-non-stick-pan/ on seasoning a cast iron pan to make it non-stick. So much work! But maybe worth it? Hmmmmm. Anyone out there using cast iron?

Meredith said...

I seasoned a wok which took a while and made the house smell but it lasted me 15 years. I have just had to decommission it this last week, sadly. As for other items (frying pan and giant pot for cooking bulk curries, bol sauce etc), I am a bit of a scanpan fan. I get about ten years out of them give or take a bit. That is not what they promise but I don't seek out replacements because I am pretty sure that the damage is usually my fault. And I am happy with the decade I get out of them. And when they are beginning to show signs of going I just start looking out for a sale because they seem to get heavily reduced quite frequently.

Deb said...

So how did you season the wok? Was it with salt and oil?

Karen said...

Our dead one is a scanpan bought at heavily reduced cost. I think the damage to ours is our fault too. But I don't think it's any more than five or six years old...

We have a wok too. That is still going strong after many years of use. My husband seasons it each time we use it, I think he just sprays it with oil? (embarrassed to admit I've never paid attention to exactly what he does to it....)

Jessica said...

I considered it but haven't needed to buy one because I'm not a serious fryer, more of a George Foreman griller :)

Meredith said...

Oil and heat. Just cover it with oil and then put it on the heat and let it fill your house with smoke! Maybe the salt cuts down the smoke. Seems a lot of salt (from that website) but then, seasoning, at least for the first time, produces a lot of smoke too! But it did seem to work. I think our beloved wok failed because we had let down our guard a bit.

Deb said...

See, I'm not good with cookware decisions at the best of times. And now.... I guess it's all a bit of a first world problem. But I do want to cook my meatballs without them sticking and I don't want to waste needless money on cookware that dies with no hope of resurrection because you can't attack them with a scratchie.