What's a good brand for ceramic pans?
June 10, 2021 1:10 AM   Subscribe

I've been using nonstick pans my whole life but am trying to switch over to ceramic pans since there's supposedly less harmful chemicals. Is GreenPan a good brand? I've been eyeing this this set but not sure if it's any good. If not, any suggestions for other brands? Thanks!
posted by thelasttango to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure about GreenPan, but if you want recommendations then Le Creuset is one of the gold standards for ceramic and cast-iron cookware. A bit pricey, but it's not uncommon to find people with 50 year old pots and pans that are used regularly and are as good as new. My set is 30+ years old, and you'll prise it out of my cold, dead hands.
posted by underclocked at 2:56 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

I have a Green Pan. I like it. Most of my other pans are Cuisinart and it stands up against those.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:20 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

I bought a large GreenPan skillet in about 2014. For a few months it was the best pan I'd ever had, but gradually over a year or two of regular use it lost its non-stick properties, even though I tried the "simmer with vinegar" routine they recommended. It's still in decent condition and I still use it fairly frequently, but not for any food that's likely to stick (e.g. eggs).

A few years ago I got this Le Creuset cast-iron skillet, which was expensive, but I love and use for everything except the most delicate fish.
posted by spielzebub at 4:00 AM on June 10

If you have an Aldi near you, their Crofton ceramic cookware pans are incredible.
posted by basalganglia at 4:02 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]

Another cast iron convert here: A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is nearly non-stick, contains no chemicals whatsoever, and is a joy to cook with. If La Creuset is too pricey, I recommend Lodge.
posted by bassomatic at 5:50 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

I wouldn't buy a set. Buy one in a size that will work for most things, then if you need another, buy it as needed. I have a 10" (cast iron) pan I use for almost everything.
posted by theora55 at 6:26 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

Ceramic is never as nonstick as Teflon; PTFE is perfectly safe if you don't get it too hot (never hot enough to make oil smoke, e.g.) or scratch it. Greenpan is fine, but all nonstick pans are disposable-- PTFE, Greenpan, Scanpan, Anolon, they all lose their nonstick properties over time, so I get the cheapest ones that work for me and only use them when absolutely necessary. If you want to sear or use metal utensils, you use (in my order of preference) stainless, carbon steel, cast iron, or enameled like Le Creuset.
posted by supercres at 8:11 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

I would start with one Green Pan and see if you like it before shelling out for the set. We have a two piece set and it's more than enough, especially because I don't actually like them that much.

We do most of our cooking in cast iron and stainless but I wanted something non-stick(ish) for eggs. The Green Pans get HOT. So hot that eggs stick on the lowest burner setting, even with a shitload of oil. If I wanted that I would just keep cooking eggs in stainless!
posted by stellaluna at 8:20 AM on June 10

Carbon steel is another alternative for you. It's pretty similar to cast iron, but maybe slightly better. I also strongly recommend against getting a set of any type of cookware. A non-stick pan is great for eggs, but isn't really needed for a saucepan or dutch oven. YMMV.
posted by hydra77 at 8:49 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

nthing supercres and hydra77. Eggs and delicate seafood are almost the only thing worth using nonstick pans for. The majority of my cookware is stainless steel and cast iron, and my food only sticks when I screw up - for instance, using too-high a temp setting and/or not stirring enough; or not letting a pan pre-heat to a high enough temp before trying to sear meat. That said, there's nothing wrong with getting one ceramic pan and seeing how you like it!

To increase the life of any (cheap or expensive) nonstick pan the golden rules are:
   - Use only low to moderate heat (never above Medium at the absolute most)
   - You'll still need to use a little bit of oil/butter/etc. when cooking (NOT cooking spray)
   - Use only silicone, plastic, or wooden utensils
   - Don't leave an empty pan on the heat for very long
   - Allow the pan to cool before putting in water
   - Hand-wash with a soapy soft sponge only (nothing abrasive, no dishwasher)
   - Store the pan so nothing else is set inside it that could scratch the surface

(But even a well-cared-for nonstick pan won't last forever and will eventually need to be replaced.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:41 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

America's Test Kitchen did a roundup and talked about pros and cons and picked a winner (can't remember right now and I'm on a meeting.)
posted by ftm at 9:46 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Didn't watch ftm's video, but according to their website, ATK's favorite ceramic skillet is the Greenpan Valencia, which is a different version than is found in Target's Greenpan (Madison) set. Keep an eye on product lines; many companies will skimp on the lines of product found at discount retailers like Target, to keep the price down.
posted by hydra77 at 10:21 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

I had a Green Pan frying pan for a few years and was very happy with it. I’m actually not sure what happened to it; I think it got lost in a move.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:33 AM on June 10

The only pan I own is a deep Green Pan skillet and I haven't found it to be a problem in any way. It does heat up really quickly compared to the stainless steel and cast iron pans I've used.

I hate cast iron, it's too fussy with its whole "seasoning" thing and I have small hands/weak wrists so I inevitably drop them or burn myself trying not to drop them etc. The green pan is featherlight and cleans in a second. I barely cook (hence only owning one pan) so I can't speak to how it holds up over heavy use, but it's simple to care for.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:09 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

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