Nowadays, you can find all kinds of pans on the market with different types of non-stick coatings, making it difficult to see the wood for the trees. One pan has a synthetic non-stick coating, another a natural non-stick coating and yet another a ceramic non-stick coating. Oh yes. Then, you also have pans without a non-stick coating. Are you following?
A non-stick coating is a protective coating in your pan that means you don't have to worry about food sticking to the pan. Whether you are preparing a delicious fish dish or frying an omelette: with a non-stick coating, you will cook effortlessly, and it is also easy to clean your pan.
Let's start with the non-stick pans that everyone is familiar with: the cheap pans, which you buy again every 1-2 years and are not allowed to prick with your fork. This non-stick coating contains a coating made of a fluoropolymer, namely PTFE. This material is a type of plastic and is also known as Teflon. Pans with this synthetic coating can be dangerous if they overheat or if damage occurs to the coating.
With a pan without a non-stick coating, you can be sure you won't get any harmful substances into your food. Because these pans are untreated, they are perfect for searing meat. An example of such a pan without a non-stick coating is a stainless steel pan. But take note: because this pan has no protective coating, you need to look after it properly if you want to enjoy it for a long time.
Other pans that are naturally non-stick are cast iron and carbon steel pans. Yet many of these pans are pre-seasoned with a vegetable oil, so you can get right down to business. This oil creates a natural, non-stick coating in the pan without any harmful substances. The advantage of these pans is that you can season them in again and again. Therefore, it is often wise to give them an extra protective coating with a vegetable burn-in oil before their first use. Over time, do you feel that the natural non-stick coating diminishes? Even then, you easily season in the pan again.
Pans with a ceramic non-stick coating are made of a layer of ceramic and contain no toxins, unlike a standard non-stick coating. The coating ensures a perfectly crispy layer on your food. Still, the ceramic non-stick coating can lose its non-stick properties over time, and you will have to replace it once in a while.
Enamel is a protective layer of glass on your pan. It gives a durable and glossy finish and is highly resistant to scratches and stains. Although it is a durable choice, pans with an enamelled non-stick coating can crack on thermal shock. So avoid sudden temperature changes.