Non-Stick Frying Pans|Circulon cookware reviews

Circulon LogoAs a cook and “baker extraordinaire” in my family, I recently went in search of a dependable, lightweight and non stick pan. I do a lot of cooking and admittedly have a “love-hate” relationship with nonstick pans in general. Some of the nonstick pans that I’ve researched fall flat in some characteristics such as durability and ease of use. I am also worried about scratches, especially when I read about the chemicals that could be released into food. I decided to look at some of the circulon cookware reviews because I heard that they were the 1st company to introduce hard anodized nonstick cookware in America.

Yes, admittedly I’m extremely picky when it comes to cookware. I like the fact that technology has reached the point where most, but not all, nonstick cookware is scratch resistant. I am a bit curious about the hard anodized process in which aluminum goes through an electrochemical process. My research led me to a website that explained that the aluminum is placed in an electrolytic acid bath and subjected to an electrical current that forms an oxide coating. I was impressed by the fact that this process avoids the toxic nonstick coating that was currently used in nonstick cookware. I was even more impressed when I noted that Circulon had perfected this process in their cookware when they introduced it in 1985.

Like most health conscious consumers, I swore off all nonstick cookware when I read the reports of toxic chemicals being released into the air and into the food we were eating. I also, even though I had to deal with sticky food, stuck with stainless steel pots and pans. Others in my family though kept after me to get nonstick pans because they wanted to cook and hated having to scrape food off the pans. I knew that I had to find a good solution for me and my family so we could both use the cookware.

Here are the qualities I looked for while researching cookware:

Non toxicity

This is extremely important to me and my family. I don’t want to expose my family to toxic chemicals that could leach into our food from toxic nonstick coatings. Circulon impressed me with their innovation in addressing this issue head on with the introduction of hard anodized cookware. Green Pan uses a Thermolon coating which doesn’t break down in high temperatures and is made of natural minerals. It claims not to use the plastic chemicals like PTFE and PFOA that are present in most kitchen cookware and utensils. I admittedly liked the fact that it was ceramic based, since I knew by research that ceramics are often subjected to very high temperatures and are highly durable. The jury is still out on how effective this pan is at avoiding toxicity, but it has gotten some good reviews. I needed to do more research. Teflon would be the cheaper choice. I wanted, however to limit my family’s exposure to toxic chemicals which I knew that Teflon still had.

I needed to find relatively cheap non stick cookware that wouldn’t expose me and my family to toxic chemicals. Farberware sounded promising. Their SandFlow coating promised that it was PTFE and PFOA free, but was less expensive than GreenPan. I dismissed nonstick pans from Ecolution because they looked deceptively like the old nonstick pans that I bought before. Calphalon cookware was the next cookware I researched and found that they too used the same hard anodizing process as Circulon. It would be a tough decision for me to make between them if non toxicity was the only quality I was looking for in cookware.

Durability

I have to admit that I do use my cookware roughly at times. Durability under high temperatures and other mishandling can mean the difference between having to buy a new pot or pan every six months or so or using the same pot or pan year after year. I do have some stainless steel pans that have lasted me for going on ten years now. In contrast, I’ve had to replace my nonstick pans at least every six months or so for a variety of reasons. One nonstick pan’s handle fell completely off rendering it unusable. Another nonstick pan had deep scratches and the coating looked as if it was coming off on the food…Yuck!

Cast iron pots and pans are definitely durable. Unfortunately for me, they are way too heavy for me to use on a consistent basis. I do admittedly love the copper and stainless steel pots and pans as they get an “A+” for durability.

Scratch resistant and non-stick surface

My family often insists on using metal spatulas on non-stick pans. It’s frustrating for me to come home and notice that scratches appeared due to this misuse. I can’t always watch over them or tell them to use the right plastic spatula. So I do look for non-stick pots and pans that can withstand this kind of misuse. Circulon has what they call a “TOTAL® Food Release System designed to create minimal contact of cooking utensils with the nonstick elements of the pan. I’m a bit skeptical about how this actually works. So I did more research and found that ceramic based pans are more scratch resistant than other non stick pans. I looked at the Ozeri Green Earth Frying pan and a Gastrolux Biotan fry pan, both got some good reviews for scratch resistant and non-stick surfaces. I am still a bit leery of these “green” products and their claims.

It is interesting to note that single layer non-stick traditionally coated with Teflon scratch easier than double layer non-stick pans. I had to ask myself the question,” Would I be willing to pay more and maybe risk being doubly exposed to toxic chemicals?” The quick answer is “No.”

Even heat distribution and endurance

Admittedly I usually don’t look for this quality as much as I look for durability and scratch resistance. It is only on rare occasions that I expose my cookware to high temperatures. I do, however, like to have heat evenly distributed throughout the pan. It can get a bit frustrating to have a pancake cook well on one side and then break apart because the heat doesn’t reach the other side.

Circulon and Calphalon cookware with their hard anodized coating are known for both even heat distribution and endurance. I wanted to compare this type with the cookware with ceramic coating that was also known for high heat endurance without leeching toxic chemicals in the air as cheaper Teflon has been known to do.

It was difficult to decide. Cooks have so many choices to choose from when it comes to cooking healthy. Due to this, I decided to focus in on one brand, Circulon, and read the reviews for one piece of cookware. There are quite a number of Circulon cookware reviews to choose from, so I’ll focus on Amazon reviews for this article.

This pack features an 8 inch and 10 inch hard anodized aluminum coating that is scratch resistant and durable. Their unique TOTAL® Food Release System ensures that food is easily released and heat is evenly distributed through the pan. Comfortable silicone and stainless steel handles that are double riveted add extra strength and durability to the pans.

Amazon.com Circulon Cookware reviews-Top Three

The first review that came up with this product was very insightful. The woman was researching non-stick pans and had heard that Circulon made high quality products. She got the above product and described how they looked very solid and flat on her stove. She came back 4.5 months later to describe how they worked for her. Drawbacks were: She couldn’t hear her food cooking and ended up burning it a couple of times. The metal handles are too hot to handle. The skillet heated up faster than her regular pans. Benefits were: The skillets were definitely non-stick and very easy to clean. She didn’t have to use any oil to cook her food.

The second reviewer also liked the fact that these skillets were so easy to clean. They are heavy duty, but not cumbersome.

The third reviewer, M. Koch, also complained a bit about the metal handles being too hot to handle. She also noticed that the stainless steel bolts often had stuck on food on them. Her solution was to soak the pan in warm water. She liked the fact that they were lightweight but sturdy. She also liked the way they cooked up hamburgers nice and crispy.

I noted as I went through these reviews that many complained about the too quick heating and hot metal handles.

Carolyn Gayle makes a good point with her Amazon review. The description doesn’t mention that the coating is actually from DuPont™ as it does in some of the other Circulon cookware descriptions. She believes that this is deceptive because DuPont™ makes Teflon and there is no guarantee that these skillets aren’t made of Teflon as well.

This is definitely a concern, especially when I read Ted DeCorte’s review made in February 2015. He said that it was a great product to begin with and lasted 2 years, but then the coating started flaking off.

I do hope that Circulon addresses these issues head-on because over all I’m still pretty impressed with their quality cookware. I also got some pretty interesting insights by reading these circulon cookware reviews and believe that it will help me to decide the right non-stick frying pan for me.

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