6 Commonly Used Types of Pans that Are Not Non-Stick

Pan that is not non-stick

Non-stick pans are easy to use and clean.

However, their non-stick coating raises various concerns, which reduces their appeal.

There are several alternatives to non-stick pans that you can use for your cooking needs without worrying about any health implications.

Let’s look at what they are.

Which Pans Are Not Non-Stick?

The TEFLON or PFOA coating of non-stick pans raise several concerns, especially when they develop dents and scratches.

So home cooks prefer to look for other alternatives that don’t pose any risks.

Here are some practical and easily available alternatives to consider for your cooking needs.

1. Cast Iron

Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon. It’s widely used to make pans and other cookware.

Cast iron pans have a greyish-black surface and aren’t non-stick when you first buy them.

Hence, you will have to season these pans with oil to prevent food from sticking to the surface.

However, seasoning them a few times will improve their non-stick properties.

The oil used for seasoning will seal the tiny gaps in the metal and form a black patina or non-sticky natural coating.

This coating becomes thicker over time and allows the food to glide off the surface without any effort.

The downside of using cast iron pans is that they’re heavy and difficult to handle.

Additionally, you must be careful about washing and storing them.

Rough cleaning will dislodge the non-sticky layer of seasoning.

So, you must hand wash these pans using light and non-abrasive cleaners.

Cast iron will also rust when exposed to moisture, and it has to be dried and stored carefully.

2. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pans are durable, easy to clean, and lightweight. They have a beautiful silver luster.

These pans come in different sizes, and the weight of the pan will vary according to the build quality.

Stainless steel allows for the even distribution of heat and thorough cooking of food.

Heavy stainless-steel pans are better for longer cooking times to avoid burning food.

Thinner pans are prone to warping and losing shape at high cooking temperatures.

Stainless steel pans aren’t non-stick.

Neither do they develop a layer of seasoning with continuous use, like cast iron.

You will have to use more oil to take food off the surface of these pans.

They’re also not the best choice for cooking delicate foods like eggs and fish.

These ingredients may break apart when you try to transfer them from the pan.

3. Ceramic

Ceramic pans are one of the most popular replacements for non-stick pans because of their similarity in properties and weight.

The main benefit of these pans is that they’re free from the toxic chemicals used in non-stick coatings.

These pans consist of a metallic base and a silicon coating.

The composition of the metal and coating can vary, but most ceramic pans have an aluminum or iron base.

The coating ceramic layer is made from sand or silica, which is inert and non-sticky.

The surface appears shiny, and food will easily slide off the glossy surface.

However, you may have to use oil to ensure food doesn’t stick since these pans are technically not non-stick.

It’s easier to handle ceramic pans because they aren’t as heavy as cast iron or carbon steel pans.

They allow even distribution of heat across the surface and are scratch-resistant.

These pans are long-lasting and can withstand rough handling.

Ceramic pans can be used for cooking at high temperatures.

Their metal core and silicon coating are heat-tolerant, and hence you can use them to cook almost any type of dish.

They’re suitable for deep-frying, shallow frying, sautéing, stir-frying, and various other cooking techniques.

Ceramic pans may or may not be dishwasher-friendly.

You should check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure.

Even if the manufacturer lists them as dishwasher-friendly, handwashing is recommended to extend their lifespan and keep them looking new.

4. Aluminum

Aluminum pan that is non-stick

Aluminum pans are lightweight, easy to handle, and durable.

They’re also comparatively inexpensive.

Some aluminum pans come with a ceramic or enamel coating as well.

They’re usually not as thick as cast iron or ceramic pans.

Unless the aluminum pan has a layer of coating, food will stick to the surface.

You will find it difficult to lift it off easily. So, you may end up using more oil for cooking in these pans.

Aluminum pans have a white luster in the beginning.

However, they tarnish over time. The metal is reactive.

Hence, it’s not the best choice for cooking certain ingredients, like those with high acid content.

Aluminum can react with the acid in the food and develop pits.

Exposure to moisture and water will also affect its shine.

Rough scrubbing will scratch the surface and make the pan dull.

When cooking in aluminum pans, it’s advisable to quickly transfer the food to another container after cooking.

This will help you maintain the original look of the pan for longer and also prevent aluminum from reacting with the food.

5. Copper

Copper pans are beautiful but expensive. Hence, they’re not very popular in kitchens.

Nevertheless, copper pans are a practical alternative to non-stick pans.

This metal has an excellent ability to withstand heat, and you can use it for cooking at high temperatures.

Copper heats quickly and evenly, and it cools fast.

Hence, it’s easier to handle than cast iron pans that retain heat for a long time after cooking.

Cooking in copper pans will also give you better control over delicate ingredients because it’s less prone to overheating.

These pans aren’t naturally non-sticky.

Hence, you will have to use more oil or fat to prevent ingredients from sticking to the base.

Copper is also difficult to maintain. It loses its beautiful luster with rough handling.

These pans must be carefully washed since rough and hot dishwashing cycles can make them lose their beautiful luster.

6. Carbon Steel

Carbon steel pans are similar to cast iron pans and are also made of iron and carbon.

However, the ratio of carbon and iron is different from cast iron.

These pans have less carbon than cast iron, which makes them less brittle.

Carbon steel pans are lighter than cast iron but not as light as non-stick pans.

They have a smooth surface that isn’t initially non-sticky.

However, they develop a non-sticky quality with seasoning, just like cast iron pans.

Some carbon steel pans also come pre-seasoned from the factory, in which case they’re already non-stick.

However, their non-sticky nature is a natural quality, and it isn’t linked to any harmful chemicals like regular non-stick cookware.

The non-stick quality of carbon steel pans improves with use.

Carbon steel heats evenly and is good for searing and cooking heavy ingredients.

They retain heat better than aluminum and stainless steel.

Although these pans aren’t as reactive as cast iron pans, they’re prone to rusting because of the presence of iron in the alloy.

They are also not dishwasher-safe.

So, you will have to hand wash them and dry them well before putting them away.