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Getting Panned

by Ron Holdraker
November 26, 2022

This is a no pass deal. Imagine a complete set of non-stick pans, guaranteed for 10 years. But, Wait! Not only do the pans come with vented covers, but shipping is FREE!

“If you buy today, we will include a rice cooker, full set of bakery pans and a set of no-scratch utensils. Yes, this deal could cost $500, no $400, No $300. But if you call now you can have the pans, covers, bake ware and complete set of no-scratch utensils for the low, low price of $250. BUT WAIT! It’s even better. Call now and we will take off one complete payment. Yes, you pay only $199. Don’t forget the FREE SHIPPING.

The ad shows somebody, usually a nobody, sliding an egg off the pan, leaving no food residue. No need for oily sprays, cook butter free!

Then, to add to the drama of the commercial, a pair of hands is shown using a metal utensil on the pan scraping off burnt on cheese and whatever.

Don’t forget the ten year guarantee. You, know, the one nobody ever uses because they never “officially” registered the pan set, or they never really believed the 10 year-guarantee in the first place.

Six months, or less, passes and the non-stick pans with the forever coating look like the raw hide of a thoroughly scratched hound dog.

Yeah, you continue cooking with the crappy pans until...the next wonder pan commercial that promises the blue, green, red, gold, silver, copper infused, double platinum, ceramic double fused pans are presented.

Same crappy pans, just under a different presentation and better copy writing. Maybe this time they use a quasi-famous chef to promote the latest in pan evolution.

Who cares, the price is low and perhaps this time they are serious. They have actually invented the process to make non-stick pans that are armored with the new, miraculous special, hard to find metal that NEVER scratches.

Are we gullible, or what? Just count the number of assorted pans you have purchased. Each with the newest wave of credibility.

It all started with Teflon pans. Remember, those tougher than whatever, that slid food right off the pan onto the dish, leaving nothing but a quick wipe to clean out the cooking vessel.

Teflon was an amazing material first discovered in 1938 by Dr. Roy Plunkett while he was working for Dupont. Teflon® has exceptional properties like the lowest coefficient of friction of any solid material known to man, making Teflon® the original nonstick finish. Additionally, Teflon® was also inert to nearly all chemicals, a truly remarkable property.

Then, of course, they discovered the Teflon coating contained polytetra-fluoroethylene, or PTFE (whatever that is), a tough synthetic resin made by polymerizing tetrafluoroethylene, chiefly used to coat nonstick cooking utensils and to make seals and bearings. 

It eventually scraped off the bottom  and warnings went out about potential dangers.

Soon, other variations of Teflon and non-scratch pans emerged, promoting  100% PFOA, (whatever that is).

Now, for a bit of reality.

If you pay $200 for a full set of pans that includes all the related crap and FREE SHIPPING to boot, the chances are you will be amazed, at least for the short run.

Most of the amazing pans are made by the same companies, seeing gullible, non-professional cooks, also known as homebodies making normal meals.

After going through a number of these wanderlust offers, I decided to do some research.

1. There is NOTHING that will not scratch after attacks with utensils and time. 

2. Anything that offers more than is reasonable is full of crap.

3. Many real cooks use the good old cast iron pans, but admit there is a bit of work getting them clean, even after priming and the use of oils.

4. If you pay $200, or less, you are dealing with crap.

So, what did I do?

I invested in a very good set of quasi-non-stick pans with a bit of heft to them. I read ALL the reviews, usually starting with the one or fewer stars for comments. Yes, I paid over $600+ and even purchased additional pans from the company. The pans of choice were the HEXCLAD. Not only are they really tough, but have held up marvelously. They are easy to clean, but may require more than just a quick wipe. They are not light, but are quality pans, with far more life than the 6 month junk.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the yvaried assortment of ‘fantastic’ stored pans you possess.

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