Cook's Illustrated magazine recently reviewed this new crop of feel-good consumer products in an article entitled Green Skillets. In typical Cook's style, they ran through the wringer 8 supposedly eco-friendly nonstick skillets:
- Classicor Go Green Nonstick 11.5" Skillet
- Cuisinart GreenGourmet 12" Skillet with Helper Handle
- Demeyere-Resto 12.6" Ecoglide Frying Pan without Lid
- Earth Pan 12" Hard Anodized Skillet
- Greenpan Frypan 12.5"
- Scanpan Professional 12.25" Fry Pan
- Starfrit Alternative Eco Pan 11" Fry Pan
- Xtrema 10" Open Skillet
In addition to reducing and (possibly eliminating) the chances that you and your family will be poisoned to death by using their products, these manufacturers claim to have prolonged skillet life and improved pan slipperiness to boot.
When put to the test, however, "Not a single one of these 'green' pans was without flaws," according to Cook's.
In tests that included cooking scrambled eggs, fritattas, fish, and steak, the "green" nonstick skillets' performance was generally worse than traditional nonstick skillets (the kind that kill ya dead). Problems included sticking, uneven heating, and poor heat retention once food was added.
The conclusion drawn by the folks at Cook's Illustrated is this: "Until 'green' skillet technology improves, we're sticking with traditional nonstick or a well-seasoned cast-iron pan."
My conclusion? While a cast iron skillet is definitely some of the heaviest cookware you'll find, adding carcinogens to your family's food is no lightweight either. And just think, maybe you can quit the gym if you use cast iron often enough...