We may be stuck with non-stick cookware forever, now that health-conscious individuals are finding low-cholesterol, low-calorie benefits in no-oil food preparation.
However, the biggest disappointment with ordinary non-stick cookware is that the marriage of the coating to the pan is far from a long-lasting bond.
Peter Liu, marketing director for Le Cook’s-Ware, Inc. in San Francisco, blames the short-lived performance to “the everyday abrasion of cooking utensils that wears out the non-stick coating.”
Enter Anolon cookware from Le Cook’s-Ware, introduced for the first time worldwide last week in Los Angeles. This black cookware with a tempered glass lid combines the world’s toughest cookware surface, called hard-anodized (which is twice as hard as stainless steel), with Du Pont’s SilverStone Supra, one of the most durable non-stick coatings.
Sauteing Without Oil
Anolon is amazing. Touch its super-smooth interior surface and you can guess what’s in store for you. Testing the little 7-inch skillet ($19.99) with no oil, I toasted cheese to “death” until it was crusty and browned and cooked a whole egg until it was picture-perfect. In the 11-inch stir-fry pan ($59.99), I sauteed (remember, no oil) Oriental egg noodles and shrimp, made fried rice, and browned julienned chicken breast, beef and pork. And I didn’t forget fish either, another problem food. Nothing stuck to the pan. The surface was smooth and cooked evenly all the way through with no spatters. Cleaning was a cinch, of course.
How long will this non-sticking last? Gary Wright, L.A. regional sales manager for Le Cook’s-Ware said: “We’ve run some aging cycle tests with the skillet–50,000 cycles, which is equivalent to 35 years of use–and we ended up with just a few pan scratches. We also used a metal spatula and put the pan in the dishwasher.”
To achieve good heat conduction and retention, aluminum is used in Anolon. When questioned about public concern in using aluminum, Liu explained: “The tempered anodizing process changes the molecular structure of the pan’s surface into an electrochemically hardened surface that keeps the food from interacting with the aluminum core. It becomes a double protection with the SilverStone Supra (a three-coat system that is forced into the anodized cavities of the metal).”
Forthcoming in the Anolon line is a good-size oval fish pan that’s perfect for whole fish. I like the stir-fry pan, which is almost as deep as a wok but offers an excellent weight. There is a seven-piece set ($219), which makes a nice starter collection and is appropriate for a bridal gift. This includes a 1 1/2-quart milk pan with lips, 10-inch open fry pan, an 8 1/2-inch open French skillet, a 2-quart covered saucepan and a 6-quart covered stockpot.
Another item that isn’t showing signs of being phased out of the kitchen is the slow cooker or Crock-Pot. It’s surprising how many people still swear by this seemingly old-fashioned electric cooking unit for a no-fuss meal.
In the actual sense, as Rival Manufacturing Co. says, it’s “slow cooking for fast times.” Working parents can start the cooker in the morning by putting in, for instance, a pot roast, and coming home to a moist and tender meat entree.