A New Kind of Nonstick

A New Kind of Nonstick

Ceramic cookware gives you a carcinogen-free kitchen

If you're wary of the chemicals embedded in most nonstick cookware but still want that clean, easy cooking experience that coated pans can give you, ceramic might just be the way to go. The jury is still out on exactly how harmful Teflon can be. Science seems to indicate that it doesn't break down into nasty stuff unless heated above 500 degrees Fahrenheit--a temperature that's higher than what's needed to cook meat. Your cooking oil will start to smoke before you hit 500, so chances are you're not going to be stir-frying anything hot enough for your nonstick pans to be dangerous. But I suppose it can't hurt to be extra-careful when it comes to the types of chemicals that can potentially make you sick. If you're not big on the stainless steel or cast iron tips, you might want to try out the Aeternum Collection from Bialetti.

The Aeternum pans aren't coated with chemicals. They're actually bound in a nano-ceramic layer, giving you a nice, smooth surface to cook on. They're aluminum at the core, with heat-resistant silicone around the bottom and handle. The inside of the pan is a nice, bright white. Apparently, these pans are so nonstick that food actually slides around inside of them. They're said to brown meats and veggies nicely, without sticking and scorching. And at $30 for a 10-inch pan, they're not so hard on the wallet, either. That's a few price rungs below the high-quality stainless steel stuff, which doesn't prevent sticking quite so nicely. 

A steel pan might last you forever, but try cooking eggs on it without scouring afterwards. Same with the cast iron fry pans--they'll outlive you, but they require special cleaning and are much heavier than your standard cookware. Given that the Aeternum collection features relatively new technology, I guess we can't speak to the pans' longevity yet. I'd guess that nano-ceramic cracks in a similar fashion to ceramic if treated poorly, so you won't be able to use your Bialetti products to fend off home intruders like you might a vintage Lodge pan. But if all you're doing is cooking some eggs before running off to work in the morning, it seems the Italian manufacturer has got you covered. 

The full 8-piece set includes two saute pans, two saucepans, and one Dutch oven. The items may also be purchased individually online from Amazon or at a number of kitchen supply retailers.