Cooking with Telfon is like showering with a raincoat. Your food will cook, but the experience will not be as satisfying.
I had a very long term relationship with Teflon so I know the comfort it brings, but the truth is, if you want eggs (or really any food) to take on that flame-kissed, golden hue that carries a slight caramelized, sweet taste, you’ll only achieve this by starting with a scorching hot pan. Hotter than you think. The food should sizzle loudly when plopped down! Steam and oil should fly upwards!
But here’s the rub: the official word on Telfon is that if you keep the pan under 500 degrees then the chemicals should not burn off and emit toxins into the air and into your food. But to bring out the best in food’s (especially egg’s) texture and flavor you need to go hot (or at least that’s the way I like to cook them). And when I’m cooking on a hot flame, I don’t want to be worrying about whether I’m entering the “no-fly” temperature zone.
Then there;s the stick issue. Teflon is designed for non-stick. But in the natural state of cooking, stick happens. The ideal pan to enhance flavor allows (a little) browning and (short term) sticking. From a “let nature be nature” stand point, Teflon simply gets in the way.
It’s a hard relationship to break but like all relationships, is easier when you have someone/thing to move onto … stainless steel and cast iron are available.
Your thoughts on pans you love?
Photo: Teflon skillet with victim. Copyright © Michelle Madden
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