Blog Entries, Cooking Basics, Links and References

Pan Perfect

scanpanCooking and being organic is great, but it doesn’t do you a lot of good if you’re using a non-stick pan that causes carcinogenic or toxic substances to deposit on your food.  When I went to Food As Medicine, (an amazing medical conference about cutting edge nutrition research and how food can heal us), we got some great advice from their resident chefs, including basic skillets to purchase for your kitchen.

The list is pictured at the bottom of this post.  But I will also add my 22 cents about other pots you should consider.  Here they are, in order of importance:

  1. A heavy but reasonably priced Cast Iron Skillet — They are honestly the BEST thing you can do for yourself.  They never warp, and the one we bought in 1975 at a garage sale we still have and use! I’ve gifted all my kids and their friends getting married with them.  You can find them online, they are not expensive, and the brands they have below (Lodge) are what we own.
  2. All-Clad or other professional stainless steel saucepan and skillet (18/10 gauge).  Pricey but worth it.  Put them on your Birthday or Christmas List!
  3. Enameled Dutch Oven: I have a Le Creuset, but other brands are: Lodge, Dansk.
  4. Stockpot:  get a well made stockpot for cooking soups, pasta, and quantities for a crowd.  They aren’t terribly expensive.  Most major brands have them.
  5. Ceramic (NOT teflon!) Non-Stick Skillet:  I had most of the pans they suggested, but this one I did not.  I was skeptical, but ordered two.  I was initially super-impressed.  But I am returning them.  The Green Pan I ordered had a resin type of handle — and it started melting 5 days after receiving it, and so I will order another brand with a completely metal handle.  In researching if others had this problem, I did find that they were frustrated that the non-stick coating wasn’t as great after awhile.  So, I looked for reviews.  Here is what I found:  The top 15 Ceramic Cookware Sets:

panClick here for entire review.   I just ordered a Cuisinart GreenGourmet, all metal handle,  I’ll post an update!
Update:  July 22, 2015:  The Cuisinart GreenGourmet Skillet is great!  No melting parts.  Easy to use, easy to clean.  Ordering a 12 inch skillet.


Here are the basic skillet type pans recommended for your kitchen:

(click on picture to pull up a printable PDF)


To read more about the amazing work Chef Rebecca Katz and her team at Healing Kitchens does, click here.