Non Stick Pan revolutionized the cookware industry. Food that is normally difficult to cook is now a breeze. However, the problem with nonstick pans is that they dont do well with high heat. Most nonstick pans are flimsy, light and thin. If you drop food in it, the pan will turn cold. Thankfully, some manufacturer have thought of this. The Best Non Stick Pan for High Heat uses a thicker gauge of aluminum so that it can store more heat and sear better.
Why Thickness Matter
Usually the thicker the pan, the better the performance. The reason is that it can hold more heat. If you have a pan that is too thin, heat is lost rapidly. When heat is loss, you cant sear food. The juices will start to flow and you will start steaming the food.
However making pans thicker cost money. You can expect to pay at least 50 dollar for a quality nonstick pan. Something that most people arent willing to do. The good thing is that there are a lot of Commercial Nonstick pan. Since these are designed for the professional kitchen, they are built to a higher quality. What they do lack is the fit and finish of the consumer grade pans. These commercial pans are usually less attractive and have unburred edges. They look industrial to say the least.
Nonstick pans are Bad for Searing
Something that most people are not aware of is that nonstick pans are bad for searing. Not only are they thin, the teflon coating is basically plastic. Since plastic has a low thermal conductivity, it cannot sear better than a regular metal pan. Manufacturer tries to get around this by adding quartz powder into the coating. This gives it part of the thermal conductivity of diamond.
Another reason why nonstick pans are bad for searing is because teflon is fragile. At temperature of 500 degree plus, the coating degrades rapidly. If you go past that, it can start to release fumes. These fumes are known to cause flu like symptoms. It can even kill birds if you are not careful.
The best “Non Stick” pans for high heat are actually the traditional cast iron or carbon steel. But truth be told, they arent great for things like stir frying noodles. You can try if you want, but it will stick if you dont drench it in oil.
knowing this information, there are still ways to use nonstick pan for high heat. The most effective way is by preparing. Drying meat will give you the best sear. The less moisture on the surface, the faster it will caramelize. If there is liquid, the max temperature that it can reach will only be 212 degree Fahrenheit. During that time, it will be driving off moisture. Without moisture, it can reach caramelizing temperature which occurs at 300 degree Fahrenheit. Knowing this information, you should prepare food by patting it dry with a paper towel.
Best Non Stick Pan for High Heat List
Below, you will find a list of the Best Non Stick Pan for High Heat. There are a few models available, choose one that best suits you.
Tramontina 80114/536DS Professional Aluminum Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan, 12″ (Best Overall)
Tramontina Professional Pan is one of the Best Nonstick Pan on the market. The gauge of aluminum is over 4 mm thick. This means that it can hold a lot of heat and sear food like no other nonstick. What might turn people off is its industrial looking design. But if you can get pass this, you will have one of the best nonstick pan on the market.
Lodge Chef Collection 10 and 12 Inch Cast Iron Chef Style Skillet Set (Best Cast Iron Model)
Cast Iron is a good alternative to teflon. They wont burn nor will they release fume. They are also heavier and have better searing performance. The downside is that it sticks a lot more than teflon. But if your goal is just to sear Steak, Salmon and other delicate item, then cast iron is the way to go.
Best Non Stick Pan for High Heat Thoughts
There are a lot of nonstick pans out there. However, only few are suitable for high heat application. While the best non stick pan for high heat is Tramontina, cast iron is a good alternative. You just have to sacrifice a bit of nonstick performance. If you are out side looking for a pan, then look for a nonstick pan that is thicker and heavier. These models hold the most heat and sear the best.
Looking for Stainless Steel Cookware? Check out our article on the Best Stainless Steel Cookware.