Cooking is something done three times a day in my house. Two years ago I purchased a non stick set of pots and pans only to be left disappointed after just a few months with knicks, scratches and buildup despite my best attempts to keep them pristine. My mom has always had the same problem and realized the hard way how detrimental PTFE and PFOA can be. She forgot about a pan of chicken that was cooking on the stove and it started burning. It heated the non-stick coating to the extent that a thick black chemical smoke filled the house. It was a wonder that they didn’t start a fire. That smoke, though, almost made roast bird out of my brother’s dear pet parrot. Anyone who has birds knows that traditionally nonstick coated pans must be used with extreme caution if at all in the household since the fumes are toxic to the birds.
When I was given the opportunity to review the Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan I was filled with excitement and trepidation. My mom, again, had a ceramic non stick pan that didn’t stay nonstick for very long. Plus, since the bottom of the pan is aluminum I was afraid it would not be safe to use on my ceramic cooktop. I ruined my cooktop with a piece of aluminum foil when it was first installed. Long story for another day. Anyway, I received the 10″ Ozeri pan very well packed [it’s available in 8″, 10″ and 12″]. The package came complete with a green felt pan protector for when nesting pans and instructions on how to wash, season and reinvigorate the pan’s nonstick surface. I learned after the aluminum foil/cooktop incident to make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before using anything.
As prescribed I washed the pan in warm water, a soft dish cloth and mild dish soap and made sure it was completely rinsed clean. Using a 1/4 tsp. of olive oil I seasoned the pan by making sure the interior was completely coated but not soaked. The next morning I put the pan through it’s paces. I usually make an omelet or just scrambled eggs with one whole egg and 3/4 cup egg white with a little bit of butter or coconut oil. The instructions for the pan warned to not use too much oil because it could build up on the surface. The little hexagon honeycomb pattern on the bottom of the pan concerned me a bit. This increased the surface area of the bottom of the pan but also, in my mind, posed a sticking possibility with all the nooks and crannies. No such thing happened. The omelet, even on a lower than normal temperature, cooked evenly and did not stick to the pan. Even after washing I didn’t see any residue or remnants of egg stuck in the honeycomb. I used the pan to warm corn tortillas and make more egg for sandwiches in the days that followed.
Then came the day I tried to cook chicken breast in the pan. I cut the breast about an inch thick across the grain and coated it with olive oil and seasonings the way I usually do. The Ozeri pan had done so well with egg I thought using it to cook chicken would be a breeze. I didn’t add extra oil to the pan. This I would soon learn was a huge mistake. The pieces of chicken though coated in oil stuck terribly to the pan. The juices from the chicken started caramelizing in the honeycomb pattern thus making the situation worse. I tried gently scrubbing the pan, letting it soak with water, soaking it in lemon juice and then finally soaking it with hot vinegar. The pan had to be cleaned a total of five times before it was nonstick again. Even after the treatment with hot vinegar (derived from the cleaning of my Keurig killing two birds with one stone) I still had to take a dulled toothpick and carefully polish the insides of the honeycomb sections that still looked cloudy and glutted with cooked on goop. That experience was very disappointing.
Since then I haven’t tried to cook any other protein – other than egg – in the Ozeri pan. I’m a little gun shy right now. Vinegar was the only thing that finally was strong enough to remove the gunk from the pan. I’d thought about using baking soda too, but decided against it because I didn’t know what the reaction would do to the surface of the pan.
Overall, it’s a nice pan with good nonstick qualities but not great. I’m glad the pan is free of PTFE (Teflon) and PFOA. The GREBLON ceramic surface of the pan worked great at making evenly cooked eggs, french toast and tortillas. The jury is still out on cooking chicken, bacon, sausage or beef in the pan. It may be possible if you are willing to use a bit more oil than recommended by the manufacturer OR soaking and scrubbing (carefully) the pan to maintain the nonstick surface of the pan. I liked the weight of the pan, too. I was able to use a silicone spatula to turn and flip food in the pan without the pan spinning from the motion (like my other pans do :(). It’s very well balanced. The handle of the pan was not just exposed metal like many of these pans are, but had a nice cover with a comfortable grip for controlling it on the stovetop. For less than $30 on Amazon this is a decent, well balanced, non-toxic, nonstick frying pan.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.