A pan to love

Writer and respected food expert Jim Harrison once was quoted as saying ”Why should I spend $7,000 for a stove when I could spend $7,000 on food?” And I must agree.

However, there are some kitchen tools that I do find worth the expense. At the risk of appearing a food nerd, have I mentioned how much I love my new skillet?

This one’s a Bialetti Aeternum, which I purchased for about $35 on sale at King Soopers, of all places. It is perhaps one of the most incredible pieces of cookware ever to grace my stove, which, like Harrison’s, falls well below the $7,000 mark.

Pan-browned organic chicken thighs cooked with one tablespoon butter in my Bialetti Aeternum skillet.

I’ve always shied from non-stick cookware, which generally contains the toxins and potential carcinogens perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and polytetra-fluoroethylene (PTFE). The risk of these pans is that tiny particles may flake off into your food over time, and when heated they also may release fluorocarbon gases into the air. Not good.

Still, non-stick pans do things in the kitchen that are difficult to achieve with safer stainless-steel and porcelain-coated cast iron cookware, like scrambled eggs and pan-seared meats. Not to mention the easy cleanup.

Enter the Aeternum cookware, which according to Bialetti features a new “nano-ceramic” water-based coating made of titanium and suspended silicate micro-particles (the main component of glass), touted as one of the purest and most ecological materials in nature. This material resists scratches, abrasions and offers a smooth, compact and uniform surface that makes it easy to clean, while being free of PFOA, PTFE and cadmium.

I bought my 12-inch Aeternum skillet for about the price of one Alaska king crab dinner, but I’ve already gotten my money’s worth in the two weeks I’ve owned it. Eggs, chicken, fish all turn out amazingly in this pan. And it’s even less sticky than traditional non-stick cookware. If you’re really lazy you can clean it by simply wiping with a paper towel.

My only complaint is that this cookware is made in China, but then you can’t get a pan like this that is made in the USA.

I’m with Harrison on the stove, but even he needs one of these skillets.

3 thoughts on “A pan to love

  1. I picked up the 10 inch version at King Soopers today for $20. The 12 inch was marked $26 and change. Looking forward to trying it out. I’m a believer in RTFM–they say to always use a little oil or butter when cooking and though the material is more scratch resistant than others, to always use plastic or wooden utensils.

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