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Stone coated frying pan.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 9
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I'm super skeptical about these. My dad just got one and is raving about it. But what process and chemicals do they use to get the stone to stay there? I'm having trouble finding any real information on these pans. Anyone out there know anything about them?
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I looked at the website and came away bamboozled
I'm a simple soul, and pretty much immune to sales pitches.
That's quite a bizarre idea to me and it looks like they're really going for the simplistic fad-version of paleo:
'Cavemen are awesome! Cavemen cooked on rocks! I know, let's coat a frying pan with...rocks!'
Aside from anything, in my experience rocks are a pretty poor heat-conductor.
They're great at holding it once it's there,
but to me it's odd to stick something to my pan that I'd think reduces it's efficiency...
 
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Amber and Leila : Not a lot of real information to parse out of the ads so I didn't pick up any more than you did !

Leila, The ability of Dense materials to both 'Hold Heat' and to Radiate it through itself is/are Two related but different concepts that often trip up our Best Rocket Mass
Heater Rocketeers !

Radiant heat from a fire or off of the coils of a resistance type heater easily travel through Air to Quickly-warm the side that facing the heat energy Source ! But not the
side away from that heat source! Dry Low humidity air can hold very little heat energy, It will always make a much better insulator than a heat carrier. *

Any dense material will take-up heat readily, The denser material will hold onto more Heat energy. The Conduction of heat through a material happens at the molecular
level kind of like a fire bucket brigade always trying to pass that heat energy down hill towards a low Spot ( Low heat energy spot )

If we think of the difference be tween an All Aluminum Camping Cook set, and a good old cast iron pan, we will quickly see that the Stone ware people are just re-inventing
the wheel, The Aluminum will quickly get hot at so much heat will get transferred thru the pan that we are endanger of scorching any and everything! The good old Cast
Iron fry pan will heat up a little slower reach the temperature we like for that lovely sear, and then because heat is being carried away into the food will now cook slower
and much more evenly !

For someone who has never used a cast iron frypan, who is exposed to a ''Stoneware pan ", it probably seems like a magical thing, especially if they have a tendency
towards cooking at too high a temperature ! No wonder Amber's dad likes it.

Is it as good as a simple Cast iron pan?, probably not, Is it easier to clean? Not if you know how to use and maintain a good Cast Iron pan ( Like every thing else there are-
bad cast iron pans with rough interior cooking surfaces ) Will the Stoneware hold up to abuse like being dropped ? or scraped with a steel spatula ? Almost certainly not.

This just seems to be a re-invention of the wheel, though I wonder just how and with what chemical processes this material was brewed and created ! For the Good of the
CRAFTS Big AL










*This is true even though us North Americans have been trying to heat our homes with gravity flow and forced air for well over a hundred years !
 
Posts: 4
Location: UNITED STATES ZONE 6A
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My product was very good to start off with but after several weeks of use they all lost their non stick properties even though it was seasoned.. The bottom of the pan became black and junkie ... my friend also bought a set of stone pans and they had the same experience that many others have had. You may have better luck with a quality set of cook ware but I bought a mid priced set to begin with.
 
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Location: Southern UK
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I have a couple of 'Green Pans' that I've had for a while. I imagine it's some sort of glass-like ceramic enamel that they are coated with, although I have wondered if they are really completely non-toxic! - anyway, they cook great, I love using them, but I think you do have to be very careful not to scratch the coating or they will lose their non-stick properties. Also I try to be careful not to overheat them. I would never use them without oil or liquid as some people say you can.
 
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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The reviews on Amazon are abysmal. It's a "stone hard mineral" coating.

I love my well seasoned cast iron. I'm used to them being slow to heat, I prefer the stable temperature. The biggest flaw is not being able to cook much acid in them. I can throw vinegar in at the end of a stir fry no problem but tomato sauces and many soups are a no no. Stoneware isn't reactive, so that would be a bonus.

I have shallow stoneware baking pans, like cookie sheets with rims. They are great for pizzas and free form breads but my best large one broke. Too fragile for me to buy another.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Matu Collins : Check out the large ceramic and stone tiles that constantly show up at Habitat for humanities Re-Stores ! 12''x12'' as low as a $1.oo, 16''x16'' as low
as two dollars, I often pick up a few as a cheap housewarming present, and Have always found a good supply in stock no matter which Re-Store I hit ! big AL
 
Amber Cairns
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Yeah I'm with you guys, I'm a fan of cast iron and I have to wonder at the chemical processes that get the "stone" to stick to the aluminum. Definitely not going to be jumping on the stone cookware band wagon just yet.
 
pollinator
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Short chemistry lesson here: Metals are elements, and "stones" are metal oxides. Cast iron is a metal that was refined from iron ore like hematite or magnetite, both oxides of iron. Quartz, an oxide of the semi-metal silicon can be made into cookware, but I still wouldn't call it cooking on "stone". Quartz tends to be transparent, so it looks more like glass.

Cooking in glazed clay pots could also be called "cooking on stone", because clay is metal oxides that can be shaped into a pot and cooked in a fire until it is hard like a stone. Put enough slip on the clay so that it turns to glass during the firing, and you have a glazed clay pot that stuff doesn't stick to. The unfortunate thing about some of these "stones" is that they are brittle and one drop on a hard surface and you don't have your pot anymore.

Now if you could just put a thin layer of metal oxide on the metal frying pan, well then you could have the easy clean up of a glass surface along with the durability of the metal. Unless you really, really mistreat metals, they usually don't get brittle and fracture. Aluminum has the convenient property of rapid surface oxidation, so when you cook with an aluminum pot, you really have a "stone coated frying pan", but the stone coating is only a few molecules thick.

Iron does not have this same property. When iron oxidizes to Fe2O3, the oxide does not adhere to the underlying metal and flakes off in the process we know as 'rusting'. In order to cook up a pan of chili in a cast iron frying pan, we need to make sure the surface of the iron is passivated in some other way than forming Fe2O3, so that is why we "season" it with some carbon containing compound and try to get a thin surface layer of iron carbide, Fe3C, which does adhere to the substrate.

Stone coated frying pans are not that new. Enameled cookware has been around for a while, and there the technology is to coat metal with an oxide, cook it in a kiln, and come up with a coating on the metal that is fairly passive (non-stick) yet still adheres to the metal underneath. There is quite a bit of chemical art in designing ways to prime metals so that the coating that is applied to it will stick. If somebody comes up with a good formulation, they can't really advertise that, so what they do end up advertising is something entirely new!!!, a "stone coated frying pan"!!!

And don't get me started on teflon coatings, teflon is a fluorocarbon polymer, but the underlying principle is still the same: have the coating stick to the metal pan, and not to the food that is in it.
 
Posts: 247
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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What are your collective opinions on stainless steel cookware?
We use some cast iron skillets but our saucepans and pots are SS.

 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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We use cast iron and stainless steel. Stainless for very wet or acidic applications.
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Let me tell you my experience with these "stone coated" frying pans.

I got to know about them some time ago on one of those long morning TV commercials, where a woman showed a whole set of pans, on several sizes and types.

The most interesting thing was that you didn't need any oil at all to cook stuff, as the lady showed by putting an to "dry fry" it.

But I live in Brazil, and those pans were not sold here.

So I waited until I went to the USA and looked for any stone surface pan I could find. And I did find a frying pan with collapsible handle.

As we had rented a house with full cooking facilities, we used the pan a lot. First impressions were great, so we brought it to Rio de Janeiro.

This was in April 2015, and the pan has served us perfectly since. Nothing sticks to it, and it's always my first choice.

We never deep fry things, and when we use olive oil it's just a spoon or two.

Since bought I bought smaller one through eBay, and it's also great.

I wish they were thicker, as they are about 3mm thick. 5mm or more would be ideal.

 
Posts: 69
Location: Manila
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Not to dispute our much respected Duke and others who love cast iron but I believe it's a nostalgia thing. The amount of BTUs required to get typical cast iron pans to ideal cooking temp is just ridiculous. Cast iron performs best in open wood fires (out in the frontier and when camping) and I'm pretty sure would work great in rocket style cookers and biochar retorts but not in typical home gas or electric ranges.

Simple physics and an understanding of how heat is conducted will reveal there are more energy efficient cooking vessels. Apart from enabling us to more closely observe the application of heat, there's a reason why science labs use pyrex - it's very efficient. On my gas stove where I could back down the flame to a very low level, glass pots and sauce pans are great for extended braising and stewing.  A close second would be ceramic cookware - Le Creuset is nice but extremely over-priced and Moroccan Tagines are more affordable and look much better (in my eyes).

Of course glass and earthenware are not as sturdy or lightweight as stainless steel, aluminum but I still wouldn't trade my late 80s 7" corning skillet (with the teflon scrubbed off) for anything else out there -  it'll do everything: seared steaks, southern style fried chicken, oven slow-roasted tomatoes for marinara or putanesca, onion velloute, béchamel or sawmill gravy - I could go all day.
 
master steward
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pusang halaw wrote:Not to dispute our much respected Duke and others who love cast iron but I believe it's a nostalgia thing. The amount of BTUs required to get typical cast iron pans to ideal cooking temp is just ridiculous. Cast iron performs best in open wood fires (out in the frontier and when camping) and I'm pretty sure would work great in rocket style cookers and biochar retorts but not in typical home gas or electric ranges.



You might find Dale Hodgins thread on why he loves cast iron pans (https://permies.com/t/73703/kitchen/cast-iron-pans). He really optimized the properties of cast iron--getting the pan HOT and then turning everything off and letting it continue to cook as it slowly cooled down. Most people probably don't use cast iron that way--they turn their stove onto medium or high heat and then keep it on that setting until they're done cooking. If Dale's cooking is any indication, that's really not necessary at all. It might use the same--maybe even less--energy to cook Dale's way with cast iron, than it would to use pyrex or steel.

And, heating a skillet and then turning it off isn't something you can probably do with a pyrex skillet--my pyrex cookware seems to cool down a lot faster than my cast iron. And, on an electric range like mine, the pyrex seems to cook more unevenly, verses cast iron or steel which conduct the heat better.

That being said, I don't use cast iron myself. Instead, I use stainless steel, as that's just easier for everyone. I have found I can cook at a much lower temperature if I use one or two lids on a pan to hold in the heat. And, with my deep bottomed stainless steel pans, I often turn the heat off once I've done the searing of the food and just let it cook slowly.

Perhaps which skillet one uses also depends on what you're cooking. If you're cooking something that just needs a quick re-heating or cooks quickly, a pyrex or stainless steel skillet would probably be a really good choice. But for those dishes that cook for more than 5 minutes, a cast iron skillet might be the more energy-efficient choice.
 
pusang halaw
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Location: Manila
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Most people probably don't use cast iron that way--they turn their stove onto medium or high heat and then keep it on that setting until they're done cooking. If Dale's cooking is any indication, that's really not necessary at all. It might use the same--maybe even less--energy to cook Dale's way with cast iron, than it would to use pyrex or steel. And, heating a skillet and then turning it off isn't something you can probably do with a pyrex skillet--my pyrex cookware seems to cool down a lot faster than my cast iron. And, on an electric range like mine, the pyrex seems to cook more unevenly, verses cast iron or steel which conduct the heat better.

The crystalline atomic structure of glass cookware that allows rapid and efficient heat transfer also accounts for faster cooling - hence, a stable source of heat is required and turning the fire off and on while cooking isn't ideal for pyrex/corning pots and pans. We don't use electric stoves much here in southeast Asia so I wouldn't be able to comment on that but with corningware on my gas stove, I consume so little LPG as I'm able to back the flame down to almost a candle flicker (perhaps that's an exaggeration but I think you know what I mean).

But for those dishes that cook for more than 5 minutes, a cast iron skillet might be the more energy-efficient choice.

Again, I think this depends on your heat source. The way tempered glass transmits and conducts heat, long braises and stews can be accomplished faster and with less BTUs if heated properly - tenderizing a shank for Ossobuco doesn't take as long or require as high a flame on my corningware compared to when I use stainless steel pots (a traditional pressure cooker will certainly be faster than either though) . I wouldn't be surprised if it's different on an electric stove.

The one drawback of glass or earthen cookware that I wish wasn't there: can't use them on induction cookers.
 
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