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The majority of the pans sold in the world today has a non-stick interior coating.

Recent years have marked a significant improvement in non-stick coating durability, and now, even hotels and restaurants are opting for non-stick frying pans. When recipes have to be cooked to order, a non-stick frying pan eliminates the need for lengthy soaking and scrubbing, enabling a quick turn-around of orders. Where speed of service is less crucial, commercial kitchens generally have hired help to scrub plain aluminium cookware, or have automated dishwashers large enough to clean them efficiently.



Non-stick aluminium pans are available in four different exterior finishes:

  • Sun-rayed , for a matte finish
  • Polished , for a high-gloss finish
  • Porcelain-enamelled , for a durable and brightly-coloured finish
  • Sprayed-on , with non-stick or silicone polyester



Some manufacturers claim that multi-layer silk-screening improves heat distribution; however, the difference is negligible to the point of insignificance. While in theory darker colours do absorb heat faster and in multi-layers may conduct heat better, in the real world this offers no perceptible improvement in cooking performance. These claims can therefore be reduced to mere "marketing hype." Remember, the primary factor in determining cooking performance is the thickness of the pan.





When a pan is heated, the metal expands, causing the base to warp convexly (the thinner the gauge of the base, the more susceptible it is to warping). This phenomenon is especially true for pans made of aluminium, as it is a softer metal. A pan that develops a convex base is sometimes called a "spinner," owing to its tendency to spin hazardously around the cooker top. Good cookware has a slightly concave base that flattens when heated and consequently remains steady on the cooker. You can check the arch of a pan’s base for yourself by simply turning the pan over and putting a ruler on the base (the pan must be cool to the touch). On good quality cookware, there will be a gap between the centre of the base and the ruler.



Some manufacturers produce pans with impressions embedded into the exterior base. These impressions may marginally improve heat distribution and reduce warping; however, a concave base is still a necessity, and regardless of base treatment, a thicker aluminium pan will always distribute heat more evenly and maintain a flatter base than a thinner one.





The table below lists the industry standards for aluminium cookware (the thicker the aluminium, the smaller the gauge number):

GAUGE THICKNESS (in millimetres) (in inches)

3 6.0 mm 1/4"
4 5.0 mm 1/5"
6 4.0 mm 1/6"
8 3.0 mm 1/8"
10 2.5 mm 1/10"
12 2.0 mm (SilverStone®saucepan/stockpot minimum standard.) 1/12"
14 1.5 mm 1/16"
16 1.0 mm 1/25"


ecause of the higher heat used in frying and sautéing, frying pans usually have a heavier gauge than saucepans or stockpots within a given cookware line.

The 10-gauge frying pan is the industry standard, and the world's best-selling pan is the 10-gauge, 25cm aluminium non-stick frying pan. The quality of the vast majority of aluminium and hard-anodized 25cm non-stick frying pans sold in department and speciality stores far exceeds what the rest of the world accepts as a reasonable standard.



Some consumers may be concerned about the association of aluminium cookware and Alzheimer's disease. U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) reports show that there is no direct correlation between this illness and the consumption of food prepared in aluminium cookware. Latest research indicates that a hereditary gene mutation is the probable cause.

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