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Cooking on diamonds


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#1 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 05:42 AM

I was in the local restaurant supply place here in Switzerland yesterday and noticed they carry a pretty sexy line of very heavy aluminium cookwear that is apparently coated with synthetic industrial diamonds. Anyone tried this stuff? Is it any better than all the rest of the non-sticks?
At a $100 a pan I'd like a few opinions before I buy one.
Regards, Ed

#2 slkinsey

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:01 AM

Question: Who cares whether it is coated with diamond dust? What is supposed to be the benefit?

Personally, although extra thick aluminum (which I take to mean >5 cm) is a great thing to have, I can't see spending a hundred bucks on a nonstick pan.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#3 elfin

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:12 AM

I would think it would scratch any surface it touches if it is coated on the outside for heat conductivity. If it lines the inside how would you clean it? Wouldn't it be rough like an emory board? Got any info or pics?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
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#4 EllenC

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:35 AM

I googled and here are two sites:

Swiss Diamond Cookware

One Customer's Review

#5 Abra

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 09:38 AM

Just for perspective, I spent $100 on a ScanPan which made the same claims and the non-stick coating sheds all into the food, so of course I never use it unless it's with a lot of oil. I spent a bit over $100 on a Cybernox, which is hard as anything and I use it every day, but is only stick-resistant, not non-stick. I don't think $100 is that much if it works, but the cost sure is no guarantee of quality, in my experience.

#6 JohnN

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 10:55 AM

Question: Who cares whether it is coated with diamond dust?  What is supposed to be the benefit?

Personally, although extra thick aluminum (which I take to mean >5 cm) is a great thing to have, I can't see spending a hundred bucks on a nonstick pan.

View Post


I could see a diamond coated copper pan being useful. Basically the same idea as the stainless clad. And if you could coat one side, there wouldn't be any reason not to coat the whole thing. If it was a real diamond coating it should be very durable. You could even use a cast iron handles and coat them too. The resulting pan should be dishwasher safe. Pretty close to the perfect pan I would think. No idea if this is possible or if it would be cost effective tho.

EDIT: Note, this doesn't appear to be what they are doing tho with this product. It looks like the point of their product is to sprinkle little diamonds around which create high points so that when you "scrape" it you contact the diamonds instead of the non-stick. Also probably makes a "rougher" surface to help hold the non-stick in place. The concept seems like it could be beneficial, but I suspect it only extends the life of the non-stick surface - not making it last forever.

-john

Edited by JohnN, 02 March 2005 - 11:00 AM.


#7 natasha1270

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 10:58 AM

I bought 2 Swiss Diamond frypans from cutlery.com a while back and I love them. Light in weight and light enough in color I can judge browning very easily. They clean like a breeze. When I first got them, they were a bit too slippery but that seems to worked its way out (either it was me or the pan, I'm not sure).

The pans I have were advertised as 10mm but now the website is carrying a slightly different style at 8mm. I am not a particularly heavy user but I imagine these pans will hold up much longer than any other non-stick I have had...If their literature is correct, I will probably never need a new one.

enjoy!
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#8 budrichard

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 02:52 PM

Sounds like marketing crap to me! -Dick

#9 fifi

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 06:25 PM

Actually, there is such a thing as plasma applied diamond. If I remember right, it was developed by a little company just north of Houston. It's first applications were in industrial equipment. I always wondered how it would work on cookware.

I was wondering what the other coating in the composite was when I saw that it was the ceramic material. That makes me wonder why they limit the use temperature. Perhaps differential expansion causes it to let go of the surface.

I am still wondering what the diamond does for you, though. I think I am with Sam on this one. Get that Calphalon pan for $20-25(US) and replace it every few years.
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#10 slkinsey

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 09:17 AM

I am still wondering what the diamond does for you, though. I think I am with Sam on this one. Get that Calphalon pan for $20-25(US) and replace it every few years.

The beauty of the Calphalon Commercial Nonstick pans (and, one assumes the same will be true of the Calphalon One Nonstick pans when they go on super-sale) is that they cost the same as the kind of nonstick pans that last only a year, but they're triple (or quadruple, I forget which) coated with PTFE and the extremely durable coating lasts a long time.

The trick for nonstick, I think is: 1. only fry pans (I don't think it's useful for any other kind of pan); 2. don't use it as a general-puropse pan -- use it only for cooking tasks (eggs, delicate fish, etc) that really need nonstick; 3. only moderate heat; and 4. no metal utensils.
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#11 andiesenji

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 11:40 AM

One of my friends went to one of the "demonstrations" (AKA high pressure selling meeting) for the Swiss Diamond pans last spring and forked out 600.00 + for a set.

She brought one over for me to try and I didn't care for it at all.
I tried it with an omelette and the bottom did not release as it does in my Calphalon comm. non-stick and left shredded bits of egg on the bottom of the pan.
I cleaned it and tried a catfish fillet in butter and where the piece of fish will slide around with simply tipping the pan in my Calphalon, it stuck in the Swiss Diamond and did not release when it was browned, which it will do in my copper pans.

Those are the two tests I use.

I told my friend that I hoped she would be happy with the pans but they were not for me and I did not want to attend one of their demonstrations.

The last time I visited her home I noticed the S-D pans were hanging on her pot rack but she used one of her old Farberware mellinium pans to make grilled cheese sandwiches.
(The Farberware are thin but have that super tough coating in which you can use metal utensils and they too have a lifetime guarantee. They are good for certain purposes.)
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#12 budrichard

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 12:07 PM

We now use only Falk. No non-stick or aluminum to worry about. The Falk only needs a little fat of any kind and cleans as easily as any non stick or Calafalon.
I will NEVER go back to aluminum pots and pans of any type!-Dick

#13 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 03:17 PM

Ok, I'm going to get to the bottom of this non-stick-super-pan stuff...

I contacted the company that makes these "diamond" pans and went to visit them today and I have to say that I am impressed. There are two versions. The household version with the plastic handles which is for sale in the US called Swiss Diamond and the professional version which is only available in Switzerland called Swiss Nano Pro. The household type are ok but the professional pans are built like tanks. 10 mm of cast aluminum, double thick reinforced edges and extra long stainless steel handles. They are very heavy, in fact they look as if you could drive your car over them without damage. The pan is cast in Germany and coated in Switzerland. The handle mounting block is cast into the mould and the handle is screwed to the pan so there are no rivets on the inside of the pan like Calphalon. The other feature I really liked was the extra long stainless steel handle. It's kind of hard to explain, but if you pick up the pan and grab it low on the handle you can rest the handle under your forearm and it balances beautifully, the pan becomes an extension of your arm. Normal pans break too short and require more effort to hold up. It's such an obvious thing when you hold it, but pretty hard to find in other pans. I acquired two pans today, one in the diamond finish (Swiss Nano Pro) and one in the titanium finish (not as hard called Titan) I intend to write a little diary along with photos of how they hold up in my kitchen. If these pans do half of what they are suppose to do we have it made!

Some pictures.....

http://pg.photos.yah...r=/835d&.src=ph

Edit: The smaller is 8.5 inches and weighs 2 lb 11 ozs and the larger is 10 inches and weighs 3 lb 6 ozs.

The Claims: Assembled from bits of the brochure.
The Swiss national cookery team uses Swiss Nano Pro pans at all its competitions. In 2002 the team won a gold medal at the World Cooking Championships in Singapore and two gold medals at the Luxembourg World Cup.
The Diamant/Swiss Nano Pro coating system was awarded a gold medal at the inventor's exhibition in Geneva.
The extreme hardness and fully non-stick finish of Diamant and Swiss Nano Pro pans meet the highest standards for professional cooks and top chefs.
The pans are carefully hand cast and have an extra thick base. As a result the body of the pan will remain completely stable throughout its life.
The recoating service represents a significant cost saving for professional chefs whose pans are subject to heavy wear.
The Nanocomposition nonstick coating with diamond powder creates a tough, completely adhesion-resistant surface on which nothing can gain a hold. High thermal conductivity and totally non-stick .
Hand cast in special moulds.
The base is guaranteed to remain perfectly flat for 10 years.
10mm thick base.
Optimal thermal conductivity and heat storage.
The base will not warp even under the greatest heat und heaviest use.
Reinforced top edge protects against dents and increases stability.
Extra long handle makes larger, heavier pans easier to use.
The handle can be held safely even when the temperature changes rapidly.
The weight of the pan can be distributed by resting the handle under the forearm.
PTFE diamond coating on the outer edge as well, easy to clean for hygiene.

Edited by SWISS_CHEF, 03 March 2005 - 04:19 PM.


#14 andiesenji

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 03:21 PM

Those are nothing like the ones my friend bought.
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#15 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 01:02 PM

The Nano Pan Chronicle, Star Date: March 4, 2005

I christened my new Nano pan with half a dozen pan seared sea scallops tonight. I thought that because scallops are so tender they would be a good test for my new pan....waste of money... I guess this was too easy...they slid around the pan like they were a bunch of marbles.

Second course was a pair of bacon wrapped filet mignons...ditto.. they almost floated across the pan from the heat alone. Not even a trace of sticking.

Both the scallops and the filet cooked and cleaned up perfectly, only a piece of paper towel was needed to clean the pan. But let's be honest... almost all non-sticks will do that on the first date.

Other observations...the pan took a little longer to heat up because of the thickness, but the heat was very even once it was hot. I really, really love the extra length in the handle...why can all handles be this long??? The pan is so solid and heavy its really like cooking with cast iron but without the extra weight.

After thoughts: I am dying to make a Rösti in this thing!!

edit: The Bacon wrapped filet:Posted Image

Edited by SWISS_CHEF, 04 March 2005 - 01:25 PM.


#16 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 07:37 AM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 7, 2005

I decided to do a test and burn Balsamic vinegar, honey and sugar in the pan and see what happens.
First the Balsamic:
Posted Image


Then the honey:
Posted Image


Then the sugar:
Posted Image


I burned each one untill they quit smoking and were just carbon disks. The smell was awful! In most cases all I had to do was shake the pan and the carbon would just break loose and slide around the pan.


Here is the final result, three perfect carbon pancakes:
Posted Image


There was absouluely no effect on the pan.


#17 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 11:22 AM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 10, 2005

This is the best test yet!
I bought two identical steaks, seasoned and prepared them in exactly the same way and pan seared them at the same time over the identical heat. The first was cooked in an very old Ikea nonstick and the second in the new Swiss Nano pan.

The Ikea pan seared steak looked like this:

Posted Image
Notice all the fat around the pan?

The Nano pan steak looked like this:

Posted Image

The amount of fat left in the pan by the steak cooked in the old Ikea pan was ten fold of that left by the Nano pan. The Nano pan was almost dry compared to the old Ikea. The difference was immediately noticeable.

Here is the Ikea pan after the steak was removed:
Posted Image

and here is the Nano pan after the steak was removed:

Posted Image

There was almost nothing left in the Nano pan and the Ikea pan was covered in grease.

Honestly I was VERY surprised to see this and I have no explanation for the difference.

Taste: Both steaks had a nice flavor but the steak cooked in the Nano pan was remarkably more tender and moist. The difference was like sirloin (Ikea) vs. Filet mignon (Nano pan).

I was really shocked to see the difference but I must admit I don't understand why.

Can anyone explain this why this happened???



edit: I was asked to make my pictures smaller by jhlurie

Edited by SWISS_CHEF, 10 March 2005 - 02:25 PM.


#18 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 01:49 PM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 13, 2005
I made a pasta prima-vera tonight and I thought I would post a picture:
Posted Image
Notice the two caramelized cherry tomatoes. They held their form perfectly and were caramelized before they could fall apart. Nice!
Another picture:
Posted Image

Edited by SWISS_CHEF, 13 March 2005 - 02:02 PM.


#19 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 15 March 2005 - 02:07 PM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 15, 2005
Getting a handle on things...

I would have never thought a handle would have made much difference in the performance of a frying pan, but it actually does. You have much more control with a longer handle bacause it fits under your forearm and helps to balance the pan better.

Here is a picture of the 7.5 inch Ikea pan handle in my hand.
Posted Image

This is the grip on the 9.5 inch Swiss Nano Pan Handle in my hand.

Posted Image

See the difference?
Posted Image

#20 Scott_S

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 11:06 PM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 15, 2005


The Swiss Diamond pans have been of interest to me, but I'm wondering how comparable the NanoPro is to the Diamond line. Especially since the Diamond line is only one available here in the US.

It seems that the Diamond line does not perform up to the level you are seeing with your NanoPro. When you were at the Swiss Diamond factory, other than thickness, were you able to tell any other differences? Specifically I'm wondering about any surface differences between the two.

Does anyone else have any further input on the Swiss Diamond?

I am interested in both the Scanpan and Swiss Diamond products (a 12" frypan), but I haven't found a clear concensus about either as to whether or not they live up to their billing, much less which is better.

Any feedback/thoughts would be appreciated!

Scott

#21 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 11:32 PM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 15, 2005


The Swiss Diamond pans have been of interest to me, but I'm wondering how comparable the NanoPro is to the Diamond line. Especially since the Diamond line is only one available here in the US.

It seems that the Diamond line does not perform up to the level you are seeing with your NanoPro. When you were at the Swiss Diamond factory, other than thickness, were you able to tell any other differences? Specifically I'm wondering about any surface differences between the two.

Does anyone else have any further input on the Swiss Diamond?

I am interested in both the Scanpan and Swiss Diamond products (a 12" frypan), but I haven't found a clear concensus about either as to whether or not they live up to their billing, much less which is better.

Any feedback/thoughts would be appreciated!

Scott

View Post


Hi Scott,
The Swiss Diamond pans have the same diamond/Teflon coating as the Nanopan. The big difference is the pan that the surface is applied to. The Nanopan is cast in Germany and is 10 mm thick and the Swiss Diamond pan is 6 mm thick. I also believe there is a difference in the way the two pans are cast but I am not really up to speed yet in that area. The other big difference is the handle. The Swiss Diamond pan has a plastic handle.
I am continuing to use the Nanopan nearly every day, I have not been posting pictures because it is really just more of the same. The pan performs like it did on day one.
I really like this product and I think there would be a strong demand for such a pan in the USA. I am currently in negotiations with the factory to assist them in the distribution and hopefully soon you will be able buy these pans in the States.

I think the Scan pan and the Swiss Diamond pans are quality products but the Nanopan is considerably heavier and has that great handle.
Regards, Ed

#22 Scott_S

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 10:58 AM

The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 15, 2005

The Swiss Diamond pans have the same diamond/Teflon coating as the Nanopan. The big difference is the pan that the surface is applied to. The Nanopan is cast in Germany and is 10 mm thick and the Swiss Diamond pan is 6 mm thick. I also believe there is a difference in the way the two pans are cast but I am not really up to speed yet in that area. The other big difference is the handle. The Swiss Diamond pan has a plastic handle.


So these do use teflon? I was wondering what the "nano-composite" was. I use my fry pans for high temp searing (among other things) and tend to go through "cheapo" teflon pans about every 6-12 months. By the time I finally get rid of them, they are well worn out and require a bit of scrubbing to get clean.

Other than the 500F (260C) temp restriction in the oven (which I have previously assumed to be due to the plastic handle), have they mentioned anything about a max temp on the pan? I would think that pre-heating the pan before searing would break down the non-stick.

I am continuing to use the Nanopan nearly every day, I have not been posting pictures because it is really just more of the same. The pan performs like it did on day one.

I really like this product and I think there would be a strong demand for such a pan in the USA. I am currently in negotiations with the factory to assist them in the distribution and hopefully soon you will be able buy these pans in the States.

I think the Scan pan and the Swiss Diamond pans are quality products but the Nanopan is considerably heavier and has that great handle.


Are you still giving it the "rough treatment" (metal spatula, etc.)? Also, how are you cleaning it? Still with a paper towel?

I ask because I cook and my wife cleans and has a preference for the dishwasher (I know, I know! :)).

It is a shame that the NanoPro was not offered over hear. I wonder what the price premium would be compared to the Swiss Diamond. I have found the 12" fry pan for ~$65 here in the US (give or take $5). I'm not exactly sure how much of a premium I'd be willing to pay, but I don't know if I'd go much more than $20 at the outside (this probably has more to do with my financial situation than the product's value).

Thanks for your help! :biggrin:

Scott

#23 JohnN

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 09:00 PM

So these do use teflon?  I was wondering what the "nano-composite" was.  I use my fry pans for high temp searing (among other things) and tend to go through "cheapo" teflon pans about every 6-12 months.  By the time I finally get rid of them, they are well worn out and require a bit of scrubbing to get clean.

Other than the 500F (260C) temp restriction in the oven (which I have previously assumed to be due to the plastic handle), have they mentioned anything about a max temp on the pan?  I would think that pre-heating the pan before searing would break down the non-stick.


I thought that Teflon started giving off toxic fumes at around 500F. It sounds like you are on the edge of safe use of Teflon pans.

-john

#24 Scott_S

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 10:19 PM

I thought that Teflon started giving off toxic fumes at around 500F.  It sounds like you are on the edge of safe use of Teflon pans.

-john

View Post

Yeah, it is in that area. My point in my post was that I thought that the diamond surface was what was providing the non-stick, not teflon. If that were the case, then the plastic handle would probably be the reason for the 500F oven limit (I never use a fry pan in the oven at over 400F, so that isn't the issue, the temp on the cooktop is).

However, I can now see that the Teflon is the limiting factor. It is unfortunate because it makes the pans less attractive for me. I just wish that Swiss Diamond would have been more forthcoming with the information about its surface.

On the other hand, the Swiss world champ chefs have used these pans, so maybe I'm making an issue out of nothing. Also, Ed's burned honey and sugar tests were very impressive. I would have thought that test would have affected the pan surface, but it apparently did not. Impressive.

Ahhh, now to decide between the Scanpan and Swiss Diamond. Decisions, decisions. :biggrin:

Scott

#25 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 03:18 AM

scanpan doesn't use teflon, does it?  or is that what their 'new tek' thing is?

i have an older one, which i'm pretty sure is just their ceramic/titanium thingy, not teflon.

View Post

According to their website, New Tek is still ceramic-titanium, applied in a new sooper-dooper way: "A radically new surface structure is then bombarded, at 36,000° F and twice the speed of sound, with ceramic-titanium plasma that forms the foundation for the non-stick compound." Wow!!!

View Post


ALL NONSTICK PANS ARE PTFE (Teflon) BASED.
Read the Scanpan claim closely. "A radically new surface structure is then bombarded, at 36,000° F and twice the speed of sound, with ceramic-titanium plasma that forms the foundation for the non-stick compound." The ceramic/titianium is only the foundation. This foundation simply allows the PTFE to grip better. It is written in a way that makes you think you are cooking on this ceramic/titanium surface, but you aren't. PTFE is then sprayed over the ceramic/titanium foundation. You are still cooking on the PTFE like all other nonstick pans.

The features that make the Nanopan superior are:
1. A gravity cast 10 mm thick pan as opposed to a stamped or pressure cast 4-6 mm pans. This makes a huge difference in the way a pan retains it's heat. When you put a piece of meat in a thin pan it absorbs all the heat in the pan and cools down the pan which yields the kind results you can see in the above above pictures when I cooked the two steaks.
2. Because the Nanopan is so thick it will never warp. Important for ceramic cooktops.
3. The addition of diamonds to the PTFE makes the pan more durable and conduct heat better. So the Nano pan will last longer and out perform the Scan pan.
4. The extra long stainless steel handle makes working with the Nanopan much easier.
5. No handle ribets on the inside of the pan.
6. Cast-in extra mini handle on the opposite side of the handle in larger sized pans for more control.

The draw backs of the Nanopan:
1. Like ALL nonstick pans you can scorch the PTFE surface if you subject it to too much heat.
2. Although the Nanopan's surface is the hardest nonstick on the market it can still be scratched...hard to do... but it can be scratched.
3. Because the Nanopan is thicker than other pans it weighs more too, but the long handle helps with better control.

Nanopan vs Swiss Diamonds:
Nanopans get a thicker coating than the Swiss Diamond pan. The factory is checking on exactly how much thicker the coating is. I will post the data as soon as I get it.

I hope this helps.

Edited by SWISS_CHEF, 12 April 2005 - 12:40 PM.


#26 Smithy

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:06 PM

I had no idea before this that diamond is a good heat conductor. A quick check (Google is a wonderful thing) shows that this isn't just some marketeer's hype. Thanks for showing us the brochure.

You've talked before about the relative thicknesses of the Swiss NanoPro pan vs. the Swiss Diamond pan. Where does the Ikea non-stick that you used upthread fall into the mix? I'm wondering if pan thickness/mass is at least partly responsible for the different tenderness you got from the two steaks. I don't know why that might be, but we've been seeing a correlation between pan thermal mass and meat tenderness over in the braising discussions.

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#27 SWISS_CHEF

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:21 PM

I had no idea before this that diamond is a good heat conductor.  A quick check (Google is a wonderful thing) shows that this isn't just some marketeer's hype.  Thanks for showing us the brochure.

You've talked before about the relative thicknesses of the Swiss NanoPro pan vs. the Swiss Diamond pan.  Where does the Ikea non-stick that you used upthread fall into the mix?  I'm wondering if pan thickness/mass is at least partly responsible for the different tenderness you got from the two steaks.   I don't know why that might be, but we've been seeing a correlation between pan thermal mass and meat tenderness over in the braising discussions.

View Post


I was stumped by this too until I spoke to the boss at the factory today and he explained the importance of the thickness to me. The thicker the pan, the more heat it can store, so when you add the meat the pan has so much stored energy that it can cook the steak instead of cooling down from the cool meat.

I was talking to Boris-A (from eGullet) and he has a Molteni stove. Same principle, massive amounts of material store the heat and cook food very differently. Perhaps if Boris sees this he will comment on how it works.

The Ikea pan is just 4mm thick. Because the thin pan lost it's heat when I added the steak it 'rendered' the fat in the steak instead of sealing it in. So the fat ended up all over the pan instead of sealed in the steak, resulting in a tough piece of meat.
Also notice the brown 'goodness' left in the Ikea pan. There was no 'goodness' left in the Nanopan which means all that flavor is in the steak.

Edited by SWISS_CHEF, 12 April 2005 - 01:41 PM.


#28 Scott_S

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 09:04 PM

Great info! I have been lurking around here for weeks, but finally joined when I needed to ask for some information about non-stick pans. Based on the information I have gotten here so far, it was definitely worth it! :)

The NanoPro brochure is interesting. However, I wonder if anyone else noticed that the charts for both the hardness and thermal conductivity were the same chart? Looks like the Swiss' copywriter missed that one. :biggrin:

I have sent out a couple inquiries about the non-stick coatings on both the Scanpan and the Swiss Diamond pans. Both companies imply in their advertising that what they are using is better than teflon (ie. not teflon). So, I must admit I'm really curious about exactly what this non-stick stuff is... no offense intended Swiss_Chef, but I just like to hear things "from the horse's mouth" as it were.

Thanks for all of your help!

Scott

#29 SWISS_CHEF

SWISS_CHEF
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  • Location:Switzerland and Piemonte

Posted 13 April 2005 - 07:30 AM

Great info!  I have been lurking around here for weeks, but finally joined when I needed to ask for some information about non-stick pans.  Based on the information I have gotten here so far, it was definitely worth it!  :)

The NanoPro brochure is interesting.  However, I wonder if anyone else noticed that the charts for both the hardness and thermal conductivity were the same chart?  Looks like the Swiss' copywriter missed that one.  :biggrin: 

I have sent out a couple inquiries about the non-stick coatings on both the Scanpan and the Swiss Diamond pans.  Both companies imply in their advertising that what they are using is better than teflon (ie. not teflon).  So, I must admit I'm really curious about exactly what this non-stick stuff is... no offense intended Swiss_Chef, but I just like to hear things "from the horse's mouth" as it were.

Thanks for all of your help!

Scott

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I'm not sure excatly what Scanpan uses but Swiss Nano Pro uses PTFE mixed with synthetic industrial diamonds so the coating is actually better than PTFE alone.
Here is some more info on PTFE/POLYTETRAFLUOROETHYLENE/Teflon
http://www.enflo.com...teflon_ptfe.php

#30 Scott_S

Scott_S
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  • 11 posts
  • Location:Memphis, TN

Posted 13 April 2005 - 12:14 PM

Swiss_Chef,

I got a response from Scanpan today...

This is a partial quote from an email I sent to Scanpan...

... However, the problem with all the traditional non-stick pans I have used appears to be that they are teflon-based.  Apparently, PTFE begins to break down at about 400-500F (or so, depending on the info sources I have found) and lose its non-stick properties over time (due to heat and dishwasher(?) use)...

This is the response from Scanpan I received today:

PTFE starts breaking down into its components between 660 and 700 degrees F (not 400 - 500 degrees), a temperature that is never reached under even the highest heat applications, for instance for searing or stir frying. The only way such temperature levels can be reached is by cooking the pan dry and letting it sit on high heat without any food on it, for an extended period of time. That would be an accident, not normal use.

The SCANPAN nonstick element is based on PTFE and is formulated to work with our patented ceramic titanium foundation. It is temperature safe to 500 degrees F.
Let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Thank you!

SCANPAN USA Inc
Customer Service Department
10 Industrial Ave
Mahwah NJ 07430
Phone 201 818 2280
FAX    201 818 2295
e-mail:  scanpan@scanpan.com
Internet: http://www.scanpan.com

This email should unequivocally put to rest any questions anyone like myself may have had about whether or not Scanpan is using PTFE as its non-stick coating. Oh, you were right! :laugh:

I did notice a couple interesting, if implied, tidbits of information in Scanpan's reply.

First, apparently the only way you can get a pan on the cooktop over 500F (260C) is if you put it on a burner dry for an extended period of time or by putting it in the oven at the highest heat. This is good news (at least to me). Now I wish I had an infrared thermometer. :hmmm:

Second, Scanpan believes that PTFE only begins to "break down" at temperatures exceeding 660F. However, there are a few threads here on eGullet that have discussed PTFE beginning to break down at temperatures as low as about 330F. While there have not been any studies that have shown that the gasses/particulates that are released at temperatures below 500F actually affect adult humans, they do have an affect on pet birds. Since I have two girls (2 and 5), it makes me wonder if there is any effect for small children.

The above two tidbits should also apply to the Swiss Diamond/NanoPro products.

One thing I did find interesting in the page on teflon that you supplied, was that one of the properties of PTFE is as "an excellent insulator". This means that the heat that is being provided by the cooktop and through the pan, is not reaching the food to cook it... at least not efficiently.

This explains (at least in part) why pro chefs have always told me that "stainless cooks better than non-stick" though they couldn't explain why. While stainless steel has a very poor heat transfer ability (in comparison to other metals), at least it isn't an insulator.

Because of this, I would guess that the thermal conductivity of the diamonds in the PTFE/diamond matrix in the Swiss Diamond/NanoPro products do a lot to overcome the insulating property of PTFE. On the other hand, I do not know how much thermal conductivity is in the ceramic/titanium foundation of the Scanpan products. My bet is that the edge goes to Swiss Diamond/NanoPro. I guess it means that I have one more question to ask Scanpan though... :biggrin:

Scott