Back in 2012, Hearthware NuWave introduced a line of frying pans called PerfectGreen. Members of the press were offered a skillet to try at home, which I gladly accepted. Obviously I did not write a review immediately, but instead chose to use the pan over a period of time to see if it would perform consistently. Home consumers don’t have the option of using a product for a couple weeks then moving on to the next new brand, so I try to emulate week-in week-out wear and tear.
PerfectGreen Fry Pans
Made from bonded stainless steel with Duralon, a diamond based nano-ceramic non-stick technology, the pans were originally created as a companion tool for the popular NuWave PIC – Precision Induction Cooktop. The Duralon coating is a very hard, natural and safe ceramic material that is long-lasting as well as eco-friendly – free of PTFE, PFOA or any other toxic elements.
The pan base is an almost 1/2″ disk of magnetic stainless steel which allows it to be used on induction surfaces as well as any other cooktop surface. While the base is quite thick, the pan itself is light and easy to maneuver. The 100% metal handle allows the pan to be oven safe even under high heat.
The original PerfectGreen skillets had a green non-stick interior but now come with a more stylish bronze color. This is simply a stylistic change and has nothing to do with the actual performance of the pan or coating. One of the recent developments in non-stick surface technology is the ability to change the surface color. I have seen non-stick surfaces of white, red, green, etc. in place of the old charcoal or black surface with which you are most familiar.
The press were given an 8-inch “omelet” pan, but PerfectGreen is sold in 9, 10.5 and 11.5-inch sizes; each skillet has an optional glass lid available for purchase.
There is also a 10-piece set which includes a 7.5qt stock pot, a 3.5qt braiser style pan and saucepans in 3qt, 2 qt and 1.5qt sizes, all with matching tempered glass lids.
All are very affordable, with skillets priced at $29.97, $39.99 and $49.98 respectively and the set selling for $199.95.
The only place to buy these pans is on the NuWave website, look under the Parts & Accessories category.
Now to address the actual performance of PerfectGreen pans, the real reason you are reading this article.
I used this small skillet to cook all manner of eggs (fried, over-easy, scrambled and omelet), sausage, chicken breasts, and fish – quite literally anything that would fit in the 8″ space.
The thick stainless steel base is a very efficient distributor able to bring the pan to temperature quickly and maintain that heat consistently throughout the cooking process.
In head-to-head competition with several other non-stick pans, PerfectGreen consistently reached cooking temperatures faster. Food was ready to eat in less time and thus used less energy to cook the food.
Tests against a leading Ceramic Cast Aluminum pan:
- 325 F
PerfectGreen – 2:20 – 2:35 minutes
Ceramic Cast Aluminum pans – 4:20 – 4:35 minutes
- 425 F
PerfectGreen – 6:40 – 7:00 minutes
Ceramic Cast Aluminum pans – 9:40 – 10:00 minutes
At the outset, PerfectGreen performed just as you see demonstrated on TV or at trade shows. No oil or fat is required for eggs or other foods to cook and just slide right off the surface like it was waxed.
However as time passed, the surface became less and less non-stick. I would estimate that under regular usage you would notice this performance slip in 4-8 weeks. It’s not that it completely loses its non-stick ability but it performs more like an uncoated surface, meaning that you need to use some form of oil or fat to achieve an acceptable non-stick performance while also managing your pan temperatures very closely.
In the ongoing head-to-head competitions against other coatings under identical circumstances, even much older pans, the performance paled.
I monitored the temperatures of the competing pans closely throughout using a Laser Probe Digital Thermometer to ensure consistent steady heat.
In this photo eggs were fried over-easy without oil and what you see is the remaining egg stuck on after removing the cooked eggs. The PerfectGreen pan stuck badly and had to be scraped out leaving misshapen and broken eggs. When cleaning up, the stuck on bits needed to be scrubbed to be removed. The much older Ceramic Cast Aluminum pan had no problems with sticking or cleanup.
I don’t like to write negative things about products but I have to be true to you the readers and be honest about my experiences.
I wanted to like this pan but as the most important aspect of a non-stick pan is its ability to not stick, if you are in the market for a new non-stick pan, there are better choices out there even in the same price range.
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