Updated: Aug 28, 2021
To Get Rid Of Toxic Chemical
Did you know as a non-stick pan heats up, the Teflon coating will begin to release harmful toxic particles and gases. It is even more toxic when the pan is exposed to high heat since the Teflon will decompose around 260c, generally considered the maximum cooking temperature with Teflon non-stick pans. And if a frying pan can easily and quickly reach the maximum temperature with an everyday cooking range, you may want to reconsider what to keep in your kitchen.
While we tend to dispose of non-stick pans frequently since they are relatively easy to replace, consuming and wasting more natural resources over time, as a reminder, before trashing the next non-stick pan, please check your local recycling guide on how to dispose of it properly.
Lets start reviewing safer and more eco-friendly alternatives, starting with the Wrought iron pans.
Things to consider before buying an iron pan
Where the iron is from – look for quality iron produced safely, sustainably and ethically
Weight and size of the pan – consider who you cook for, and if storage spaces are limited, you want to have one pan that will be your workhorse. Avoid heavy pans if you cook a lot, saving your wrist from fatigue. In general, 26cm for a family of 4 – plenty of space to make scrambled eggs and breakfast sausages separately. 22cm is my go-to size since I cook many small dishes each meal.
Seasoned or Raw – Important! If this is your first iron pan, highly recommending a pre-seasoned pan; Having said that, even if you are confident with the seasoning process, having the factory pre-seasoning can be a valuable feature to save you time and energy. *Seasoning is the process of creating a natural coating on the pan that keeps your pan from sticking. This coating is 100% natural which you can repair by using the pan for cooking regularly.
Oven-ready and seamless – I choose a pan that can fit into a standard oven, and seamless (one-piece) is easier to clean, without food scraps in gaps.
Cast Iron vs Wrought Iron
What is the Difference? Cast iron is brittle, formed by smelting iron ore, then poured into moulds and allowed to cool and solidify.
Wrought Iron has lower carbon content making it more malleable, allowing it to be heated and reheated, then tooled to create the shape. These enable wrought iron cookware producers such as Solidteknics to make pans lighter, more ductile, and easier to handle.
The AUS-ION made with Australian Wrought iron
The golden hue "Satin" pan is attractive and definitely of quality. The initially bright colour will get darker as the natural seasoning starts to build up. You want the pan to get darker because the non-stick property will get better as the seasoning builds.
The shape of the pan is balanced – handles just long enough to lift the pan easily and fit into a regular kitchen oven. There is a design feature on the end of the handle, and a hanging hole cut out to the shape of the Australian coastline. Since the "hole" is not perfectly round, the pan will hang unevenly on a hook. Design details around the cutout indicate the manufacturing date, and a little arrow pointing to the location where they made the pan. There are cutout holes on the other side of the handle to help dissipate the heat before it builds up and transfers to your palm. Many commercial chefs and online reviewers praise this feature, and the ergonomic handle stayed cool even when they use the super hot pan for meat searing.
The pan sides are flared just right for pouring and frying. Although the pan does not include a lid, you can easily find a matching lid as these pans come in standard 22/26/28cm size.
Great, it has neat design features, but does it cook as good as cast iron?
Since it is lighter in weight, some people doubt it will hold the heat as good as its heavier cast iron cousin. We don't find this the case; the pan gets hot quickly and evenly until the pan surface is smoking. The AUS-ION is a high-performance pan, it did not show signs of hotspots thanks to its one-piece structure, and the food is cooked evenly under high heat. We also find the pan holds heat quite well.
Cleaning and Seasoning!
The AUS-ION frying pans are of different materials to cast iron pans we have used; however, it requires the same attention. One should season and care for the wrought iron pans like cast iron pans to ensure performance and longevity.
The seasoning instructions are top notched. The manufacturers made detailed step by step instructions online, supported with videos. Still, the process of seasoning may cause a lot of smoke and will need to leave windows open and smoke vents on. You can only hand-wash the wrought iron pans and avoid using soaps. If the seasoning is done correctly, the non-stick property should not make cleaning too tricky or too much effort. The pans are designed for everyday home cooking or in any demanding commercial kitchen.
What we like about the pan,
- One-piece, lightweight, ergonomic design for all types of cooking
- Lightweight makes a perfect pan for outdoor cooking, camping.
- A safe, all-natural seasoning that is sustainable
- Excellent guide and information to season and maintain the pan.
- No-time limit warranty
- It is expensive. Buy once and use it forever.
- Pan lid is sold separately.
- The product is not dishwasher safe. To protect the seasoning, you worked so hard to build
- If you are new to seasoning, this will be a show-stopper.
Are other cast iron pans as good?
Many cast iron pans share similarities to the AUS-ION pans. The cast-iron pans are lower-cost alternatives to the AUS-ION, and Amazon has excellent budget deals. There are many reviews and comparisons done on the wrought iron pan and other pans,
Here one reviewer compared the usage, weight and durability of a Lodge cast iron.
Cast iron pans are great, and many families will have one to pass on as a tradition. They are cumbersome, can shatter if dropped on a hard surface, takes a long time to cool, and handles get hot, rendering the maintenance of cast iron wares are a cumbersome chore, especially after a full day of cooking.
It is an expensive pan comparing to chemically treated non-stick or other cast iron pans, say Lodge. But the no-time limit warranty made this pan a great addition to any family who wants to spend less and consumes less over time. It is an excellent choice for campers or outdoor chefs as the weight makes it easy to carry around. Also, if you value a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable lifestyle, this pan is a winner over other pans. I hope you will find this review helpful to your journey in finding the ultimate pan.
To be more sustainable, Solidteknics decided to made these locally in USA, with local wrought iron. Now, here in Hong Kong, we may enjoy the free shipping from Amazon Prime. *The darker finishing is extra seasoning done by the manufacturer for the US market.
Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.