I Tried the $18 Nonstick Pan That’s All Over TV — Here’s What I Thought
If you watch TV (ever), you might have had the pleasure of seeing the commercial for the GraniteStone Pan. The commercial is exactly what you’d imagine for an As-Seen-on-TV product: a little obnoxious and over the top, but still pretty convincing. The GraniteStone Pan promises to be “the world’s most durable nonstick pan known to man.” No need for butter or oil and your perfectly cooked fried eggs will still just slide right out of the pan. (The announcer is right: stuck-on eggs ARE a nightmare! No one wants to deal with that mess!)
But wait! There’s more! You can use metal utensils on the surface and even use a mallet to smash small boulders in the pan and it’ll escape unscathed! (Cool demo, guys.) It’s also oven-safe for up to 500 degrees and dishwasher safe. Too good to be true? I certainly thought so. I ordered one and ran some tests.
Test One: GraniteStone Pan vs. Eggs
I started with a fried egg. Again, the directions promise that you don’t need to use any fat, so I just cracked one egg right into the skillet. The pan cooked the egg evenly, without any apparent hot-spots. When the whites had set, and the yolk was still runny, I tilted the skillet towards a plate to let it slip out of the pan … but it didn’t. I grabbed a spatula, loosened the egg, and it easily came out without leaving anything food bits behind.
Next, I wanted to see how it did with an over easy egg. Sadly, it left behind a round spot where the yolk had been. The stuck-on food was, however, easy to clean off. I made another egg, this time with a pat of butter melted in first. The egg slid right out of the pan. And, hey, it tasted a whole lot better, too!
Test Two: GraniteStone Pan vs. The Broiler (& Metal Utensils)
Nonstick pans are generally not high-heat safe, let alone broiler-safe. But this one says it is. I decided to test it on a frittata. I cooked a chopped shallot in a bit of butter, then a handful of spinach and chopped ham. When the spinach had wilted, I added a few lightly beaten eggs and some freshly grated Parm. I stirred it a bit, and when the bottom was set and the top still a bit runny, I put the pan under my broiler until the eggs were set, just a few minutes. To test the claim that metal utensils could be used, I used a knife to cut the frittata in half before seeing if it would slip out of the pan. It did and the skillet looked brand new.
Test Three: GraniteStone Pan vs. Grilled Cheese
My final test? Grilled cheese — and I made sure some cheese was hanging out of the sandwich before putting it in the pan. The cheese melted all over the skillet, and I am happy to report that cheese came off easy, peasy.
My only reservation? The granite is coated with a nonstick surface — but the company doesn’t say what it is. It’s not Teflon (yay!) and doesn’t contain PFOAs, but still, is it totally safe? That aside, I can confirm, this pan does work like a dream (just know that you may want to use a little bit of butter or oil when you cook eggs) and for less than $20 it’s a great deal.
What other As-Seen-on-TV kitchen gear should I test? Leave your requests in the comments below!