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From low fat recipes, to recipes designed for diabetics, Elaine Magee RD, MPH shares recipes and advice to create healthy meals that are guaranteed to please.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Is the NEW "Green Pan" ™ Worth Trying?
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Photo Credit: Elaine Magee
With the amount of cooking I do, I've blown through quite a few nonstick frying pans in my day. So, the new grey colored non-stick frying pan, called the "Green Pan" caught my eye on a recent shopping trek to Target.

The packaging states that these pans use "THERMOLON" nonstick coating which is PTFE-Free and is manufactured PFOA-free - two chemicals the planet is better off without. It proudly states that it will significantly reduce your carbon footprint! As many things these days, it is made in China but was designed by teams in Belgium and the US.

The first few weeks I was using the GreenPan I was a happy camper (or cooker) but I know enough to know a cook and her pan needs to get past the "honeymoon phase," as I like to call it, to really know if a non-stick pan is going to work out in the long run. I did notice that food seemed to cook faster with the Green Pan which helps cut down on energy use I would think (another way the pan is "green.")

I did some homework on the product website and noticed they did not recommend using cooking sprays, due to the tendency to leave a residue on the pan, so I used a little bit of canola or olive oil (straight from the bottle) when using the pan. Nothing stuck to the surface the first few weeks, but ironically I found the pan really needs a bit of oil to keep the surface "nonstick." As I was going into the second month with the green pan, I noticed that little bits of food started sticking to the pan. Cleaning the pan involved an increasing amount of soaking time and elbow grease and a light brown residue had permanently attached itself to my formerly beautiful and appealing light grey pan.

At this point, a slightly frustrated Elaine combed their product website (www.green-pan.com) for information on cleaning the residue or preventing the residue but came up short. If there was a phone number I would have called it (even if it went to Belgium) anxiously hoping for advice. I really wanted to love this new light grey colored "green" pan!

On the up side, it appears to be recyclable! I will continue to use this pan and see how much farther I get with it but I'm hoping future generations of the "green pan" will have figured out how to resist residue and to stay as nonstick as it did those first glorious few weeks!

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Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 7:30 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Green Pan is out of the mind of that Joy Mangano who has made millions with her so called great inventions in QVC Shopping Channel. I think is overrated as any other consumer knows other options are available for cooking. I worked in a store that going out of business and that pan was one of the last items that sold, even at discounted prices.

Jan 10, 2009 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried making scrambled eggs in this pan. No matter if you use butter, oil, etc. the pan is a mess after cooking the eggs. We had to go out and buy another frying pan just to cook scrambled eggs. Frying an egg is ok, but cooking scrambled eggs just doesn't work in this pan.

Jan 10, 2009 1:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 3 pans and a stock pot. I have been using them for approx 8 months, I love them. I do not have any problems. I ordered mine from QVC. I did read the info that comes with them and did exactly what it said to break them in, I also have the utensel set. I am Happy, would like to have a larger stock pot but I don't think one is available. I have cookded sausage, eggs, gumbo, etc? Happy in Louisiana!!!!!!

Jan 12, 2009 1:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my Green Pans and have thrown all my other "non stick pans" away. Whoever said I couldn't cook,eats their words now! I NEVER had any problem with anything sticking and clean up is a breeze! I ordered them from QVC and in March ordering another set. HAPPY from Lakeside, Arizona (The White Mountains)

Jan 12, 2009 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These pans are not sold on QVC - they are sold through HSN. I purchased them about a year ago and regret every penny spent. They are horrible pans that only worked halfway decent for about 2 1/2 months then forget it. Everything sticks - no matter what I use (oil, butter, etc) and they burn extremely easy! Better just to spend the money on a good set of calphalon pans that back up their warranty. I contacted HSN and the company who puts out the Green Pan and neither would even return my calls, emails, etc. Horrible!!

Jan 13, 2009 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine purchased the green fry pan and liked it a lot...for about 1 month. She too mentioned the pan was quick to discolor and items started sticking to the pan. She is still using it but says she has to use a lot of non-stick spray.

Jan 13, 2009 3:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased my pans from HSN, they are great... I,m using them over 8 months and even put them in the oven. They worked great..One pot was a little scratched on the outside, I called the plant in (I believe it was New Jersey) and they replaced it with no trouble. When you use them make sure you break them in as it is written on the info. sheet they come with.....Happy in Fla. ....

Jan 13, 2009 6:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased my fry pan about 8 months ago from HSN. It has developed a brown residue in the center of the pan about 3 inches wide that does not come out. My suggestion is do not buy any nonstick pan product at all. Stainless steel is the best and most healthy without any question. I always think something else will be better, but get disappointed in the end. Don't buy this pan, because after months of use, it does scratch and does not even seem to heat evenly and is hard to clean the leftover residue on the botom center of the pan.

Jan 15, 2009 4:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eveyone should know that our great ancestors always had it right you can never ever go wrong using cast iron skillets its the best most incrediable way to cook,bake,or fry in.Best way to take care of your man, it takes care of his belly and if he gives you any mouth it will take care of his head also HA HA HA .

Jan 17, 2009 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also purchased the green frying pans from HSN. I hoped it would be the last pans I would need to buy but after just a couple of months they began to stick no matter what I did. I prepared the pans as directed and always used a touch of Olive Oil when cooking. I was very disappointed.

Jan 17, 2009 2:04:00 PM  
Anonymous CWChristianson said...

The original steel Green Pans available at Target or at HSN are not very good more because of the steel quality than the non-stick surface.

HOWEVER, the NEW Anodized Green Pan's from HSN are terrific and going strong after 4 months of service. Make sure to buy only the Anodized Aluminum version of GreenPan and you won't go wrong.

Jan 26, 2009 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from www.green-pan.com under the care and use link at the top:

Food films, if not removed, may cause discoloration on the pan when reheated. If this occurs, simply heat some white vinegar in the pan (avoid breathing the vinegar fumes) and then clean as normal.

Feb 7, 2009 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous roberta said...

Green pan is a poor product. It is NOT non stick, does not hold up and a complete waste of money. I am an
accomplished experienced cook and I followed all the directions precisely-DO NOT BUY Green Pan.

Mar 4, 2009 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased the Cuisinart grill version of the new "green" thermolon surface a few months ago. It is awesome. I use it a few times a week and I am truly impressed by it. A couple of my friends have also purchsed it and love it also. BTW....we are all chefs!

Mar 8, 2009 1:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings... Our green pan, after using a couple of times, started to show some awkward discoloration on the outer layer-nothing seems wrong with inside.

We have a 30 year old standard electric stove with coils.

Does anybody have a discoloration on the outer coating?
We're concerned about how healthy it is to use it this way? Should we stop using it?
any ideas?

Mar 20, 2009 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worst pans I have ever used. Purchased them on HSN during the premier almost 2 years ago. They worked fine for a few weeks--now it is impossible to cook anything in them without it sticking. Every claim made about the pans made on HSN, including the stay-cool handles are false. I call them the stay-CRUEL handles as they burn the heck out of you. MOST frustrating product ever. Cast iron with NO oil in it sticks less than these Green pans. I mean food burns--even at low heat into a mess like I've never seen.

Apr 14, 2009 3:34:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

As a biochemist, I was very interested in these pans from day 1. I even emailed the company in Belgium and received a response from Frans de Vos, one of the founding members of the company. Contrary to popular belief or what she claims, Joy Mangano didn't invent the pans or the coating - she's not that smart but I digress. Frans was very helpful and answer all of my complex questions from a scientific viewpoint which I greatly appreciated. After several conversations over email I was sold.

I've have the entire, original set of black GreenPans from HSN which are obviously not the same quality as the hard anodized because the original were merely aluminum but I love them nonetheless. Because I've had mine a year, I thought I'd share some observations.

1. You have to inspect them carefully before using them. I ordered man sets and individual pieces and a few of them came damaged from the manufacturer but were promptly replaced. (Hint: If you don't mind an exterior scratch, HSN will offer you a 50% refund just for calling up and informing them of the scratch if you choose to keep them). I enjoy displaying my pans so I chose a replacement.

2. Be nice to your pans and don't abuse them. Following the pre-use instructions that tell you to heat them dry and then add a tsp of olive oil and wipe the non-stick coating down with a paper towel and let cool. I did this with both the inside and the outside on each new pan I received. The instructions also say to repeat this process if you wash your pans in the dishwasher as it is an abrasive process. I actually "season" the inside before using the pan as it is a simple process. Step 1: heat dry. Step 2: add a small amount of olive oil. Step 3: Use a paper towel to wipe down the inside. To my knowledge this isn't necessary but I've never had any problems with anything sticking or any films forming.

3. Follow the included instructions/recommendations. You are never supposed to use a cooking spray and you're supposed to let food come to room temperature. Ok so I don't follow that last one but for the first, I have a good quality olive oil in a pump aerosol can. You can get them about anywhere. I'm not talking about aerosol olive oil you buy from the store. I'm talking about the plastic aerosol pump bottles you add your own oil to and you pump by hand to create pressure to spray the oil. Again, olive oil isn't necessary but I like the little bit of added flavor from give the pan a quick spray.

4. If you screw up and don't follow the instructions get rid of the residue you created by heating a little bit of vinegar in the pan as was previously mentioned. Vinegar is merely very dilute acetic acid. Heat it will drive off the water and concentrate it which provides a cleaning/loosening effect for many kinds of residues. I've never had to do this but I'm glad to know it's an option.

5. Treat your GreenPans with care. I consider mine an investment. They're beautiful and I like displaying them in my kitchen so treat them nicely and you should have no issues.

If you're having problems with your pans it's probably because you're not doing one of the things listed above.

May 6, 2009 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, I'm SHOCKED at the negative reviews for the green pan. I LOVE mine!! They have never browned or discolored in anyway and I admit I haven't followed the rules (e.g. I have used non-stick spray). And food NEVER sticks. They are immensely easy to clean. Honestly, I'm the first to complain if something goes wrong but these have been a dream. I don't use any of my other pans and my other pans are of good quality (i.e. expensive, known brands). No other pans I have ever had have measured up to the green pans. I am shocked that others have had problems with them. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mine :)

May 12, 2009 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHA, Hey Mr. Bio Chemist sounds like the same steps for my CAST IRON COOKWARE I have been cooking with for thirty years. If you want to display your cookware buy ALL CLAD that too has the same care as you describe, and is ten times the pan. Pay attention everyone Cast Iron and Aluminium surfaces are the only ones to cook on!!!

May 17, 2009 7:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Removing food and stains: Try the old TIDE stand by: Hot, hot tap water and a couple of tablespoons of Tide POWDER. Let soak, Rinse well. Wash with soapy water. The tide will eat the food enzimes as it does on clothes. Trick was taught to me by a Le Cruiset sellsperson.

Jul 6, 2009 3:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was able to get rid of the brown residue on the inside by using baking soda and water. That takes everything out.....on counters, grime on stoves, bathtub soap scum....EVERYTHING! I use my fingers as tools-no brushes or anything, and it always comes off.
I like the green pan, but wish it were a little bigger on the bottom.

Aug 13, 2009 6:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

I can't imagine what most of you people are doing to these pans! Perhaps too high a heat. I've had mine for well over a year, and NEVER had ANYTHING stick, or leave a residue. I'm fond of cheese omelets in the morning, and they slide right out onto my plate. I simply use a bit of buter or margarine melted in the pan on medium heat before adding the eggs, and the outcome is perfect every time.

Aug 19, 2009 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my green pans. My food cooks faster and stays HOT longer. You have to follow the directions that came with the pans. When it says to preheat your pan, preheat your pan.

I also had some browning on the inside of my large fry pan. I used a little baking soda on my fingertips and rubbed lightly and all discoloration disappeared, along with any tidbits of food. Also do not let your pan cool off completely before wiping it off. If it does reheat just to warm and you should be able to wipe it right out. Your cookware is a major investment. Take a couple of extra minutes and your pans will continue looking and preforming well. If you can't take the time to take care of them. Buy the disposal kind at your local department store.

Aug 19, 2009 1:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AVOID THESE PANS!!! We bought 2 from HSN with lids. I will echo what most have said, they work great for 1-2 months then they fall apart. Everything sticks to them whatever you use. I'm ready to throw these out, they are garbage. We bought these pans in hopes of replacing our old set, and now we went back to our old set and our old set is holding up great. We feel robbed. PLEASE AVOID BUYING THESE PANS!!

Aug 21, 2009 1:22:00 PM  
Blogger JoanieLSpeak said...

I think a huge issue for people using Green Pans is they cook with way to high of heat. I barely cook higher than medium and don't have any problem with my GreenPans. I have no need to fry anything at 700 degrees so I rarely cook on high. I also use cooking spray as well.

Now, I do have a slight browning to the center of my 12 inch frying pan, but it was the only one I bought from Target. I have had my pans for over a year and the rest of the set from HSN looks brand new and works great!

Aug 25, 2009 2:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had my green pans for almost a year now and they are still perfect. I do not cook on high because you do not need to in these pans. Mine have not discolored and are beautiful. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a new non-stick pan.

Sep 16, 2009 7:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Green Pan is fabulous! We've had two in the family for a year or longer and have experienced NO PROBLEMS whatsoever. Bought them at Target.

Sep 25, 2009 8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have had our green pans for over a year. I have used them with all temperatures, even 'overcooked' food in them. I think the big secret to keeping them in good shape is avoiding dishwasher cleaning. Most dishwasher detergents contain bleaching agents which can harm the non-stick finish. It has happened to me in the past so I have never put mine in the dishwasher and we are so very satisfied with them. Simply use mild dish soap and a plastic scrubby for stuck on food. As with anything, if cared for properly, years of great service will result.

Sep 26, 2009 9:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had my green pans for about a year and I love them. Nothing sticks, no discoloring. I will never use anther pan.

Nov 1, 2009 9:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nov 4, 2009 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Nancie said...

I have a glass-top stove and cast iron is not recommended and we all know the potential problems with Teflon.

So when I got this as a gift from my MIL, I was pleasantly surprised that it was as easy to take care of as cast iron, but non-stick like Teflon.

Well, I did burn the pan once, and the bottom was dark, but after a good scrubbing and a few dishes that require an oil - as well as paying closer attention to my cooking - I don't have a problem with it.

My husband on the other hand seems to have a problem with it every time and his eggs always seem to stick, so maybe some of us just have the "touch".

Side note: Lemon oil with baking soda or borax works well in cleaning the stains, but you need to re-season it again. Cook some veggies in some olive oil on medium-low heat, then wipe clean with a paper towel after it becomes just cool enough to handle.

Nov 10, 2009 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger T.W. Day said...

For my birthday last July, my wife bought me a 5-piece set of New York Green Pan cookwear. For the first several months, we were incredibly impressed with the pans, but after a few dozen uses the pans began to lose their non-stick qualities. Now, the pans still appear to be coated and they certainly cook efficiently, but they are as far from being non-stick as are my iron pans.

Nov 29, 2009 3:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the green pans! I have had mine for a year now and they have served me well. I cannot use cast iron any longer, which has always been my first choice because I have arthritis in my hands and am unable to lift the pans. The green pans are lightweight and still non-stick. I use the silicone spatulas to turn food and the surface has never scratched.

Dec 3, 2009 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with my pan...I contacted the company and they e-mailed me a UPS label to return it. It is covered under a warranty and they are supposedly sending me a new pan free of charge. If I get it I will be very excited and will let you know. Hopefully, it will last as long as some others have reported.

Dec 3, 2009 4:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a chef's pan about 8 months ago and have used it for everything from stir-frying to cooking Indian food and making Indian flatbreads. It has worked fine for all of the above and never stuck once. I especially like that it does not retain food smells which has always been my problem with cooking Indian food in non-stick pans. I am definitley going to buy more.

Dec 10, 2009 9:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ADORE my green pans (Target purchase) and have had them for one year now. I refrained from commenting earlier, because I wanted to wait and see if they would lose their non-stick properties. After one year of near-daily usage, including my husband's cooking ;) -both my large and small skillets are still just perfect. They are still so non-stick that eggs, including scrambled with cheese, just slip on our of the pans. I LOVE the performance of this cookware! One year and no end in site for our household, they're great!

Dec 15, 2009 3:13:00 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I agree with all the others who LOVE their pans. You really do have to follow the directions. I've had my pans for almost a year now...use them every day and I'm going to be purchasing more of them next month.

Someone mentioned do not do scrambled eggs in their GreenPans...I cook scrambled eggs all the time with no problems.

As others mentioned, clean your pan out before it gets completely cool or reheat it before you clean it to get it completely clean.

For all the health benefits of using these pans, it's worth any extra effort to take care of the GreenPans.

Jan 13, 2010 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two of these pans. The first one I got from the Martha Stewart collection which is no longer available, through Macy's. In the beginning it was fine but like others who have posted here, now it is essentially worthless.

The second night out from the Home Shopping Network and it's fine. I think there is a difference in the steel, the lightweight ones I suspect are the ones that don't last.

Jan 18, 2010 7:24:00 PM  

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