FOODSTUFF: French toast in a Neoflam pan

dsc_0022.jpg The headline sounds quite dramatic, but actually nothing went up in flames. That line is merely to lure in all kitchen equipment junkies who get hot and sweaty when talk turns to implements… With a few April holidays to manoeuvre around, I never got around to trying out the luminous green Neoflam Ecolon fying pan I was given to test. So when the Merry Muncher decided to make French toast and bacon over the weekend, I handed over the new pan to be put through its paces.

We have a pretty good selection of frying pans in different sizes, thanks to the generosity of friends and a personal preference for quality cookware. My frying choices include a small Bauer pan, an Asian non-stick wok, and a 28cm Le Creuset cast iron pan hauled out when I want to pop the pan contents straight from the stovetop into a hot oven to bake through.

A 28cm GreenPan Oxford hard anodised aluminium pan recently joined this kitchen drawer collection. The non-stick PTFE/PFOA-free surface coating appealed (the eco-friendly bit), alongside a fairly heavy base and a quality stainless steel handle. The pan retails at R600 to R650 and it was money well spent. It feels solid and durable on the stove, fries and cleans like a dream, and no PTFE coating means less carbon dioxide is used in the manufacturing process.

Similar to the GreenPan, the bright green Neoflam frying pan has an Ecolon non-stick coating free of harmful chemicals PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). PTFE and PFOA are associated with releasing noxious gases at high temperatures hence linked to cancers and dodgy illnesses. Most cheap frying pans sold in supermarkets use pressed induction bases that warp or loosen after repeated use, but Neoflam products use cast aluminium. GreenPan, on the other hand, claims to make its aluminium cookware induction-compatible by forging the induction plates on the utensil.

Flavour test: The marked difference with Neoflam pans are the price. GreenPan is a great choice if you can afford it, but Neoflam’s pan appeals to a price-conscious consumer who doesn’t mind bright colours (each pan size is only available in one colour in SA unfortunately. The luminous green pan doesn’t show true colour saturation in my pics - see tevo to get the full effect!). dsc_0014.jpg

A 24cm Neoflam frying pan retails at R280; a 28cm version at R330.

While I prefer a heavier base, we found the Neoflam sits well on a gas stovetop and crisps bacon evenly without burning. It didn’t require any wiping of residue when the French toast went straight in after the fried bacon. It was also a breeze to clean, which scored points with the Merry Muncher later on washing up duty.

I’d happily recommend the Neoflam Ecolon pan to anybody looking to upgrade their cheap warped Teflon job for healthier results, without a big financial outlay. It’s also a good secondary frying pan option for eggs or crepes if you already have one large pan.