By Mike Szostech Last updated
FYI We are currently testing the Rock Ceramic frying pan and the Rock Ceramic oNatural pans.
The search for the best non stick frying pan Canada. As technology improves, it seems that every few years there’s a new wave of non stick frying pans that come out. It wasn’t too long ago, it was the T-Fal non-stick pans.
As we explained in our write up on the best stainless steel rice cooker available in Canada, we want a frying pan with a chemical free solution to the traditional non-stick coatings as they contain PFOA and other harmful substances – we aren’t fans of chemicals in our food or in our bodies.
But it also has to work – it actually has to keep food from sticking!
Our Instant Pot has a stainless steel inner pot that is relatively easy to clean with a scrub pad, and our rice cooker has a stainless steel inner pot. But stainless steel frying pans really do seem turn things into a mess – like our gluten free pancakes, or eggs!
That’s when we came across a pan at Canadian Tire with ‘The Rock’ finish.
It’s built to mimic the texture of a cast iron pan. With thousands of tiny little bumps and dips, they seem to immediately cook a thin layer of your food, keeping it from sinking down into the dips, which means your food is sitting on top of thousands of tiny bumps – easy to lift out of the pan.
The Rock Tec surface claims to be 50% harder than comparable cookware, and has 40% better scratch and wear resistance too. When compared to other options for the best non stick frying pan Canada, the Rock Tec surface has “3X superior release performance” when compared to other surfaces.
Now it seems that everywhere you look there are pans with The Rock coating (and we really like them). Ninja has now come out with a non stick frying pan that is supposed to be even stronger, and more durable, and more heat resistant than The Rock coated pans.
Since we first wrote this review, there have been a bunch of other best non stick frying pans that have showed up for sale that have similar rock style finishes. Their names vary, but they all indicate the same finish – Rock Tec, Granite Ware, Granite Stone, Rock Finish etc. And, due to the popularity of the rock finishes, some cheaper pans we saw in stores in Canada have a paint pattern that looks like a rock finish – you can tell by feeling the pan surface and, if it’s smooth, it’s painted on.
With the same non-stick Rock coating of our recommendation for the best non stick frying pan Canada, the ceramic coating on this pan makes it completely chemical free - which is why it's called the 'Zero'.
It's only about $5 more than the other Rock frying pans, and it's the only option that is completely chemical free with it's natural ceramic coating.
After being pelted with tiny metal beads, the dimpled surface of this non stick frying pan is coated with a natural ceramic coating that is 100% chemical free. No PFOA, no PTFE, no nickel, no cadmium etc.
Get the best price Starfrit The Rock Ceramic Non Stick Frying Pan in Canada from:
In our experience, the Rock coating makes this the best non stick frying pan Canada. The only downside is if you have a fancy induction cook top this pan will not work for you.
The Rock non-stick fry pan is manufactured with a technology that makes the cooker surface 3 times more durable than regular non-stick pan surfaces. It's also 40% more scratch and wear-resistant and 50% harder than comparable plans!
This 12" non stick frying pan Canada has an extra thick forged aluminum base to provide even heat distribution and prevent warping.
If you can find this non-stick frying pan when it's on sale, Canadian Tire will have it at half the price of other online retailers.
Get the best price Heritage The Rock Non Stick Frying Pan in Canada from:
If you like the look and weight of a stainless steel frying pan, then you might opt for this non stick frying pan from Heritage.
It comes with the same Rock coating as our top choice, but it also has an additional layer of stainless steel on the outside - which does make it cost a little more.
If you have an induction stove, or if you just want a stainless steel pan because you love the way it heats up, or the weight of it in your hand, than this is it.
From Heritage, this Rock Tec non stick frying pan is the same as the cheaper aluminum version, except for it has an extra outer layer of stainless steel.
Get the best price Heritage The Rock Stainless Steel Non Stick Frying Pan in Canada from:
It's still new, so long term tests are impossible to find - but this could be the new best non stick frying pan Canada!
Wanting to get in on the popular non stick frying pan market, Ninja released their Foodi Neverstick series in mid-2020. They tout it as stronger and longer lasting than the competition. Because of this, Ninja says you can use metal utensils in this non-stick frying pan and put it in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
Instead of losing nonstick properties at high stove heat (like traditional non stick frying pans do - which is why they always say to use on a maximum heat of medium-high), the Foodi Neverstick frying pan can survive. That's because Ninja uses a super hot manufacturing process of 30,000°F to apply the non-stick coating. So crank the heat, don't worry!
This non-stick frying pan coating is free of PFOA, PFAS, Cadmium and lead.
Ninja backs their claims with a NeverStick Lifetime Guarantee - which has a curious condition. "When used as directed. Lifetime based on 5 years."
Get the best price Ninja Foodi Neverstick Frying Pan in Canada from:
This Starfrit frying pan always seems to be a little cheaper than the Heritage pans, so if you're on a budget you can still get Rock.Tec coating. Just don't expect these to last as long as the thicker, sturdier versions from other companies.
From Starfrit, this non stick frying pan with Rock.Tec treatment provides superior non-stick performance. Plus, since it's stainless steel it works with induction stoves.
Starfrit says nothing sticks, it never warps, and it lasts longer.
Get the best price Starfrit The Rock Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan in Canada from:
Part non-stick, part indestructible stainless steel, this frying pan lots costs more, but it's backed by a lifetime warranty - and it'll work on an induction stove.
Hexclad has come up with a high-tech way to have the non-stick properties of a more delicate cooking surface and the scratch resistance of stainless steel.
They call it a hybrid pan and it features laser-etched hexagon shapes. The depressions are coated in non stick, and the tiny stainless steel portions are raised up, protecting the non-stick finish from metal utensils.
Get the best price Hexclad Non Stick Hybrid Frying Pan in Canada from:
100% scratch resistant, this hybrid stainless steel/nonstick frypan has the best of both worlds!
The Black Cube texture cooks like stainless steel, but has the benefits of non-stick cleanup. Metal utensils are safe to use and they won't scratch or alter the cooking surface because of the raised, textured, stainless steel pixels.
Get the best price Frieling Black Cube Hybrid Nonstick Fry Pan in Canada from:
If you've always been a T-fal person, you might prefer this new and improved non-stick from T-Fal rather than stepping into new territory of a Rock.Tec pan.
We label this the budget pick, but if the Heritage Rock pans go on sale, they're often cheaper than this T-Fal Titanium pan.
If you've always been a T-fal person, then you might want to check out this improved non-stick finish pan - scratch resistant and PFOA free).
Perfect for everyday use, this frying pan uses T-Fal's best non-stick coating for the ultimate in scratch resistance making it safe for use with metal utensils.
Get the best price T-Fal Titanium Non Stick Frying Pan in Canada from:
What if I have an induction cooktop?
The Rock technology works on gas, electric, ceramic, and halogen stovetops. However, if you have an induction stovetop, you’ll want to make sure you get a frying pan made out of stainless steel and not aluminum (and you can expect to pay a little more).
The good news is that stainless steel pans typically last longer before warping, but with these non-stick pans you’ll likely have a limited lifespan before the non stick properties turn to be only sorta-non-stick.
How long will a Rock Tec pan last?
We loved these so much that we bought 2 different sizes – a large non stick frying pan with a lid, and a smaller one without a lid.
The large one is now about 4 years old, and the coating is not as effective, and the bottom has warped – meaning it takes a really long time to preheat on our ceramic cooktop because only the middle of the pan is making contact with the heating surface.
The smaller non stick frying pan is over a year old now and still looks brand new. We’ve been careful not to use the pan at high temperatures and there are no signs of it warping anytime soon.
How do I care for a non stick frying pan?
Rock Tec surfaces need to be treated just like any other non-stick cooking surface. When cooking, don’t use metal flippers and spoons. Instead, use plastic, bamboo, or silicon scrapers and flippers.
When washing your non stick frying pan, Canada, don’t use scrub pads! If you have food stuck to your pan (stray pieces of egg, little drips of pancake batter etc), let the pan completely cool and then fill with water and let it sit. We have only had to do this for egg that has spilled on the vertical sides of the pan, and soaking only takes a few minutes and the egg can be gently scraped off the best non-stick frying pan with a plastic spoon.
What brand makes the best non stick frying pan Canada?
Since we first wrote this review, there have been a bunch of other non stick frying pans that have showed up for sale that have similar rock style finishes. Their names vary, but they all indicate the same finish – Rock Tec, Granite Ware, Granite Stone, Rock Finish etc.
We still like the Heritage non stick frying pans the best. Some of the other bands are cheaper at normal pricing, but they’re thinner (and lighter, and feel a little cheaper). The thinner base material is what makes a pan heat or cool quickly and can lead to the bottoms warping faster. The Heritage pans have a triple ply thick forged metal base that just gives them a premium feel.
Depending on what you’re willing to spend, or if you are willing to wait for a non stick frying pan to go on sale, then our choice is the Heritage brand available from Canadian Tire and Amazon. We were able to get ours for 75% off, putting them at the same price as the thin-metal based entry level pans.
What’s better – Hybrid style non-stick or rock finish?
The hybrid style pans use laser etching to provide a raised stainless steel finish that, since it is slightly higher than the non-stick finish, protects the non-stick finish from being scratched with utensils or while cleaning.
The rock style finish is a non stick technology that is more durable and PFOA free.
So what makes the best non stick frying pan? It depends…. if you really want your food to cook like you’re using a stainless steel frying pan, then the hybrid style will do that. If you want the best non-stick performance for an entry-level price, then the rock-style non stick frying pan will be your best bet.
This comparison video does a great job of putting the two frying pans against each other. As you can see, the shrimp browns faster in the hybrid pan, and the shrimp doesn’t stick at all but it’s held in place enough you need a flipper.
In the granite rock pan, browning is slower, but the shrimp doesn’t even stay in place allowing you to swish and flip them without a utensil.
Are non stick pans really a health risk?
They seem to be, yes. The original Teflon-style coatings actually release chemicals when heated too high, and can release hydrofluoric acid and a variety of organofluorine compounds that are toxic to humans (and birds!).
Since this was discovered and widely reported, non-stick coatings have stopped using PFTE with PFOA, but the replacement product is turning out to have the same issues. Lab tests on rats have shown that the new chemical causes many of the same health concerns as PFOA (https://theintercept.com/2016/03/03/new-teflon-toxin-causes-cancer-in-lab-animals/).
The granite and rock style non stick frying pan surfaces are blasted with tiny stainless steel balls to harden and add texture to the surface. Then a non-stick coating is applied to the textured surface. To completely avoid all coatings, you can also get ceramic rock tec pans that have a ceramic texturized coating. By using a textured ceramic surface, the non-stick performance is increased above those of smooth ceramic frying pans.
We’ve found information from Starfrit (the company that makes the Rock Tec pans) that the non stick coating does not contain PFOA but still contains PTFE (October 2020 src in the ‘Questions’ tab). For completely chemical free non stick cooking, look for the textured ceramic coatings like the Starfrit Zero pan above.
What about ceramic copper non stick frying pans?
There are a few different copper ceramic frying pans that claim to have superior strength and non-stick properties to the other options. We haven’t personally tested any of these (yet), but here are some things you should know if you’re interested in buying one.
The coatings are not a copper and ceramic combination – the pans have a copper layer, as it’s a better metal for even heating in your best non stick frying pan Canada. On top of the copper layer, a ceramic coating is applied.
The ceramic coatings are strong and durable, and some of the As-Seen-On-TV type infomercials even show an electric mixer being used in pans like the Red Copper non stick frying pan and the Gotham Steel non stick ceramic copper frying pan.
And if you aren’t set on the copper layer, but you’re looking for the best non stick frying pan with a chemical free ceramic coating, check out the nonstick GreenPan Valencia. The FoodNetwork chose GreenPan as the most eco-friendly non stick frying pan. GreenPan uses a diamond infused coating derived from sand so that no toxic fumes are emitted, even if you accidentally overheat the pan.
Here’s an amazing video putting the Red Copper non stick frying pan through the same paces as the TV Infomercial, and they even drive a car over the frying pan.
However, just like any of the best non stick frying pan options, you’ll get more life out of your pan by taking care of it.
That means hand washing (yes, even though the pans are dishwasher safe), and it also means using a silicon, plastic, or wooden utensil instead of the metal ones (yes, even though the pans are metal utensil safe).
Non stick frying pans that are Made in Canada
Paderno is a company that has been around for close to 40 years. They’ve been making cookware and kitchen tools since 1979 when the first Paderno plant opened in 1979 in P.E.I.
In 2017, Canadian Tire purchased Padinox, which is the company that owns Canadian rights to the Paderno brand. This allows Canadian Tire to be the exclusive Paderno retailer.
All manufacturing remained in P.E.I., although now it seems that some of the Paderno non-stick pans are being made overseas. The more expensive, higher-quality stainless steel non-stick pans are still listed on Canadian Tire’s website as being “Proudly made in Canada.”
But are Paderno non-stick frying pans any good? The answer seems to be it depends. There are reviews that say the pans are horrible, and then there are others that love them, but Canadian Tire really lowers the risk with its lifetime warranty.
If you’re interested in buying a Paderno non-stick frying pan Canada, keep these things in mind:
- The Paderno pans carry a lifetime exchange warranty at any Canadian Tire store, but it doesn’t cover wear and tear or damage to the non-stick coating
- These are the typical pans from CanadianTire. Regular price is very high, but if you’re patient, they often go on sale for up to 70% off.
- If you have an induction cooktop, it doesn’t matter. Even the aluminum Paderno non stick pans say they are compatible with induction cook tops (although we aren’t sure how?)
- The pans are listed as being PFOA free, but there is no mention of if they are PTFE free as well