I think we are all pretty much aware of the term "ceramic", not least as some of you reading this will have a ceramic hob. Pyrex have gone one step further and used this versatile and tough material for their new range of ceramic frying pans.
Before I blind you with science, let me explain why ceramic is so good and why you should definitely consider it when purchasing a new fry pan.
I have to be honest and say that you may need a bit of practice to get used to this form of "non-stick" but please persevere as it will be worth the effort! Keeping the heat low is the key to getting the best out of a ceramic surface - and the beauty is that unlike normal non-stick coatings it will never peel off, is scratch-resistant and will give you great results time after time.
So now onto the science bit I mentioned earlier!
Ceramic pans serve as an option to traditional non stick PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). The ceramic surface is formed during the manufacturing process where extremely high temperatures convert normal glass through something called crystallisation. This gives normal glass a very tough surface, thus offering all the great features as mentioned above. Further to this, the Pyrex frying pan range has the benefit of a double layer of Whitford non-stick ceramic coating just for good measure!
So now you are all clued up about the lining of the pan, what about the rest of the pan itself?
First of all, the pan body is made of a heavy duty forged aluminium ensuring excellent even distribution of heat and preventing "hotspots" which cause food to stick, no matter how good the non-stick surface. The range is suitable for all heat sources, including induction as Pyrex have cleverly added a ferrous disc to the base just to make sure that no-one is disappointed.
If you have read any of my other product test pages on cookware, you will already know that aluminium is very light so even a filled pan won't be hard to pick up.
The pan body is deep so you can do jobs like fry an egg or cook a family sized Bolognese sauce making whatever size you choose to be very versatile. An enamelled outer protects the aluminium, making the pan dishwasher-safe, always a plus.
I particularly liked the soft touch, stay cool, easy grip handles which were very comfortable in the hand. From a safety point of view, I was glad to see that a flame guard ferrule is actually welded to the pan body, then the handle is secured to this with a screw, one of the best ways to attach a handle to a pan.
Each handle has a stainless steel edged hole giving the user the option to hang the cookware if required. They certainly look good enough to keep out on display in my opinion!
Anyone who has ever seen me in store or on TV demonstrating cookware will know that I like to put things through their paces, so I always test by burning on egg and milk. It doesn't smell appetising or look too good but I can tell you, it sorts out the pan from the boy!
So heating the pan up till hot, using no oil or butter, I cracked one egg (one handed - show off!) into the pan and watched amazed that even at such a high temperature after 10 seconds the egg slipped around the pan effortlessly. I continued to cook it until it was completely frazzled, then flipped it over sunny side down style. It still slipped effortless around the pan and even despite being cooked to an inch of its life, the poor egg just waved a white flag and surrendered as it was disappeared into the waste bin. Nothing had stuck to the ceramic surface and I simply wiped it clean with paper towel. Good as new.
Putting the pan through even more distress, I poured in cold milk, brought the pan to a high heat and left the milk undisturbed until it burnt so badly I had to open all the windows and doors to let the smoke out - please don't try this at home!
Using a palette knife, I just lifted up the now solid mass of burnt milk, and flipped it like a pancake! And guess what, no sticking whatsoever and a clean unblemished pan, despite my deliberate abuse. Brilliant.
All I can say is don't hesitate to buy a Pyrex ceramic frying pan - you certainly won't be disappointed.
Pyrex® is a trademark of Corning Incorporated used under license by International Cookware