If you know me, then you know I was going to go right for the good stuff to get this blog started. For all these posts, I am writing as an industry person — not based on my role at Whitford. While some of you may think that is difficult to impossible, you can take the girl out of product development but, well you know the rest.
Every time a new product or new technology comes out, I immediately go into product development mode. Going through the “checklist” of questions I always ask when I work on a project. Everything from stem to stern. For these new ceramic coatings some of my initial questions were: What is the real release-life of these products? What kind of warranties will they/should they carry? How will dishwasher and broiler exposure impact them? And so on.
As we have all experienced, with a customer, it is often the answers to the “unknowns” — questions we haven’t encountered on other products before — that can be just what sets off the demise of a product. And there seem to be a lot of unknowns with ceramic coatings right now. It is what makes this new category so interesting to watch evolve.
I have been testing a white ceramic pan in my kitchen for a few weeks now. The performance is good. I know some people may not believe I am saying this, but I like it – I don’t love it like my 18-year old Tools of the Trade double griddle or my 8-year old Cuisinart 14”fry pan — but it has worked fine so far – so no complaints. (FYI – just for reference purposes, my double griddle is coated in Excalibur® – a pan I worked on in my Macy days and my Cuisinart pan used QuanTanium® – a gift from a friend.)
Now, a big part of why I like it is probably in part because of the pan’s construction (it’s a Bialetti pan – really well designed), plus it was sent to me for my input on how it works, so there was no investment on my part – and these two factors definitely have an impact.
After using it twice a week for several weeks now, I do notice a decline in the release life. But the release is still acceptable — for now. But that really draws my attention to that topic – what is the real release life of these new coatings? Now knowing what I know about coatings, and knowing why it is happening, helps me personally understand what is going on with the coating – but how will the consumer react? What is their expectation and how will they respond if the expectation is not met?
Lastly, my other concern is that I still can’t get past seeing certain foodstuffs cooking on the white nonstick, like sautéed mushrooms – it isn’t pretty.
Are we really ready to cook on white? Are consumers ready for this? Does anyone know of any studies done on this topic?
Other than that, I think it will be extremely interesting to see what happens next and be a part of the market process for this product.
I would love to know what others think of ceramic coatings – from all around the world — personally and professionally. Feel free to weigh in.