I bought this pan with the intention of seeing what abuse it could take, writing off the $10 as the cost of my curiosity. It has been used almost daily for about three months with almost no consideration to the interior coating. I should say that before the first use, I "seasoned" the coating by applying a thin film of pure vegetable shortening and then heating on a middle burner setting for ten minutes. Then I let it cool completely and wiped away any visible shortening.
We have 4 cooks in the house, all of whom have tried to wear this blue jewel down. Yes, we have used metal spoons and spatulas as often as plastic or hi-temp silicon. The lack of scratches from the metal utensils may be due to having only solid stainless ones with any sharp edges ground smooth. It has cooked perk chops, steaks, burgers, chicken, stir-fries, hash browns, omelets, fried eggs, fish sticks, grilled cheese - whatever. Because the aluminum is really quite thin, it heats quickly, and overheats just as quickly. I find setting the burner at 1/3 to 1/2 of the heat I would use for a "good" skillet cooks just as effectively, avoids scorching, and saves energy. But this is a torture test, so when the pan was new and we used the "normal" burner settings, a number of things scorched to black, and some of those stuck. In one case I thought the white ceramic was going to be permanently stained, but I put a paste of Bon Ami powdered cleanser on it for about 15 minutes, applied a little elbow grease and the pan looked brand new again. Anytime the pan needed more than a wipe to clean it, it has been re-seasoned with the shortening.
For all of the abuse visited upon this pan, the only damage has been to the pretty blue exterior.
Tips for happiness with this line of cookware are:
1) Get some Bon Ami so you can scour it without scratching it.
2) Season the surface lightly when you give it a strong cleaning.
3) Save energy by keeping the burner setting low. I now own 5 pans with the white ceramic interior coating. All are the same thin, cheap, energy-saving aluminum construction. Handled properly, they are an excellent value.
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