Nonstick pans are not — in any way, shape or form — sexy. They’re convenient, obviously, but unlike cast iron or stainless steel, there’s no passion in a possibly toxic, scratched-to-hell nonstick skillet. And if there’s one thing Americans could stand to be more passionate about, it’s home cooking.
The Stingray collection, currently 270% funded on Kickstarter, is here to rectify that.
The new nonstick contender is from Edge of Belgravia, a London-based kitchenware company that holds the record for the most-backed knife Kickstarter in history. We’ve tested (and been impressed by) their wares before, so we got our hands on a Stingray to see if their cooking prowess extends to the stove.
First off, what pushed this pan to almost triple its original funding goal? The answer is twofold: sexy design and a brand-new nonstick formula.
As the name suggests, the shape takes after the aquatic creatures with a larger-than-average cooking surface and sharp handle. But previous backers of Edge of Belgravia’s campaigns will recognize throwback elements; the lightning-bolt shaped handle draws from the ergonomic Shiroi Hana knives and the double-hexagon pan is a riff on the Teak Star cutting boards. It won silver at the 2018 International Design Awards and will instantly rank among your most interesting gear in your kitchen.
The brand-new, professional-grade nonstick formula is courtesy of Swiss company ILAG, and the Stingray is the first pan to feature it. ILAG claims it lasts three to five times longer than comparable pans, and offers similar scratch resistance.
But these claims of ergonomic design and best-in-class coating haven’t been thoroughly tested by unbiased parties, so we took it upon ourselves to put the Stingray through the wringer. After a couple weeks of scrambling eggs, flipping coconut pancakes, cooking proteins and reheating leftovers, here are our takeaways:
- The new nonstick formula is seriously slick. The term “nonstick” can seem like a misnomer for some pans because you need a whole stick of butter or half-cup of oil to actually move your food around. Here, you don’t need any help from fats to cook an egg (though you should still use some for flavor). But beware of the superlatives in the video like “longer lasting nonstick effect than any other coating in the market” — that’s misleading since this is a new product.
- Heat distribution is impressively even. Whether cooking multiple small pancakes simultaneously at different points on the pan or one egg directly in the middle, the thick aluminum construction offers cast-iron-like heat distribution.
- Cleaning is mercifully easy. It’s not only scratching that can ruin your nonstick pans, too much dish soap and scrubbing will also wear them away. Part of the beauty of this new coating is that clean up is as carefree as cooking.
- There’s no hole in the handle to hang it. If you hang your pans in the kitchen, you’ll have to skip the Stingray or drill your own hole in the handle.
- You can’t swap in any lid. Because of the hexagonal shape, you won’t be able to cover these with the circular lids of your other pots and pans; you’ll be reliant on the Stingray-specific hexagonal topper for steaming (which isn’t available in all reward packages).
- Pouring is average, not exceptional. The various points around the pan would seemingly make for perfect pouring, but it wasn’t as seamless in practice. (Don’t just take my word for it; in the video below, five seconds after mentioning how well the Stingray pours they include a shot of a round pan pouring perfectly. So there’s that.)
Check out Edge of Belgravia’s full pitch in the Kickstarter video:
We’d recommend pledging at least at the $155 level if you’re interested, because that way you’ll get one glass lid (for the 12-inch pan), along with the actual 12-inch pan, a 10-inch pan and silicone spatula. But there are 8-inch pans available as well, which are available in a few of the nine Kickstarter reward packages. All are set to deliver in November.
As always, the traditional Kickstarter caveats apply. You are helping crowdfund a campaign, not buying a product directly, so back at your own risk.
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