I’ve never been a huge fan of nonstick pans—why buy a pan that will wear out in a couple of years when cast iron or stainless steel will last forever?—but they certainly have their uses for certain kinds of foods, and Blackbeard’s pans are some of the best I’ve ever tried.
Designed with the help of Michelin-starred chefs, Blackbeard pans combine a tri-ply steel-aluminum-steel construction with a totally unique nonstick cooking surface. A a thin mesh of steel dimples and honeycombs prevents metal utensils from directly scratching the nonstick surface, which Blackbeard claims more than doubles the pan’s lifespan.
They sent me a frying pan to try out, and naturally, I went straight to frying eggs. While the metal mesh did seem to grab onto the whites a bit more than you’d expect in a regular nonstick pan, they still flipped with ease, leaving only a few charred bits behind that wiped right off with a paper towel. On the continuum of cooking on a steel pan vs. cooking on a pure nonstick, the surface behaved much more like the latter, while the pan seemed to heat up nearly as quickly and evenly as my beloved All-Clad.
The company’s first pan was a Kickstarter hit, and is already in backers’ hands. But now, they’re back with the Blackbeard “Armada,” a full line of pans for every type of meal. You can buy one, or buy them all, and you’ll be saving a bunch compared to their expected MSRP once they release this summer.