SharkNinja Faces Heat Over Temperature and Non-Stick Claims

In 1985, Bon Jovi released their second studio album, 7800° Fahrenheit. As a good New Jersey resident with good taste in music, I bought the album. I remember learning that the title supposedly referred to the melting point of rock, though I don’t remember if I ever attempted to verify that fact. (I also don’t remember how people verified facts before the advent of the internet.)

About 35 years later, SharkNinja released a line of cookware that is purportedly manufactured at 30,000° Fahrenheit. New Jersey resident Patricia Brown purchased two of the pans. She later used the internet to attempt to verify the claims and learned that 30,000° F is three times the surface temperature of the sun and that the melting point of aluminum is 1,220° F. That made her suspicious.

You may ask – as eventually did Ms. Brown – why you’d buy a pan with maximum manufacturing temperature of 30,000° F when you could buy one with a maximum manufacturing temperature of 900° F for less money. SharkNinja has an answer: the difference is in the degrees,” and unlike cookware that is manufactured at cooler temperatures, theirs never sticks, chips, or flakes.”

(You may also ask – as immediately did I – whether you could use a SharkNinja pan to melt rocks. SharkNinja has an answer to that, too: the pan is only oven safe to 500° F,” so probably not. In that case, it’s best to leave melting rocks to professionals, like Jon and the band.)

Ms. Brown filed a lawsuit arguing that SharkNinja’s claims are false and that the claims violate (a) the laws of New Jersey and (b) the laws of physics and thermodynamics.” (Only the former have a private right of action.) In support of her allegations, Ms. Brown cites a 2021 case in which NAD reviewed SharkNinja’s never stick” claims. The temperature claims weren’t part of the challenge.

NAD had several concerns with the company’s test methodology. For example, SharkNinja only conducted tests with one food: scrambled eggs. NAD determined that SharkNinja did not provide sufficient support that scrambled eggs are representative of all the types of foods that consumers typically cook in nonstick pans.” Although NAD didn’t opine on how many foods or variables had to be tested, one was not enough. Accordingly, NAD recommended that SharkNinja drop the comparative claims.

We’ll have to wait to see whether SharkNinja uses the same protocols to support its comparative claims in this lawsuit or whether it has expanded its testing to address NAD’s concerns. It’ll be interesting to see whether the court relies on the 2021 NAD decision when evaluating those tests. It’ll also be interesting to see whether the court delves into the substantiation for the 30,000° Fahrenheit claims. Otherwise, unless Bon Jovi uses that for a new album title, we may never know.