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Nonstick frying pan


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#1 OliverB

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:22 AM

I did not find a prior discussion about this topic, if it exists please merge.

Anyway, I want to buy a nonstick pan for my mother in law for Christmas. She asked for one of the new "green" ones, though I've read a pretty bad test about them in Cooks Illustrated. I used to have a really cheap one from Safeway for years, eventually it had to be replaced. I first got a calphalon but it was scratched out of the box - as were all others in the store, there was a sharp metal fold where the metal ring around the glass lid was joined, scratching the coating off.

So I went and bought an All Clad, for about twice as much money. I'm more or less happy with it, it could be more nonstick than it is, and I really don't like the handle.

What's your favorite? I don't want to spend $200 and it seems unnecessary. The miserable quality of the calphalon makes me hesitant to look at any of their new ones. There are surlatable branded ones, Williams Sonoma, etc, I'd be looking for some recommendations. It should work especially well with eggs.

Thanks!
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#2 JAZ

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:40 AM

I've used several brands and by far the best I've found is Swiss Diamond for non-stick. It's very durable (it can go in the dishwasher with great results) and is not too expensive. I've used mine constantly for several years and it's still in great shape.

#3 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:41 AM

Over your budget and out of production, but you can still find Mauviel 2mm copper nonstick frypans from what was called the "Cuprinox Style" line out there in stock, if you hunt. I've had one for ten years now, and it's still an excellent pan. The nonstick surface has held up well even for tasks like searing fish at relatively high temperatures, it's got just the right slope for flipping an omelet over on itself, and of course the heat distribution is very even. It will need recoating eventually, but I figure that as with cookware that needs to be retinned, it's worth recoating a $200 pan, while it may not be worth recoating a $100 pan or a $60 pan.

#4 emmalish

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:49 AM

I have a couple of the cuisinart non-stick hard anodized pans and I love them. They claim you can use regular tools & cutlery with them, and I have used a fork in them a couple times with no issues. Not super expensive either.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#5 Joe Blowe

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:20 PM

I continue to stick by my Teflon mantra: Buy cheap, replace often.

I know there are those who are very satisfied with their high-end non-stick cookware; but I continue to buy my non-stick pans at TJMaxx/HomeGoods for 15 bucks or so, and toss 'em in the recycle bin when they reach the end of their useful life. That's approximately every 3 to 5 years, but I have some other "cheap" Teflon pans that are pushing 15 years old (they just don't get used all that often).

To date, I still have not exceeded the cost of buying just one $80~100 high-end non-stick pan, and I'm not sure when I will.

Just one man's opinion/experience...
So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

#6 OliverB

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:23 PM

thanks so far! I've seen ads for the swiss diamond ones, great to hear they seem to hold up to what they promise! Cuisinart is also a good brand, I'd never use a metal tool no matter what they say (well, aside of a spoon or the above mentioned fork maybe) but it's good to hear you're happy with them. How non-stick are they with eggs?
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#7 NancyH

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:28 PM

Go to your local restaurant supply store. You will get good quality at a fair price, and when it goes, you replace it.
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#8 emmalish

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 12:36 PM

How non-stick are they with eggs?

I've never had anything stick, except a bit around the rivets, but even that cleans up easily. I also love that the lids are clear so you can see what's happening inside. And they're oven safe to... 400°? ish? Can't remember off-hand, but higher than I've ever needed.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#9 mgaretz

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 01:26 PM

I really like my All-clad non-stick pans - Williams-Sonoma has some great deals on the stainless non-stick sauté pans.

#10 OliverB

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 01:40 PM

didn't think of restaurant supply store, interesting idea! I'll have to see where there is one in the area.

I have an all clad, and while it works fine I thing who ever designed the handle on that thing was insane or held a grudge against cooks. Most uncomfortable thing ever to hold a heavy pan with. Wish I could at least just turn it upside down. Still, might give them an other look to compare.
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#11 paulraphael

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:18 PM

Complete waste of money to spend more than $30 on a nonstick pan. No matter what the marketing literature says, they are all disposable. Some coatings will last longer than others, but the diminishing returns are enormous. Even coatings guaranteed to last a lifetime will only keep their performance for a little longer than cheap coatings.

The only possible exception is to buy an expensive pan at Williams Sonoma, and ask them to replace it whenever it starts sticking (3 to 18 months for a pan that you use a lot). They'll do it ... this might be the policy that justifies their existence!

The other reasonable options are a standard commercial pan from a restaurant store, or one of the frequent closeouts from Amazon. Ferinstance, got non stick Calphalon crepe pan for $27 (just a bit more than a commercial pan). Stumbled onto it ... the regular price was about three times that and completely foolish.

Edited by paulraphael, 10 December 2009 - 02:18 PM.


#12 cbread

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 03:06 PM

I continue to stick by my Teflon mantra: Buy cheap, replace often.

I agree. I've found in an area supermarket a really useful and really cheap non stick pan with high rounded sides, something of a blend between a frypan, a sauteuse, and a wok. They have a very thick aluminum body so they heat evenly. What with the high walls, they are a bit clownish looking, but so easy to work in that I bought a second as a spare. At the price, it seemed stupid not to get the second, since they are rarely on the shelf. Usually, thinner pans are all that I can find.

#13 paulraphael

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 05:53 PM

These are standard. The same store has no-name pans for even less.

#14 OliverB

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 06:28 PM

thanks for the link to the restaurant supply store! There's one out here in Oakland too I think, see if I can swing over there, would be fun to browse :laugh:
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#15 JAZ

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:50 PM

I continue to stick by my Teflon mantra: Buy cheap, replace often.

That's certainly one option. I personally think that purposely buying cookware to throw away in a couple of months or even years isn't very ecologically sound. I'd rather buy something that will last.

#16 CaliPoutine

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:07 PM

I really like my All-clad non-stick pans - Williams-Sonoma has some great deals on the stainless non-stick sauté pans.



I agree. I have an All-Clad 12" covered non-stick that I got for 89.99 at WS. I use it almost everyday. Its still in excellent shape and if anything every happens to it, WS will take it back, no problem.

#17 Katie Meadow

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:07 PM

Oliver, a friend of mine who used to be a professional chef likes the Lincoln line of non-stick skillets. East Bay Restaurant Supply in Oakland carries them.

#18 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:53 AM

Also check Costco and Sam's. I bought two at Sam's for less than $20 the pair about five years ago. Other than that, restaurant supply houses, as others have suggested.

#19 OliverB

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:55 AM

did not know CostCo has those, I'm heading there today and will see if they are in stock, thanks! I want to go to the place in Oakland too someday, just not sure I'll make it over there before xmas.
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#20 Octaveman

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:14 AM

I recently did some asking around and looking around on the internet for a good omelette pan. The majority of the restuarant quality pans appear to be pretty much the same. I mean, how many ways can you make an aluminum non-stick frying pan? I considered DeBuyer Choc, Paderno by World Cuisine, Swiss Diamond, Scanpan as well as just going back to the local Asian shops to pick up a $10 pan. Problem with the latter is while inexpensive and disposable they are incredibly cheaply made. The last two I bought both warped within a month and wouldn't sit flat on the burner. People seem to be so focused on the non-stick coating but forget about the basic pan quality which can vary with price. At 4mm thick they should be sturdy. So, while I do subscribe to the buy cheap philosophy for non-stick pans I won't be going THAT cheap anymore.

I will be giving the Paderno a try and see how that goes. Below is the least costly place I found for them. I would also like to try the DeBuyer Choc pans some day too as I LOVE my black steel pan.

http://www.culinaryk...frying-pan.html

http://www.debuyer.c...kground=orange2

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#21 Joe Blowe

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:38 AM

So, while I do subscribe to the buy cheap philosophy for non-stick pans I won't be going THAT cheap anymore.

That is why when I do need to buy a pan, I go to TJMaxx, HomeGoods, or the like. Almost without fail, I'll find a $40 or $50 pan marked down to $15 or less. Maybe it's because it's a discontinued line, maybe the exterior is scratched, or maybe it's because the color is a bit unsavory. But these are generally very well made pans that cost quite a bit more in department stores (or even online).

And, I have no response to those who think it might be ecologically unsound to buy one of these "cheap" pans, use it for 3 to 5 years (or more), and then toss said pan into the RECYCLE BIN at the end of its useful life. :rolleyes: No response at all. :biggrin:

ETA: Octaveman, I've seen both Paderno AND deBuyer for sale at HomeGoods (which is owned by TJMaxx), and they were priced very reasonably. I haven't seen 'em there that often, but that's why you're supposed to hit those stores often!

http://www.homegoods...r Town&x=6&y=10
 

Edited by Joe Blowe, 11 December 2009 - 09:49 AM.

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

#22 OliverB

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:08 PM

anybody have experience with Tramontina? They did not have lincoln at Costco, but I bought a set of 3 different sized ones by Tramontina. They had a set out, seems good quality from the looks and feel. Rubberized handle, dishwasher safe, enamel outside and eterna non stick coating, feels nice and slick. $24 for the set. I figured it's Costco, if they don't work well I can return them, I'm there at least once a month for diapers. But if somebody had a bad experience with them I'll just put the box right back in the car and get something else. Was the only set where they offered only pans, all the rest was 12 piece pot sets etc. (love how they count lids as "pieces" in those sets...)

(also got 3 wonderful top sirloin USDA prime steaks for $2.69/lb, less than $9 for the entire package! Crazy cheap)
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#23 Octaveman

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 03:57 PM

Thanks Joe for the tip. Hard to go down much further than the $18-$25 cost on the Paderno link I referenced but you never know I guess. There's a TJ a few miles from our house so I'll check them out. Homegoods is a little further away but if I find myself in the area I'll be sure to check it out.

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#24 paulraphael

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 04:29 PM

That's certainly one option. I personally think that purposely buying cookware to throw away in a couple of months or even years isn't very ecologically sound. I'd rather buy something that will last.


That's a respectable philosophy, too, but it means not buying nonstick pans. Or at least, using them only for things that require nonstick (eggs ... and even here, "require" is an exaggeration ... people cooked eggs pretty well for centuries without teflon).

The point is that even the megabucks nonstick pans are disposable. The expensive ones often have coatings that won't flake off, but they all lose their magic powers. None of them lasts through much use, even when cared for.

#25 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 06:06 PM

My Mauviel nonstick is still nonstick after ten years. I use it mainly for things that benefit from a nonstick pan, but occasionally for other things, and only with wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils, and I've never burned it. I'd made a point of never buying a nonstick pan for the years I lived with room mates, and then when I ended that situation, I decided to splurge and get something really nice. I've accumulated a fair amount of heavy copperware waiting for sales, closeouts, and second-hand deals, but this was the only piece I think I bought at the full retail price.

People who are using the Swiss Nano pans also report good durability for at least four years, which is how long that thread has been going on-- http://forums.egulle...ng-on-diamonds/

And then a high end pan is worth recoating. Some manufacturers offer this service for their own cookware, and there are services that recoat pans for operations like bread factories. It seems that if one is willing to consider a pan worth repairing, then a high end pan can be used more or less indefinitely.

I'm not sure what is under the nonstick surface of my Mauviel pan, but if for some reason recoating is not an option when the time comes, there are alternatives. It may be the same stainless steel surface that is on the standard version of the same pan, in which case I could just remove the teflon and have a perfectly fine pan. I doubt it's plain copper, but in that case, I could have it tinned. If it's something like an unfinished stainless steel surface, then maybe it would need to be buffed out.

Of course, restaurants are turning out food across the entire range of quality largely on cheap and often warped and battered aluminum pans, so there is no need to spend a great deal of money on cookware, but I figure I'm in this for the long term, and my cookware may be in this for a longer term than I am, so I'd rather amortize the value of an excellent pan over many years and enjoy using it than replace a series of mediocre pans every couple of years.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb, 11 December 2009 - 07:02 PM.


#26 paulraphael

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:12 PM

Technically, my nonstick pan has lasted over five years. But I rarely use it, since I hardly ever do egg cookery. I used to use it for flaky fish; then I learned correct sauté technique for fragile proteins and just do all that on stainless now. Things better on non-teflon surfaces. And you can make pan sauces.

I don't believe there's a nonstick surface that can be used daily (even with perfect care) and maintain its performance. People often think they do, but side-by-side comparisons with a new pan are usually night and day. Maybe some innovations have snuck under my radar, but to my knowledge everything is either some flavor of PTFE (with different kinds of technologies and marketing buzzwords bonding it to the pan), or something that's less nonstick that PTFE in the first place.