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Stove-Top Finishing of Fish Cooked Sous Vide


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Is there such a thing as a non-stick pan that can be used on high heat?

 

In particular, I'm thinking of a pan that can be used for pan-frying sous-vided fish. I find that if I only need 30-45 sec of pan-frying on one side for the fish to brown without cooking it through (since it's already cooked). However, at that point the fish hasn't yet released from my cast iron pan.

 

Or maybe this is an issue with my technique? I do my best to heat the oil as much as possible (I use a laser thermometer, and wait until the oil is in the 400Fs), and dry the fish with paper towels as well as I can. 

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Calphalon says that their Unison line is good to 500-degrees.  I've been very happy with my Calphalon non-stick skillets ... just the other day I seared some chicken breasts and before that pan-seared a stead with good crust.

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 ... Shel


 

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I have one of the "Green Pan" high temp fry pans - from Bed, Bath and Beyond - cheap too.

 

It works beautifully for high temp searing -  but I've been using it for sticky stuff like French toast with a sugar coating on one side - it caramelizes nicely and very quickly.

 

It also works amazing well for crepes - I made some this morning - much better than my "regular" crepe pans - I can even flip the crepes so they don't tear when turning them.  They just slide easily in the pan.

 

It says not for induction cook tops but I have one of the Burton induction plates for my induction burner and the skillet works just fine with it.  However I generally use it on the high output gas burner (18,000 BTU) on my stove top.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thank you Shel_B.

 

I was looking at the nonstick Lecreuset pans, and although they say that they're safe to 500F in the oven, they still say not to use it in high heat on the stove. They say medium-high max for preheating, and then lower. But I think that keeping the high heat would result in a temperature higher than 500F, so maybe all they're saying is that the temperature should really be kept below 500F, regardless of the cooking medium.

 

The Calphalon Unison instructions don't say anything special about stove heat, they just say they're safe to 500F in the oven. I assume the stove instructions would be the same as Lecreuset.

 

One difference between the two is that the Lecreuset is broiler safe and the Calphalon is not. However, the Calphalon says the nonstick coating is PFOA free, and the Lecreuset does not. Just emailed their customer service and will report back.

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Thanks andiesenji. I read previous reviews of the ceramic Green Pans saying that they don't maintain the non-stick properties. Are you not seeing that? How long have you had it?

Have you tried it to pan-fry fish? 

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I eat very little fish because I can't have ocean fish - and don't get that many fresh water ones that are acceptable to me.

I don't recall if I used it for trout but may have.

 

I did use it for high heat searing of thinly sliced strips of goat meat for a Mexican dish - the meat has to be seared quickly, otherwise is very tough - the alternative is long, slow braising. 

It did not stick at all, even with no grease in the pan.  I've had the green pan for almost a year and it is still completly not-stick - eggs just slip about in the pan and that actually makes them difficult to turn so I just drip in a little water and clap on a cover that fits down into the pan and let the eggs "baste" so I don't have to turn them. 

The thing is that these are so inexpensive that I would just toss this one and buy another if the non-stick properties fail.

It's half the price of the Le Creuset and in my opinion is better. 

 

P.S. There are different manufacturers of the "Green" pans.  The one that was sold via HSN or tv promotions is not the same as the Lima line.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm a fan of Swiss Diamond for non-stick cookware.  (That's all they make so they had better be good at it.)  I use them for everything non-stick including pan searing SV salmon.  No BPA issues.  Only down side is their "standard" line is not induction compatible.

 

Or you could season a de Buyer well and have a lifetime pan...

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The green pans (clearly IMO) are garbage...you get what you pay for, which is about 6 months of non stick cooking, then it all goes down the drain.

 

First I've heard of Swiss Diamond, will look into these further, curious what others suggest as well for a high quality non stick pan that can deal with high temps (Wolf ranges get mighty feisty)

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What temperature can the Pro-HG be heated to? I can't find this information on their site.

How are they different from ceramic cookware?

 

I don't have the original information anymore, but it was at least 550 F. The coating is a cobalt-ceramic combination. I routinely use them on my 16K BTU burner with no problems.

 

When my DW and I purchased this cookware, it was my DW who really wanted me to have them since I am a "high heat" cook . She constantly worried about the heat when I was using Teflon non-stick pans. She also liked (because it's something which I am big on) that they are NSF registered (has to do with being able to be sanitized to health department standards).

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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But you'll notice that the OP was interested in a pan that could be used to brown sous vide fish - already cooked.  Waiting for the fish to release will result in overcooked fish.  

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I guess I find that fish sears so quickly that a 'regular' non stick pan works for me.

once the oil hits 350 or so you are already 'frying' and really, what oil are you using that will work at 500F???

 

alternatively though, if you're trying to crisp skin, for example, have you tried the Searzall, or just a torch?

 

that seems to me a better answer than trying to heat a pan to 500

Edited by weedy (log)
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Replying to some of the last few comments: 

 

I am using avocado oil, which works up to 500F. I try to keep the oil as hot as possible without actually reaching 500F. If I keep it in the 400Fs, I can achieve a really nice brown surface in 30 seconds or so (except some bits of fish stick to the pan).

 

True, no fish *needs* sous vide. In fact, I prefer to pan-fry thinner fish such as trout, and I can achieve a nice golden crust without sticking. But I think that thicker fish benefits from sous viding followed by a quick sear. The interior stays more moist, and the browning is still there.

 

I have tried to use a torch to brown the fish, but it didn't work for me. Instead of the nice golden crust that I'm looking for, I got black bits scattered throughout the top of the fish. This may be a problem with my technique, but I'm hesitant to try it again until I understand what I should be doing differently. 

 

It seems like opinions about the Green Pan are polarized. They're so cheap that I'm tempted to buy a set just to form my own opinion. I like the fact that they are safe to accidental heating up to 850F.

LeCreuset contains PFOA, so they are out for me. Calphalon and Swiss Diamond contain PTFE but no PFOA, so they are still an option. They both say that they are safe to 500F, above that temperature the non-stick surface will likely start peeling.

 

So many options to consider. Thank you everyone for sharing your experience.

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