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blbst36

Non-stick pan suggestions

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Posted (edited)

Hi, I am looking for a non-stick pan.  I have cast iron, but I have two sizes - small and large.  I don't want another cast iron, because, quite frankly, I hate cleaning them.  I have a full set of stainless steel from all clad that I love, but sometimes, I just want the ease of a non-stick.  

 

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.  I didn't see a thread other than one that was discussing whether or not non-stick is bad.  I'm not interested in that.  

 

Thanks!

 

ETA: My stove is electric (if that makes a difference in recommendations)


Edited by blbst36 Clarifying cook surface (log)

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There's this recommendation:

 

Non stick pans

 

I have a couple All Clad non-stick sauté pans which are my personal preference; both are about ten years old and have held up well.

The newer All Clad, however, is now hard-anodized.  I haven't tried that but had Calphalon hard-anodized many years ago and it was just okay.

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I tend to use my cast iron and Darto pans more often but I agree that a non-stick can be good to have.   A couple of weeks ago, I read some reviews (incl the one that @lindag mentioned above) and replaced my 20+ year old pan with this 12-inch Tramontina non-stick fry pan.

So far, so good.  I don't have any illusions that it will last any longer than the 3-6 yrs that review estimates and for ~ 30 bucks, I thought it was reasonable.

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Posted (edited)

A solid, cheap one from the restaurant supply store. Something like this. Or if you insist on a stainless exterior, this. Don't think of it as an investment. If you take good care of it, it will last a few years, but it's eventually going into the recycling bin. Teflon coatings just don't keep their performance forever. The difference in durability between the cheapest ones and the fanciest ceramic /diamond studded ones isn't what you might think. Those additives help protect against physical abuse, but not against the gradual breakdown from cooking and washing that all the nonstick surfaces suffer. I cry when I see things like $500 copper pans with a teflon interior. 

 

The pans will last by far the longest if you use just for what they're good for, which is eggs, and other things that are genuinely sticky and that don't ever cook on high heat. Don't use the pans for things that need a hard sear. Doing so is bad for the pan and bad for your results.

 

Edited to add: I'm talking purely about teflon, not anodized. Anodized surfaces are not non-stick.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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19 minutes ago, lindag said:

There's this recommendation:

 

Non stick pans

 

I have a couple All Clad non-stick sauté pans which are my personal preference; both are about ten years old and have held up well.

The newer All Clad, however, is now hard-anodized.  I haven't tried that but had Calphalon hard-anodized many years ago and it was just okay.

 

Yea, my parent's have hard anodized - I am not a fan.  I can still get non-stick All Clad on Amazon, though.

 

15 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I tend to use my cast iron and Darto pans more often but I agree that a non-stick can be good to have.   A couple of weeks ago, I read some reviews (incl the one that @lindag mentioned above) and replaced my 20+ year old pan with this 12-inch Tramontina non-stick fry pan.

So far, so good.  I don't have any illusions that it will last any longer than the 3-6 yrs that review estimates and for ~ 30 bucks, I thought it was reasonable.

 

Not bad at all.  Thanks!

 

14 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

A solid, cheap one from the restaurant supply store. Something like this. Or if you insist on a stainless exterior, this. Don't think of it as an investment. If you take good care of it, it will last a few years, but it's eventually going into the recycling bin. Teflon coatings just don't keep their performance forever. The difference in durability between the cheapest ones and the fanciest ceramic /diamond studded ones isn't what you might think. Those additives help protect against physical abuse, but not against the gradual breakdown from cooking and washing that all the nonstick surfaces suffer. I cry when I see things like $500 copper pans with a teflon interior. 

 

The pans will last by far the longest if you use just for what they're good for, which is eggs, and other things that are genuinely sticky and that don't ever cook on high heat. Don't use the pans for things that need a hard sear. Doing so is bad for the pan and bad for your results.

 

Edited to add: I'm talking purely about teflon, not anodized. Anodized surfaces are not non-stick.

 

 

Thanks.  Never thought of it that way.  My other pans weren't the most expensive I could find, but pretty high up there.  They're all stainless steel, though.  Is there any difference between the pans with regards to electric range usage?  I probably should have said that in the original post.

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 I have been extremely happy with my IKEA nonstick pans. 

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12 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 I have been extremely happy with my IKEA nonstick pans. 

Never thought of them.  I do need a new book case, too.......

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

Is there any difference between the pans with regards to electric range usage?  I probably should have said that in the original post.

 

Not really. An electric range tends to minimize the differences between pans. It heats pretty evenly by design, and changes temperature slowly.

 

Also, the pans people are recommending from places like Ikea I think are pretty similar to what you'll find at restaurant stores.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, blbst36 said:

Never thought of them.  I do need a new book case, too.......

Pick up some new dish towels while you’re there. They are quite the bargain.


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Posted (edited)

Everyone says not to spend a lot of money on nonstick pans, and they're right. It's going to crap out eventually, much sooner than your untreated cookware would even dream of failing. But inexpensive nonstick pans are prone to be both thin and lightweight. This causes the pans to eat unevenly and increases the risk of scorching. It also makes it more likely that you're going to burn off your magic nonstick chemical coating and give yourself the cancer. (Or whatever.)

 

I found this to be true of many well-regarded pans, including the T-Fal that Cook's Illustrated and ATK rated highly. I accidentally scorched that one on an induction burner that couldn't properly detect the pan temperature because it weighed so little that the sensor couldn't register how superheated the pan was getting. My bad? The T-Fal is okay and the price is right, but it feels lightweight and cheap and it kind of cooks like it's lightweight and cheap. Probably because it is lightweight and cheap. I think those can be virtues, but I generally prefer to cook with something that has more mass and doesn't require thermal babysitting to avoid meltdown. Which sent me questing for some thicker nonstick pans.

 

Now I use the Anolon Nouvelle Copper nonstick pans, which I bought largely on the basis of this review.  You can get good deals on a bundle that includes the 8 and 10 inch pans for around $40. Well worth the money. They have just over 5mm of cladding, using layers of stainless, aluminum, and copper (though there's not terribly much copper, which is to be expected for the price). They heat up slowly and evenly, and the mass of the pan is sufficient to store up thermal energy for proper searing at medium-high temps. My only complaint is that the edges are so gently flared that the pans actually feel smaller than they are. The bottom of the 10" pan is roughly 7.5" in diameter, for example. But the good news is that the pans perform very well. The handles are nice. The prices are very reasonable. 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

 

I have also heard good things about the Ikea pans. ChefSteps uses a lot of those (or did at one point). But I believe they're on the thinner side.


Edited by btbyrd (log)
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

I tend to use my cast iron and Darto pans more often but I agree that a non-stick can be good to have.   A couple of weeks ago, I read some reviews (incl the one that @lindag mentioned above) and replaced my 20+ year old pan with this 12-inch Tramontina non-stick fry pan.

So far, so good.  I don't have any illusions that it will last any longer than the 3-6 yrs that review estimates and for ~ 30 bucks, I thought it was reasonable.

I have this same pan but mine is 10 inch.  I like it.  It gets used very rarely.  I mostly use cast iron and Darto.  I prefer Darto over cast iron when cooking fish since I prefer not to wash my cast iron skillets.   Darto takes washing with hot water and dishwashing liquid like a champ.  Quick heating with a bit of bacon grease after wash and it is as good as new again.  Non stick pan is used to cook a thinner fish fillet and that's about it.


Edited by chefmd (log)
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Posted (edited)

I am a Tramontina fan.

 

I use 14" Tramontina non-stick pans in my ren faire kitchens and love them. We use them on 30kBTU camp stoves and don't baby them. When one does wear out, I replace it with another Tramontina. I have used smaller ones in my home kitchen. I have an 8" hanging on my pot rack right now. It's the one with the blue handle in my avatar.

 

Regarding other coatings, even my cobalt-titanium(?) non-sticks are slowly failing. When they die completely I will not replace them.

 

ETA: I have a very good, competitive restaurant supply house that I use regularly and the non-stick pans they sell are about the same price as the Tramontinas.


Edited by Porthos (log)
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6 hours ago, btbyrd said:

Everyone says not to spend a lot of money on nonstick pans, and they're right. It's going to crap out eventually, much sooner than your untreated cookware would even dream of failing. But inexpensive nonstick pans are prone to be both thin and lightweight. This causes the pans to eat unevenly and increases the risk of scorching. It also makes it more likely that you're going to burn off your magic nonstick chemical coating and give yourself the cancer. (Or whatever.)

 

Hi, btbyrd:

 

  There's sort of a new kid in town, a hybrid from All-Clad.  The head of A-C's product development showed it to me at IHHS last year, was really proud of it.

 

  Basically, the idea is that the floor of the pan is uncoated SS, and the sidewalls are done in PTFE.  This tracks with the market research that most people buy nonstick for ease of cleaning (the polymerized fats from spatter being a Royal PITA).  However, an added benefit is longevity--you can use metal utensils AND the lining doesn't toast as easily.

 

  It's not selling very well because people think it's weird.  I sort of agree, but then the idea sort of makes sense.  At least it's a better grade of pan with the prospect of lasting longer...

 

Cheers!

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16 hours ago, paulraphael said:

The pans will last by far the longest if you use just for what they're good for, which is eggs...

 

Agree.

 

I only have one non-stick pan, which I only ever use for scrambled eggs, but as I rarely make them, it doesn't get much use. Had it for years and it's still as new.

All my other pans are cast iron - three woks and one skillet. If properly seasoned and cared for, they become totally non-stick very quickly without the negative attributes of non-stick coated pans (high temperature sensitivity, wear and tear and particularly, possible carcinogenics.) The only exceptions are a stainless steel casserole dish (also seldom used) and a dirt cheap, small stainless pan for boiling or, more often, poaching  eggs.

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I have the Ikea TROVÄRDIG 8" egg pan.  I have been using it for about 5 months.   It is induction friendly, that is why I bought it.  Also has a nice slope to it for flipping over easy's.  It's heavier than the other Ikea egg pans.  Bottom is stamped Made in Italy.  Very slick and balanced for me.   The SO who was a skeptic about it (SO had been a breakfast shift cook in a high volume local restaurant) even is impressed by it.  I just recently picked up the 11", but haven't used it much to report.  Ikea also sells a 9" version.

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3 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

I have the Ikea TROVÄRDIG 8" egg pan.  I have been using it for about 5 months.   It is induction friendly, that is why I bought it.  Also has a nice slope to it for flipping over easy's.  It's heavier than the other Ikea egg pans.  Bottom is stamped Made in Italy.  Very slick and balanced for me.   The SO who was a skeptic about it (SO had been a breakfast shift cook in a high volume local restaurant) even is impressed by it.  I just recently picked up the 11", but haven't used it much to report.  Ikea also sells a 9" version.

 That is the one I have had for many years and it still looks like new. I also bought it because I have an induction range and needed something that would work. It is heavy and takes quite some time to warm up even on induction.

I also have their 365+ nonstick pan  which is also induction compatible, lighter in weight and shaped much more like a traditional skillet.  I am happy with both of them and I can’t even tell you how many years ago I bought them. 

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Thanks all!!  I'm glad I asked.  I was looking at spending $60 on 2 before I asked

 

I am mainly going to be using it for eggs and shrimp/fish.  Things that don't need high heat.  Yes, I could use my cast iron, but as I said above, I really don't want to be bothered to wash them.  It's a pain in the ass and I can never seem to get them clean.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, blbst36 said:

Thanks all!!  I'm glad I asked.  I was looking at spending $60 on 2 before I asked

 

I am mainly going to be using it for eggs and shrimp/fish.  Things that don't need high heat.  Yes, I could use my cast iron, but as I said above, I really don't want to be bothered to wash them.  It's a pain in the ass and I can never seem to get them clean.

Have you ever tried Barkeepers' Friend?  I use it all the time for my enameled cast iron and my stainless.


Edited by lindag (log)

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29 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

Thanks all!!  I'm glad I asked.  I was looking at spending $60 on 2 before I asked

 

I am mainly going to be using it for eggs and shrimp/fish.  Things that don't need high heat.  Yes, I could use my cast iron, but as I said above, I really don't want to be bothered to wash them.  It's a pain in the ass and I can never seem to get them clean.

 

I put water in the pan, boil it on the stove, then scrub out with a brush. Usually loosens everything right up. If I have to repeat, I add a healthy dose of Kosher salt.

 

For non-stick, and i like them for pancakes, eggs, and fried potatoes (I cannot make fried potatoes not stick in my cast iron or carbon steel pans), I have a set of two Calphalons, a 10-inch and a 12-inch, that I got at Bed Bath and Beyond 10 years or so ago. The smaller one, which sees more use, is about to need replacing. I'll look at Calphalon and Tramontina and go with the cheaper alternative.

 

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I'm baffled as to why why cast iron would be difficult to clean?  I have more problems cleaning my teeth.

 

I clean my cast iron woks and skillet more quickly, but have a few more than four teeth..

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Posted (edited)

There's a lot of romantic hogwash about cleaning cast iron. Just grab a regular scrub sponge and some dishwashing detergent and hot water and scrub until it's clean. 

 

If this does any damage at all to the seasoning, then the pan wasn't really seasoned. To get seasoning off, you need chemicals the equivalent of dishwasher detergent or oven cleaner, or abrasives the equivalent of sandpaper. I've removed seasoning from manky old pans ... it took two days soaking in a cocktail of dishwasher detergent and draino. 

 

That "seasoning" is a matrix of polymerized oil and carbonized oil. Polymer=plastic. Tough and nasty stuff. Which is why you want to apply it in nice thin even coats in the first place, because you'll suffer trying to get any off. 

 

Incidentally, this is one reason to be careful using teflon pans on any kind of high heat, especially if you're using an oil that's high in unsaturated fats (canola, safflower, sunflower, etc.). If any of that oil polymerizes on the teflon, you may never get it off. I don't know if there's anything that will attack the polymerized oil that won't attack the teflon coating harder. If anyone knows, please share.

 

One problem I've discovered with using non-stick pans solely for what they're do best is that I end up using mine about twice a year ... the rest of the time it's on a wire shelf, where, thanks to my terrible range hood, it gets a mist of airborn oil every time I saute something. When I looked at it the other day, the oil had oxidized to the point where it wouldn't come off with hand washing detergent. It eventually came off off after soaking for an hour in a solution of dishwasher detergent. I don't know if this is harmful to the coating. Luckily, it's a  $15 pan (see above!)


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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FWIW, I use my nonstick pans almost exclusively for eggs cooked at lower temperatures, which includes scrambled eggs. For the life of me, those will always wreck a carbon steel or cast iron pan -- gunk stuck everywhere, a cleaning nightmare. And please don't suggest that I'm not using enough fat. Even using the pretty-darn-good heat control settings on my Vollrath Mirage induction burner, scrambled eggs would stick no matter what technique I tried. Super fast, high temp, big-curd, fluffy eggs are a different matter. Fried eggs are another matter as well. 

 

The only other time I find them useful is if I'm going to be tossing something with a syurpy or starchy sauce over higher heat. Burnt on stirfry sugar: no bueno.

 

But for everything else, including fish, I prefer my Dartos. Cast iron has mostly been relegated to cornbread duty and the occasional batch of nachos.

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

 That is the one I have had for many years and it still looks like new. I also bought it because I have an induction range and needed something that would work. It is heavy and takes quite some time to warm up even on induction.

I also have their 365+ nonstick pan  which is also induction compatible, lighter in weight and shaped much more like a traditional skillet.  I am happy with both of them and I can’t even tell you how many years ago I bought them. 

 

I thought the extra time to come up to temp was my imagination.  Now I know it's not, thanks for mentioning it.

 

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27 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

There's a lot of romantic hogwash about cleaning cast iron. Just grab a regular scrub sponge and some dishwashing detergent and hot water and scrub until it's clean. 

Yup. 

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