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omelets and pans

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am looking into purchasing some stainless steel cookware and I was thinking of starting off with a Calphalon omelet pan. But I am a bit nervous because most of my cooking experience for things like omelets is with the Calphalon nonstick line of pans. I do have some old stainless steel pans, but have rarely used them for cooking anything but sauces and soups because there always seems to be the risk things will stick to them, which gets messy.
But recently I've read that a properly seasoned stainless steel pan is in fact nonstick. Can someone who has experience with this let me know if it is true. In what way would a seasoned stainless steel pan differ from a pan with a nonstick coating? Are there certain advantages or disadvantages here, especially where omelets are concerned?
I think a reliably nonstick surface would be especially important in cooking something like an omelet, so if I do invest in a stainless steel omelet pan I want to make sure I'm not going to end up wishing I'd gotten a nonstick one instead!
Thanks for your input.
post #2 of 17
At the risk of sounding like a complete Philistine, I am inclined to buy cheap non stick, and just throwing them out at regular intervals. I did this after buying a horribly expensive pan, just for omlettes and crepes. It was trashed, gouged, generally mistreated. By the family, for midnight feasts and suchlike. I should have battered them with it, no pun intended.
post #3 of 17
My pans are stainless, cast iron and non-stick. I use non-stick for the omelet, stainless for the hash browns and cast iron for the cornbread.

I don't know what a seasoned stainless surface is. It is true that a properly seasoned cast iron surface is somewhat nonstick; maybe that what's meant.

Confusing the issue a little is "omelet pan" refers to the shape of the pan not food that's going to be cooked in it.

For what it's worth, my advice is to invest $'s the heavy tri-ply stainless steel cookware (I chose All-Clad) and expect it to last your lifetime.

Invest time in maintaining the cast iron expecting it to be passed on to children and grandchildren.

Invest enough in the non-stick pan for omelets to get a thick heavy bottom. Even if it comes with a lifetime guarantee (mine did), expect to periodically replace it.

If you search the Cooking Equipment Reviews Forum on this site you'll find many long conversations on the relative advantage of the different materials and brands.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
post #4 of 17
I have mostly All Clad pans, and for egg cooking I have the nonstick versions. I use them EXCLUSIVELY for cooking eggs. Much as I like Diane's advice in general -- and her pun :lol: -- I've always found that the "nonstick" lining on cheap pans is also cheap, and flakes off and/or become "stick" lining far too fast; it holds food residue that could only be removed byt scrubbing -- but that would remove the "nonstick" coating as well. If you are used to Calphalon, go with Calphalon.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #5 of 17
I could not agree more Suzanne, you are so right. I am inclined to think also that those who use non stick, teflon pans are at risk, particularly the cheap ones, as were those who used lead for whitening, in their face powder centuries ago. My only defence is frequent disgarding. I also fill and simmer for a while when they are new. No reason, just because. My take on a cheapy is about 100 crepes or omlettes. Give or take. But we only have a small place, and that equates to a disposable. But not a sticker. Depends on who or how people use them.

We could also extend the discussion (may I) to very fine cast iron and enamelled cookware. La something or other. I have three of these, and the thing I defend against is too high a heat on the burner. They don't need it. And they will dissapoint if subjected to that. Their life ambition is to cuddle food into a the best casserole (or whatever) of the century.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your helpful replies!
based on what everybody's told me, I think I'll just stick with non-stick (no pun intended).

does anybody have any views on what the best size for an omelet pan is, 8 or 10?

in the past I've been using a 12 for my omelets. A bit big... I'd like to move to a smaller size, but see both 8 and 10, and don't know which is preferred.

anybody who has used both have any opinions?
post #7 of 17
I use only stainless steel and have had no trouble with eggs sticking to the surface. It does take a bit of technique, however, and certainly isn't as easy as non-stick. I refuse to use non-stick because my grandmother managed to kill her canary by using it. Anyway, seasoned the stainless steel is not, but I do take a paper towel with some oil on it and rub it on the pan before I start.
post #8 of 17

8 inch

For a two or three egg omelet I use my 8" pan.

Good Luck
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
post #9 of 17
I think it's clear you answered your own question. Some people may prefer extra large omelets. Some people prefer large, you do what works best for you. If you have a pan of either size, experiment.

post #10 of 17
Free Rider said: "I refuse to use non-stick because my grandmother managed to kill her canary by using it."

Sorry, but that just jumped out at me. How?

post #11 of 17
My uncle suffered a similar demise but I think the cause was cast iron. My aunt was acquitted of all charges.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
post #12 of 17

My granmother kept her canary in her very large and airy kitchen. It would sing with her when she cooked. She was always into the latest fad, so when nonstick came along, she adopted it. Shortly after, the canary died. Turns out that Teflon emits a toxin at high heat. Human beings don't usually suffer effects because we're much bigger than canaries.

Edited to add link to info (please note that the link is for a "green" group, so it's a bit blatant):
post #13 of 17

This is known as teflon toxicosis. All bird owners should be made aware of this and many have found out the hard way.
post #14 of 17

omelete and pans

As far as I know there is no such thing as an omelet pan. It is either a 6 inch, 8 inch or 10 inch pan. Stainless steel does not conduct heat evenly, that is why most of the s.s pans you see have an aluminum clad bottoms
A stainless steel pan to my knowledge cannot be seasoned. Seasoned by the way for you younger guys (Before Teflon and Ironstone) is simply taking a good aluminum 8 inch saute pan or skillet fill it with salt and cook it on open flame till the salt turns a shade of grey brown. dump the salt and wipe pan with a drop or two of oil and let cool. Keep in mind that this pan only be used for omelete as once touched by water or liqiuds you must repeat whole process. to clean pan just wipe out with the same oiled cloth.Good luck chefed
post #15 of 17
I think any porous metal pan can be seasoned if you want to take the time and trouble. Certainly, with cast iron the benefits far outweigh any effort to season and care for the pan. I have an 8" anodized aluminum (Magnalite) "omlet" pan that I seasoned successfully so the eggs slid around in it like it was the finest quality non stick surface. Stainless is pretty porous and although I've never tried it, I suppose it could be seasoned. But, like Chef Ed says, you have to treat it right or the seasoning will come right off. IMHO it is not worth the trouble for a ss pan. Go with a good quality non stick. Oddly enough, my All Clad 10" non stick has a fairly rough surface and isn't all that "non stick".

post #16 of 17
Mudbug said:"This is known as teflon toxicosis. All bird owners should be made aware of this and many have found out the hard way. "

I had no idea. Thanks for the heads up.

post #17 of 17
Chef Jean has been warning people about this for ages. Years even. I sort of hope I get away with things by regular disgarding, but am not at all sure.

Jean, Jean, where are you?
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