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MPS Magnalite Pots & Pans HELP??

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have several MPS Magnalite Professional Stainless Steel pots and pans. They are NOT the ones that I've seen mentioned on other postings. These are a shiny stainless steel throughout with a hollow round steel handle. The inside does NOT have a non-stick surface. On my 2QT pot is says Item No. 3602. They are very heavy and it seems like there is an insulated copper lip on the bottom of the pan.

I've had these since I got married 13 years ago and don't always use them because they aren't non-stick and I have issues cooking with them. Does anyone know anything about this version of cookware? Does it cook differently than the other grayish black Magnalite pieces? I'm thinking of replacing them but I'm not sure. They have held up very well. Maybe I'm just not using them correctly. Any information or advise would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 16
What issues do you have? How are you using them?

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I don't pretend to be a chef so bear with me...

When I saute anything in the frying pans the food seems to stick to the bottom. If I were to do a chicken stir-fry for example, I'd have shredded chicken instead of nicely browned chunks. Do I just need to add more butter or oil? Maybe I have to adjust the temperature (it's an electric stove)? When I'm boiling pasta that seems to stick too (unless I am stirring constantly).

I tend to use my very inexpensive T-fal pots and pans becuase it seems easier to cook with and clean up. The problem is they don't last! I'm going to need to do something soon and I've been thinking of maybe purchasing a GOOD non-stick set. Unless I can figure out what I'm doing wrong with these!!
post #4 of 16
Are you heating the oil enough before you add the chicken? Once you put the meat in, leave it, it'll let you know when it needs to be turned, if it's stuck it's not ready to be turned over. One of the most common mistakes people make with stainless steel is "stir-itis"! The food doesn't want to be moved all the time, it just wants to sit and cook.
Apologies if i'm trying to teach Grandma to suck eggs!:)
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay, I can try that. In the example of the chicken, would I then cook this at a lower temperature? As I said, I'm not a chef but I love good food. Maybe a few more pointers and I'll learn to love my pots too!
post #6 of 16
This afternoon I made a turkey burger in an All-Clad stainless sauté pan. I decided to try an experiment - heated the pan and tossed the patty into the dry pan - no oil. I let that puppy cook a while, flipped it, and cooked the other side. No sticking, but a nice fond. The pan was easy to clean up. Indianwells suggestion to leave the meat alone is a good one. It's one that's repeated almost daily on cooking shows, by "grill masters" and experienced cooks.

You just need to practice with your pans and the temp. Stainless is a wonderful cooking surface for many foods.

BTW, when I first started using my All-Clad on an electric range, I had difficulties as well, and that was compounded by not knowing how to properly clean the surface. Deglazing, sometimes soaking, and the appropriate use of Bar Keeper's Friend - Bar Keepers Friend - which is a very helpful cleaner - will change your ideas about ss cookware.

Good luck - keep practicing ...

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. I'm going to take your advice and work with them a bit more. I also thank you for the link on the cleanser. After taking a look at the website I remember way back when I got these pans it came with a similar cleanser and it really made the stainless steel shine! I hadn't thought of it before but maybe the pots just need a GOOD cleaning.
post #8 of 16
That could very well be part of the problem. Sometimes I think the pans are clean, but there's a thin film on them. so now, as a matter of course, I use Bar Keepers Friend regularly. And even when the pans don't appear to need a thorough cleaning, after using BKF they obviously look better and cleaner. I probaly use BKF twice a week on my most used pans, and after each use on the skillets, sauté pans, and sometimes the sauce pans.
Supposedly BKF "smooths" the ss surface.

post #9 of 16
I have several MPS pots, which have served me very well. Magnalite quit making them several years ago. They are a cheaper version of Allclad.

They have a copper layer bonded to the bottom between layers of stainless steel. Allclad's inner layer of aluminium is totally enclosed in SS and runs up the sides of the pots. I have ruined one MPS pan by pouring a cold liquid into a very hot pan, which caused the copper layer to delaminate. Other than that, they're quite nice pots.

They have an instruction for cleaning burned-on residue, which I have achieved several times. If you scorch the he!l out of some food, you can always get the pan clean by putting a tablespoon of dishwasher detergent in about a quarter-inch of water and bringing it to a simmer on the stove for a few minutes. You MUST have the stove vent on HIGH because the fumes will choke you, but it lifts the charred food off every time. This works with AllClad, too. :bounce:

travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, I don't think I've encountered anyone who has the same pots & pans. Do you have any issues with food sticking to the pan? Do you think I'm only having an issue with it because they need that "film" removed? What type of a stove do you cook with?

Do you use any other types of pots and pans? And if so, how would you rate them against these?

Sorry for all the questions.
post #11 of 16
Not at all, Andrea- that's what this place is about.

I have four or five of the MPS and I don't have much trouble with sticking (See my note above on simmering dishwasher detergent in the pan for a really nasty burn-on.) We cook on a smooth-top glass electric cooktop which we don't like at all. We bought it for our kitchen rebuild, and gas is not available. The black glass looks really cool on our black granite counter, but it's slow to heat up and takes forever to cool down. We've concluded that the only way to reduce heat after cooking on high is to move the pan to another burner and start it up from scratch.

We've pretty much switched to AllClad since MPS ceased production. We have the non-coated line. We have a couple of Calphalon anodized pots which I don't care for. I had something stick to one and, trying to get it off, I removed all the anodizing. Threw it away.

For non-stick, we get an inexpensive T-Fal skillet at Target or TJMaxx and replace it when the coating starts to fray. They last at least a year, and are $15 or so, so it's not a financial crisis. They're heavy enough that they heat pretty evenly.

As somebody on TV says, Hoppy cook-EENG!

travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #12 of 16
Re-read your post above mentioning a good non-stick set. First, I don't know much about good non-stick - in my opinion Calphalon anodized is not one - and most of the people here advise against a set of pots because you get some you will seldom use.

I'll stick to T-fal and a short service life. ;)

travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #13 of 16
We have a set of the MPS and would like to replace a pot or two that were ruined over the years. So if you ever decide to get rid of your set please let me know. Primary need is a 3 Qt.
Probably too late .. Lou
post #14 of 16

I have the same magnalite pans I believe, as you do. I saw a pic of them at

If they are the same, I would certainly be interested in buying them. I need to replace my 3 quart sauce pan and my small skillet. Please let me hear from you by email:  Thanks 

post #15 of 16

I'm needing to replace my 3 quart too. The plate on the bottom separated. Wonder if it was a flaw in their making?

post #16 of 16

I just received a set of vintage MPS Magnalite pots & pans, these have the copper inserted clad bottoms. One pan has some black soot from a gas flame. I was wondering if the Barkeepers will do the trick...overall I can't wait to try these out great info on this site on these



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