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Best multipurpose frying pan (uk)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

having always just used whatever I found in the flats I've rented, the wonky frying pan/electric hob combo in the last one is just too much. So I'm looking to buy my first frying pan to use for pretty much everything (except for saucepan/stock pot stuff, which are usable). This will include acidic stuff (tomato sauces and so on) as well as browning meat, etc. I definitely want something that can go in the oven, + lid.

 

From my research I've figured a tri-ply stainless steel pan is my best option, but I can't find most of the recommendations (e.g. tramontina) in the UK. In fact, I'm really struggling to find any not non-stick stainless steel plans online here. The only one I've found is only in restaurant supply sites and I can't find any reviews whatsoever, the only other alternatives are from amazon.com. The best options I've found so far are (all without lids):

 

http://www.nisbets.co.uk/Tri-Wall-Frying-Pan/Y321/ProductDetail.raction (£33)

http://www.amazon.com/Tramontina-Gourmet-Stainless-Steel-Tri-Ply/dp/B002P66CD6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330034938&sr=8-1 (£57 with shipping/import duties)

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-MCP22-30H-MultiClad-Stainless-12-Inch/dp/B0009W38T4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330034913&sr=8-2 (£57 with shipping/import duties)

 

I've heard a lot of good things of the tramontina, but the cuisinart also seems good (and is clad, not just the base). I can't see anything wrong with the Vogue triwall, and it's cheaper + from the UK, so easier if something goes wrong, but given there are no reviews online, what are the things to watch out for? Are there any other options in the UK?

 

In terms of lid, what's the best option, stainless steel, glass or silicone? The Vogue triwall have a lid which should fit (http://www.nisbets.co.uk/Tri-Wall-Lid/Y426/ProductDetail.raction), but the other ones don't.

 

Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 7

Good luck in your UK hunt. There are good European brands too, or so I'm told.

 

My spelling may be off or I may have combined some names in my memory, so work with me here.

 

Mauviel, Bourgeat, DeMeyer come to mind. I think Le Crueset has a line of clad pans.

 

Your Tramontina link is for a disk based pan. I can't recommend that for a skillet. Great for a pot, but skillets will scorch where the disk ends and the sloping sidewall begins.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 7

If you are looking for a frying pan to cook almost everything, maybe it's worth looking at a wok instead?

They are really multi-purpose.

 

Anyway, back to brand names:

A couple have been mentioned like Demeyere, Le Creuset etc, but look at BK as well.

 

I had a quick look at amazon.co.uk and they got a number of stainless steel frying pans, some non stick, some not non stick (or is that some non-non-stick)

 

Personally, I mainly have no-name pans and they do a pretty good job.

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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

thanks for the replies. The reason I wasn't getting any non-non-stick pans on amazon is because I was searching specifically for tri-ply.. I take it there's a big difference compared to stainless steel only? I've checked the brands you suggested out, but they were all >£100, which is more than I was planning on spending really.. What does BK stand for? A search didn't find anything (useful).

 

Butzy, the wok idea is not bad, and it would be better for stir-fries, which I make now and then. For some reason though, it feels like it would be a bit unwieldy for everything (probably just an impression), harder to store (I have quite a small kitchen), and for some things isn't the flat surface area a bit small? (say, cooking steaks).

 

So, what makes one tri-ply SS pan better than another (given the large price ranges)?

 

Cheers.

post #5 of 7

A lot has to do with brand name and paying for prestige.

 

More expensive pans tend to have more attention paid to detail. For example, comparing my cheapo Tramontina with my Calphalon. The Tramontina is heavier. This is both good and pad. You get more thermal mass so it can hold a temp a little better, but it's slower to heat up  and not as responsive to changes in the burner setting. It's also a bit more unwieldy empty or full. They both have a pretty good stay cool metal handle, but handle isn't really that important to me. I would give the Calphalon a slight edge in being easier to cook with.

 

All Clad usually has a better edge on the pan for pouring than the competition. Not a big deal, but that's something the extra price brings for example.

 

In testing such as what Cook's Illustrated does, All-Clad is usually their top pan. Best heat distribution and response and all those little details. But generally there are three or so pans below that that are still recommended. Usually they'll be clad pans but be heavier, or slower to heat or not as good in the even heating and so forth. But still quite good and at a lower price. Tramontina is usually in this spot and at about 1/3 the price or less. Then there will a string of 8-10 medium to poor performers with prices all over the place.

 

Many folks here frequent the discounters who buy up close-out or scratch and dent type products. Quite  often you can find good name brands at very good prices. Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, TJMax are the names here in the US. No idea what you might have in that vein in the UK. Sorry.

 

And yes, straight stainless has uneven heating properties. tri-ply is your friend, but watch for the tricksters like that Tramontina that has a tri-ply clad BASE only.

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 7

Yeah, it's easier to do a steak in a frying pan than a wok and a wok definitely is more difficult to store. It was just an idea :)

 

BK is a Dutch brand (I think). Check out www.bk.nl You might need to use the translate button on google though

 

Another thought: what stove are you using? I'm not sure but it seems much more important what the pan is made of if you are using electric or induction cookers as compared to a gas stove....

 

 

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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

The hob is electric of the old school type (unfortunately). Tbh, I think I'm just going to go for that Vogue triwall pan, not too fussed about nice little details (at a cost), it's tri-ply, with lid (although it costs as much as half a pan, not sure how that works out..) and at a good price..

 

Might add a 20cm black iron (which I'm led to believe is just carbon steel?) pan for when I want a smaller pan or to cook eggs/omelettes and so on (http://www.caterfor.co.uk/cookware/black-iron-pans/vogue-black-iron-omlette-pans/vogue-omelette-pan-8-cf-k378), for the price worth a try..

 

Thanks for your comments/advice!

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