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Very confused on pan materials and what to purchase

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am going to be replacing my current selection of non-stick Calphalon aluminum pans due to the coating flacking off on everything.  It is probably due to my abuse with metal utensils and not using plastic like they wanted.

 

I am looking for advise on what  type of pan materials are better for a particular application. I am leaning towards SS like the Vollrath Tributes but am looking for help.

 

I do have one CS De Buyer that I don't use at the moment as I have not cooked anything recently other than bacon that would be suited for this pan.  I have not had a great success rate with seasoning this pan yet but I have not completly given up.

 

I am looking for the following sizes and style of pans.

 

8",10" & 12" fry pans

 

3 & 6 qt saute pan

 

1.5, 2.5, & 4-4.5 qt sauce pans

 

A decent sized stock pot, would like something with a steamer and a pasta strainer basket for it as well.

 

I appreciate everyone's help.

post #2 of 13

I like stainless steel clad pans for the most part.

 

In a large stockpot, I go with the disk bottoms and have had no regrets. Just make sure that the disk extends as close to the outer edge as possible. Lots of cheaper pots use a rounded space there and things scorch in that area frequently.

 

Tramontina is my go-to choice for the clad and large pots. Walmart, Costco, and other online stores are where I pick these up. The half size sauce pans are less common to find than the whole quart sizes but you may find some in other brands. Again,  I prefer clad for sauce pans instead of disk based.  I've got a 12 quart with a pasta insert, but I wish it went closer to the  bottom of the pot. It's a Tramontina and came with a steamer basket too.

 

I'd skip the clad 8" skillet unless you're cooking for just one or two people.

 

A 12 inch cast iron pan or carbon steel pan is worth having for high heat searing and such. Well seasoned, they're great pans.

 

A 12 inch non-stick pan, inexpensive one with a metal handles is a pan I like to have as well. It's very close in size and capacity to a 9x13 baking dish and facilitates one-dish stove top to oven casseroles that don't stick.

 

I like an 8 and 10 inch cheap non-stick pans as well, with metal handles. I like these for egg dishes, frittatas, fricos and such. I try to always have a back up non-stick pan in storage for when the coating starts to fail. This is why I buy the cheap ones because they're just as good as the expensive ones.

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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 #3 of 13

You already have a steel pan, so I agree that stainless steel is a good choice. Vollrath is an excellent brand.

 

Don't give up on your carbon steel. They trump non-stick, in fact I no longer own a non-stick pan. You can use them for eggs, crepes, pancakes etc... but also chops, steaks, sauteeing veggies, fried rice etc... almost anything you'd use a wok for. 

post #4 of 13

I think you'd be happy with Tribute. I replaced Calphalon anodized with Tribute. I have the sauce pans you listed, plus the 6 quart sauté, 8 and 16 quart stock pots. They meet my needs. Skip the 3 quart sauté and 8 inch fry pans unless you know you'd use them for something specific. I didn't buy Tribute fry pans - I have three De Buyer carbon steel pans, 12.5, 9.5, and 8 inch. Also have a 10 inch cast iron. These do everything I need a frying pan for, considering I have the large sauté for acidic recipes. The 8 inch De Buyer is seldom used now that the 9.5 inch has become well seasoned. The 12.5 inch is the workhorse though.

post #5 of 13

I live alone and use my 8 inch DeBuyer everyday for frying a couple of half-slices of bacon.  My one sole egg is cooked in butter using an 8 inch aluminum pan which is only rinsed and not washed after cooking, rinsed and not washed because it preserves the butter coating at the surface thus allowing me to avoid using Pam or some other man-made spray for lubrication!

And I really do prefer my egg being cooked in an aluminum pan, for it seems more suitable to eggs than CS.


Edited by kokopuffs - 4/9/13 at 11:43am

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I snuck out of work for a quick trip to the local restaurant supply store and picked up a 10" tribute skillet to try out as that was the only tribute they carry in stock.  If it works to my liking I will order the rest from Katom.  I will keep trying to work with my CS pan.  I think I am expecting that I can cook with almost no lipids and that I probably were my problems lies.
 

post #7 of 13

Scribble,

 

All teflon coated pans will flake off eventually.  As well as metal utensils, soap and high heat will kill the teflon. 35 years in the business and I haven't seen one teflon pan last longer than 6 mths in a commercial application--doesn't matter what the cost or bragging rights of the mnfctr, they just don't last. One of the main challenges pan makers have is getting the teflon to stick onto the pan--it just doesn't stick to anything.

 

If you avoid the concept of a "set of pots and pans", you'll do fine.  Each material has it's strengthts and weaknesses, there is no one all purpose material that works equally well on 8" saute pans as it does on 4 qt dutch ovens. 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Scribble,


If you avoid the concept of a "set of pots and pans", you'll do fine.  Each material has it's strengthts and weaknesses, there is no one all purpose material that works equally well on 8" saute pans as it does on 4 qt dutch ovens. 

Are you refering to material as in say, aluminum vs SS vs CI vs CS when you say there is no all purpose material?  If so what is a spot where a straight aluminum made pan outshines something else?

post #9 of 13

"Straight aluminum" has two qualities:


1)Cheap like borscht

2)Conducts heat well

 

But it warps, warps faster than Startrek's Enterprise, oxidizes, turns your food black or grey, and is generally a p.i.t.a.
 

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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

"Straight aluminum" has two qualities:


1)Cheap like borscht

2)Conducts heat well

 

But it warps, warps faster than Startrek's Enterprise, oxidizes, turns your food black or grey, and is generally a p.i.t.a.
 

I've used an aluminum frypan daily for over a decade and still neither warpage nor discoloration has occurred.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

I've used an aluminum frypan daily for over a decade and still neither warpage nor discoloration has occurred.


Uh-yup, on an electric stove it probably won't warp.

 

However in N.America virtually every commercial stove is gas, and I guarantee you if you go to any restaurant kitchen you will see stack of warped (bowl shaped) aluminum saute pans all with loosey-goosey handles.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post


Uh-yup, on an electric stove it probably won't warp.

 

However in N.America virtually every commercial stove is gas, and I guarantee you if you go to any restaurant kitchen you will see stack of warped (bowl shaped) aluminum saute pans all with loosey-goosey handles.

 

Aluminum will absolutely warp on an American electric stove!

 

The good thing about aluminum though, is that you can take a hammer and a block of wood and beat it back to slightly concave and it will at least sit flat on the stove again. Not ideal, obviously, but better than bowl shaped. I had a large Calphalon anodized saute that warped and I beat it back and I used it that way for years.

post #13 of 13
Just to throw in my two cents. Get SS clad aluminum for the fry pans and sauté. Those are the ones that you're going to want even heating with. Something that can go in the oven would be a bit more versatile. Also get an old Wagner or Griswold CI for searing meats. If you work up the seasoning enough, you could use it for eggs or fish as well. Sauce pans are a tossup for me, I'm sticking with All-clad SS for me. Stock pots, roasting pans and dutch ovens work well with enameled CI. Check out cookwareandmore.com to get some good deals on second quality All-Clad. They've fit quite a markdown, and it still comes with the warranty.
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