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Stainless frying pans

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

It's my first post here, I've been reading a lot of threads and am loving all of the great information and advice, it seems like a great forum!

I'm looking for some advice on frying pans, I've had a set of non stick anolons for the last 4 years but they are now wearing out, I'm looking for a replacement set but am unsure on what to get, I like non stick but don't like how careful you have to be or how long they last.

Can you really get stainless (or other materials) to be non stick? All the cheaper pans I've tried, the food sticks to them straight away.

Any advice on a good brand / material for a home cook would be much appreciated
post #2 of 9

I don't think you can go wrong with the DeBuyer pans but this is what we used to cook on in the kitchens. The all clad pans are great for home use in my opinion. Buy them once, take care of them and have them for the next 10-15 years.

 

 

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nicko I'll check those out
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alimac23 View Post

Can you really get stainless (or other materials) to be non stick? All the cheaper pans I've tried, the food sticks to them straight away.

 

This is actually how it's supposed to be and I think your comment is indicative of some weak cooking technique.  The meat will stick, AND BROWN, then let go (mostly) when it's done. If you want to fuss with it early, it's going to stick and tear and be a poor experience. Once the food touches the metal, leave it alone. 

 

This is what you should be doing:

 

  • Heat the pan
  • Add the oil--there's an adage, Hot pan, Cold oil, Food won't stick. It's not absolutely true, but its more true than not. 
  • Add the seasoned meat to the pan carefully. Add it so you start close to you and the rest comes into the pan away from you. This way you don't splash hot oil or juice onto yourself. 
  • Don't crowd the pan. As you cook, the food will release juices. If you have enough food in the pan so the juice added can not be quickly evaporated, you'll start steaming and braising the food. You cant sear and generate that desired golden brown deliciousness with wet cooking methods. 
  • If you're going to cook the meat all the way through as for chicken, it will give you indicators that it's time to turn it.
    • You may see drops of juice forming on the top side of the cutlet.
    • Time, most recipes give you an approximate time for when you should turn the meat. This is close to the time for the meat to self-release on most equipment. 
    • If you jerk the pan, the cutlet will move. It will have let go from the cooking surface. You can also prod it and see if it releases with gentle force. Or lift a corner. If it lifts easily, it's time to flip it. If it doesn't move the first time, give it another 45-60 seconds and try again. If it still doesn't release, turn it anyway and check how seared it is.  The jerk test also works for steak that you're going to cook rare or medium rare. 
  • Usually the first surface you put down against the pan will be the presentation surface because it will have the most even coloring. 
  • Check doneness An instant read thermometer is best, especially for beginners. When you have some experience you can add other tests such poke tests and juice checks. 

 

Poke test videos

 

 

On to pans. 

 

Stainless clad saute pans are in important tool for the home cook. They're tough, non reactive and versatile. And more expensive. In sauce pans and pots, clad is nice, but not necessary.  And you'll still want some other specialty material pans as well most likely. 

 

My advice, avoid sets in general. 

 

Tramontina is my preference for bang for buck clad cookware but the other major brands are good quality generally too but much more expensive. If you can get a deal on other brands, go for it.  Wamart on line usually has some interesting Tramontina options as does Amazon. Costco often does as well. 

 

Size wise, I like 10 and 12 inch saute pans. i don't find an 8 inch pan useful much except in non-stick for eggs. Your uses may well be different than mine. 

 

Non-stick pans were first advertised as low fat cookware and easy clean up. They do have some special properties that are useful, particularly for eggs and fish. You can come reasonably close with cast iron or carbon steel, but something like scrambled eggs or an omelette still perform better in non-stick.  I also like 10 and 12 inch sizes best in non-stick.  For non-stick buy a thick aluminum pan with a non-stick coating as cheaply as possible Expect to replace it in 3-5 years. Buy a new one when you see the deal and store it until you need it. You can recycle the old pan as needed and have a fresh good one ready to go. 

 

The exception is if you cook on induction. Then you'll have to pay more to get an induction compatible non-stick pan. 

 

We can talk more about cast iron and carbon steel if want, but this is enough for now I think. 

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 #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks Phatch there's some great advice there, completely agree about thicker cuts like steaks etc sticking and then releasing but what about thinner cuts like bacon that just seem to stick and never let go, then rip to bits when i try and lift them out of the pan? Or are those cuts mroe suited to a non stick surface? 

 

I'll check out those brands you mentioned but i'm based in Perth Australia so will probably have to go to a specialty shop as we don't have Walmart or Costco etc, and very few Amazon sellers are shipping to Australia these days, not sure why i used to be able to order pretty much anything and get it sent across.

post #6 of 9

Bacon has the added issue of sugar and less supporting structure. It sticks to carbon and cast iron too. Bacon will mostly release if allowed to, but it might be more done than you'd like it to be depending on your taste. 

 

I've taken to baking bacon en masse on a rimmed baking sheet. There's enough grease and the heat gentle enough that sticking isn't much of a problem even if not cooked to a crisp stage. It also curls a lot less. You can then refrigerate or freeze the bacon for use as needed. Of course, there are some applications where this doesn't work, so it's not a universal solution. 

 

Alternatively, I've been reading about sous vide bacon. Assuming your bacon comes pre-sliced and vacuum packed as most commercial bacon here is in the US then this might be something that would work for you. 

 

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/tips-tricks-the-world-s-best-bacon-cooks-allllll-night-long

 

Cook it sous vide overnight at 64 C. crisp it quickly as needed. Looks like he's using non-stick in this case.  I haven't tried this yet as my sous vide cooker is awaiting the holiday gift giving season. But I'm looking forward to trying it. 

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 #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

Bacon has the added issue of sugar and less supporting structure. It sticks to carbon and cast iron too. Bacon will mostly release if allowed to, but it might be more done than you'd like it to be depending on your taste. 

 

I've taken to baking bacon en masse on a rimmed baking sheet. There's enough grease and the heat gentle enough that sticking isn't much of a problem even if not cooked to a crisp stage. It also curls a lot less. You can then refrigerate or freeze the bacon for use as needed. Of course, there are some applications where this doesn't work, so it's not a universal solution. 

 

Alternatively, I've been reading about sous vide bacon. Assuming your bacon comes pre-sliced and vacuum packed as most commercial bacon here is in the US then this might be something that would work for you. 

 

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/tips-tricks-the-world-s-best-bacon-cooks-allllll-night-long

 

Cook it sous vide overnight at 64 C. crisp it quickly as needed. Looks like he's using non-stick in this case.  I haven't tried this yet as my sous vide cooker is awaiting the holiday gift giving season. But I'm looking forward to trying it. 

 

Thanks Phatch the sous vide bacon sounds great, coincidentally i have just purchased an Anova sous vide and have been having great success with steak and 63 degree eggs.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

Bacon has the added issue of sugar and less supporting structure. It sticks to carbon and cast iron too. Bacon will mostly release if allowed to, but it might be more done than you'd like it to be depending on your taste. 

I've taken to baking bacon en masse on a rimmed baking sheet. There's enough grease and the heat gentle enough that sticking isn't much of a problem even if not cooked to a crisp stage. It also curls a lot less. You can then refrigerate or freeze the bacon for use as needed. Of course, there are some applications where this doesn't work, so it's not a universal solution. 

Alternatively, I've been reading about sous vide bacon. Assuming your bacon comes pre-sliced and vacuum packed as most commercial bacon here is in the US then this might be something that would work for you. 

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/tips-tricks-the-world-s-best-bacon-cooks-allllll-night-long

Cook it sous vide overnight at 64 C. crisp it quickly as needed. Looks like he's using non-stick in this case.  I haven't tried this yet as my sous vide cooker is awaiting the holiday gift giving season. But I'm looking forward to trying it. 

I've done the over night bacon a couple times and really like it, although I don't think it ends up being much more convenient. It does give the fat this really soft creamy texture without rendering it. I thought that was awesome, but if you don't like seeing or eating fat it's probably not the best bacon technique for you.
post #9 of 9

The only thing I keep a non stick pan around for is eggs.  I only cook eggs on that pan and nothing metal ever touches it.

 

Other than my egg pan I use carbon steel (skillets, woks),  stainless, and cast iron.   Learn when and how to add oil and heat and sticking is not a problem.

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