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Old 05-26-2005, 01:48 PM   #1
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Deformed pan bottoms?

I'm sure that over-heating pans is the cause of pans that are no longer flat on the bottom but what else can be done when you need high temps to sear your meats?

Are high end pans immune to this kind of deformation? I'm considering the purchase of a stainless pan with a thick clad bottom in the hopes that it will be less likely to deform on me.

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Old 05-26-2005, 02:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
I'm sure that over-heating pans is the cause of pans that are no longer flat on the bottom but what else can be done when you need high temps to sear your meats?

Are high end pans immune to this kind of deformation? I'm considering the purchase of a stainless pan with a thick clad bottom in the hopes that it will be less likely to deform on me.
Typically speaking, the thinner the metal, the more likely a pan is to deform. I was always told that you never run a hot frying pan under the tap as that will cause it to warp, but that seems to mostly be true of cheaper pans stamped out of thin materials. I will never willingly own a cheap piece of cookware again, after cooking for the the last 3 years with my Emerilware by All Clad ( I know, it's not the best, but it beats anything I ever owned before, and works well for me). I haven't had any problems with warping or with damage to the nonstick coating on any of these pans...
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Old 05-26-2005, 02:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
Are high end pans immune to this kind of deformation? I'm considering the purchase of a stainless pan with a thick clad bottom in the hopes that it will be less likely to deform on me.
Just because it is high end does not mean it will not deform. The key is having a heavy thick pan. Most high end pans fall into this category, but they do not have to. Something like cast iron, which is very inexpensive, is very heavy and very thick and will not warp.

The cheepo lightweight pans will warp very easily though. If you are serious about cooking them get some decent cookware. You will not be sorry.
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Old 05-26-2005, 02:52 PM   #4
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Just to add to what RPCookin and GB said ...

I've got a set of Emerilware Stainless Steel - and I call tell you something about encausulated bottoms ... if you get them too hot the SS discolors, warps, and the aluminum in the base melts all over your stove. The same is true for All-Clad's high end tri-ply stainaless ... read the instructions and warranty. They suggest only using low to medium temperatures.

Having said that - I have no problem getting a good sear on meats at a lower temp that won't destroy my pans.

If you want a pan that you can get blazing hot and will not warp or melt - get a plain ol' cast iron skillet.
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:57 PM   #5
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I ruined a great cookie sheet by running tap water on it while it was still hot, ruined another by cooking a frozen pot pie (gasp) on it. I had put the sheet in the oven while it was heating up and then put the frozen dish on it.
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:08 AM   #6
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When I bought a smooth-top electric range I looked for the flattest bottom cookware I could find within my budget (I needed new anyway). For my buck a set of Sitram and a couple of Circulon nonstick skillets to supplement them really work well. They're very heavy and very flat and can really take abuse. I really abuse my cookwear (as my husband says, and Mom said when I was young, Claire plays with her toys, she doesn't just look at them) and they've held up admirably. I don't believe nonstick is forever, so don't pay a lot for it and consider it a few years' investment. The Sitram, I suspect, is for life. Some of it has slightly discolored, but I've found that if I take the time to hit it with metal polish (which I seldom do; they're tools, not decorations) I can fix it. As far as cookie sheets and other oven ware, I'm at a loss. As far as I can tell, most will warp. I've never quite figured out whether to just buy cheap and toss them when they aggravate me, or to try more expensive (so far they've only performed marginally better). You have to understand I don't bake cookies on them, which is a few minutes in the oven. I'm much more likely to be experimenting with baking crab cakes, making chicken wings, etc. They get all grease stained and warp like crazy (sometimes you can even hear them pinging with metal fatigue). Are the truly expensive ones any better? (I've done cheap through medium priced and not found a noticeable difference in clean-ability (brother, the vocabulary), but some in the warp factor (i.e., double sided bottoms on the pans don't warp as badly). Any help in the cookie sheet department would be appreciated.
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:41 AM   #7
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I wrote All-Clad about this several months ago and this is their reply.

While we do not recommend the use of high heat that is not to say that the heat cannot be increased carefully. You can use higher heat to sear meats as long as you watch carefully and make sure not to overheat the pan.
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Old 05-29-2005, 09:35 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
As far as cookie sheets and other oven ware, I'm at a loss. As far as I can tell, most will warp. I've never quite figured out whether to just buy cheap and toss them when they aggravate me, or to try more expensive (so far they've only performed marginally better). You have to understand I don't bake cookies on them, which is a few minutes in the oven. I'm much more likely to be experimenting with baking crab cakes, making chicken wings, etc. They get all grease stained and warp like crazy (sometimes you can even hear them pinging with metal fatigue). Are the truly expensive ones any better? (I've done cheap through medium priced and not found a noticeable difference in clean-ability (brother, the vocabulary), but some in the warp factor (i.e., double sided bottoms on the pans don't warp as badly). Any help in the cookie sheet department would be appreciated.
Help has arrived!

Hurry yourself to the restaurant supply store and buy half sheet aluminum bun/sheet pans in the heaviest gauge they carry.

They work in restaurants, they will work in your home. They can possibly warp, but not likely under normal conditions.
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Old 07-08-2005, 12:01 AM   #9
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you can ruin any pan by thermal shock...over heating it and plunging it into cold water. copper will bulge, steel will warp, iron will crack, stone will explode, glass will implode, you name it. let a pan cool naturally, let it heat slowly, if you must put water in a pan to clean it before it solidifies to rock, put hot water in.

I really don't like encapsulated bottoms. I do own one, my multi cooker pasta pot with basket etc. It boils water fine. But I like the whole pot to radiate the heat into the food from all sides not just the bottom.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:23 PM   #10
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The most warp resistant cookware I have is my LeCrueset. I also have had no issues with All-Clad, Cuisenart, or KitchenAid cookware.

As said above, any metal will deform if the temps are hot enough or the pan is subjected to a severe themal shock
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