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Old 01-30-2009, 10:52 PM   #1
Laurel's Avatar
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Good SS Frying Pan

I recently bought a Calphalon Tri-ply 12" SS omelet pan to use with my ceramic flat-top range. After fewer than 3 months, the pan has warped beyond belief (I never run water on it when it's hot or anything, I always let it sit on the range to cool while I eat dinner, then wash it).

The little booklet that the pan came with says "always preheat the pan at the temperature setting you'll use to cook...do not preheat on high to heat the pan faster." I've used high heat perhaps 4 times with this pan, all times when I was searing things, either chicken breasts (it's big enough to fit 4, my cast iron can only fit 2 comfortably) or veggies in a stir-fry. After a short time, the bottom became convex(which doesn't work well on a smooth-top range) and I called Calphalon regarding this and basically got told off by the "customer service" person that I spoke with. Apparently I'm supposed to sear things on medium heat. I was also told that if I send my pan in on warranty (on my dime), and it's determined that I used it improperly (warranties do not cover "overheating"), then it will be shipped back to me and I'm SOL.

Basically, I'm completely finished with Calphalon(I'll sell this junk on CL to someone with a gas or electric coil range) and ready to get a decent, cheap, restaurant quality SS pan that will not warp on my smooth top range. I'm not looking for something that will last me forever, but would like something of decent quality (I'm not expecting that based on my experience with Calphalon), and I will rarely even use it, I much prefer using my cast iron, but sometimes need something bigger or something I can cook acidic sauces in. Do you have any brand suggestions? I thought about just heading to the restaurant supply store with a straight-edge and seeing what I could find, but if there are brands to avoid, and brands to look for, I'd like to know them. Thanks.


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Old 01-30-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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I can hear your frustration with your Calphalon pan and I actually think you got a defective one. I have mainly Calphalon SS pans and skillets and I have had no problems with them. I know I have used them under high heat also but I haven't had any warping. If I were you, I'd send it back to Calphalon anyway, since you've already paid for it and it's not useable. Or try to return it to a Calphalon store. That said, I have a wonderful All-Clad French skillet that I love! I bought the 13" size and I use it a couple of times a week. I've also heard good things about the upper end Tramontina SS, but I have no personal experience. HTH

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
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Look at getting a tri-ply type set up - SS exterior and interior with an aluminum or copper core. They're not cheap per se, but because the of the thickness of the metal they don't warp and they have much better cooking properties than straight SS, which isn't used that often in a commercial kitchen apart from stockpots.

All clad, Scanpan (fusion range), Mauviel (M'cook range), or Spring are all good names.
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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I agree with Fisher's Mom. I got a set of Calphalon dishes for Christmas 2007 and they've been great - no warping problems at all. I'd return it. Good luck.
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:38 PM   #5
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Have you thought about trying Tramontina? They are inexpensive and of good quality. They even have a new Clad line and the two places I have seen them are Wal-Mart and Amazon.com.

Also, the wharehouse stores have all the cheapo resturaunt cookware that you might check out.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:50 PM   #6
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"lifetime warranty"

Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
I recently bought a Calphalon Tri-ply 12" SS omelet pan ....I was also told that if I send my pan in on warranty (on my dime), and it's determined that I used it improperly (warranties do not cover "overheating"), then it will be shipped back to me and I'm SOL.

Basically, I'm completely finished with Calphalon
  • PLEASE NOTE: I not authorized to speak in behalf of any company/retailer mentioned and this post should in no way be considered anything other than my personal opinion.
Calphalon's Lifetime Warranty and Usage guides leaves a lot of wiggle room and it's totally WRONG for customer service to treat you poorly!!

Where did you buy the pan and how long ago is "recently"? Did you contact the retail store where you purchased the item? Do you have the all stainless or the non-stick interior SS exterior pan?

The "better" retailers (I think I work for the best retailer) put customer satisfaction ahead of issues of "blame" and they don't look for warranty "loopholes". I have worked part-time for Williams-Sonoma for several years and have handled a lot of customer returns/exchanges. Williams-Sonoma gives new meaning to the phrase The Customer Is Always Right. I have seen cookware which was clearly abused or mis-handled by the customer. In both locations where I worked, the cookware in question was cheerfully replaced. I take the time to carefully instruct the customers on the use and care of their replaced piece in order to avoid future returns for the same reasons. There are also times where the item was apparently well cared for but still "failed".

If where you bought the pan doesn't "make this right", don't give up on dealing with the manufacturer. It's a shame when companies don't just "do the right thing".

As for suggestions: I tell my friends, family and customers the same tings. Spend your money where it counts most and if you're on a budget know the items where you can save without giving up too much. You can easily get away with spending less on stock pot, but buy the best "fry/saute/skillet/chef" pot/pan you can afford. I've had my All-Clad ALL stainless (not big on non-stick at all) for years and I bought long before I worked for WS - they are real work horses and worth the price.

Did you choose a SS omelet pan for any reason other than size?

You mentioned you like cast iron, but that the one you have isn't large enough. Lodge makes a 12" Cast Iron fry pan (same size as the omelet pan you're using) and you won't believe how little they cost - we sell it for $29.95.

Good luck and keep us posted!


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Old 02-09-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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It's a SS pan, as the tri-ply line is only clad SS, not non-stick coated.

I purchased the pan about 4 months ago from BB&B, but can't find my receipt so I'm just dealing with Calphalon. I chose the omelet pan because of the size and I like the shape of the sides, it makes flipping things easier for me.

I'm also a cast iron snob. There's no way I'd buy Lodge after using one. I don't like the textured surface, and my antique cast iron's quality is WAY higher.

I need to call Calphalon back, but I've been busy, we just got a pooch and he's needed almost constant attention, plus the weather's gotten nicer so I've been out in the garden in my spare time.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:45 PM   #8
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I hear you, Laurel. I have a large AllClad Ltd. fryer with lid and a smaller (10-1/2"?) AllClad Ltd. sautee with the "omelette" sides. Mostly, now, I use them for poaching eggs or dishes like peppersteak. Frying happens around here in older Wagner CI (smooth bottom) or black steel. I have a heavy black steel for searing, as well as a Wagner grill pan.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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Have you tried taking it back to BB&B? The ones I've been to seem pretty good about returns. If you are a frequent customer they will probably know you aren't trying to rip them off and help you out.

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Old 02-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #10
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If you can afford them, consider one of these French carbon steel fry pans: Shop French Carbon Steel Fry Pan at CHEFS. .

They should last a lifetime and produce great results at high temperature.

"Iím going to break one of the rules of the trade here. Iím going to tell you some of the secrets of improvisation. Just remember ó itís always a good idea to follow the directions exactly the first time you try a recipe. But from then on, youíre on your own." - James Beard
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