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Old 11-25-2014, 04:17 PM   #1
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Looking for big, DEEP skillet/frying pan/saute' pan

OK, so I am the worst cook in the world.

I have a 12" non-stick skillet I use; mainly for Hamburger Helper.

Recently I started making some pretty cool fried potatoes, just chopping up a pound of potatoes, a small onion, and a bell pepper, tossing them in a little extra virgin olive oil with a little Montreal steak seasoning and paprika, and frying them up.

It works great, with one exception. The sides of the pan are about 2 3/4" inches deep, and I'm always dumping taters (or ground beef when I'm making Hamburger Helper) out the sides when I stir it. I like the size of the skillet, but I want one deeper; at least 6" deep.

Also, I read on here that you're not supposed to use high heat with non-stick cookware, so I think I want stainless steel. I had a friend suggest cast iron, but I bought a Lodge Logic skillet and grill pan a few years back, and the cleanup was such a nightmare that I gave them away. I just want something that is easy to clean up.

I thought about just using a big 16 quart pot like this one: Farberware Classic Covered Stock Pot with Lid - Walmart.com Wal-Mart has one in-store for around 50 bucks. I was talking to one of the chefs at work, though, and he said a pot that tall had some kind of chimney effect that would inhibit evaporation, or something else dire and undesirable. It was all over my head. Is that correct?

I searched amazon.com, but the only one I found was around 250 bucks. http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-BD552...&keywords=deep

Also, I'm confused by the size. It says "6 quart", but I'm not sure how that compares to a 12" skillet.

I stopped by Bed Bath & Beyond, and the lady suggested this wok: Infuse® 4-Piece Carbon Steel Wok Set by Tabletops Unlimited® - BedBathandBeyond.com

It looked good, but after coming home and researching it a bit, there's apparently a lot more maintenance on carbon steel than I want to have to do. Maybe a stainless steel one? I think I really prefer a flat-bottomed pan.

I saw a show once where Tyler Florence used a cast-iron dutch oven for something like this, except it was painted, or coated, or something. Does that paint/coating hold up?

Also, I don't understand the difference between a frying pan, a saute' pan, and a skillet.

Can anyone help>

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Old 11-25-2014, 04:59 PM   #2
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If you want a deep frying pan I would look at what some manufacturers call a "chicken fryer". I use cast iron for all of my frying.

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Old 11-25-2014, 05:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCan'tCook View Post
.................I was talking to one of the chefs at work, though, and he said a pot that tall had some kind of chimney effect that would inhibit evaporation, or something else dire and undesirable. It was all over my head. Is that correct?

.................................

Also, I don't understand the difference between a frying pan, a saute' pan, and a skillet.
Your chef friend is right. In a deep pan, the moisture doesn't evaporate as well, and the food can steam, rather than fry up crisp. It sounds like you're overloading your pan. Brown things up in smaller batches.

A frying pan is also called a skillet or an omelette pan. It's low and flat with sloping sides.

A saute pan has a big flat bottom, with sides that are about 3-4 inches tall. It's somewhat similar to a chicken fryer.

The ones you're looking at that are several inches deep and measured in quarts are called dutch ovens. They are primarily for braising, when you want to keep the moisture in while you cook low and slow.

While technically, you can cook an egg or a potato in any of them, having the right size & shape lets the pan do its part of the work for you.

And.....All-clad is pricey. Calphalon, Cuisinart, Tramontina, and many others make similar pans for a fraction of the price. Check out the clearance stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, etc.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
If you want a deep frying pan I would look at what some manufacturers call a "chicken fryer". I use cast iron for all of my frying.

Thanks Aunt Bea, but I will never have a cast iron pot or pan again.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:35 PM   #5
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I stopped by Macy's and talked to the lady there who said she cooks a lot. She recommended this, and it was on sale for 24.99!

Amazon.com: Cuisinart 726-38H Chef's Classic Stainless 14-Inch Stir-Fry Pan with Helper Handle and Glass Cover: Wok: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:41 AM   #6
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It's too bad you had a bad experience with the cast iron. I suspect that it was not properly "seasoned" before you began to use it. I think many cooks here would agree that a good cast iron frying pan/skillet can be very useful. If it were properly seasoned something like fried potatoes would never leave a mess that was difficult to clean :). Anything with gravy like Hamburger Helper will be more difficult to clean no matter what kind of pan you use, although non stick probably less so. The Cuisinart stir fry pan looks like it will cover your needs, but be aware there is a big difference between non stick and stainless steel, there will be some cleaning involved ;).
Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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Old 11-26-2014, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
If you want a deep frying pan I would look at what some manufacturers call a "chicken fryer". I use cast iron for all of my frying.

I have one of these as well (I think a 3.5 qt). I use it for all kinds of things, most recently for my Yankee pot roast.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:42 AM   #8
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If you keep spilling potatoes out of the pan when you stir them, the pan is probably too full. If your pan is too full, food doesn't brown as well. So one solution would be to use a bigger pan or cook smaller amounts.

Of all the pans you linked, given your preference for a flat bottomed pan, I'd go with the All-Clad. It's closest to what you should actually be using.

A straight-sided 12" pan will hold more food than a skillet with sloping sides. So consider a 12"-13" sauté pan. Amazon.com: All-Clad Stainless 6-Quart Saute Pan: Kitchen & Dining

It doesn't have to be All-Clad.
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:09 PM   #9
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This is what I have and I love everything about it. I hate the weight of cast iron. This is perfect in my opinion, and I've been using it for over ten years.

Amazon.com: Simply Calphalon Nonstick 12" Jumbo Fryer: Pans: Home & Kitchen
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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I have the following.

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-MCP3...less+saute+pan

Sorry, it is not non-stick. But a quick swish in the sink and it will clean up nicely. Or you can always put some water in it, and boil it. Any foods that may be stuck on, will come free instantly. I use mine to make family size frittatas. My daughter uses hers to fry up enough meatballs for a couple of meals. I have been using mine for about three years now. And it cleans up like new. The same with my daughter's.

You are asking a lot for just one pan to perform. You didn't mention if price was important to you. Sounds like you are just filling your pan too full. Cook your food in smaller batches. Keep the first batches in a warm oven until you are finished. Good luck in your quest to find your perfect pan.
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