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Old 03-03-2010, 02:48 PM   #1
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Nonstick or cast iron pan for omelets?

I make omelets on an almost daily basis. I've been using a nonstick pan and it's time to replace it after about 2 years of heavy use. I've been thinking about buying a cast iron pan but don't know if I want to deal with the weight issue when cleaning. I've seen some of the lightweight cast iron pans but don't know what to think of them.

Should I just stick with a nonstick frying pan and plan on replacing it every few years? If so, can anyone suggest an affordable quality brand to consider?

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Old 03-03-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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I prefer non-stick for omelets and other egg dishes.

I tend to buy inexpensive heavy aluminum pans with a non-stick coating. I try to find ones with the aluminum enameled so it can go into the dishwasher.

I recently saw a pair of such pans (two different sizes) in Costco for $23. If I needed pans, I'd buy those. I think they were Tramontina.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #3
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The weight of cast iron pans is their best and worst quality at the same time. Being heavy they are harder to handle. But the mass is what makes them so good at retaining heat, which they are prized for. If the weight is an issue then you will not enjoy using the pan and it will sit there collecting dust.

My kitchen has non-stick pans, cast iron, both raw and enameled, stainless steel and a few other things thrown in too. There is nothing wrong with using non-stick if you use it correctly and for the right applications.

I am a fan of Calphalon for my non-stick. The pans are heavier than the majority of other non-sticks I have handled. They are no where near as heavy as cast iron, but they do have a decent amount of heft which is a good thing (see above). Another thing I life about the line I got is that they have a lifetime warranty. All non-stick pans will lose the coating after time. The Calphalon line I have will replace the product as long as you do not abuse the pan (IE: use metal in it). I had a frying pan that started to get a bare spot. The pan still worked fine, but the bare spot was getting bigger and bigger. It was still pretty non-stick, but not like it was out of the box. I had always been very careful to take care of the pan so metal was (almost) never in it. Well I sent my pan back and a week later I had a brand new pan. The original line mine was from was non-existent at that point so they replaced it with what they have no that was comparable. I like this new pan even more than the old one.

Some people buy the cheapest non-stick they can knowing they will toss it after a few years and buy another one. I prefer to conserve materials when possible and do not mind making an investment in a pan that will hopefully last me a lifetime (periodically being replace free of charge). This way I get a higher quality (heavier and better constructed) pan and an not contributing to the landfills. I am not saying one way is right and the other is wrong. There are just two different ways of going about it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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I am a fan of Calphalon for my non-stick. The pans are heavier than the majority of other non-sticks I have handled. They are no where near as heavy as cast iron, but they do have a decent amount of heft which is a good thing (see above). Another thing I life about the line I got is that they have a lifetime warranty. All non-stick pans will lose the coating after time. The Calphalon line I have will replace the product as long as you do not abuse the pan (IE: use metal in it). I had a frying pan that started to get a bare spot. The pan still worked fine, but the bare spot was getting bigger and bigger. It was still pretty non-stick, but not like it was out of the box. I had always been very careful to take care of the pan so metal was (almost) never in it. Well I sent my pan back and a week later I had a brand new pan. The original line mine was from was non-existent at that point so they replaced it with what they have no that was comparable. I like this new pan even more than the old one.
I really like my Calphalon as well. I didn't realize they have a lifetime warranty. Do you know what kind of standards they apply to the surface to determine replacement? Mine are still in really good shape (it has been two years since I got them for Christmas), though water doesn't bead as nicely on them now as it used to.

I did leave my larger one on the stove with the burner on for, well, way too long. I have made sausage links in it. There was a not nice sludge when I realized I could still smell the sausage from breakfast at lunchtime. It cleaned right up and the pan still works a treat.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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GB, Andy M. -

thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to check out my local costco to see if they carry those pans you mentioned. The one's I bought last time were a costco brand. I like to use heat heat when making omelets and I sometimes throw them in the oven when making fritattas. Do you know if the lower price nonsticks pans hold up just as much as the higher end pans?
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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I really like my Calphalon as well. I didn't realize they have a lifetime warranty. Do you know what kind of standards they apply to the surface to determine replacement?
Not all of their lines do have the lifetime warranty. They all carry some sort of warranty, but some are longer than others.

I am not sure what kind of standards, but the pan I sent in was well used (5 or 6 years of heavy use) and even had a small shallow scratch in it. I figured there was a chance they would decline to replace it because of the scratch since that could have only been caused by something that is not allowed in the pan per the warranty. They never said a word about it though.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:27 PM   #7
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Do you know if the lower price nonsticks pans hold up just as much as the higher end pans?
I would have to guess (and yes it is just a guess) that the cheaper pans would not hold up as well under those conditions.

My pans get used on high heat frequently, even though they say never to go above med-high or so. They can also go in the oven up to 400 or 450 (I don't recall which).
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:34 PM   #8
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Not all of their lines do have the lifetime warranty. They all carry some sort of warranty, but some are longer than others.

Thanks.. now I just have to go look and see if I can figure it out.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:36 PM   #9
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I would expect the high end pans to last longer. I put my cheap ones in the oven for frittatas all the time. They have plastic handles and come out unscathed.

There are different grades of non-stick coatings. Some are tougher than others.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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I'll just agree with what was said. I use non-stick pans for my omlets and eggs and at the moment all my non-stick are calphalon. I also had a T-fal but after 14 years if finally had started to lose it's coating.
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