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Old 02-12-2007, 09:05 AM   #1
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ISO pan information?

I've read through a lot of posts, done some searches, and I've come to the conclusion that there isn't a right answer to this question, but I'm hoping someone will say something that will sway my decision.

OK, I'm in the market for a couple of new fry pans and a saute pan (with cover). Currently I have a large TFal arrangement, but for some reason the saute and fry pans have really deteriorated in the last few months. They're 20 years old, so I guess this is to be expected, but the sudden turn for the worse has me a little confused. I'm wondering if it's my dishwasher.... but that's where the new pans will be going too, so I guess we'll see.

I understand the different pan for different job philosophy, but I need my pans to multi-task. If I'm cooking sausage in a pan and I decide to add garlic, onions, and spagetti sauce because my appetite has changed, I don't want to worry about the acids from the sauce affecting the pan.... something I read about using SS or aluminum, I think.
Also, I often let my leftovers cool in the pan, throw some plasic wrap across the top, set the lid on and refridgerate til the following day. Maybe I'll reheat in the pan, maybe I'll transfer to a plate and nuke it....

Breakfast usually needs two fry pans, but sometimes I get by cooking my home fries, bacon and eggs in one pan. For this reason I am wondering if I should stick with non-stick..... (I didn't say that on purpose ) because most of the things I've read have said to keep one non-stick pan for your eggs, but I know I wouldn't be able to keep a dedicated pan just for eggs. I'd end up frying something else in there, too.
I should mention that I'm not into making pan gravy yet and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw some pans going for a couple hundred bucks not for me....
I picked up a cheapo square pan from Wally World 6 months ago and the coating looks like it's turning brown in spots already I don't use metal utensils.

So, is there any help for me? Can someone recommend a few pans that will hold me over for another 20 years, or am I better off going cheap and replacing every couple years? My pots are just fine, BTW.

Fred
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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ok, from what you say, you need two kinds of pans ... some stainless steel, and some silverstone lined.

on the stainless : you want clad of some type...heavy metal cooks evenly. good clad pans are usually aluminum with stainless lining. THe top brand will be All Clad, but there are others out there that are cheaper (made overseas)

You will also want some stick free (silver stone) which will not last as long in the dishwasher, sorry but when you bombard a pan with hard gritty lye pellets, it does take a toll. I recommend getting "restaurant pans" for this ... wearever or nordic ware or something similar...they are meant to take a beating, they are heavy aluminum with a good silverstone lining, and they are not expensive by comparison to say AllClad.

So happy shopping
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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I have three Calphalon non stick pans. They are really not that expensive, yet they are durable. I recommend them if you don't want to spend a lot but yet want something that will be functional for awhile. I don't know about 20 years tho. The finish is bound to get a little scraped up by then. There are some great sales at department stores. I got my Mom two Calphalon non-stick omelet pans (a set) for $40.00 around Christmas. They should stay in good condition for maybe 10 years.

Going too cheap on pans presents some problems. If they are too light weight things burn and cook too quickly and unevenly not to mention that the finish on cheap pans are so very "temporary".
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:12 AM   #4
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dishwasher use voids the calphalon warrenty, which is why I recommended the "resaraunt pans"
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:03 AM   #5
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I thought my post disappeared.... what does "ISO" mean?

There used to be a store by where I live that sold commercial grade cookware, but not anymore
Are there online sources for this? Or will the pan description say "restaurant quality? I could spend days looking at cookware at Amazon.... and I think I already have.

Thanks
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:05 AM   #6
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ISO means in search of
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:10 AM   #7
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In search of..... That I am
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:31 AM   #8
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Broadway Panhandler, A Cook's Best Resource

Cookware & More : All-Clad Outlet

Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop - Fantes.com

to leave food in the pan in the fridge overnight: stainless steel, glass, enameled cast iron or steel.

dishwasher safe: stainless steel, glass, some enamled cast iron.

real restaurant pans are about 2.5 to 3 mm thick with riveted handles...polished aluminum (and you want silverstone lining non stick)

Kitchenware online at Cooking.com: Shop for small appliances, cookware, cutlery, bakeware, tableware, and more plus find recipes.

www.chefscatalogue.com

www.williams-sanoma.com (very expensive)
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:04 PM   #9
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Thanks A LOT!
I was just visiting some sponsor's links and was having a hard time finding silverstone and in the names mentioned. I went to Amazon, too. The one sponsor that said Budget Restaurant supply, or something like that, looked like it just had really cheap stuff, so I guess the "restaurant" in the name was just a facade.

I'll let you folks know what I decide on.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:03 PM   #10
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OK, so I am taking it that SS is OK to put in the fridge without the non-stick surface? Why can't this be done with the non-stick surface..... I've been doing this for years. Is this unhealthy now? I thought I read that overheating the pan caused the problems with non-stick, or maybe I am confusing non-stick with teflon. I don't know if there's more than one non-stick surface, or if they make it textured anymore like they used to.

That cooking.com is a great site. Lots to choose from and way easier to find what I was looking for compared to Fantes. I was looking at the T-Fal, too, it has served me so well in the past, but I can't figure out why they only offer the SS T-Fal in the sets. I only need the fry pans and saute pan and they only sell the non-stick version separately.

I'd like to give SS a try, but not at a $200 trial, but I don't want to have a separate egg pan either...
I'm probably more confused now than I was yesterday this time (lol).
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:22 PM   #11
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Different pans are used for different things. You can get away with just one style pan (non stick, SS, cast iron, etc.), but you will be making sacrifices.

SS is great at browning foods. Food sticks to SS which is a good thing if you want to make pan sauces.

Non stick (Tephlon is a brand name of non stick coating) is easy to clean, but you really can't use it to make a pan sauce though. Non stick is perfect for eggs, but that is not the only thing it is good for. I use mine anytime I am cooking something with a lot of cheese (grilled cheese, mac and cheese, etc.) as they clean up so easily.

Non stick pans generally can't go in the dishwasher without voiding the warranty, but they are so simple to clean that finding room for them in the dishwasher is harder than just cleaning them by hand.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:53 PM   #12
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you should be able to store food in a non stick pan as long as it's not scratched. THe heat up issue is true for any pan ...good ventilation is the key...most homes don't have it sorry to say.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:04 PM   #13
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Thanks for the added tips.
I think I'm going to stick with the non-stick then. It's what I'm used to and I don't make any pan sauces.... I saw ones that were supposed to be dishwasher safe and were pretty reasonable.
Maybe I'll get one SS pan to play with after I get going with my new pans. Should be a big change just to have new pans, now if I can just force myself to throw the old ones out.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:17 PM   #14
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If you enjoy cooking and want to be able to expand your cooking skills then get some SS. If you just cook because you have to eat then non stick is probably the way to go.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:58 PM   #15
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I don't have any non stick pans because my DH thinks they are deadly and has gone as far as to throw them away. So, I deal with my SS and cast iron pans and I love them. I do miss the non stick for eggs. I am going to have a look at your links for the restaurant pans. Alas, I'll probabally want to buy everything.
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:20 AM   #16
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Are there any comments on these two brands, Farberware and Cuisinart?
I'm looking at:
Farberware Skillet - Cooking.com
or Cuisinart Nonstick Skillet - Cooking.com
and Farberware Black Saute Pan - Cooking.com
or Cuisinart Nonstick Saute Pan - Cooking.com

I don't understand why even though the Cuisinart pans are basically the same, just different shapes, one is dishwasher safe and the other not.... but they are looking into that for me.
It would be nice if the Farberware had a larger saute pan, but they don't. A nice feature though is the handle is cool to the touch, something the Cuisinart says it is not.

Is one brand better than the other generally speaking? And I know it's definitely not a sin to mix and match, so maybe I would be better off trying one manufacturer for the fry pan and one for the saute pan. I still need to check into a SS pan too, but I would like to get these non-sticks on order first because it's what I'm used to.
I guess you could say I cook to feed myself, so don't know how much benefit the SS pans would be.....

Thanks again
Fred
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:54 PM   #17
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Well OK. No more responses so I figured it was time to order on what was already said. After all, it's a personal choice.
I went with the Cuisinart AND changed my mind again, I went with all SS fry and saute pans similar to the ones I posted (but without the non-stick surface of course) and a 10" non-stick fry pan just in case I can't get the hang of cooking eggs in SS.
Looks like it's time to learn to cook with SS, but I've already been learning a lot pouring over old posts..... hot pan, cold oil.
Amazon was a lot cheaper and had everything in stock, so I had to go with them. Hopefully they'll ship in their usual quick manner and hopefully I'll learn to make pan sauces to take full advantage of the SS cooking surface.
Fried pork chops is first on the menu.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:56 PM   #18
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I am sure you will love your new pans. It will take a little trial and error to figure out how to us the SS, but you will be able to do it no problem. You are off to a good start by reading old posts here.

Do you know about deglazing the pan when you cook something? That is how you make a sauce, but it is also the easiest way to clean the pan after you use it.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Do you know about deglazing the pan when you cook something? That is how you make a sauce, but it is also the easiest way to clean the pan after you use it.
I've read the term used here, but don't know what it means. Can you tell me or post a link? I'm having a hard time narrowing my searches down for what I'm actually looking for, but it's taken me to some great topics.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:28 PM   #20
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Sure I can tell you.

Lets say you cooked a steak. Once the steak is done you take the meat out of the pan. You will be left with little bits of food stuck to the pan. Those little bits are called fond. The fond is full of amazing flavor. To deglaze the pan what you do is pour in a little liquid and scrape up those bits with a wooden spoon (with the heat still in the pan). The fond will loosed from the pan without much work at all. You can use a variety of liquids from water to wine to juices to stocks. This can be the base for your sauce.

If you don't feel like making a sauce of what you are cooking is not something you would make a sauce for you will still usually want to deglaze the pan (with water). This will make clean up a breeze, even if you plan on sticking the pan in the dishwasher.
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