Sauce Pans - Stainless Steel vs. Non Stick

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GB

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I have a well stocked kitchen when it comes to cookware. The one thing I am somewhat lacking though is good sauce pans. I have one good one. It is a SS All Clad which I love. I have one other really junky non stick pan with a million scratches. Now when it comes to saute pans or frying pans I know why (in most cases and IMO) SS is superior to non stick. Fond is a major reason. You will not get any good fond development in non stick. Browning is another reason. SS does a much better job at putting color on your meats. Here is my question...Since I will not be cooking anything that requires building fond or browning in my sauce pans, is there any reason why SS would be superior to non stick in this case? The only reason I can think of is if I am working on the grill and I want to put the pan on the high heat of the grill. I would not do that with non stick, but SS would be fine. I would love to hear all of you opinions because I am sure there are positives and negative to each that I am just not aware of. Thanks!
 

Michael in FtW

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You've pretty well covered the bases, GB. No, I can't see any reason SS would be better than nonstick for a sauce pan. The only exception to that would be is you're making sauces where you're using a wire whisk ... but they make nylon (not fond of those because the ones I've seen are kind of flimsy - not too good for thick sauces, and have a lower melting point than silicone) and wire coated with silicone (IMHO the better choice). Of course, cleanup is a snap with nonstick for things like Mac-n-Cheese.
 

Andy M.

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GB:


I agree with Michael. As long as the pan material is such that it won't give you hot spots leading to scorched spots (eg. thin single ply stainless) non-stick should not cost you anything in the food quality area. Didn't you say that you had some anodized aluminum cookware? That should be good too.

Also, if the sauce pan has liquid in it, I wouldn't hesitate to put it on the grill.
 

GB

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Thanks guys. I think when I go to buy new ones (soon I hope) I will be going with good quality non stick.
 

Claire

Master Chef
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Sep 4, 2004
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Galena, IL
I definitely do not bother with nonstick for sauce pans. Wouldn't be without a nonstick skillet or two. For skillets I have both high qualilty regular ss, then relatively inexpensive nonstick which I just plan on replacing every few years so I don't have to baby them. I do NOT believe in babying my kitchen equipment if I can help it. Love to cook, hate to treat my kitchen as if it was a shrine. Hubby is in charge of knives, so I always have great knives in great shape. But everything else must be easy care. There just isn't much you need a nonstick saucepan for, and as you noted, there's a lot you cannot do with it.
 

LeeAnn

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Jan 11, 2005
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Southampton, New York
I have both but prefer my SS. My nonstick are hand me downs from my dad's girlfriend, one of the pans is in poor condition and is going out with the trash, the others are fine. But I still tend to use my SS for everything, I like that I don't have to worry about what type of utensil I use. I tend to get better results with the SS. :)
 

Rob Babcock

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Claire said:
I definitely do not bother with nonstick for sauce pans. Wouldn't be without a nonstick skillet or two. For skillets I have both high qualilty regular ss, then relatively inexpensive nonstick which I just plan on replacing every few years so I don't have to baby them. I do NOT believe in babying my kitchen equipment if I can help it. Love to cook, hate to treat my kitchen as if it was a shrine. Hubby is in charge of knives, so I always have great knives in great shape. But everything else must be easy care. There just isn't much you need a nonstick saucepan for, and as you noted, there's a lot you cannot do with it.

I agree 99%- I do "baby" my good knives. But otherwise I'll use a pan until it's shot. If that's a $75 Calphalon pan, so be it. Cookware isn't a display at the Louve, it's there to rock with!:p
 

waaza

Senior Cook
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Mar 9, 2005
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England, UK
all my pans are heavy cast iron, including frying pans (skillets), but I do use a non-stick omelette pan and one of my dutch ovens is (was) non-stick aluminium. Can't say I would even go back to using stainless steel, the thin ones don't keep their heat and they scratch too readily, I only use s/s utensils, apart from a few plastic ones, never wood (ugh).
cheers
Waaza
poly boards but wooden-handled knives, old Swiss type, (Victorinox, rosewood with brass rivets, mmmmmmmm! brass rivets (said in Homer Simpson type voice) :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
 
Last edited:

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Aug 26, 2004
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USA,Michigan
Everyone knows I love my cast iron, and wouldn't have non-stick in my house. I want to be able to use my pots and pans on the stove-top, in the oven, under the broiler, and even on the barbecue, or over a wood fire when camping. Cast-iron is just so durable, and easy to care for. It's about as stick free as you can get, so long as you season it properly. I use SS pots though, as they don't give off the metalic flavor that cast-iron can when used with acidic ingredients.

I'd love to get my hands on some cedar planks, for planking fish.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

Druid

Assistant Cook
Joined
Apr 24, 2003
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emerald city, oz
I've got an older set of Caphalon hard anodized (the Pro series) and I love 'em. Also have a cast iron fry pan and large pot for stews & stuff. I don't baby my stuff at all - it's used both at home and in my personal chef business.
 

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