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View Full Version : Need a new frying pan. Recommend one please.



joseph c
03-29-2009, 01:18 PM
The one my wife uses has got to go. I need one that is suitable for frying the chops..etc. Amazon would be ok with me to order unless a local department store would be good. Thanks.

Paul K
03-30-2009, 04:40 AM
I find I need at least a few frying pans for different purposes. For chops, I'd recommend an anodized aluminum model or stainless steel. Actual size is basically up to you and how comfortable it is for you to use. These will give you better browning effects (as opposed to non-stick) on your meat. For things like eggs, a traditional non-stick model is what I prefer. For the anodized or stainless models, I'd recommend manufacturers such as All Clad or Calphalon; they build quality products that last. For the non-stick, a less expensive brand is usually fine as the non-stick surface will only last so long.

Paul

Dan H.
03-30-2009, 04:53 AM
yup, agreed Paul. I really like cast iron too, and use it whenever I can, and then some, but not always a good option for all things. I can't figure out how one brand could be better then another (cast iron), and have had good luck w/ inexpensive ones, but ...i know nothing about nothing, http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. That should be my signiture! I always feel like that.

Ken P.
03-30-2009, 04:52 PM
I recently went through this/am going through this...

Bought from Amazon Scanpan Classic Ceramic Titanium 12-1/2-Inch Fry Pan (ad: no bad chemicals); working out 'ok' although the jury is still out; not as true flat as I'd like (frying); But not changing color, etc. with high heat ($80.); very impressive for no oil/butter cooking...

Also bought Anolon Titanium French Skillet ($50) and it has held up pretty well - better than the Cuisnart stuff and stands up ok to dishwasher...

Like iron too but is a PITA for day in/day out.

j biesinger
03-30-2009, 05:17 PM
Here's how I roll:

griswold cast iron is always on the hob ready to go. Older cast iron is a bit nicer because back in the day they sandblasted the interior so its super smooth. You can see you reflection in my griswold. I like to keep it on the hob because its heavy, it likes to be used, and its a super easy to clean. The downside is it take a bit to preheat, you just got to remember to turn it on before you start prepping.

For eggs and such, I have a couple calphalon and anolon teflons. I like them because they are nice and heavy adonized aluminum. We probably over paid for them since teflon pans shouldn't be considered as lifetime investments. By its very nature (what makes it work) teflon's powers are fleeting. Buy cheap ones and expect to replace them every couple of years.

For serious browning (pan fried steaks) with stove-to-oven capability, I break out the big dog, a J A Henckles Classic Clad 13" frying pan. It doesn't look like Amazon stocks it anymore, but this thing is a beast and I can't figure out why more people aren't into it since its as nice as allclad and half the price. The nice part about this beast, is if you bring it home and the wife hates it and decides to hit you with it, she probably won't be able to swing it very far.

Dan H.
03-30-2009, 05:45 PM
there ya go with the better/older model comparison of cast iron's, I never knew. The sandblasting sounds really nice. thanks J.

Jim Baker
03-31-2009, 02:32 AM
Calphalon...very sturdy, non heat conducting handles, lifetime warranty.

Ray Crick
03-31-2009, 04:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Older cast iron is a bit nicer because back in the day they sandblasted the interior so its super smooth </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
j,


Thanks for the info. I always wondered why my mom's old cast iron pan was so smooth. I have it now (she passed on 12 years ago) and it has been in the family now for almost 60 years.

I also have an assortment of pans from Caphalon to stainless stel to Scanpan. My Scanpans are some of my favorites even though they ar not "non-stick" as they advertise.

As others have recommended, get different pans for different purposes.

Ray

j biesinger
03-31-2009, 06:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Thanks for the info. I always wondered why my mom's old cast iron pan was so smooth. I have it now (she passed on 12 years ago) and it has been in the family now for almost 60 years. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I could be 60 years of bacon grease. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I can't confirm the source, but when I was doing research on cast iron pop-over pans, I read some talk about shopping at antique stores since modern stuff lacked the finish due to omission of the sandblasting step.

I know there's a big difference between the griswold pan and my modern lodge dutch oven, inside and out. I can only assume its the sandblasting.

Roger M
03-31-2009, 04:51 PM
i got a newer lodge pan (10yrs old) smooth as a babys bum now. I vote cast iron, i love mine.

Bryan S
03-31-2009, 05:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by joseph c:
The one my wife uses has got to go. I need one that is suitable for frying the chops..etc. Amazon would be ok with me to order unless a local department store would be good. Thanks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Link for you on the subject. (http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8850071165/m/1670096285)

r benash
04-01-2009, 03:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by j biesinger:
Here's how I roll:

griswold cast iron is always on the hob ready to go. Older cast iron is a bit nicer because back in the day they sandblasted the interior so its super smooth. You can see you reflection in my griswold. I like to keep it on the hob because its heavy, it likes to be used, and its a super easy to clean. The downside is it take a bit to preheat, you just got to remember to turn it on before you start prepping.

For eggs and such, I have a couple calphalon and anolon teflons. I like them because they are nice and heavy adonized aluminum. We probably over paid for them since teflon pans shouldn't be considered as lifetime investments. By its very nature (what makes it work) teflon's powers are fleeting. Buy cheap ones and expect to replace them every couple of years.

For serious browning (pan fried steaks) with stove-to-oven capability, I break out the big dog, a J A Henckles Classic Clad 13" frying pan. It doesn't look like Amazon stocks it anymore, but this thing is a beast and I can't figure out why more people aren't into it since its as nice as allclad and half the price. The nice part about this beast, is if you bring it home and the wife hates it and decides to hit you with it, she probably won't be able to swing it very far. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll ditto on the Griswold (or Wagner for that matter) vintage cast iron. Lighter and much higher quality than you find today. I wouldn't buy anything out there except maybe Lodge being made today. Even if it has a famous chef's name on it. I have about 5 old Griswold skillets with covers, and an old cast iron chef's skillet. They were not sand blasted to get that finish though, they were ground on the insides. You can still see the grinding marks. They used special tooling to do the grinding. They also used to use jewlers grade sand in the molds and a higher grade cast iron that you get today (90% CI cookware today is from China). This gave them an outstanding overall thinnes and light weight by comparison. Plus a very nice fine finish on the outside and bottom Lodge will work well and they are still made in the US.

I also have some Calphalon 10 and 12 non stick hard anodized aluminum that are just great, and a 14" all clad anodized aluminum, which is nice but I like the handles on the Calphalon better.

I have a couple old clad ss higher end revere's that aren't made anymore that I use as well.

When I'm not doing a lot of flipping or tossing, I really enjoy using the Griswold skillets. If you do buy some old CI skillets, be careful as it's easy to over pay if you don't know what you're buying. If you're not collecting you can buy smart and not spend a ton of money. Griswold also made pans for Sears, Wards and other companies so there are lots of options.

If you want to learn more or get advice on picking up some vintage cast iron this site has a wealth of information even if you don't become a member. Folks on the forums are very helpful and knowledgeable. Not that hard, but you do need to understand how to care for an properly season cast iron cookware.

Wagner and Griswold Society (http://www.wag-society.org/index.php)

j biesinger
04-01-2009, 04:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They were not sand blasted to get that finish though, they were ground on the insides. You can still see the grinding marks. They used special tooling to do the grinding. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

thanks for the correction. I wasn't totally convinced of the sandblasting, grinding makes more sense. I couldn't figure out why lodge would skip this seemingly easy (and cheap) step if it made such a difference.

I've heard good things about Debuyer Carbone plus pans. I don't have one, but I'm considering purchasing one since they are relatively inexpensive. I do have a high carbon steel wok that is well seasoned and operates as good if not better than teflon. I can only imagine how much fun I could have with similar pan.

r benash
04-02-2009, 07:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by j biesinger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They were not sand blasted to get that finish though, they were ground on the insides. You can still see the grinding marks. They used special tooling to do the grinding. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

thanks for the correction. I wasn't totally convinced of the sandblasting, grinding makes more sense. I couldn't figure out why lodge would skip this seemingly easy (and cheap) step if it made such a difference.

I've heard good things about Debuyer Carbone plus pans. I don't have one, but I'm considering purchasing one since they are relatively inexpensive. I do have a high carbon steel wok that is well seasoned and operates as good if not better than teflon. I can only imagine how much fun I could have with similar pan. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey Joe - correct Lodge had to stop doing that finishing/tooling to stay competetive. Lodge still makes good quality though, just don't have those mirror/smooth surfaces on the intereior. Still way better than the Chinese imports though. Also note that Lodge still uses quality iron to do their castings where China is using scrap metal that is not being checked well for impurities like lead, etc AFA I've been informed. Lodge may not have the extremely smooth surface, but they come pre-seasoned and I have heard good things about them.

Older lodge is out there too though with the old style machining and quality for much less than Griswold typically.

Bill Pearson
04-03-2009, 03:55 PM
FYI/FWIW I used a die grinder and a "Non Woven" AKA scotchbrite abrasive pad and smoothed my own Lodge pans didn't take long and the work great.

reardon
04-03-2009, 05:40 PM
i say le creuset...

but you probably need one faster than finding a deal.

MarkP
06-01-2009, 03:12 PM
I'm a bit late replying (just joing to board) but I say head to a local restaurant supply store and get your pans there. These are commercial quality, meant to last years with heavy use... you can pick up a 10" one for $10, and the prices so up (slowly) from there. I haven't had much luck with Calphalon.

cheers,
MarkP

Steve Burch
06-15-2009, 02:32 PM
We (my wife and I) have three Lodge fry pans (in different sizes) that we use ALL the time. They all started out unseasoned, but after years of use are all smooth and well blackened. They are literally our ONLY frying pans!

We also have a few other Lodge items and all are TOP quality compared to what is offered today... especially at the price!

MikeC
06-17-2009, 12:58 AM
I picked up a two-pack of Calphalon pans at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% coupon for like $35. These bad boys rock! I use them for everything and I cook every day. They will go into the oven, clean up very easily, and they're solid. Aside from them, the only others I use are cast and nothing holds heat better.

Konrad Haskins
06-17-2009, 03:21 AM
Back in the day there were a ton of foundries turning out quality cast iron, Sears even had their own brand. It was thinner than anything cast today because back then it was cast by hand not machine. Nothing beats scoring a quality classic for a few bucks at a rummage sale. Just be warned it can get addictive.

Once you cooked with a quality cast iron skillet nothing at any prices available today compares. It will with care work for centuries as many pieces still in use today have done.

For deglazing working I use copy of allclad that is no longer available from Costco.

r benash
06-22-2009, 02:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MikeC:
I picked up a two-pack of Calphalon pans at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% coupon for like $35. These bad boys rock! I use them for everything and I cook every day. They will go into the oven, clean up very easily, and they're solid. Aside from them, the only others I use are cast and nothing holds heat better. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That set is a great buy. Got one of those sets last Christmas. I added a set of lids to mine great non-sticks that can go in the oven (not teflon). I really like the handles. And they throw really nice. It's 10" and a 12" in the set.

Won't replace my old CI's though.

Robert Black
07-27-2009, 10:02 AM
I've heard tell that aluminum has been attributed to Alzheimer's disease.

I know, I know........ EVERYTHING will kill you!
http://alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/406
http://www.webmd.com/alzheimer...-claims-risk-factors (http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/controversial-claims-risk-factors)
http://www.rense.com/general37/alum.htm

Tom Ferguson
07-27-2009, 10:13 AM
Smoked foods give you cancer too...

I ain't giving that up either. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

j biesinger
07-27-2009, 04:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I've heard tell that aluminum has been attributed to Alzheimer's disease. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

thats why its usually clad in stainless steel or anodize it to limit its reactivity with the cooking food.

Bryan S
07-27-2009, 06:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Robert Black:
I've heard tell that aluminum has been attributed to Alzheimer's disease. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That has never been proven. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Howard Barlow
07-28-2009, 04:52 PM
My kids gave me a Calphalon anodized aluminum skillet for Christmas. The first time on the stove the bottom started warping. It formed the typical high spot in the middle of the pan, raising the rest off the stove. I took it back, went to the restaurant supply, and bought another Wearever. If they are gonna rise up, it may as well be a cheap one.

As advised above, my pots'n pans are all rest. supply.

Bill Pearson
07-29-2009, 03:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Howard Barlow:
My kids gave me a Calphalon anodized aluminum skillet for Christmas. The first time on the stove the bottom started warping. It formed the typical high spot in the middle of the pan, raising the rest off the stove. I took it back, went to the restaurant supply, and bought another Wearever. If they are gonna rise up, it may as well be a cheap one.

As advised above, my pots'n pans are all rest. supply. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's because you had too much heat on an empty pan http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif never more than medium fire until you get some food in it!

Bryan S
07-29-2009, 06:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Howard Barlow:
My kids gave me a Calphalon anodized aluminum skillet for Christmas. The first time on the stove the bottom started warping. It formed the typical high spot in the middle of the pan, raising the rest off the stove. I took it back, went to the restaurant supply, and bought another Wearever. If they are gonna rise up, it may as well be a cheap one.

As advised above, my pots'n pans are all rest. supply. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have several Calphalon anodized aluminum Non-Stick skillets and never had that problem, and I use mine in the oven as well. I love these pans and they are the best I have ever used/owned. They are so thick, not sure how you could warp one other than very high heat and an empty pan as noted above. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif I have plans to buy several more pans and pots from Calphalon, great cookware IMO. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

John Mc
07-30-2009, 07:10 AM
I picked up one of the Debuyer blue steel pans about 6 months ago. Wow, what a unit, love it. Cooks great, very even heat and is almost non-stick once seasoned. Caution, you do need to season it, use it and let it heat up first. Like cast iron, the more you use it, the better it works. They run about $60 for 12". I recommend you take a flyer, try it and see what you think. I have a gas range, so not sure how it might work on electric or induction.

Ron G.
09-08-2009, 11:46 PM
OK,

Now I'm as confused as ever - there doesn't seem to be much "consensus" here.

We have really hard water here in SE Wisconsin (our water passes through the Niagra Escarpment - a HUGE mass of limestone). In light of this, I had one pan with a black anodized exterior - where the anodizing magically "went-away" after only about a month. (Granted, this was the cheaper Calphalon line, from that trusted French supplier - Tar-Jey).

My wife's old Revere Ware seems to do a really great job of burning stuff to the bottom. (Thinnish Stainless with Copper disk on bottoms).

For non-stick, I kinda' like T-fal - it's nice, heavy-guage aluminum and holds up for quite a few years, but not too expensive to replace when they start to go.

My Grandfather was a Pattern Maker for Mirro in their heyday - Mom still has some of their pans that were hand-made as "market / production feasibility samples". One particular pan that never made it to market, and works great was thick plain aluminum on the outside, bonded to stainless on the inside - result, great heat conduction with an inside that is still pristine after 50 years of use!

This is making me think that the "lower-end" of some of the better lines (All-Clad, etc.) may be a good choice.

Just got the latest W-S catalog, and amazed at how many different products are available from All-Clad and Calphalon. Some of the A-C has about 6 layers! (If you know anything about metal-working, you can appreciate why some of this stuff is so expensive - getting dissimilar metals, which have different rates of expansion etc, and which may also present galvanic reactions, to bond together properly - is no simple manner. (Although, at some point, I question the usefulness of doing so for a fry pan.)

My conclusions:

NON-STICK - get something decent, but not too pricey, and expect to replace every few years.
Like rounded sides for "flipping" / tossing.

ANODIZED - can work well, but probably not the best for places with really hard water like we have.

BROWNING / SAUTEE - aluminum outside or core (the thicker the better), with a stainless inside. I would think that beyond 2 or 3 layers, it becomes "Marketing Hype" designed to attract mucho dinero from those who view their kitchens as showpieces, but dine-out all the time.

Anyone care to refute or reinforce these conclusions?

Bill Pearson
09-09-2009, 07:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ron G.:
OK,

Now I'm as confused as ever - there doesn't seem to be much "consensus" here.

We have really hard water here in SE Wisconsin (our water passes through the Niagra Escarpment - a HUGE mass of limestone). In light of this, I had one pan with a black anodized exterior - where the anodizing magically "went-away" after only about a month. (Granted, this was the cheaper Calphalon line, from that trusted French supplier - Tar-Jey).


My conclusions:

NON-STICK - get something decent, but not too pricey, and expect to replace every few years.
Like rounded sides for "flipping" / tossing.

ANODIZED - can work well, but probably not the best for places with really hard water like we have.

BROWNING / SAUTEE - aluminum outside or core (the thicker the better), with a stainless inside. I would think that beyond 2 or 3 layers, it becomes "Marketing Hype" designed to attract mucho dinero from those who view their kitchens as showpieces, but dine-out all the time.

Anyone care to refute or reinforce these conclusions? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They seem like reasonable conclussions as for your hard water and anodized pans as I noted further up thread Calphalon has replace my anodized stock pot twice due to hard water removing the anodizing, no questions asked. my solution to that was to get a Stainless stock pot speficaly for cooking in boiling water. I use the anodized one for soups and chili.

Mike Willis
09-09-2009, 12:53 PM
We have several Lodge cast iron pans as well as a dutch oven. Buy their seasoned stuff - I bought a couple of unseasoned items that were a pain to season up (I'm not even sure if they still offer unseasoned Lodgeware). The pre-seasoned ones are great, but one warning... beware of "tomato" type dishes. We had to re-season our dutch oven after making a large batch of chili. Seems the acid in the tomatoes takes a toll on the finish....

Other than that, the Lodge stuff is great!

r benash
09-11-2009, 05:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Konrad Haskins:
Back in the day there were a ton of foundries turning out quality cast iron, Sears even had their own brand. It was thinner than anything cast today because back then it was cast by hand not machine. Nothing beats scoring a quality classic for a few bucks at a rummage sale. Just be warned it can get addictive.

Once you cooked with a quality cast iron skillet nothing at any prices available today compares. It will with care work for centuries as many pieces still in use today have done.

For deglazing working I use copy of allclad that is no longer available from Costco. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sears and Montgomery Ward cast iron back then was made by Griswold. At least the skillets were.

r benash
09-11-2009, 07:00 AM
If you are looking for quality US made cast iron the looks to be another source for polished "old style" cast iron. This company is part of the long line that ended up with the Griswold and Wagner rights. I use all vintage cast iron, but if you a are looking for new and want something US made and of higher quality this may warrant a consideration:


American Culinary Company (http://www.americanculinarycorp.com/PLineCat.asp?Filter=PL&PLine=4)

Haven't tried any, but it looks like it's made from Wagner molds and nicely polished/ground. You would need to understand how to properly season and maintain them like any other cast iron. They are also making Magnalite and other aluminum cookware that doesn't look too bad either.

r benash
09-11-2009, 07:04 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bryan S:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Howard Barlow:
My kids gave me a Calphalon anodized aluminum skillet for Christmas. The first time on the stove the bottom started warping. It formed the typical high spot in the middle of the pan, raising the rest off the stove. I took it back, went to the restaurant supply, and bought another Wearever. If they are gonna rise up, it may as well be a cheap one.

As advised above, my pots'n pans are all rest. supply. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have several Calphalon anodized aluminum Non-Stick skillets and never had that problem, and I use mine in the oven as well. I love these pans and they are the best I have ever used/owned. They are so thick, not sure how you could warp one other than very high heat and an empty pan as noted above. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif I have plans to buy several more pans and pots from Calphalon, great cookware IMO. http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I have had similar experience with Calphalon non stick and All Clad non stick cookware. I have the 10 and 12 Calphalon skillets since last Christmas and a 14" All Clad for several years. The non-stick surfaces on these pans shold not be confused with Teflon, it's a proprietary sprayed metal coating and is guaranteed along with the pan. You can use them in the oven. I typically use my cast iron for that though. All Clad limits it to 400 degrees, but I don't believe Calphalon does. I like the handles on the Calphalon better.