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Old 10-09-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
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Need a recommendation for a skillet

I bought a non-stick skillet before starting this woe and have used it every day since (about 18 months). The non-stick surface is wearing off and I need a new one. Should I get another non-stick one or a stainless steel or anondized (whatever that means)? I don't mind paying for a good skillet because it gets so much use, but I don't know what type or brand to get. Any recommendations?
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #2
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You might want to look into a cast iron skillet. I think they are the best. I love stainless steel too, but it might stick.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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I no longer use non-stick. I use stainless steel and cast iron, both of which are healthy and can last a lifetime if treated right.

I buy Lodge brand cast iron (made in the USA), which comes raw or preseasoned, and are very inexpensive. I also have a couple of my grandmother's cast iron skillets, which are almost 100 years old now. All work fabulously. You have to keep them seasoned, which means oiling them every so often, and not using much or any soap when scrubbing. They develop a non-stick surface when properly kept.

As for stainless, I have the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro, which are really good quality, similar to All-Clad, but not quite as expensive. Once you learn how to cook with them (google "cooking with stainless steel" for really good tips), you won't have much trouble with sticking. And mine are several years old, and still look perfect.

Ceramic is also a good option, if you prefer that.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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An anodized skillet is an aluminum pan that has been electro-chemically treated to harden the surface and make it scratch resistant. Aluminum skillets transfer heat well and are also among the lighter options. They cook and brown foods well, though as with stainless steel, some foods have a tendency to stick.

I have a set that I use on occasion and I prefer the small anodized skillet for my fried eggs. Otherwise I use cast iron or stainless steel for the most part.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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I have a lot of cast iron skillets, but depending on what I'm using it FOR, I may choose a nonstick instead.

I have a nice 12" Bialetti nonstick and also a 6" nonstick for eggs. I've never had a problem with the surface on these pans. I am somewhat careful with them though, I never let them overheat and I never use any utensils that may scratch them. I love those silicone spoonulas or spatula/stirrers for my nonstick.

I LOVE my cast iron but no matter how well-seasoned they are (and I keep mine in great shape) - eggs stick.

What I've found works really well for them - let the pan cool off, but not cold, then wipe out any grease or miscellaneous stuff. Sprinkle on a liberal layer of kosher salt, especially over any stuck-on stuff. Let it sit at least overnight, or a couple nights if you want.

Use a nylon or plastic dishwashing brush - brush the salt all around the pan. I do this in the (dry) sink in case any falls out over the edge. You'll get a feel for when the stuck stuff is unstuck! Empty the salt out into the garbage, then run a little hot water in the pan and make sure all the bits are unstuck. Rinse, blot dry, put on the burner and turn it on High, add a tablespoon of coconut oil, turn off the heat. Let the coconut oil fully melt and the pan cool off a bit, then use a paper towel to wipe the entire inside of the pan with the oil, and I do the rim too. Wipe out most of the excess, let the pan cool completely; I store mine in the drawer beneath my oven, with a paper towel in each pan to protect it from scratching.

My favorite 12" cast iron belonged to my MIL, who had it for many years. I'm sure it's at least 40 years old, who knows for sure, as she is gone. The surface is black and glassy. They're so great for things that go stovetop to oven, like the lamb sirloins we love - browned up good on both sides on the stove first, then slip the pan into the oven and cook til the lamb registers 140* on my digital probe thermometer. Perfect!
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #6
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cooking in a heavy skillet is very different from cooking in a lightweight one. generally speaking the cast iron and anodised ones are heavy and the non-stick are light.

the heavy ones take much longer to heat up and THEY STAY HOT. you can't just pull the pan off the heat and have the temp drop almost instantly like you do with the Teflon pans. so you need to cook on lower heat and plan ahead better.

one thing for some users to think about is the weight. for the elderly or disabled, some of those cast iron pans are probably impossible to lift to the sink safely, etc.

I can't say "I no longer use the nonstick pans" but I agree they are not optimal. I decide for each use whether the nonstick feature is essential and only use it then.

when you get the new nonstick pan, if you do, try to be careful never to overheat it and be very gentle with both utensils and washing. when it starts to look worn, it's probably not safe to use anymore, sadly, but they are pretty cheap, so you can just splurge on a shiny new one!
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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My favorite skillets are ScanPans. They are made in Denmark and have a ceramic non-stick interior. I just love them! They are easy to clean too.. And, you can use any utensil in them. I have all clad too but I seem to prefer their pots... What about Le Creuset? They are cast iron coated enamel. Easier to clean...
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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Ravenrose is right that cast iron is heavy. I have days when I can't lift the larger pans. On those days, it's stainless alone. Le Creuset is heavy too.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:41 PM   #9
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I have a 5 qt. Le Creuset Braiser. I use it to braise, fry, sautee, simmer or can put a whole chicken in it to roast in the oven. It is heavy and it was $$ but it's the last pan I plan to buy. I use it almost daily so it just sits next to stove.

It's purple so we call it our magic Barney pan.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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I just thought of the ceramic skillet, I have one. It's blue. Nothing sticks in this thing.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #11
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I LOVE my cast iron but no matter how well-seasoned they are (and I keep mine in great shape) - eggs stick.

Wow, I have a 6 inch cast iron pan that I have had since college that I use every day for omelets or fried eggs, and they never stick. I generally just have to wipe it out with a paper towel, but will occasionally wash it with hot water and a nylon scrubbie (never soap!) if cheese or something from the omelet stuck to the side. Then I heat it back on the burner to dry, and add some fat and wipennto give it a light coat. My preferred fat for oiling is lard, but bacon fat works well, too.

I also have a large cast iron pan that I bought from an "antiques" barn for about $6, but it was totally rusted when I got it. Got a steel brush attachment for an electric drill which got rid of the rust, then just seasoned the pan a few times (get hot, wipe with fat, let cool. Repeat). Works great for large amounts of bacon, makes killer pancakes, and has created wonderful upside down cakes. I love cast iron.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:24 PM   #12
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My cast iron doesn't stick either.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:59 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone! I actually have a cast iron that I think belonged to my mom. It is a little rusty, so I'll need to try and clean it up. I also may look into the ceramic ones.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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Eggs stick in my cast iron all the time but my FIL has one that he cooks eggs in daily!
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
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I won't even attempt a fried egg in there, unless I plan to make a "pancake egg" (broken yolk) for a sandwich. But I've tried scrambled eggs several times and they stick like the dickens, no matter what I use for fat or what temp I start the pan.

But no matter. Eggs go in the nonstick at this house.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:32 AM   #16
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I bought a Le Crueset anodized non stick frying pan 2 years ago. Love it. I also have cast iron skillets and a smaller non stick anodized Analon pan. I like all of them. You do have to treat the non stick pans well as Char mentioned.

Dee
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:51 AM   #17
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I also love cast iron pans, use them daily. My favorite non stick pans are at Target, Kitchen Essentials from Calphalon Hard Anodized Non-Stick Cookware. I bought an 8 piece set years ago and they are still in great condition. I love to cook and bake and these pans have had a lot of use. You really should look into these.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:53 AM   #18
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I read reviews on Amazon before buying something if possible.

The last time I bought a pan, I read and decided on the T-Fal nonstick with the red spot in the middle. Note that Wal-Mart has these and they are cheaper there. Last time I looked it was only $20 for a large one. I really like this T-Fal nonstick pan.

I can't stand the stainless because when I do cook on the stove, it is most often eggs!!!!!

The other method is to go to Ross and buy a non-stick there because they are cheap, but read reviews.

Even if something is 4 or 5 stars, if there are a number of warnings about the same issue, it will be true.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #19
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I get the best use from my T-fal nonstick skillets and have used them for years and the price is decent.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #20
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The best non-stick skillet I ever used is made by Swiss Diamond. I love this thing and would replace all my other size skillets with this same brand immediately if it weren't so expensive. But as the others wear out, I definitely will.
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #21
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The more I think about it and read these posts, I think I might just stick with the nonstick ones. I use it mainly for eggs and bacon. I thought I had treated my old one well. It never went in a dishwasher, but I might have been using too high heat and too hot water.
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