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FRYING PAN-Fi

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I don't cook much nor do I know to cook that much, but for some weird reason I am very interested in cooking equipments.

I am currently using my "top of the range" 30cm frypan from Target (retailed for AUS$50-ish). To be honest, I am perfectly fine with it (although it starts to peel a little), but I wonder whether good a frying pan will benefit me.

I'm thinking to get All-Clad 30cm Stainless Steel Frypan, but this thing is very expensive (AUS$210 here). Is it really worth it? Anyone got All-Clad cookware and care to share their thoughts?
post #2 of 32
We have Calphalon frying pans at home and I really like those if you are looking for one that isn't Non-Stick. At school I have a Non-Stick T-Fal which also works well. I like the Calphalon better though.
post #3 of 32
For frying, nothing beats cast iron, properly seasoned.

For other things, other tools, but a nice lodge is it, for frying.
post #4 of 32
I mocked my wife when she first started buying expensive Anolon Advanced pans. Then I started to use them and now I love them. They are so easy to clean! They are the only pans I will buy now. The stainless steel is nice but the cleaning is a bit more labored.
post #5 of 32
Go buy a carbon steel wok!
post #6 of 32
Someone who can cook can make good meals with most any pots and pans. An unskilled person (ie me) can't do much better with the latest and greatest cooking equipment. I'd buy a cook book and then try cooking more until you find some of your gear lacking in some respect. Like in HeadFi. And like how the best musicians can make great music on poor instruments.
post #7 of 32
In my experience, you want three pans. A cast iron pan for very high heat work, searing, and oven work. A nonstick when it's called for (especially eggs!). A good stainless steel frying pan for general work.

A good cast iron pan is dirt cheap. Follow the seasoning instructions, never wash it with soap, and it will last a lifetime. In modern culture it might sound anathema, but some people never clean their cast iron pans at all -- they just wipe them down with a paper towel after every use.

The nonstick quality doesn't matter too much. 90% of the time you're only going to cook eggs on it, and eggs are surprisingly forgiving. Just avoid aluminum and if it's heavier it's probably better.

For the stainless steel, the general rule is also heavier is better. What you're looking for is a large steel (or in expensive pans, copper) "heat block" on the bottom that is physically bound, not glued, to the base of the pan. You also want a metal handle so it can go direct from stove to oven, but this isn't absolutely essential if you have a cast iron pan. Heavier is generally better. This can be had for $20 easily.

If you have a gas stove, you can get away with a lot more then you can an electric. Gas stoves relatively even heat distribution and extremely high temperature range lets you get around a pan's deficiencies with good heat control.

You want to spend a lot on your knives. You don't want to spend a lot on your pans.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
I'm thinking to get All-Clad 30cm Stainless Steel Frypan, but this thing is very expensive (AUS$210 here). Is it really worth it? Anyone got All-Clad cookware and care to share their thoughts?
I've used similar pans before. They're certainly good pans and the heat control is excellent, but they're honestly not that much better then the "Chef's Essential" pans I use when cooking at my mom's apartment that she got off of QVC for a fraction of the price.

I know people are going to disagree with me -- but I think spending a lot of money on any pan the size of a Casserole or larger is a huge waste of money. It's impossible to precisely control the heat with such a large volume of water to the degree that justifies a higher quality pot.
post #9 of 32
We have some old iron ones and a new Tefal 30cm one non-stick one. The iron ones are hard to clean, things stick to them, heavy... Not as nice. The Tefal is really good. I highly reccomend it. It has red spot in th middle that tells you when the pan is heated up. The non stick surface works perfectly and you don't need to be careful with it as it seems to be un-breakable. It's not that expensive either.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
For frying, nothing beats cast iron, properly seasoned.
+1 on this count. My mom has tried several available brands from here in the US but has never found any she likes with the exception of a couple. Most of the pans she keeps for frying are cast iron pans that she buys and transports from India.
post #11 of 32
The big advantage of cast iron is that it's extremely large heat capacity means that no matter what you do the pan pretty much stays at the same temperature. Great for things like searing meat and stir fry.

This is not so good with many other dishes though where you need fine heat control. Don't even try using a cast iron as a sauce pan. Really though if a cast iron pan can be used as your primary pan or not depends a lot on what you cook.
post #12 of 32
I have various 'average' frying pans hanging around in the cupboards, so last year I decided to splash out on a cast iron one from the 'Le Creuset' range (in the belief it would make me a better cook. . . it didn't.)

To add insult to injury, it cost £80 ($160) and it's so damn heavy I can barely lift it.

EDIT: It IS good for frying meat though - if someone is at home to help me lift it to the sink afterwards!

post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
For frying, nothing beats cast iron, properly seasoned.

For other things, other tools, but a nice lodge is it, for frying.
ditto
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rincewind View Post
Someone who can cook can make good meals with most any pots and pans. An unskilled person (ie me) can't do much better with the latest and greatest cooking equipment. I'd buy a cook book and then try cooking more until you find some of your gear lacking in some respect. Like in HeadFi. And like how the best musicians can make great music on poor instruments.
You're talking like people from camera forum. Let's assume that I know how to cook properly.

I was going to get Le Creuset cast iron, but figured that cast-iron is too restricting for people like me. (can't wash them, can't use soap, can't cook something too acidic, have to be heated slowly, have to be stove-dried properly or else it'd rust, etc... damn, I just want a pan, not a puppy!)

Chu:
Which All-Clad did you use before? The 30cm SS frypan? I'm quite surprised you're not all that impressed with the All-Clad. I've read from other forums and many chefs love them and actually recommend them. I haven't decided to get it yet, just wanna weight it and see if it's actually worth the premium price they ask.
post #15 of 32
Le Creuset has none of those drawbacks except for the heat retention. It's enameled. i love my le creuset dutch ovens. You can fry in them if you need to. I have an allclad omlet pan, a cheapie non-teflon non-stick fry pan, and my lodge pan, for "frying pans", oh, and a 14" mauviel copper saute pan. I mostly use the lodge for meat, the omlet pan for eggs, and the cheapie non-stick for my kids to cook eggs.
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