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FRYING PAN-Fi - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Okay now that everyone actually added serious comments...

You only need 2 or 3 pans in your kitchen unless you're crazy. You need one that can go in the oven, one that will be good for eggs, and maybe a wok depending on your cooking style. I personally have 3 cast iron pans, one teflon non-stick, and one large flat bottomed wok. I've actually considered getting rid of two of my cast irons and the teflon and sticking to my wok and one cast iron pan. The wok has precise heat control not only because the pan is thin, the design inherently allows you to control the distance from the heat. The cast iron on the other hand has great heat retention and has a good distribution of temperature too.
post #17 of 32
all clad is definitely worth it. It is the closest thing to a cast iron
frying pan except it never rusts. As the finish on my calaphon finally
wears after 15 years, i'm replacing with all clad.

all clad always wins the top billing at america's test kitchen (cooks magazine)
even though they complain about the price.
post #18 of 32
If you need a good, cheap general purpose 10" pan, go to a marshalls and check their cooking section. Look for the ones that don't have the pancake stuck on the bottom, that are stainless, and weigh a lot.
post #19 of 32
T-Fal isn't too expensive and they work better than most. I bought a complete set for both my mom and her husband and my dad and his wife. Each set was around $250-$300 at the time. I imagine they are probably more now. I wound up actually getting some of them back from my mom because her husband is an amateur chef and he has lots of very expensive cookware, but they still love the ones they kept. I love them as they are super easy to clean and conduct heat very well.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post
T-Fal isn't too expensive and they work better than most. I've bought a complete set for both my mom and her husband and my dad and his wife. Each set was around $250-$300 at the time. I imagine they are probably more now.
I paid less than that for 2 copper saucepans, a copper saute pan, a stainless clad saucepan, a stainless clad omlet pan, and a lodge fry pan. Sets are awful deals.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
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.
14" 18/10. For reference I use a cuisine-art 18/10, AL core 14". Was it better? Sort of, probably, hard to say -- I only used it three times and you get to know your pans so there is adjustment time when using a new one. It might have been cooking a little more evenly, but in my gut I think it's more placebo then anything else. It's certainly not even in the same league of an upgrade from when I went from solid steel pans to an 18/10 cladded one.

Really though my old pan doesn't really do anything wrong, so we were already working with the last 10% here. For an extra $100 there are just so many other things in my Kitchen I would rather put the money into then a new pan.

EDIT : This is the aluminum core all-clad pan, not the copper-core one. The copper core is theoretically much better, but in practice I cannot say. I didn't even realize they made both types until doing some googleing for this thread.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
I paid less than that for 2 copper saucepans, a copper saute pan, a stainless clad saucepan, a stainless clad omlet pan, and a lodge fry pan. Sets are awful deals.
Yes, but it was a 30 piece set.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
I went to the shop and had a quick look today.
They had the All-Clad that I wanted. But one thing though, this thing is very light, to be honest, my untrained eyes can't tell where the money went. It's shiny and all, but the base is a bit thin and although nicely balanced, I feel the pan isn't that solid.

I thought for pans, the heavier and the thicker the base, the better? They also had this Estelle (Australian Brand), 28cm French skillet, it's heavy, got thick base, and very solid. It's also 18/10 and even got a copper base. One thing I don't like is that it's not all metal. But it costs less than 1/2 of that All-Clad. And it sure is not as shiny as All-Clad. All-Clad is all bling, man.

I wonder if in frying pan world, you get what you paid for or it's also a tad of marketing? I mean do you think the All-Clad really performs like how that-kind-of-price kind of pan perform?

I know I probably can return it if I'm not happy but I really don't like to return things to shop.
post #24 of 32
There isn't that much reason for a frying pan to be too expensive. The engineering is decades old, the design hundreds. Raw materals are probably in the $20-$30 range for a copper core pan. It's not really that shocking then that you see off-brand pans do extremely well.

As I said before, the el-cheapo pan my mother got from QVC is almost as good as my cuisineart which in my opinion was pretty much as good as all-clad. This really isn't a surprise since all three were basically the same design -- Aluminum core clad to stainless steel.

About the specific pan you linked though, quite honestly it looks like they're just trying to show off the copper, with the core still being aluminum. If that's true I don't really see it being all that much better then your standard 18/10 aluminum core pan.

I love to cook but I'm not a chef, and it's really hard to try to describe my level of skill across the internet, but while I can understand why some chefs obsess over knives and I personally have found huge difference between $100 knives and your average $20 generic one. When it comes to pots and pans I just don't see the differences being worth anywhere close to the huge difference (2x-4x for a copper core pan, 4x-10x for a copper pan) in cost.

Really though these things are subjective. I mean, to most people, every single head-fier is insane for spending what we do on headphones.

It does have to be said though that cooking has very little to do with gear. I hate to reference reality TV, but if you watch top chef and saw season three, in the finale one of the chefs decided having his own space was more important then having access to the high quality but shared stove -- and broke out six portable stoves (think camp gear) to use instead. The end result was "Michelin 3 stars." Gear for cooking really is a matter of "good enough," because at that point gear doesn't make you better, you actually need to know how to cook.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
I went to the shop and had a quick look today.
They had the All-Clad that I wanted. But one thing though, this thing is very light, to be honest, my untrained eyes can't tell where the money went. It's shiny and all, but the base is a bit thin and although nicely balanced, I feel the pan isn't that solid.

I thought for pans, the heavier and the thicker the base, the better? They also had this Estelle (Australian Brand), 28cm French skillet, it's heavy, got thick base, and very solid. It's also 18/10 and even got a copper base. One thing I don't like is that it's not all metal. But it costs less than 1/2 of that All-Clad. And it sure is not as shiny as All-Clad. All-Clad is all bling, man.

I wonder if in frying pan world, you get what you paid for or it's also a tad of marketing? I mean do you think the All-Clad really performs like how that-kind-of-price kind of pan perform?
I've got All-Clad LTD saucepan, sautepan, a larger and smaller frying pan, and then a stock pot. To me, the All Clads are worth it. I figure with a good tool, it's going to get its worth by lasting a lifetime. Other people don't feel that is worth it, or could find a durable less expensive brand. To me, pots aren't quite like knives....where a lot of decision making for the knife is how it feels for you. If you are still learning to cook.....instead of investing all of your money in one pan.....I would suggest maybe looking into a cheaper brand that lets you buy one frying pan, one iron skillet, and one saucepan. Those are mainstay pots. I got my All-Clad stock pot as a present, and it looks nice when it's with the rest of my pots. But functionally, with stock pots, I find the cheaper brands aren't bad either.

RE durability and bling: All-Clads are top rated by professional chefs....you can be sure that looks are the least feature of what goes into a high rating. Especially with the copper or steel series, that shiny new pot is going to lose the bling appeal after normal use. All-Clad bonding processes are a little over 30 years old: they use bonded metals to make the pot to be both conductive and evenly dispurse heat, as well as staying light. The better the brand, the better the bond and heating/durability there is. I do like to use the frying pans for my everyday use....and once I got them, I threw out a cheap wok that I had used for stir frys. Because of the difference in metallergies, you can't really equate durability with the weight of the pot. I used to use a few el-cheapo pots that are heavier then my All-Clads, but they didn't perform or stand up as well as my All-Clads.

So subjectively, I'd say All-Clad is worth it. If, however, you're still not sure what kind of pots you need with your cooking.....I would go out and buy a cheaper brand's frying pan, saucepan, and then an inexpensive iron skillet: that would be better then just one expensive frying pan. Those three pots are a functional pot collection, and not just something that looks pretty If you also really start getting into cooking, then a good saute pan and a cheap stock pot are a couple other items to think about.
post #26 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips guys. I had a talk with my partner (and she's the one cooking mostly) and she wasn't really that willing to pay more than 200 bucks for a pan. We'll think about it again and see how it goes.

I might actually consider the cheaper Calphalon one range, it looks like it's easier to maintain compared to All-Clad, and half the price. But it's from aluminum, I thought I read somewhere aluminum cookware is bad for your health?
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
I might actually consider the cheaper Calphalon one range, it looks like it's easier to maintain compared to All-Clad, and half the price. But it's from aluminum, I thought I read somewhere aluminum cookware is bad for your health?
What are you planning to cook and for how many? I got a new Caphalon omlette pan just before Christmas and it's great for sauteing and eggs. Nonstick 10" (25cm) "sandwich" of aluminum inside stainless. Picked up a glass lid for it separately. It will saute the "fillings" for my garbage omlette or fritata and then prepare the eggs and even finish in the oven. Does a nice job of sauteing red potato American fries with onions and parsley for the side. Yum. Caphalon warrants their nonstick for life unless you use metal utensils and is known for good customer service. 10"/25cm is plenty big for one to four people. The pan was $80USD delivered and their were some bonuses.

Rachel Ray got me inspired about some sauted vegetable pasta dishes, so I also picked up a deep covered nonstick aluminum Italian 12" skillet at Costco for about $40USD that works great. Finally, since I have an electric glass cooktop on my Jenn-Air, I got a Swiss Diamond cast aluminum 11" square nonstick grill pan and a 10.5" Swiss Diamond round cast nonstick covered skillet for the cabin box. I'm not going to miss going out this evening into the -10F local temperature to grill up some marinated chicken breasts. Swiss Diamond nonstick cast pans are among my favorite aluminum pans (I like the variable vent on their lids) and since all reputable brands now have lifetime warranties on their modern nonstick as long as you do not use metal utensils, modern nonstick is a no brainer for me. Silicone, wood, and nylon utensils have also come a long way and work just fine for me.

Bottom line for me is that while All-Clad is good stuff, you are paying a name premium. If your ego needs that, then so be it. Calphalon and others have a variety of lines at different price points, I just favor stainless with an aluminum core or cast hard andonized aluminum. I have cast iron for certain things, but the cast iron Luddites may reference my sig. Having good cookware is definitely big fun.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
I might actually consider the cheaper Calphalon one range, it looks like it's easier to maintain compared to All-Clad, and half the price. But it's from aluminum, I thought I read somewhere aluminum cookware is bad for your health?
They're talking about cookware made completely from Aluminum. The health effects are debatable, but it is proven that many common foods do react and leech out aluminum from these pans.

That's (one of the reasons) why pans are clad with steel -- you get most of the benefits of Aluminum but with a non-reactive steel layer that your food is actually in contact with.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_mocok View Post
I might actually consider the cheaper Calphalon one range, it looks like it's easier to maintain compared to All-Clad, and half the price. But it's from aluminum, I thought I read somewhere aluminum cookware is bad for your health?
Are you refering to their anodized aluminum line? They're supposed to be pretty durable non-stick surfaces. It's also not pure aluminum, so I wouldn't think there would be health risks (that surely would be over the news if so!!). However, since it's treated aluminum (it's even infused with a polymer aparently)....it looks like it's recommended that you use wood or nylon utensils.

Consumer Guide: Calphalon One Infused Anodized 8-Piece Cookware Set DR8B Review

They also have a stainless steel line if you like that better. I personally prefer steel surfaces as I don't find find any difficulty cleaning and do like the way it cooks over non-stick. But everyone has their own preferences!
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraseyboy View Post
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.
x2 - we just got a new Tefal non stick with the red spot to replace our previous tefal which had been going strong for near on 30 years!

lifetime gurantee too.
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