I've decided to replace my 12" non-stick frying pan because I noticed some odd smoke coming off of it as it was heating up on the stove (it had just been washed and dried). I'm assuming that's bad news, and I hear non-stick coatings are bad anyway.
Any recommendations? I'm relatively new to cooking so I don't really know what's out there in terms of materials. I mainly use this pan for frying eggs and grass-fed beef burgers in tallow/coconut oil/butter.
I'd like something relatively easy to clean, and moderately priced. Thanks.
Cast iron rules. If you love love love the idea of food not sticking and have some moneyz lying around, I tried out some fancy titanium pans that were super awesome too. In an ideal world I would have two cast iron (medium and very large for roasts etc) and one of those fancy titanium pans.
If you want something lighter than cast iron, snag something from the Cuisinart MultiClad line...I received a set for my bridal shower, and they are a fantastic buy. They are comparable to the much-lauded All-Clad - fully clad, not just the bottom of the pan. You can fry eggs nicely in them with proper technique. Whatever you use, without a nonstick pan, adequate fat is key.
I will say that I use my cast iron just as frequently...it seems to depend on my mood rather than some particular quality lent to cooking.
I really, really love my stainless steel pan. Just as easy to clean as non-stick, plus it's great for browning meat. I can stick the whole thing in the oven if I want since mine doesn't have one of those ruvbber handles. Big fan.
I was thinking of getting a cast iron pan. The downsides of it are that its heavy, sounds like its harder to clean, its heavy and could kill zombies. The extra iron flavoring might be good though I like it when they serve food on a piping hot iron skillet.
Cast iron is a good choice. Properly "seasoned" you can cook an egg with ease. That said, you should really look into getting a hard anodized aluminum pan set. Something like the Cuisinart GreenGourmet. Hard anodized is non-stick and you can use metal utensils on it. Further it doesn't' have any of the nasty chemicals that Teflon has. I have the All-Clad version and it totally rocks!
"Exclusive Cuisinart Ceramica nonstick technology is ceramic based instead of petroleum based, helping to conserve existing oil supplies and the coating is applied at a temperature one half that of conventional nonsticks. And it’s completely free of PTFE and PFOA. The cookware’s hard anodized construction provides high heat conductivity, which requires less energy to reach desired cooking temperatures."
Are you talking about the rubber-burning smell? I was disturbed when I bought some non-sticky pots and pans many years ago and smelt that pungent odor. I threw them away. I still used non-sticky pans but the new ones (enamel probably) I bought didn't give off odor.
I'm still trying to figure out what that odor was. My guess is: it could be dangerous; you don't want any part of it.
Thanks everyone. Cast iron sounds great, but after poking around some more online, it might be a little high-maintenance for me. Can you not wash it out with soap? And are you really supposed to oil it up and heat it after every use?
I'm another vote for cast iron, it's what I use the most. I do have a few non stick pans that I inherited at the place I'm living and I'll use them sometimes but I try to not use them that much. I put some oil on it every use, and I do an actual wash about once a week. Generally just use it, let it cool, and then rinse it off. It's pretty low maintence overall. I seasoned mine in May and it's still going strong. Cooking lots of things that give off some good drippings like bacon helps to keep it going too.
I ditto the Cast Iron. LOVE our lodge. Its super easy to take care of. But it is a bit heavy..look at it as a bonus for your heavy lifting exercise hehe
a bit of kosher salt and water cleans it up nicely. And yes NEVER use soap on it.
I also like stainless steel as well. At our house we stopped using non stick..we had to get used to cooking our eggs in non--non stick. We have some old paul revere ware that is stainless steel and copper. So pretty! I find a good coating of either lard or coconut oil and a fork..works perfectly in stainless steel! Super easy to clean too! This you can use soap on and its lighter as well. Using a spatula removes the layer of oil so the eggs stick.