Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Dec 19, 1999 12:52 PM

non-stick frying pans

  • r

More questions about holiday purchases. I was recently cooking at the house of some friends and they had a wonderful steel(?) frying pan without any funky coating which functioned as non-stick. I added only a tiny bit of oil to film the pan then fried up batches of zucchini pancakes with no trouble. And they swore it made great eggs. I have many frying pans, but none with such marvelous qualities. So I attempted to buy myself this pan for Channukah. The cooking-store clerk persuaded me to buy an allclad stainless twelve-inch pan. But this morning, after filming it with canola oil while it was cold, heating it over a medium flame, then pouring in my beaten eggs, the omelette stuck horribly, and I ended up with burnt egg on the bottom of the pan and rough scrambled eggs on top. So the question is, did I buy the wrong pan? (in which case I can return it), or did I proceed in the wrong fashion (I never cook omelettes and don't know if I just went about it wrong), must I use more oil??? BTW I don't want one of those pans with an odd-teflon or some such surface, so don't point me that way. And I have two seasoned pans which are great, but not quite as non-stick as I want (I can't cook polenta or risotto pancakes without them sticking to the seasoned pans).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. r
    Rachel Perlow

    Why don't you just ask your friends the brand and where they got it? I'm sure they'd be pleased to be complimented on their equipment and be happy to share. I'm curious to know too, so if you find out, please post.

    1. While your new pan may not be teflon-like non-stick, it's probably not as bad as you think. I've never been able to fry/scramble eggs using cooking oil as a frying agent, and have always had better luck using either butter or cooking spray (PAM or some facsimile), which is oil with lecithin added. Anything hydrogenated (solid at room temperature) would probably be ok. I don't know why straight oil doesn't work, but it doesn't. I've seen other people have similar trouble.

      I've also noticed less sticking if you add the oil after the pan is heated.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MU

        I also wrote a message yesterday to the allclad people, and a woman there got back to me quickly promising that the stainless is non-stick, but said omelettes are the most difficult test. She suggested cooking at a lower flame. As for whether to add oil to the pan when its cold or hot, I usually heat my seasoned ware first then add oil, but allclad suggests adding oil first then heating. I would love to hear someone's explanation of this. Today I will try to cook a risotto pancake and see how it works. BTW the allclad person also specified removing all residue from the pan because any food traces could cause the next item cooked therein to stick -- in all senses it seems the opposit of seasoned pans.

        1. re: rachel hope

          My risotto pancake stuck something awful, and I even used more oil. Big sigh. Do I have to take the pan back? (the store clerk told me I could, but I feel guilty because now its scratched and its not like they can resell it).

          1. re: Rachel Hope

            Well, heck yeah, take it back....but first, would you try to make one more risotto pancake? I really suggest heating the pan first, then putting in the cold oil--it was an old stir-frying technique taught to me SOOO many years ago....Hot Wok, Cold Oil. But it works, things tend to slip and slide.

      2. r
        rex the pastry hound

        You may be wanting SITRAM cookware. Bridge Kitchenware has it for sure. Happy New Year, I hope your pans are Y2K compliant.

        1. I think what you want is a Scanpan. These are made in Denmark and the high end models (series 2000) have a permanently bonded titanium-ceramic coating fused onto them. You wipe the cold pan with a small amount of oil so they're not totally "teflon"like where you dont use any oil at all - but they are **terrific**. I have one and my goal in life is to have more some day. You can use any utensils in them as the coating is completely bonded and you'll never scratch it off or get little flakes of it in your food.

          1. Rachel, did your friends tell you their pan was All-Clad? If not, I have a feeling that it was a new type of pan put out by the French manufacturer Sitram. I forget the name of the surface, but it is a virtually nonstick uncoated stainless steel. You will need a tiny bit of oil with it, but not much at all. I believe Sitram has a website, but they are also carried by many catalogues geared to the pro chef. A web search for "Sitram" should turn up plenty. OR, better, still, make a visit to Morty the Knife Man in Manor Haven, Long Island. He stocks all sorts of Sitram, including the new nonstick stuff, and can explain everything to you. Warning: this stuff is not cheap. But many say it is the best cookware available.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Erica Marcus

              Hey Erica

              thanks for the info; great to have you posting.

              I'm in the market for a nonstick omelet pan, like 9-10" with gently sloping sides. Problem is I need some sort of reasonably tight cover, since I'm also gonna use it for reheating general leftovers. Might this be a good brand to check out for that kind of application?


              1. re: Jim Leff

                Id try a cast aluminum pan with silverstone (like the wearever commercial) for your frying/reheating needs. Yes, the surface will eventually wear out, but these pans are relatively cheap, light and easy to find. (you might need a separate lid)Ive had bad luck with stainless steel pans with an aluminum base (like many from sitram and paderno, for example); they tend to get a hot spot and burn on right where the base plate ends. Of course this wouldnt be a problem with an aluminum core (like the all-clad line).

                1. re: Jim Leff

                  Jim, head to Costco. They are selling a set of two nonstick saute pans, heavy duty, for like $20. Get glass lids--they're a standard size--at the hardware store.