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Need New Pan

My mother bought us an All-Clad set for our wedding 4 years ago and I could've sworn I told her NO NON-STICK, but apparently she didn't listen. Our larger pan appears to have lost it's coating (argh!) and does not cook properly any longer - it seems to steam rather than actually cook. We'd like to replace it (and don't like the idea of Teflon) and were thinking cast iron, but what about making eggs?! Is there another Teflon-free pan out there we could use for that sort of thing?

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  1. I assume the pan is a skillet/saute. I would not replace it with a cast iron. Cast iron is extremely heavy and is great for cooking steaks and chops. It retains heat best and gives a great crust. I find them too clunky for other use. You might replace your All-clad with one from their other line but I find them overpriced. For practical purpose, I would recommend a Wearever heavy duty aluminum skillet. It is very inexpensive, about a 1/4 of an All-clad or Calphalon. Aluminum does react with certain food but I've never had any problem because most food is not cooked long enough in a skillet to react with the aluminum. If one seasons the pan and not use abrusive on it, it should not stick. One does have to use a little more oil/fat than with a non-stick or teflon pan.

    1. I'm a cast iron advocate. Have them in three sizes and use them almost exclusively. Yes, they're heavy. But I'm a small, late-middle-age cook with not the strongest wrists and I have no difficulty whatsoever doing with them whatever it is I need to do. And I have one that's about five inches that I use for eggs all the time.

      I have a few copper sandwich stainless saute and fry pans that were made by Revere that I picked up for peanuts at an outlet store, but that's of no help to you since I don't think they ever went into production on those pans. Too expensive, I'd guess. If I were to replace them, I'd do so with Sitram. I have one Sitram saute pan that I adore. Very similar to All-Clad in quality; much lower price point.

      1. I love my cast iron pans for steaks,pizza, etc. also, but like pbsf find it way to heavy and clunky for everyday cooking. I think I'd go to Marshalls,TJ Maxx, or HomeGoods, look at the non- teflon skillets,pick them up, feel the handle and weight of the pan. I think most good heavy brands will do the trick, but if they don't feel right in your hand, you won't be happy cooking with it.

        1. Why not just get an uncoated All-Clad?

          1. If you liked the All-Clad, but the non-stick was coming off you can have it removed and have a perfectly new All-Clad standard finish pan.

            You can look in the Yellow pages and find a business that does sand-blasting and ask them to remove the rest of the Teflon with a walnut shell abrasive. It will leave the stainless steel base metal unharmed and should cost less than $20.00 to do. I have done it a few times, and recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to lose a great pan due to the fact that the Teflon coating is chipping.

            It isn't worth to do with a commercial aluminum pan, but All-clad is expensive and much too nice to throw away.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Kelli2006

              Great idea. Where might I find a sand blaster?? I mean...what do they normally sand blast? Walls? Thanks again for the information.

              1. re: isadorasmama

                You should be able to find them in the phone book under sand-blasting. Do pay heed to the advice about using the walnut shell abrasive, or possibly glass bead. True sand-blasting (with actual sand as the abrasive) would likely cut far too quickly. What you want is to only remove the non-stick coating, and to remove little or no underlying metal.
                As for what sandblasters do, it can be anything from stripping paint off of everything from furniture to cars, to etching glass. Think of the fancy glass doors or room dividers with a scene depicted in "frosted" glass, while the rest of the glass is still fully transparent. Much of that sort of thing is done by masking off the part to remain clear, and sandblasting the rest.

              2. re: Kelli2006

                I have an allclad coated pan that had quite a buildup, long with some flaking, to the point that it was stickier than an uncoated pan. I watched while the guys sandblasted my all-clad with walnut shell, and it does come off, but it isn't worth the price, in my opinion. The underlying finish that the teflon adheres to is very rough, more like a medium to rough nail-file, and even that gritty surface overlies a very granular surface. I have been sanding with 80 grit sandpaper to get the biggest granular surface down. Stainless steel *very* hard. I would recommend a power sander or grinder with a soft disc (to accomodate the curved rim) and an afternoon, at least. If you do it by hand, it will take many hours. That said, you can certainly cook on it in between if necessary. Actually, I have about have the granular surface down and then sanded that remaining granular surface with 220 and then decided to mix up some fried rice and found essentially *no* sticking. But, really, it still could use some sanding. Just make sure to clean it well before cooking. Then again, hey, we all need iron in our diet, right? :-)

              3. But if she's looking for an EGG pan, she'll need a saute' pan for it's sloped sides, which cast iron usually doesn't have.

                Love the sand blast idea... gotta try that sometime.

                1. What sort of warranty does All-Clad have? They might replace your defective piece. I'd check online to see what they might be able to do.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jillp

                    I'm not sure, actually, but I'll look into it.

                  2. isadorasmama, Most sandblasting is done after a metal part is welded and before it is painted. I have had the most luck calling shops that do welding or painting. You might be able to get a auto-body shop to do the sandblasting, as that is the fastest way to remove paint/rust from a car before bodywork and paint. I tried to sand it by myself, but that left unsightly scratches.

                    You need to specify that they use walnut shell abrasive, as other blasting media might pit and scratch the surface.

                    I have a close friend who is does metal sculpture and I asked him about it and he gave me the name of the shop that he deals with. It only takes a few minutes and if you don't need the pan right away they will just hold you pan until they are doing a larger project and use the remainder of walnut abrasive to clean the Teflon off. It takes less than 5 minutes and the pan will be unteachable from a non Teflon pan when finished.

                    I e-mailed All-Clad about the warranty, but I doubt that the lifetime warranty would cover even the new more resistant Teflon surface.

                    I hope this helps.

                    1. I too was looking for non-teflon non-stick fry pans. I love my all stainless All Clad pot set that I too received as a gift. I haven't tried the non-stick All Clad though. Anyway, thanks to numerous recommendations on this site and after hours of internet research, I found a few definite winners in the fry pan category; generic cast iron cookware, Sitram Cybernox Non-Stick Cookware, and Diamond Non-Stick Cookware;

                      To start, I purchased a couple cast iron fry pans from Target and really enjoy them so far...especially for the money; $10-15. I think every kitchen should have these.

                      SITRAM cookware is made in France (forget that it's made in France, just buy some) and is of excellent commercial like quality. The CYBERNOX LINE HAS A PATENTED INDESTRUCTIBLE SHINY ALUMINUM/ALLOY SURFACE. Yeah, this stuff is pretty incredible. I Highly recommend it.

                      DIAMOND cookware also came up a lot with fellow chowhounds so I just bought one. I'll let you know how it turns out when it's delivered.

                      I just had my 10.25" SITRAM CYBERNOX fry pan delivered last week. I made pancakes in it on Sunday and was extremely pleased. At close range, the fry pan looks like your average stainless fry pan. Yeah, the cybernox patented surface really works great. It works nearly as good as the teflon...good enough where doesn't stick. I plan on buying more Sitram Fry Pans. We'll see how the Diamond 8" turns out. I plan on making a Tortilla Espanola with the 8" Diamond non-stick fry pan.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: amoncada

                        Thanks for the news about the Sitram Cybernox. I have read reviews of it, but I don't know anyone who has owned and used it in their home kitchens. The Cybernox coating was developed for professional kitchens as a alternative to Teflon. Cybernox is much more durable, it can be used in the salamander(direct flame) and not chip or flake off. I will definitely give it a try when I need a new non-stick fry pan.

                        1. re: amoncada

                          I had a Cybernox skillet that I loved dearly, but I killed it by salt-roasting a salmon in it. The salt had a very bad effect on the finish of the pan, completely destroying it. The salmon, however, was delicious.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            Hmmm. The Sitram manufacturer of the Cybernox line claims that the surface is vitually indestructible.

                        2. All-clad will probably replace your non-stick free of charge, but you're just buying time. I had a calphalon "non-stick" and after sending it back twice for free replacements, I eventually gave in and bought an all-clad (not non-stick) and never looked back. A little bartender's helper and it's good as new.

                          1. Have a Le Creuset fry pan with the black enamel (not non stick) and love it but it is heavy. Also have an All Clad large frying pan, use it with light oil and it works just fine. Since the article in the NY Times by Marian Burros I have been leery of non stick pans, and even returned to a Lodge deep frying pan and found it does a wonderful job for high heat on steaks.

                            1. I've had a nonstick All Clad pan for abour 12 years and an All Clad nonstick griddle for about 10 years. I am not having problems with either one. What type of utensils do you use on it, and how do you clean it?

                              1. I got a $22.80 non-stick pan from the outlet below specifically for eggs, making sure not to use high heat. Otherwise, I mostly use carbon-steel restaurant pans, also much cheapeer than All-Clad and the like. No sticking problems even with fish.


                                BTW, if I was just starting out I'd probably stock my kitchen from this place. A huge selection.

                                1. a properly seasoned cast iron pan will not stick and they're pretty cheap. We make omelets in a small one all the time, no problem. It's not difficult to season them, just be a little patient. Also, I agree with the Sitram recommendations, though personally I would go for the stainless and forget about the non stick. I cook at high heat sometimes and I'd be afraid of damaging the coating.