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Sep 4, 2006 08:02 PM

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? :-)