Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 25, 2008 10:46 AM

Non-stick frying pan suggestion?

Hi all. I loved my Calphalon 12" Frying Pan (said 1392 on the bottom-I think it's this one: ). Unfortunately, despite never putting it in the dishwasher, the non-stick finish is starting to flake off when I use my sponge on it. :( I got it on sale almost three years ago, and I was rather expecting it to last longer.

So-I need a new frying pan. I use this pan for just about everything. I know, I know, I should theoretically not use non-stick for things that require browning, but I am trying to cook with less oil or butter (as I am trying to lose weight) and I don't eat red meat at all. What I liked about my current pan was that it had a great weight, it was big, eggs never stuck, chicken breasts cooked really well in it, and it cleaned off pretty easily. What I don't like was that it was so expensive even on sale, and would have been more had it NOT been on sale, and yet only lasted three years with light to medium use.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement that will be a familiar experience to my old pan, but hopefully either be more durable, or a LOT cheaper?

I'd consider paying more for a frying pan that is dishwasher safe, it seems like a nice feature, but otherwise, I'd like an economical choice! :P

Oh, and if it matters for your recommendations, I'm using this with an electric burner.

Thanks for your help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you're near an IKEA, I bought the 12" non-stick from their 365+ line to replace a Calphalon non-stick of equal size. I like it better than the Calphalon pan, which retailed for over $100, and it only cost $22. I also got a $6 super-slick nonstick for an egg pan that outperforms pans costing 20 times as much.

    1. Vollrath is popular in restaurant kitchens. I got a pan from Surfas at less than half the price of a same-size Calphalon:

      1 Reply
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        Second the Volrath recommendation!
        It's a fantastic pan, and my second favorite piece of cookware next to my Volrath Saucier (also picked up from Surfas).
        I've only had it for a year or so, so I can't vouch for it's longevity past that, but the nonstick is the best I've ever had, and a joy to cook with (I wouldn't throw it in the dishwasher, though...).

      2. I got one of these about 6 months back for about $21 with one of my
        expired BB&B 20% off coupons:
        11 1/2" Cuisinart non-stick frying pan.

        Despite all the ridiculous marketing hype about "reinforced hard anodized
        Quantanium", it's basically just plain old teflon inside a black aluminum pan.

        Works great. I like it because it was the cheapest I could find with a
        decent, oven-safe handle.

        1. 3 years . . . I think you are doing well. The 2 pan for 20 bucks costco stuff works for me . . . lagostina . . . tfal (is that how it is spelt) gave out a bit quicker. I'm a bit of a cast iron fan but sometimes I'm in a rush. Can't tell you though how many people have tried to cook the thanksgiving bird in a no stick pan and have the surface pull away. I'd never use non stick for a family function. Just my 2 cents.

          1. Thanks for the advice, all! I checked out Ikea tonight, BarmyFortheringayPhipps, but they didn't have a great selection. The 365+ they had were all really dusty, apparently from the renovations. Ick! :P

            I'll take a look at Vollrath and that Cuisinart pan. Thanks for the suggestions. :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: dartmouth05

              plain old "black steel" pans are a staple in restaurants and are incredibly easy to season. I'd set one aside for eggs (they are cheap enough that is possible) and get a big one for general cooking. a light spritz of olive oil cooking spray and they are effectively non-stick. I am not trying to launch a debate on safety issues raised by using non-stick pans at high temps, but since there at least IS a debate, why risk it?

              every now and then I do something in a black steel pan that turns out badly and I have to scrub it out wtih steel wool and start over. It is not that hard to re-start, much easier than re-seasoning a cast iron pan.

              1. re: tim irvine

                Yes. I've cooked for decades, and having used many different types of fry pans, I have settled on French-made carbon steel pans as the best (moderately priced at Chef's Catalog), I mentioned only non-stick as the OP aeems set on that. I use non-stick only for eggs and crepes, and avoid overheating.

                I wonder if the current non-stick materials are of lower quality. I had a marvelous Meyer non-stick pan that lasted 15 years.

                1. re: mpalmer6c

                  Personally, I think the detergents and soaps are more astringent now than they used to be. Perhaps the pans are also made of lower quality materials, but I think they get put through quite a bit more abuse in the cleaning stage than they used to.

                  I'm certain someone will now write in with stories of their mother who used a brillo pad on some non-stick pan and it still works wonderfully today. There's always an exception. And, I could be totally wrong, as this is all conjecture anyhow.