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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: http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Comme... ). 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!

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  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.

            2. These have a lifetime warranty. Send it back to Calphalon and they will send you a brand new one. Maybe you can pay them a bit extra and get them to send you the Calphalon ONE nonstick insead. It was more layers of nonstick, is supposed to hold up better, and the exterior is supposed to resist staining better. About the same weight or heavier too. They had a special set sold not too long ago of that 12" with a nice glass lid for $49.99.

              1 Reply
              1. re: blondelle

                Thanks for the suggestion, Blondelle. I sent it in to them today, so, I'll see what happens and report back! :)

              2. I've tried a bunch of non-stick pans, including super-heavy/expensive ones (Scanpan/Titanium, Wearever, Calphalon). Alas, the coating never lasts more than a year. Now I just get a new Tfal at $20 at an outlet store and throw the old one away. When I need a non-stick surface plus heat retention, I go to well-seasoned cast iron, or stainless-steel-lined copper if I need tractability or quick screaming heat.

                Non-stick doesn't make a good fond, which is another reason I prefer a heavy (Wearever) uncoated aluminum skillet, which I use a lot for roasting chicken. When you're done and deglaze the good stuff, just let it cool, put it in the sink with soapy water and let it soak for an hour or overnight. It cleans up beautifully. Dishwashers aren't best for everything.

                1. I'm glad you sent your pan in and will look forward to your report back. I have a full set of the commercial anodized aluminum pans, but do not have a non-stick version. I wonder if you they will give you a chance to upgrade, so to speak. I have a 10 inch Scanpan that I use for non-stick items, but I find that it is not as deep as it like for homefries, hashes, etc. The Volraths look really nice, I might have to consider getting one.

                  Please do report back on what you hear from Calphalon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I was in a similar situation to yourself. I had two Calphalon Commercial non-stick omelette(?) pans that were wearing out, and I had treated them correctly, but I used them every day. I could have sworn I posted about it, but I can't find the post. Well, I would like to report back anyway. I sent them in and WOW! In under two weeks turn around Calphalon sent me two new pans to meet the warranty. I really didn't think they would, but I get to eat my hat. They replaced them with zero problems, and very promptly! I was astonished when FedEx showed up today with a mysterious package.

                    I can't tell you how thrilled I was to get those pans back. As I said, I used them every day. I'm glad I tried the warranty! Happy, happy, joy, joy! My favorite pans are back. (I like my Le Creuset dutch oven, too).

                    (Oh, it was Calphalon ONE that they sent to replace it, since they don't make the commercial line anymore, I think.) (Also, I have been learning to like the cast iron that I bought to use once my non-stick had started to go bad. I had let them sit around for awhile before trying to send them in on warranty, silly me. But the cast iron is so heavy.)

                    1. jfood has sent a couple of Calphalons back and has received a new one. Very simple process. If you have any questions go to their website and call first.

                      And jfood only used NS approved utensils and only washed it with the spongey thing that Calphalon told him on the phone to use. Like a Dobie-sponge.

                      BTW - do NOT listen to the people who tell you not to brown in the NS. Works great.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: jfood

                        TT does not generallt use any type of "coated" non-stuck pan. I do have some hard anodized pans, but the difference is that the entire pan is made of the same material so there's no coating to rub off.


                        1. re: TexasToast

                          Chuckles the Clone wishes to remind Texas Toast that what happens when a pan is anodized is that a very thin film of aluminum oxide is deposited on the surface of the pan. Although thin, the layer is extremely hard, but over time it will wear off.

                          Chuckles the Clone also wonders if jfood's experience with having to mail frying pans back to the manufacturer could in any way be related to jfood's penchant for browning his meat in said nonstick pans?

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            Nope, the pan that went back was the egg pan. jfood browns his meat. fish and poultry in the larger versions. they're doing fine, BTW even after many trips to a 400-425 oven.

                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              Agree. I had a Calphalon fry pan which was fine for 10 years or so, but the interior surface eventually wore down. But I've had Calphalon saucepans for 20 years or more that I love. I don't metal utensils, though.

                              I think there are legitimate (not paranoid) concerns about using non-stick at high heat. as well as concerns about longevity. For things other than delicate stuff like eggs, why not use some other material? My favorite is carbon steel. For things like steaks, chops and fish it's as non-stick as non-stick.

                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                Hmm, well, time will tell I suppose. How about cast iron?


                                1. re: TexasToast

                                  Sure, cast iron works fine. I prefer carbon steel in part becaise it's ligher and will do everything cast iron will do. But "time" isn't involved; the pans are pure metal like cast iron, so there's no coating to wear off.

                          2. The best NON STICK cookware I have found bar none is Macy's Anolon Advanced.

                            It it heavy duty and uses the best Teflon Coating available (Autograph ) it surpasses my Swiss Diamond / Scanpan / and Calphalon .
                            Plus it can be found on sale many times at half the cost. But even if I could not get it at a reduced price it is worth the price as marked anytime.

                              1. I suppose no one here wants to talk about Ikea's "expensive" line...

                                1 Reply
                                1. Cook's Magazine had a review awhile back (within the last two years), you may want to check with them (they also have a website)

                                  1. Orgreenic sells a ceramic non sticking frying pan. You can find a review here:

                                    1. Big solution: Walgreens has the 10 inch pan for $19.99 plus sales tax. Buy one from them because if you don't like it in the first 60 days, Walgreens will refund your total price. I asked before I bought mine.
                                      The pan needs to be "seasoned". Did as the instructions said and it seemed the smoke was coming from the bottom/underneath side of the pan. Stopped after about 3 minutes.
                                      The pan works as it should. I do cook bacon frequently in mine, and drain the grease out of the pan before cooking the eggs. I think cooking the bacon helps keep mine "seasoned".
                                      Now that I know how the pan works, I am ready to buy the complete set.

                                      BEWARE: do not buy the Earthpan! I got mine from the Walmart website. 2 of the 10 pieces have started to flake after 72 days. Walmart has a limit of 60 days on returns. After that you cannot return it to them. The manufacturer does NOT have a warranty of any kind on their product. Now I have a complete set of pans ($144.00 w shipping and handling) and they don't work.

                                      1. Your pan appear to have a lifetime warranty? You should go online and check it out...I think you have to pay postage to ship it back but I believe they will replace it?

                                        1. Fabriform Services
                                          3300 Airport Way S
                                          Seattle WA 98134

                                          according to Liana Beal, 206-587-5303 they're doing a run to include recoating pans with Teflon (tm) toward the end of July 2014. I am having a pan recoated for ~$20 plus shipping and handling. They sand blast the old coating and recoat. If there's plastic handles or paint on it, that will be removed (You can remove handles before sending it to them.) I bought 2 replacement sauce pans before discovering this from Dupont. Crazty, I know, but my old wearever pan can't be replaced anymore and it's the PERFECT PAN. And will be again once it's recoated.