I'm looking for a 12'' stainless fry pan/skillet to supplement my 10'' cast iron (the cast iron is great, but too heavy for some uses ... i.e., anything that requires shaking the pan regularly). The $100+ tag on an All-Clad 12'' skillet (the one rated highly by CI) is just a little too high for my taste. So I'm wondering ... does anyone here own a generic 3-ply like this one from Surfas ( http://www.surfasonline.com/products/... ), and if so, is it any good? Or am I better off, in the long run, to spend the money on something more expensive that (or so we hope) lasts longer/performs better?
I buy mainly from restaurant supply sores. I don't
have this particular pan myself, but I'm sure it
will do very well. After all, chefs at expensive restaurants
can't get by with cookware that produces bad results.
The pan claims to have a 5 mm aluminum layer and, as an inch is 25.4 mm, that's about 1/5" thick. The famed (and expensive) Italian Paderno stuff has 1/4" disc bottom and cost five times as much.
I think this is a fine pan for the price.
I to buy from restaurant supply stores, however I rely on my sales rep to for technical advice and to $deal$ with.
Last year I was looking for nearly the same thing(fry pan/skillet), but he would not recommend SS because of the temperamental qualities SS imposes in a frying/shake or stir situation. He stair cased in order (good/better/best) Natural Al, Hard Coat Al, or Non-stick Al, all of the commercial grade in thickness. Upon him giving me a discount I went for a 14 inch Lincoln NS CeramiGuard II skillet. I do not think I could have found such easy to work with skillet that cooks and browns so evenly.
Since you are in Fargo, you might want to see if Dakota Food Equipment is open to the public. They seem to see similar items. I'd suggest handling a 12" SS to see if it really is much lighter than your cast iron. And if you haven't cooked on SS, may be try a smaller 8". Remember, SS does not take a seasoning like cast iron.
Good call on Dakota Food Equipment .... I lived in walking distance to Surfas only a few months ago, so their website is where I looked first. Will have to give the local place a try.
It's really more about surface area than anything else. I have a small 3qt SS chef's pan/saucier that makes for a fantastic small skillet in a pinch, the 10'' cast iron for most other situations, but once in a while, it's just not big enough -- and a 12'' cast iron is just too daunting! :)