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stir fry pan

hello all- i'm looking for an easy to use stir fry type pan- not a wok or cast iron bc i know i won't be able to maintain.

I was thinking about either the calphalon one sir fry or the calphalon try ply. ideally under $75 but am looking to hear peoples experiences and suggestions. thanks!

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  1. I bought mine for less than $20 at a big store in Chinatown and it hasn't ever let me down - it's cast iron and with a glas lid. Heavy and all-purpose.

    1. There's nothing to maintain about a wok. You just use it. When you're done, let it cool down, scrap any stuck bits off, and put it away.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dscheidt

        Oh there are Asian folks reading this post and cringing.
        Sure, a non stick "wok' would have no cares/worries, but oh my, the flavor you get from a well seasoned wok over a real flame does not come from a wok that's scraped, and put away. Isn't it called Wok Hay or some such?

      2. I would not at all recommend a non-stick. I gave mine away. I had some success with stainless steel. I recently purchased a decent wok/stirfry. They don't call it that, though, they call it a multi-purpose pan. It has a domed lid. It is stainless that has been treated by bombarding it with steel balls or something. It is not non-stick, but damned close. Cleans up like a dream. It will take lotsa heat for stirfry.
        It is marketed by Starfrit, but the name on the pan is "Heritage" Got it from the Canadian HSN site (theshoppingchannel.com)

        I am finally happy with my wok (Been through 4 of them)


        1. What are you mainly going to cook in it please? For how many people? What is your heat source?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Robin Joy

            So far fried rice (a number of times) Haven't had it long enough to get into serious chinese food yet.
            I've used it on an electric stove and also an induction burner.

            1. re: billieboy

              Sounds good, but I was really asking the OP.

          2. I have a wok but after I bought it I realized that the wok ring wouldn't fit on my range and I was too nervous to use it without the wok ring so it ended up in the basement. My mom had given me an All-Clad chef's pan and I started using that instead and it works fine. (I love that pan - very versatile....)

            I recently purchased a new range though, and it just occurred to me that I may be able to use my wok on this range with the wok ring. Have to dig it out of the basement...

            1. thanks everyone- looking to cook basic stir fry and day to day vegetarian meals for 2-4. I don't want cast iron bc we have visiting relatives (parents!) who put everything in the dishwasher- finally got them to leave my knives out!
              has anyone tried the calphalon that i mentioned? I think all clad has something similar... thanks again

              1 Reply
              1. re: qwerty78

                Well, I suggest you start with an 11" non-stick aluminium affair from any household store. Here in the UK they are widely available at about $25 and I use mine (T-Fal) for all sorts of things including pasta sauces and curries (I have an added universal lid). This type of item does not last forever, but does go in the dishwasher and is cheap to replace. Buy a higher quality item only if this proves inadequate is my suggestion.

                Trad. carbon steel is undoubtedly better for proper stir-fries, but these are even cheaper from Asian stores, so get one of these too if you need to.

              2. I'm fond of my little Joyce Chen stir-fry pan (Peking Pan). It is a semi-wok with a small flat bottom, designed for horrible electric burners. Of course if I had a gas stove I'd have a proper wok. I have a larger wok, but use this smallish one daily, making small quantities of just about everything. Carbon steel. I have an identical supposedly non-stick one but despite the warranty, and the fact that I have never used a metal implement in it (though the warranty says you can) the bottom has flaked. A wok needs hight temperatures, and my stove temps are a fraction of those for a professional wok.

                Hide it from the rellies! A dishwasher, indeed. Or even put a warning sticker in it, and in any cast iron skillets.

                2 Replies
                1. re: lagatta

                  I have an aluminum nonstick of this type, 8" flat bottom, 11" rim. Even though the nonstick coating is not functioning as well as when it was new, it still is a quite useful pan. It has a enough volume to handle many stews and braises for 2-3 people. The high flared sides make it great for any dish that requires a lot of stirring. That would include psuedo-stirfrying. I've had woks in the past, even have a flat bottom one hanging in the pantry, but I've never been happy with their seasoning. And I'm no novice when it comes to seasoning, I have 4 cast iron pans, and 3 other carbon steel pans and griddles.

                  So in my experience such a pan is useful for its shape even if it (and the stove) can't perform like a restaurant wok. I'd say pick the thickest aluminum you can find in the appropriate shape. If it is hard anodized, so much the better. I have limited experience with the more expensive laminated stainless steel pans.

                  1. re: paulj

                    Sounds very similar to my usage, lagatta & paul. I have about 6 semi-retired examples which get dragged out when needed. My "battle box" for holiday rentals includes this pan & lid, A decent knife and a polyprop. cutting board.

                2. My favorite is the Joyce Chen Carbon Steel stir fry pan, but it needs to stay seasoned and that's something that you said you don't want to do. I understand completely because I used to think that way. But, once you get it seasoned, it's actually pretty easy to maintain.

                  That being said, as others have mentioned, there's the Joyce Chen Peking Pan which has a nonstick coating. I used to have one of these, but I gave it away. With the higher heat of stir frying, I didn't feel comfortable with a nonstick. But, that's just me. I know other people who use that pan and really like it.

                  Good luck!