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Need to replace one often used pan.. suggestions

Hello chowhounds!

I'm currently in an apartment with a mix mash of pots and pans. One pan (either 10 or 12inch) is warmed and needs to be replaced. This is currently a nonstick pan and is used for everything from sauteing to making an omelete. The sides have a small slope which I believe means it may be an omelette pan.. I don't know the set was already in place as it was my gf.

In any case, it is need of being replaced. We have an electric range (with the coils) and want something that does a good job, doesn't cost an arm and a leg (ahem All-Clad), isn't very heavy, conducts heat thoroughly and will last. I don't know if non-stick teflon matters or if stainless steel wrapped around copper/aluminum would be best. I have a huge cast iron pre-seasoned Lodge, though I've not used it yet because I hear you still need to season it and I don't want to attempt to burn down the house just yet (I only have shortening).

What have people experienced? I think the highest I'd be willing to go would be a Tri-Ply Calphalon and taht is still 80-90 bucks. I don't think I want to spend that much right now and so looking for suggestions for what quality I can get for maybe half that much. Thanks a bunch.

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  1. burgeoningfoodie, are you close to a Tuesday Morning outlet store? Tuesday Morning usually has close-out or discontinued Berndes cookware, which would be a good match for what you express as your needs. There are several lines of Berndes, and the made-in-Germany ones are better than the made-in-China ones, but the latter are pretty good in their own right, and very affordable.

    Somebody else will have to step in on the nonstick issue, as we have ever seen the point. We have not a single "nonstick" (that is, Teflon, Silverstone, etc.) pot or pan in our household, and never have had any desire for one. (We do have cast iron, though.)

    1. Season that Lodge! You don't need anything other than shortening and you don't need extremely high heat. That one pan should do for everything you mention except omelets. Then go out and get yourself a non-stick cheapie. I've had a Wearever that's held it's non-stick finish for a surprising number of years now, but I make practically nothing in it other than eggs and an occasional low-fat fish filet.

      1. foodie, the following is stainless, not non-stick. I've recommended this line on here before as something I think is an exceptional value, and that is Chef Marcus Samuelsson's (sp) stainless cookware line.

        Here is the the 12" version, on sale at Zabar's for $60, and they have the 10" on sale for $45.

        http://www.zabars.com/marcus-cookware...

        This is clad cookware, substantial enough for my high-BTU Viking burners, but not too heavy to lift, well designed with a stay cool handle that's long enough to get past the heat source and therefore actually stay cool. It goes in the dishwasher but is a breeze to clean by hand anyway. It's all metal, so I can and do use it in the oven, too. I feel that Chef Samuelsson et. al. put a lot of thought into this cookware and I have no reservations at all about recommending it. To put it in perspective, I've gotten rid of most of my stainless cookware, including the All Clad. Just wasn't happy with it. Mostly, I cook with LC now, including the skillets. However, I did keep my Demeyere pans and my Marcus fry pan, which I do use for every type of job from caramelizing onions to browning meat, which it does nicely.

        Here's more general information on the line: http://www.marcuscookware.com/pagesMa...

        Also, I am not a fan of nonstick cookware, at all. So I have not used and cannot offer any kind of assessment of the following, but I see that Chef Samuelsson/Marcusware have now come out with a nonstick line, called Eco-Satin. Perhaps you might want to research users' reviews of that, instead, if you prefer nonstick? http://www.chefcentral.com/Marcus-Sam...

        1. Sam's club has great non-stick skillets. You'll find them in the aisle where they sell restaurant-type equipment. They're cast aluminum non-stick, not too heavy, heat very evenly, have a thick removable silicone grip, and they're really cheap. I purchased a 10-inch skillet for just under $16, and am planning to get the 12-in as well - which I think is right around $20. Sometimes one just needs to use a non-stick, and since the finish does eventually scratch and/or wear off, IMO it's better to buy good quality cheaply. At Sam's Club prices you can easily afford to replace them when or if they do wear out.

          1. Burgeoning,

            I like to second JoanN. It is not that difficult to reason your Lodge cast iron. I won't think you can burn down your house especially if you use the oven method. It is simplier than baking a turkey. If you want to stripe off the original seasoning and put on your own, that is slightly more involving, but that is still nowhere close to "burn down the house". You can use shortening, lard, oil anything to season your cast iron skillet.

            As for nonstick pan, there are two schools of thought. One approach is to get a good one to last. The other approach is to get really cheap ones, so you can toss them out when they wear out without feeling bad. In the case you want to the expensive and long lasting route. The Calphone and Circulon nonstick cookware are considered more stable.

            Triply Calphalon is good. I have its saucepan. I know the 12" Calphon triply pan is being sold at ~$95, but, keep in mind, the smaller 10" is only $40.

            http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Tripl...

            If you must get a 12" triply pan, then the All Clad is not any more expensive. It is at $91

            http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Stainl...

            Finally, you should also consider looking into stores like T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods