HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

Best "one" non-stick pan to have for eggs, omelets, etc

tzakiel Jan 26, 2010 05:23 AM

I don't like non-stick. I like stainless/ply pans. However, I have come to admit I probably want one non-stick frying pan with low sides strictly for omelets, eggs, and possibly some fish dishes.

I've owned non-stick pans in the past and they all lose their coating and get beat up... but what is the best I can do in terms of durability and performance without breaking the bank? I've invested a lot in SS pans... so I'd prefer this to be reasonably priced and durable.

is there a specific pan you love just for delicate egg cookery and that will last for years? I'd definitely want it to be shaped in such a way that is very good for omelets so I can slide them right out of the pan.

I already have planned to buy this frying pan for general frying / everyday use:
http://www.cookware.com/Demeyere-5562...

But it's stainless and has a handle on the back side, so I'm not sure it will be ideal for omelets and eggs. Or will it be just fine?

  1. t
    trakman Jun 2, 2011 08:45 PM

    I agree with Indirect Heat's post farther down. Although I have a restaurant supply store close to where I live, I buy my non stick pan at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They sell lthe Tramontina brand , and, with a discount coupon, which are available all over the world, a 10" skillet goes for about $15. Use it until it gets scratched, (although my latest one is on its third year), and, when it does, buy another one. No need to pay big bucks for something which is not that durable over a few years.

    1. d
      dougpy Jun 2, 2011 01:59 PM

      I would try the Evaco / Bonnibee non-stick, which is much greener, no PFOA, etc.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689582

      1. a
        armagnac Jan 28, 2010 03:12 AM

        I picked up a Tramontina Pro 10" nonstick skillet at Bed Bath & Beyond last year for $20. It's heavy aluminum with a Teflon coating - removable silicon grip. No comparative ratings that I know of, I shopped first for price and then for materials, weight, and balance. Have used it only for scrambled eggs and omelets, not for fish, and so far so good.

        1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jan 27, 2010 02:55 PM

          If you want a non-stick pan exclusively for eggs and omelets, you should be looking for something with the older-style slick non-stick surface rather than the nubbly-textured non-stick surface more popular on higher-end non-stick pans. Any health-related concerns about Teflon are a moot point if you're using this pan exclusively for eggs, because since eggs should cook over a low flame, the pan will never get hot enough for the non-stick coating to start breaking down.

          Therefore, you should go to your nearest Ikea and pick up their basic 10-inch nonstick frypan. I have used one exclusively for eggs for well over two years now. My eggs and omelets come out flawlessly and there is still nary a scratch on the pan.

          Also, it cost $4.97. So...buy the $200 pan in your original post, or buy 40 of the $5 pans from Ikea and have perfect eggs for a minimum of 80 years. Your call.

          2 Replies
          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
            p
            philly888 Jan 27, 2010 04:47 PM

            On America's Test Kitchen they recommended the pan I have as an inexpensive alternative to paying $100 for an "egg pan". It's the KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials Hard Anodized Nonstick 8-Inch Open French Skillet. A mouthful to say, but costs less than $25. We've had ours for 2 years and it's still going strong.
            http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-Gour...

            It may not be the best money can buy, but I'd call it a best bang for the buck.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
              tzakiel Jan 28, 2010 09:42 AM

              The pan in my original post is for high heat and general frying. But yeah.

            2. b
              breadchick Jan 27, 2010 02:47 PM

              I have the deBuyer white carbon steel fry pans in 8, 10, and 12 inches. They are probably, hands down, the best pans EVER. Once seasoned, they work for any kind of delicate egg dish.

              They season beautifully in a short length of time, just a quick rinse clean in very hot water to clean, and then back on the burner for a quick dry before putting them away. They're a little heavy, but are real workhorses.

              I bought mine from Chef's Catalog - and went back to buy another 12 inch, but all that's left is 8 and 14 inch sizes. Yes, I love these pans that much that I wanted to buy another 12 inch because I'll sear/pan roast meat in one and make sauteed potatoes or veg in the other.

              My All Clad frying pans and saute pans are crying in the cabinet. Lonely and not used hardly at all now. I use their lids for the deBuyers!

              5 Replies
              1. re: breadchick
                Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2010 02:54 PM

                Breadchick,

                Do you know any difference between the normal deBuyer and the blue steel deBuyer. I sent deBuyer an email for more than two weeks. No reply.

                This

                http://www.debuyer.com/product.php?id=14&cat=14&background=bleu1

                vs

                http://www.debuyer.com/product.php?id...

                Thanks.

                P.S.: I don't think it is very nice to make pans cry. If you are not going to cease a real relationship with your All Clad and insist spending time with your deBuyer, then I think the very least you can do is to have a proper divorce.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  b
                  breadchick Jan 27, 2010 04:04 PM

                  The thing is, I've been to the deBuyer website a few times (and am lamenting that most of their products aren't available stateside.) I'm not real sure what the difference is between the two, since I just bought mine from CC and they state it's white carbon.

                  Based on the deBuyer site, I have to think that what I have must be the Carbonne line, since it looks exactly like what I purchased.

                  All I do know for sure is I sure as heck wished I knew about them earlier. I did the cast iron and it's way too heavy. The best way I know that the dB is quality is the seasoning: my pans are dark brown to black and not tacky or sticky. It's in there...

                  I have had, for a couple decades, a carbon steel crepe pan that I adore. It's well seasoned and a real treasure. It makes the perfect 7" crepe.

                  Now I get it. So, when I found these white steel fry pans, I put my faith in steel and will never look back.

                  I'm sorry that I can't tell you the difference between the two, all I can say is the white carbon steel rocks. I can say that I've seen the blue carbon steel and I don't think I'd hesitate to purchase if it was a pan I needed - can't be that much different than the white?

                  The steel pans tend to be less expensive, so it wouldn't be that much of a hurt if the blue sucks. I doubt it would, though.

                  Yes, I have to have a sit down with the All Clad...

                  1. re: breadchick
                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 27, 2010 04:53 PM

                    bread,

                    Yes, I believe the standard deBuyer one is the Carbonne Plus. In knife/cutley, white carbon steel means pure carbon steel, just carbon and iron, whereas blue steel refers to tungsten+chromium on top of carbon and iron, but that is really a Japanese knife definition and probably does not apply elsewhere. If I find out, I will let you know. Thanks.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      b
                      breadchick Jan 27, 2010 05:18 PM

                      Thank you!

                    2. re: breadchick
                      r
                      Rella Jun 6, 2011 08:08 PM

                      Here is information I have in my file when I was buying some DeBuyer pans.

                      Blue steel is annealed carbon steel, like a wok but harder due to the heat tempering.

                      Similarly, a process called annealing is used to turn reactive carbon steel into harder, less reactive black steel and blue steel.

                      Black Steel/Blue Steel

                      - This is carbon steel that has been treated by a process of annealing, which makes the surface harder and less reactive. It also imparts a distinctive black or gunmetal blue color to the carbon steel.

                      - Because the surface is harder, black/blue steel seasons more like cast iron in terms of its durability and persistence. Because the surface is less reactive, one need not be so concerned about minimizing opportunities for chemical interaction between the food and the pan.

                2. s
                  sueatmo Jan 26, 2010 05:05 PM

                  I must have used a million non-stick fry pans through the years. My present one is a Scanpan, bought on sale. It works just fine. Any pan you use should feel good in your hand, be balanced. It should have a little weight but not too much, and not too much weight in one place. The secret to these pans, I have found out, is never to use spray coatings on their surfaces, and to never use higher than med. heat. Since I have done this, my pan still is in fine shape after a couple of years of use. If I want a little oil for sauteing or doing eggs, I use a silicone brush to oil the skillet. (The oil still beads, but it does impart a little flavor to the dish.)

                  1. k
                    knet Jan 26, 2010 02:40 PM

                    I bought the DeBuyer crepe pan and it's fantastic for eggs and omelettes; also have a carbon steel pan but I find I still need a non-stick when I do delicate fish.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: knet
                      j
                      jeanmarieok Jan 26, 2010 03:17 PM

                      I have a 9 in de buyer I use for small omelets, and a 14 inch for big omelets - works great!!

                    2. tzakiel Jan 26, 2010 01:43 PM

                      Actually I decided to get two of these World Cuisine pans. Cheap, and good for more than just eggs. A lot of restaurants use these:

                      http://www.culinarydistrict.com/Produ...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: tzakiel
                        alanbarnes Jan 26, 2010 03:12 PM

                        You realize that's carbon steel, not nonstick, right?

                        Here's the one I use, from the same site:

                        http://www.culinarydistrict.com/Produ...

                        Heavy duty aluminum with a thick and fairly durable nonstick layer. I take reasonable care of the pan (avoiding metal utensils), but certainly don't baby it. I'm on my second, and it's near the end of its useful life; each has lasted 10 years or so.

                        1. re: alanbarnes
                          tzakiel Jan 26, 2010 06:04 PM

                          I do realize but in my experience the crepe pan I have which is the same material, doesn't stick. I might consider the one you linked, though.

                          1. re: tzakiel
                            alanbarnes Jan 26, 2010 06:41 PM

                            Everybody's got an opinion on the issue; mine is that for egg cookery, nonstick can't be matched. Carbon steel is about as good as it gets otherwise, but the difference is still night and day.

                      2. a
                        andrewtree Jan 26, 2010 09:43 AM

                        Like you I avoid non-stick but I have a Calphalon Contemporary omelette pan for the uses you mention that I like very much (with well fitting glass lid). And at very competetive prices on Amazon. For more general frying I use LC enameled iron.

                        1. Indirect Heat Jan 26, 2010 09:01 AM

                          Yep. Go to your nearest restaurant supply store. For about $10-15, you can get a nice thick-bottom aluminum non-stick pan. No brand name, and with a metal handle (that will get screaming hot, so be careful).

                          Best part? When it finally scratches (which it will, eventually, just depends on how careful you are), you won't feel bad tossing it in the trash.

                          1. tzakiel Jan 26, 2010 05:36 AM

                            http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                            Actually I might just get this pan (10 inch carbon steel pan from de buyer)... I have a de buyer crepe pan and it's amazing, and the crepes don't stick at all, they slide right out. Also high heat is OK.

                            In fact, I might just get the de buyer 12.5 inch and call it a day... it seems like it's good for any frying and so I might not even get the Demeyere one above.

                            Show Hidden Posts