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Need new skillet!

j
josephnl May 10, 2011 01:59 PM

My 25 y.o.Revereware stainless/copper 11-12 inch skillet has finally bit the dust. It's dented, stained, and the Bakelite handle is seriously messed up after being repeatedly subjected to oven temps. What should I get? Definitely do not want non-stick, and am willing to pay ~$100+/-. Pretty sure I'd prefer stainless, but might consider Calphalon. Have looked at All-Clad and Scanpan...both look great. What would you get?

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  1. petek RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 02:06 PM

    I love my de Buyer carbon plus fry pan.Very heavy duty stuff.After some seasoning,it's better than non stick.

    www.debuyer.com

    17 Replies
    1. re: petek
      j
      josephnl RE: petek May 10, 2011 06:37 PM

      This is not stainless, is it? If not, why would you prefer it over stainless?

      1. re: josephnl
        Chemicalkinetics RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 06:42 PM

        Depending what you want the skillet to be used for. For most skillet type of jobs, I agree with Petek - a carbon steel pan is an excellent choice. Like he said, the main advantage for a carbon steel skillet/pan over a stainless steel cladded pan is the nonstick characteristic.

        Now, there obviously are challenges in using a carbon steel pan, you cannot stick it into a dishwasher. You cannot soak it overnight in water... etc, so if you rather have a stainless steel cladded pan, I do have a Calphalon triply pan and it is a good pan. I cannot comment how it compares to an All Clad. Some observations suggest that All Clad cookwares have slightly thicker aluminum layers than those of Calphalon and Tramontina. If so, then All Clad is better, but it is more expensive.

        PS. Why do you not want a nonstick pan? The Teflon (PTFE)?

        PPS: What makes you think a Scanpan does not have Teflon (PTFE)?

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          j
          josephnl RE: Chemicalkinetics May 10, 2011 08:44 PM

          Chemicalkinetics:
          PS...I am concerned (perhaps wrongly) about putting a non-stick in the oven.
          PPS...Scanpan has a new line of stainless which is not non-stick. They look great and are being heavily promoted by Sur la Table.

          1. re: josephnl
            Chemicalkinetics RE: josephnl May 11, 2011 06:48 AM

            PPS: Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking about the nonstick version of the Scanpan.

        2. re: josephnl
          petek RE: josephnl May 11, 2011 08:12 AM

          josephnl: It's not stainless,it's carbon steel.I bought these particular pans for one reason,to sear meat,poultry,fish over high heat and to finish in a hot oven.Having said that,I've been using the smaller(9") pan for eggs and the larger(12") for roasting vegetables with great results.

          Chem is right about the challenges/maintenance of carbon steel.Hand wash and dry,no soaking and the occasional re-seasoning but I own carbon steel knives so this is not a big deal for me.Another thing,these pans are HEAVY! But that's what makes them so good.Plus after some use,they take on a very cool "patina,for lack of a better word.

          I cook for a living and have used tons of different pans over the years,and I gotta say these are the best I've ever used, YMMV. Wiiliams Sanoma carries the Mineral line of debuyer,so if you get a chance,check them out.

          that is all :-D

          1. re: petek
            j
            josephnl RE: petek May 11, 2011 12:52 PM

            What is the difference between the mineral and carbone pans, and which do you prefer and why? Thanks!

            1. re: josephnl
              petek RE: josephnl May 11, 2011 01:36 PM

              The mineral pan is the higher end line of deBuyers carbon steel pans.A bit thicker and a coating of silicon on the handles,really nice looking pan and more expensive than the carbone plus.I went for the carbone plus because I was worried about the coating on the handle being able to withstand higher oven temps for prolonged use,plus I saved myself about $65.00 (I'm such a cheap ass).

              People on here that own the mineral pans said they've had no problems with the coating on the handles being in a hot oven so....I didn't think the extra $$ was worth the price. the carbone plus were hard to find up here in Canada,but I managed to score them from sears.ca

              I think the bottom line is aesthetics.the mineral look nicer than the carbone but I doubt they perform any better.
              Oh I forgot to mention that my 12" has an extra handle on the opposite side
              of the pan,kinda like a paella pan.Pretty sweet eh? :-D

              Cheers

              1. re: petek
                Chemicalkinetics RE: petek May 11, 2011 03:08 PM

                "I saved myself about $65.00 "

                Really? I didn't remember the price difference to be that huge.

                "the mineral look nicer than the carbone but I doubt they perform any better."

                Agree.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  petek RE: Chemicalkinetics May 11, 2011 03:39 PM

                  Chem; you gotta remember that I live in the "great white north" where everything is more expensive :p

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    ted RE: Chemicalkinetics May 13, 2011 08:14 AM

                    I think this has been mentioned, but I picked up the 9" De Buyer with the metal handle at Cost Plus World Market for $20. My wife has become paranoid about using nonstick for the Chowpup's daily scrambled egg.

                    I like it- heats up super fast, and my hot-and-fast eggs don't stick a bit. It's been in service for a month or so. I've noticed some of the seasoning is coming off (pinpoints), likely from me running the hot pan under the faucet to clean. I plan to cook some bacon this weekend or maybe just re-season.

                    1. re: ted
                      Politeness RE: ted May 13, 2011 09:38 AM

                      ted: "$20"

                      That is the price (not including shipping) of the heavier Matfer Bourgeat pan (also made in France) on-line.

                      http://www.culinarycookware.com/bourg...

                      1. re: ted
                        j
                        josephnl RE: ted May 13, 2011 11:27 AM

                        Is this the carbine or mineral skillet? Is seasoning less of a pain with these than with cast iron? I'm not a big fan of cast iron; the seasoning and care always seems to be a pain to me. I've never had a cast iron pan which works as well for eggs as a non-stick. I don't deny that it can be as good, it's just that I guess I've never taken the trouble to season one properly (we don't eat bacon!). Is the deBuyer a different animal, or does it require the same treatment as cast iron? How do you clean the deB?

                        1. re: josephnl
                          ted RE: josephnl May 14, 2011 01:00 PM

                          It's the Carbone as far as I can tell (not sure I saved the tag). I wanted to feel it before buying, so finding a deal locally was good all around.

                          I initially seasoned like cast iron in the oven. I'll probably do it again or cook some bacon in it to try to fix the spots where it's come loose. If bacon isn't an option, there's a wok seasoning method from Breath of the Wok (IIRC) that has you saute green onions in a good bit of oil and basically cook them to death.

                          Cleaning-wise, I just spray it down while hot in the sink and maybe swipe at the cooked on parts with a sponge or plastic scrubbie (worst case). I then wipe and/or put it back on the heat to dry.

                          For quick-cooking eggs like I do most days, it's been a great replacement for the nonstick so far.

                        2. re: ted
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: ted May 13, 2011 11:31 AM

                          Good to hear Ted.

                    2. re: josephnl
                      c
                      cutipie721 RE: josephnl May 11, 2011 02:36 PM

                      If that is going to be the only one skillet you'll have, stick with stainless steel, especially if you make pan sauce with the brown bits after cooking the meat. The seasoning WILL get into the sauce. Some call it "added flavor" though.

                      1. re: cutipie721
                        j
                        josephnl RE: cutipie721 May 11, 2011 03:16 PM

                        It will be the only large skillet which is not NS. I have two smaller Calphalon skillets which are fine, but need a replacement large skillet, and am weighing my choices.

                        1. re: cutipie721
                          petek RE: cutipie721 May 11, 2011 03:36 PM

                          excellent point cutiepie.I didn't mention this because I don't do any pan sauces.Hard to do any with these pans anyway cause it's basically non stick,so no fond left to deglaze.
                          That's something you'll have to keep in mind josephnl when making your decision.

                2. d
                  dijon RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 02:19 PM

                  A Calphalon anodized skillet would meet your requests and outperform the Revereware by a country mile. I like my Allclad ss but I do have a personal bias against stainless skillets as they are too "sticky" for many skillet uses. And I am coming back around to NS now that I have some high output burners, they brown foods quite well, the lifetime is just a little more limited.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dijon
                    j
                    josephnl RE: dijon May 10, 2011 02:24 PM

                    I agree the you can sear pretty well in non-stick Calphalon, but I often sear meat/fish in a skillet and then finish cooking in the oven. Don't know if it's such a good idea to put NS in the oven.

                    1. re: josephnl
                      petek RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 02:38 PM

                      searing in a NS pan is not a good idea.You can't get a high enough heat on the pan,to caramelize,without damaging the NS coating.Cast iron or carbon steel are the best options and can go from stove top to oven with no worries.

                      1. re: petek
                        d
                        dijon RE: petek May 13, 2011 06:59 AM

                        I carmelize with NS quite often. I agree it is easier to brown without the NS, but you are also then subject to sticking, severe sticking with SS. If you are going to make a pan sauce, fine, the brown bits will help. My epiphany was browning sliced mushrooms with just the tiniest bit of oil in a 12" NS, works terrific and doubt it is otherwise possible. NS in the oven is fine, the limit is no broiling.

                      2. re: josephnl
                        Chemicalkinetics RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 06:52 PM

                        "I agree the you can sear pretty well in non-stick Calphalon, but I often sear meat/fish in a skillet and then finish cooking in the oven."

                        I disagree. I think most people bring the pan to a much higher temperature on stovetop than in the oven. For example, most nonstick (Teflon) can withstand around 450oF, and many people do not use the oven higher than that. You have a very well control environment in an oven. On the other hand, you are much more likely to accidentally heat the pan higher than this when trying to "sear" on a stovetop.

                    2. r
                      rasputina RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 07:07 PM

                      You can get the All-Clad D-5 12 inch fry pan with lid for 120 something on sale right now, if you want stainless.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rasputina
                        o
                        olympia RE: rasputina May 10, 2011 08:47 PM

                        This is what I would get - I'd rather have the saute than the skillet though. I have frying pans in cast iron and carbon steel.

                        1. re: rasputina
                          k
                          Kelli2006 RE: rasputina May 11, 2011 06:51 PM

                          If Josephini doesnt want to spend the money on AllClad then Emerilware is a very nice alternative for 2/3 the cost. Il have AC MC2 line and love it, but I also have a Emerilware 8" that is great "chefs pan" for 1 person.

                        2. e
                          ellabee RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 07:52 PM

                          American Kitchen makes a tri-ply fully clad skillet in Wisconsin; the 12" is $60. (w/o lid) Long, comfortable handle. Fully ovenproof.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ellabee
                            Jay F RE: ellabee Jun 1, 2011 02:56 PM

                            Here's more info on American Kitchen Tri-Ply Stainless (Made in Wisconsin by Regal Ware): http://www.regalware.com/regal-ware-p...

                            You can get a 12" and 10" stainless tri-ply skillet for $55. For both.

                            https://www.regalware.com/alt/RRETAIL...

                            1. re: Jay F
                              e
                              ellabee RE: Jay F Jun 2, 2011 09:45 AM

                              This is an unbeatable deal for good-quality U.S.-made cookware. Anyone just starting out or in need of a replacement/upgraded skillet could hardly do better. Thanks for the tip, Jay!

                          2. t
                            trakman RE: josephnl May 10, 2011 08:55 PM

                            Might want to look at the All Clad Outlet site. Lot's of stainless steel options

                            http://www.cookwarenmore.com/index.php

                            1. Politeness RE: josephnl May 13, 2011 07:14 AM

                              josephn1: "What would you get?"

                              Coincidence. Even as you asked the question, I was making a purchase of a skillet. However, I dod not see your question until today, because the orser was the last thing I did on the computer before boarding a flight with my spouse to make the early 3,000 mile pilgrimage to sample the nonpareil bread at the Dutch Maid Cafe in Tracy City, TN, and I have been off-line for three days.

                              The skillet I purchased, a birthday present for my spouse upo our return to Oregon, is a Matfer Bourgeat "black steel" skillet, similar to the deBuyer skillet some others have mentioned here, but a bit upscale from the deBuyer.

                              http://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/prod...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Politeness
                                Politeness RE: Politeness May 22, 2011 11:53 AM

                                The Matfer Bourgeat skillet ("round frypan") arrived soon after our return from Tennessee, was presented to spouse, then promptly made less beautiful by following Matfer's instructions to fry a mess of potato skins in oil with "a lot" of salt. Having done so, the skillet no longer looks pristine, but boy is it nonstick! It has been a couple of decades or more since any Teflon or Silverstone piece of cookware has been in this house, but the Matfer skillet at least equals the slickness of the slickest Teflon or Silverstone pans that we used to use in the dim distant past.

                                The price for the 8-5/8' "black steel" frypan, incidentally, was under $21 at http://www.culinarycookware.com/bourg... A bargain!

                              2. c
                                cutipie721 RE: josephnl May 13, 2011 09:29 AM

                                I'm drooling over these two...

                                http://www1.bloomingdales.com/catalog... $80
                                http://www1.bloomingdales.com/catalog... $77

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: cutipie721
                                  k
                                  Kelli2006 RE: cutipie721 May 13, 2011 01:50 PM

                                  That's a good price for the 13".

                                2. Jay F RE: josephnl May 13, 2011 11:59 AM

                                  Someone here (in this thread?) must have suggested this, but here's an American-made tri-ply stainless steel skillet that's not very expensive at all, in 8", 10", and 12" sizes. American Kitchen is the brand.

                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003...

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Jay F
                                    e
                                    ellabee RE: Jay F May 14, 2011 09:22 AM

                                    I did above, but I didn't provide a link. And until I saw yours, didn't realize Amazon sold the line; thanks.

                                    1. re: ellabee
                                      Jay F RE: ellabee May 14, 2011 10:11 AM

                                      Do you have any of the American Kitchen skillets (or other pieces), ellabee?

                                      1. re: Jay F
                                        e
                                        ellabee RE: Jay F Jun 1, 2011 06:03 PM

                                        [Apologies for delayed reply. Somehow missed your question.]

                                        Yes, I have the 10" skillet. I love the handle -- long, comfortable, big hanging hole. And I'm very impressed by its quality for the price ($40.; mine was a Marcusware closeout, but it's the same skillet, and $50. is also a very good price.) Handles and weight/balance are pretty important in skillets; you manipulate them while cooking more than almost any other piece of equipment.

                                        None of the other pieces in the line appeal to me much, but I'd probably get a 12" Am. Kitchen skillet if I had a bigger stovetop.

                                        I got myself a 10" copper skillet for my birthday, my last cookware splurge for a good while. It's back ordered, so it won't be here for a while, but I'm looking forward to comparing it with the AK clad. It's shallower, but will be a pound and a half heavier (the Regal Am. Kitchen 10" weighs 2 1/2 pounds).

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