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Best Fry Pan for Eggs?

Hi everyone, I'm new here and in the market for some new cookware (finally!). I am really torn about buying a new frying pan for daily breakfast making purposes and am hoping that some of you can offer me some advice and suggestions.

My husband has 6 scrambled eggs for breakfast along with hash browns and sausage every morning, so a good, solid fry pan is an absolute must for me. I am trying to steer clear of nonstick if possible because of the supposed health risks, but if nonstick is truly my best bet than so be it.

I am looking for something that is 12" and is going to LAST, so price is not an issue. I currently have a Calphalon "Kitchen Essentials" nonstick pan that I picked up a year ago at HomeGoods that is terribly scratched and faded, despite my best attempts at caring for it properly. I also bought a Lodge cast iron skillet about 2 months ago and tried that for a while, but no matter how much I seasoned it I just could not get a good nonstick coat on it. I must have seasoned it at least 10 times (even though it came "preseasoned"), I tried veg oil, Crisco, EV coconut oil and even lard and food still sticks terribly. I am still open to trying cast iron, maybe a high-end pan like Le Crueset pan would work better?

Any recommendations are welcomed and very much appreciated! Also, I am cooking on a glass-top electric stove if that makes a difference (which I HATE but that's another post!!;) Thanks in advance!

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  1. "My husband has 6 scrambled eggs for breakfast ..."

    Wow.

    Nonstick frying pan is probably the easiest and the best for eggs. Seasoned cast iron and seasoned carbon steel pans are very good choices if you can build up a good durable seasoning surface, but it does take a bit more efforts to get to that point. In some ways, the seasoning surface cannot be speed up too much. It takes time to build up, to wear, to build up, to wear -- to finally get to a more durable surface.

    If you dislike nonstick/Teflon pan, then I suggest you to consider a carbon steel pan. Carbon steel pans are usually thinner and smoother than cast iron skillets. So they are lighter to use and the seasoning process is a faster.

    There is a trick/method (not an unknown one) for newly seasoned pans. Heat up the pan with a thin layer of oil until it gets close to the smoke point, then turn off the heat, wait to cool down a bit and dump the hot oil. Then process to add new oil and cook as you intend to. The mini-seasoning process help keep a new pan nonstick.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I agree with chem on the non-stick fry pan for eggs.I've used my carbon steel pans for them,but I find the NS to be less hassle.The trick to making NS last is low to med heat and silicon utensils. No metal.even wood can scratch non stick surfaces.

      1. re: petek

        Ditto on the non-stick -- and maybe toss in a defibrillator.

        1. re: ferret

          Seriously..6 eggs every day is a lot! wow.Unless it's all egg whites.

          1. re: petek

            Do egg whites stick worse than whole eggs? Without the fat from the yolk I suspect they do.

            1. re: paulj

              Hmm, I never thought of that.... good question. Probably yes.

              1. re: paulj

                paulj: not sure if egg whites would stick more than whole eggs,I was commenting more on the health issues connected with eating 6 eggs every day(+ hash browns&sausages) But that's none of my business :)

                1. re: petek

                  Egg whites stick much worse than whole eggs because there's no fat in them. I eat five egg whites + two whole eggs every morning. I can cook an omelet with this combination of eggs/whites in a carbon steel pan but it's very difficult. Scrambling them is virtually impossible unless I use over a tablespoon of fat. My advice is to use a decent non-stick pan like the calphalon with a good heat proof rubber spatula. The pan probably won't work well for more than a year or two, but that's the way they work. Do not use it for anything that requires high heat, or everything you put in it thereafter will start to stick.

          2. re: petek

            I agree on the non-stick and low heat. All the health problems happen on high heat so just avoid that. Low and slow makes the best scrambled eggs anyway.

        2. If you want it the pan to last a Teflon or PTFE coated pan is automatically eliminated from consideration. Teflon pans WILL somehow eventually get scratched, they WILL eventually wear out, and they WILL eventually have to be replaced, regardless of price.

          Get a good quality carbon steel pan, then invest a very small amount of time to season it and you'll have a pan with non-stick performance that will last a lifetime or more. I've had my carbon steel pans for almost a year and I love them. Eggs and other "sticky" foods are no problem. The maintenance required to keep these pans performing well is very simple and (in my opinion) much easier to maintain than cast iron.

          I recommend these pans from De Buyer:

          http://reviews.chefscatalog.com/8855/...

          http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id...

          3 Replies
          1. re: ToothTooth

            My favorite T-Fal heavy aluminum non-stick skillet is easily a decade old. No apparent scratches or blemishes. Use nylon or silicon tools and it can last a very long time.

            1. re: ToothTooth

              The only con regarding the De Buyer pans(and I use the word "con" lightly, as I love my D B's) is the sheer weight of them,especially the 12" pan,which the OP is considering.That sucker must weight 8-10lbs! Great for searing racks o lamb or roasting a boatload of potatoes,but to scramble some eggs... not so much.

              1. re: ToothTooth

                I agree about the teflon, it WILL wear out unless you treat it like a newborn baby, there are 3 of us cooking at my house and i'm the only female. My guys are good cooks but much rougher on cookware than I am.
                I bought a Debuyer pan for eggs a year or so ago, and I'm sure it's my fault, but I've had a lot of problems getting it to season properly. It'll be perfectly nonstick a couple of times and then a sticky spot appears, so I've started using it to fry tortillas or similar nonsticky things in shallow oil when I need to, which will hopefully win it over eventually.
                I have several cast iron pans, some of which are perfectly seasoned and some of which aren't and never will be. It seems like frequent use helps. My Lodge cast iron wok is a real favorite, it has NEVER stuck. But it's not so great for omelets, LOL.
                In closing, I guess I need to say that I realize I'm not any help at all.

              2. Six scrambled eggs, hash browns, and sausage every day is a work out for any pan and your husband's circulatory system.

                With those demands, no coated non-stick pan is going to last forever, however some are better than others. Since you tried cast iron without much success, I don't think you will do much better with carbon steel. You still have to build up that seasoning and eggs and hash browns don't add much to that process. I'd go with a coated non-stick pan. I use a Scanpan for eggs and egg beaters (which do by the way seem to stick more than a regular egg). Mine does not get that kind of a work out, but it has held up very well, and is very well made. I'm not big on the disposable cookware theory, so I buy quality and hope it will last longer than the inexpensive stuff made in China.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mikie

                  "Since you tried cast iron without much success, I don't think you will do much better with carbon steel."

                  :) I would say that carbon steel is easier from my experience, but you are correct, it won't be night and day. Yet, for some people that difference is sufficient. For example, it took me about 1 month or possibly more to season my cast iron to a functional nonstick state. Yet, it took me one seasoning session (15-20 minutes) to get my carbon steel pan to do the same. That could be significant for an impatient person.

                  Still, a nonstick pan is an easier solution. Out of the box - nonstick.

                2. Listen to the advice you've gotten.

                  Don't be a hero, go non-stick.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    ipsedixit, we have owned only one nonstick pan ever (excluding the defective Sitram Cybernox unit that we bought and returned the same day when it disintegrated), and none in the past 30 years (excepting the Cybernox). We never have had a problem with eggs, even scrambled eggs, sticking. We are not heros, by any stretch of anyon's imagination, but we are mindful of the heat of the surface of the pan when we pour in the eggs, and we do not start to turn the eggs before their time. It's not rocket science.

                  2. I got sick unto death of dealing with a temperamental cast iron omelet pan that developed a need for near-constant reseasoning after 25 years, and switched to stainless for scrambled eggs. But you need so much oil, I gave that up, too, and finally, after 35 years, I went back to non-stick for eggs.

                    I have no idea how long this T-Fal pan will last -- I've had it for a year -- but I give up. I'm finally saying WTF over the whole fluorocooties in teflon issue. It's so easy now to scramble eggs, I'm just beside myself with glee every time I make some. I want to invite everyone in the neighborhood over for scrambled eggs.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Jay F

                      "I'm finally saying WTF over the whole fluorocooties in teflon issue"

                      Ha ha ha. You are funny. Despite that I prefer carbon steel and cast iron cookware, I cannot say there is anything harmful about nonstick Teflon cookware. I know. There are questions about the toxic chemicals which degass from the cookware, but, hey, what about all the oil fume from seasoning cast iron and carbon steel cookware? Burn oil fume is unhealthy too.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I hate that burnt oil smell. And so do others. I had an upstairs neighbor complain about the stench in an apartment I once lived in when I was seasoning some new cast iron pans.

                        1. re: Jay F

                          That smell is the worst.Gets into everything.I'm glad the summer's here so I can re- season my pans on the BBQ

                          1. re: petek

                            Remember my knife sharpening and dating story? How she got really freaked out?

                            Here is another one. I didn't start to learn to season carbon steel pan/wok until I was in graduate school. Admittedly, I was not very good at the seasoning process. I kind of get it to work, but not very stable, so I had to reseason my wok rather often, and I did stovetop season for 2 years. The smell got into my hair my clothes....

                            Well, apparently, all the while my labmates thought I had bad body odor and that I didn't take shower. Of course, no one told me about their thoughts until years later.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              OH CK I must have missed knife sharpening and dating!! Any chance of a re-telling??

                              1. re: knet

                                knet,

                                Sure. The story should be retold again and agin to teach the important techniques in dating. See the historical records:

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6735...

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7658...

                                In all fairness, the dating wasn't going to work anyway because it would have been a super long distance one (different countries) and it won't be fair for either of us. I wasn't surprised that it didn't work. I just didn't expect her reaction. I still laugh about today.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  CK, if she was that easily frightened, you probably dodged a bullet from down the road. It would be like dating a feral deer, long distance or otherwise.

                      2. re: Jay F

                        I kinda disagree, but love your writing.