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May 28, 2011 07:56 AM

Questions for Kaleo (or others, of course)

I am directing this question at K because his disdain of stainless steel and nonstick cookware is well documented. However, everyone is welcome to chime in, if they have a (valid) opinion. Please, no arguments about induction, PTFE, PTOE, or any other P's, F's, or Q's.

Given that cast iron and carbon steel (things that require seasoning) do not necessarily mesh well with fish (residual odor) or tomato/wine braises (eating away at the seasoning), AND that tin has a melting point, in what kind of vessel would you cook the following (please let me know if my fish and wine points are not necessarily true on a NEW pan, as I don't have any old well seasoned ones):

* Pan roasted halibut, finished in a 375 degree oven
* Braised tuna with tomato (stove top)
* Braised chicken with tomato (stove top)
* Baked swordfish with a tomato sauce, finished in a 400 degree oven

...and in what kind of vessel(s) do you make crepes, pancakes, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and omelets? Do you have a separate pan(s) for all of them/one of them/some of them?

...yes, I am in need of a fry pan/skillet. Maybe more than one. Trying to decide what to buy.

Thank you!

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  1. I would say stainless for the dishes you have listed.
    I use cast iron for any kind of browning, sauteing, or frying. I have a cast iron griddle that works great for pancakes. For eggs, omelets and such I have a nonstick skillet, which is basically used only for eggs.
    For tomato-based sauces and miscellaneous other things I use stainless.
    If you are looking for a skillet, I can't recommend just one type, since it depends on what you are cooking.
    Hope this helps!

    1. So, do you share a disdain for SS and nonstick with K?

      In my own collection (which has become a little too large) I would probably use SS lined copper, ECI or clad SS for any of your dishes with an asterisk. I have and love 4 and 6 qt sautes from AC (maybe not what you want) and a 5 qt ECI braiser and a 5+ qt SS lined copper brazier from Bourgeat. I've also got tin lined SS in a 3 qt saute that I might use. I think you're fine to use tin as long as you're not really getting it screaming hot to sear or blacken. The melting point is just under 450F.

      For eggs and pancakes dishes I'd use carbon steel or CI. I personally have a 10" and 12" CI skillet and a 9.5" carbon steel crepe pan.

      1. I was brain dead and pan fried some lime marinated chicken in my 1 year old carbon steel pan. Part of the pan turned silver.

        The bottom of my pre seasoned lodge cast iron griddle is showing a slight hint of rust. Please do not tell me the seasoning does not go away with wash. It replenishes when you cook, but part of it still disappears.

        My grandma didn't leave me with a well seasoned pan, I'm just out of luck.

        Another thing I read about tin is that you should avoid highly acidic items too, or else the surface will turn black. Cosmetic issue more than functionality issue. Want to make it shiny again with bkf? Forget about it.

        1. I've prepared similar fish dishes and have found an enameled cast iron braiser to be extremely well suited to the task. I use it for chicken dishes that are also finished in similar fashion.

          1. Personally, I'd reach for one of these. (For use in the oven, you might consider replacing the plastic knob with a stainless steel one.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: tanuki soup

              This LC braiser would be my choice, too, if you want a single pan for all four fish and chicken dishes. For the braises, use the lid; to roast/bake, leave it off. It comes in 3 sizes, 2.5, 3.5, and 5 quart.

              You could also use this pan for scrambled eggs.