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Please explain my pan with holes

Lady Grey Oct 17, 2011 06:25 PM

I found a pan among my mother's old cookware, that has a regular pattern of holes throughout. I'm not sure how to describe it. Regular holes, in rows, like some colanders, maybe 1/8-inch in diameter.

What is it? What is it for? The only two things I can imagine are either:
-It fits inside another pan, over the food, to hold something down flat while it cooks, like if you were a fanatic about flat bacon
-It fits inside another pan with food in it, and maybe you use it to lift the food out of the pan to let grease drain off

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  1. c
    CuriousCat RE: Lady Grey Oct 17, 2011 06:36 PM

    I'm thinking maybe it is a steamer? (i.e., place inside another pan that has simmering water in it, and steam buns (asian-style) or a dish of fish or vegetables or what have you.)

    1. b
      bike_girl RE: Lady Grey Oct 17, 2011 06:50 PM

      It could be for making spaetzle, I've used something similar to what you describe when we were learning how to make it in cooking school . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spätzle

      1 Reply
      1. re: bike_girl
        greygarious RE: bike_girl Oct 17, 2011 07:32 PM

        Eighth-inch diameter holes would be too small for a spaetzle maker. I agree with Curious Cat and Mojoeater that it is probably a steamer insert or grill basket. But if the sides flare outward it is a pie pan intended for baking single crusts, even though those holes are on the large size for a perforated pie pan..

      2. c
        calliope_nh RE: Lady Grey Oct 17, 2011 07:03 PM

        I used to have a pot with a steamer/pasta insert. It went down to about an inch from the bottom. You could boil the pasta and then just lift out the insert to drain.

        1. m
          mojoeater RE: Lady Grey Oct 17, 2011 07:09 PM

          We have something like that for use on the grill. You can grill veggies or shrimp without skewers and no worry of food falling through the grate!

          1. Chemicalkinetics RE: Lady Grey Oct 17, 2011 08:31 PM

            One explanation is what CuriousCat has said. It is a steamer, and most likely it is a stainless steel Dim Sum steamer. Only aweome people have this:


            I happened to have those.

            It could be a stir fry stainer which only really awesome people own one:

            It would be helpful if you can take a photo. I think one of us will recognize in a second.


            Finally, it can be a grilled wok or grilled pan, but I assume many people have seen those that you probably have as well.



            1. BIGGUNDOCTOR RE: Lady Grey Oct 22, 2011 02:53 PM

              Picture of said pan would help.

              2 Replies
              1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
                kaleokahu RE: BIGGUNDOCTOR Oct 23, 2011 10:54 AM

                Hi, BIGGUNDOCTOR:

                LOL, it would help. And 10xLOL without a photo. Or maybe all those holes are from folks shooting in the dark...


                1. re: kaleokahu
                  BIGGUNDOCTOR RE: kaleokahu Oct 23, 2011 01:15 PM

                  I see odd pans all the time at thrift stores because they get separated at the donation center. Sometimes I will find one part, and down the row I will see something that looks like it is the match, so I am constantly trying combinations in the store. If it does match up, I leave them together. A couple of weeks ago I put a Mixmaster together from 2 different rows, and a wall rack. The mixer was in the small appliances, the bowls were in the glass section, and the beaters were on the wall. I know a lot of the managers now, so I let them know when I put something like that together, as it helps their sales, and they have taken care of me in the past too.

                  Without a pic we are just shooting in the dark here =)

              2. w
                will47 RE: Lady Grey Oct 23, 2011 08:30 PM

                I saw a chestnut pan which looks like a frying pan with holes in the bottom.

                1. iluvcookies RE: Lady Grey Oct 24, 2011 10:45 AM

                  Chestnut pan was my thought too.
                  to the OP... Does it look like this?


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: iluvcookies
                    Candy RE: iluvcookies Oct 24, 2011 10:51 AM

                    That was my thought too but it would be a help to see a picture of the pan.

                    1. re: iluvcookies
                      Fiona RE: iluvcookies Oct 26, 2011 10:40 AM

                      The chestnut pans that I am familiar with have holes that are considerably larger - 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Good luck.

                    2. l
                      Lady Grey RE: Lady Grey Oct 25, 2011 06:48 PM

                      Sorry it took me so long to get back here - it's harder now that I have to sign in.

                      Thanks for all the replies, and I'm sorry that I can't post a picture...although on more thought, maybe the holes are closer to 1/4 than 1/8. It's definitely not a steaming insert nor for steaming Chinese dumplings. The spaetzle idea gave me pause, because my grandmother was Hungarian - although mine is clearly a real pan. It looks a lot like the picture of the chestunt pan, but with smaller holes. Hm.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Lady Grey
                        janniecooks RE: Lady Grey Oct 26, 2011 12:42 AM

                        Is is square or rectangular and flat? It could be for baking bacon - bacon is laid on top of the flat pan/tray with the holes, which is set into another baking pan and then baked. the bacon is held off the fat which drains away. I've seen a set like this.

                        1. re: Lady Grey
                          Riska RE: Lady Grey Oct 26, 2011 10:33 AM

                          I know! I know! If your grandmother was Hungarian then this is definitely a halusky pan. My family is Slovak and I have one. You press dough through it into boiling water to make the halusky -- they're little dumplings/noodles. See if the pan in this video is the one:

                        2. f
                          FitMom4Life RE: Lady Grey Oct 27, 2011 02:25 PM


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