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Replacement for non-stick saute pan

I have one last piece of non-stick, a Calphalon 12x3 satue pan. It is no longer truly non-stick and I rarely use it. Only at low temps and to mix sauce and pasta. I want to get rid of it and am looking for a replacement. I think I should get a stainless steel, but the price can be as high as $150. So before I plunk down that kind of cash I thought I'd ask the Hounders. What kind of pan should I get? As a guide I am never going to buy a new Le Creuset pan. I just can't see paying extra for a name.

Thanks,
jb

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  1. Le Cresuset is good for Dutch Oven. I don't really think it is good for saute, assuming you are actually sauting.

    I think stainless steel cladded is a good choice, a balance choice really. You can go for hard anodized aluminum, carbon steel...They all thave their little advantages.

    What features do you want the most?

    "Only at low temps and to mix sauce and pasta"

    Wait do you mean all you will use your saute pan is to mix sauce and pasta? If so, the Le Cresuet enameled will work.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      The Le Creuset comment was to help establish price range. I'm not looking for top of the line, just something decent.

      I have several carbon steel pans and they are great for searing and non-stick, not as good at dealing with acidic foods like tomatoes and for deglazing.

      I currently use the saute pan only for mixing pasta and sauce because it has long since lost it's non-stick properties, but more so than food sticking I am concerned with the whole teflon issue so am moving away from that.

      In the future I plan to use it for sauces, fish, vegetables and what ever else I learn works well in this style of pan.

      Thanks,
      jb

      1. re: JuniorBalloon

        stainless steel cladded is just a more "all around" choice. If you think you will do a wide arrange of things, then stainless steel is probably the way to go.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          JB,

          Hard anodized aluminum is a reaonsable choice beside stainless steel cladded. From a pure cooking performance point of view, the hard anodized aluminum should be just as good if not better. Like you said, carbon steel is great, except for making sauces, so it may not be for you because of your need. Cast iron is too heavy and too slow and also same problem with acidic sauce. Enameled cast iron has relatively poor thermal respond and it is fragile for some of the sauting techniques.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I have heard aluminum pans can leach aluminum into your food. Does the anodizing process stop the leaching?

            Thanks,
            jb

            1. re: JuniorBalloon

              Opps, I forgot to answer this. I have seen it and I said to myself: "I will reply later.... "and then forgot.

              Yes, anodized aluminum is fairly inert. This is not to say it is as inert as stainless steel, but aluminum won't leach out like bare aluminum would in normal cooking condition.

    2. JB, if you're interested in buying a used 14" Calphalon saute pan, please e-mail me (address in profile). It's not non-stick, and never was non-stick, it's in excellent condition, and AFAIK, it's from their first retail line (gray pan, silver lid).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jay F

        Thanks for the offer JF, but 14 is just too big. I have a 14" carbon steel pan and I need to have an army over to even bother pulling it out. Realize they do different things, but just the size is not very useful for me.

        Thanks,
        jb

        1. re: JuniorBalloon

          It's too big for me, too, now. I used to use it when I was catering. It takes up two regular-sized home burners.

      2. Swiss Diamond. The surface is industrial diamonds over a heavy cast aluminum surface. One benefit is that you can actually brown in it. Others are that they are oven proof, dishwasher safe and you can use metal in them. The co. stands behind their products 100% outside of abuse. Yes the coating is applied with POFAs and PTFEs. They are applied at such a high temp that except for minor ghosts they are burned off. So if you own a bird and are used to heating pans to over 850 F, don't put the bird near the hot pan unless you mean to cook it.

        1. If it were me I'd buy a Tramontina 12" 18/10 TriPly-Clad Stainless Steel Jumbo Cooker. It's actually a 5 quart saute pan. I got lucky and bought ours in like-new condition for $20 at Goodwill.

          http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produc...

          1. I LOVE my Calphalon saute pan - best thing EVER for eggs. It's lasted me darn near forever. If I were you ... I'd get another with the size that best suits your needs and cooking styles. I prefer the ones that are also oven safe - it just seems to me that they might be better made .. :-)