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Feb 17, 2012 07:40 PM

Non-stick alternative Pan for Omelette and Searing Fish


I recently threw away my teflon coated pans after I learnt about all the ills of PTFE and PFOA.
Since then I haven't been able to make a perfect omelette or pan-sear a fish fillet like I used to with my teflon-coated pans. Everything sticks, no matter how much oil I use.
I have tried - Cuisinart Stainless Steel skillet, Lodge Cast Iron skillet (seasoned after every use ) and Le Creuset enameled cast iron pan - all without luck. Is there something I am doing wrong ?

I was thinking of Cuisinart Green Gourmet Skillet or the GreenPan San Francisco Frypan (found those on amazon). They seem to have mixed reviews on amazon.

Any help will be appreciated.

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  1. I was warned on here against purchasing the cuisinart greet gourmet set, my aunt and uncle however were not and purchased the set. Worked great for exactly 3 months, and then the non-stick stopped working all together and they experienced some sort of flaking with it. I am glad I didn't purchase that set.

    1. I would still recommend cast iron skillet and carbon steel frying pan. Those are the best non-stick for low temperature omelette and medium high temperature fish searing. Most green pans are great for the first few months and start to lose their nonstick ability in 6 months. In other words, their functional lifetime is shorter than normal Teflon cookware.

      "“The best green product is not going to be up to the performance of our higher-end non-stick cookware.” Consumers must have realistic expectations, advises Beck."

      1. I recommend going back to nonstick for an omelet pan. I'm thinking of getting a Scanpan Classic 8" pan for omelets, because although my T-Fal Encore 2 8" pan does an excellent job with eggs, it seems the shape is not optimal for turning an omelet. The Scanpan Classic contains PTFE but not POFA. This is nothing to be concerned about at the temperature used for eggs, in my opinion.

        I never cook fish in my egg pans. Nothing but eggs. Carbon steel might work well for fish, but I haven't tried it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          I have the Scanpan Clasic 8" for omelets and eggs over easy and it works great, you will really like it. It's one of two non-stick Scanpans we have, the other is a griddle for flap jacks, french toast, grilled cheese sandwich, etc. Not much heat involved in either case.

        2. Hi, calchef:

          Not the purdy-est pan, but for omelettes you might consider Or a Volrath all-aluminum pan. But note the Vollrath seasoning instructions (yes, for aluminum!



          2 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Those omelet pans are interesting — I'd never seen them before. Three times the price of the Scanpan Classic, however.

            1. re: GH1618

              Hi, GH1618:

              I've never cooked on one, but they look thick, don't they? I believe the originator began making them from scrap WW2 naval torpedo nosecaps.


          2. My lodge cast iron does omelettes and searing beautifully.

            12 Replies
            1. re: dixiegal

              +1, but it does take efforts and skills to get the nice seasoning surface.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                The main issue I have with Cast Iron is that I can't use soap - its hard to get the stuck-on food out with just a lodge pan scraper, salt and water.
                As for the seasoning - not sure if I am doing it right - I spread olive oil all over the inside with a paper towel and let it sit in the oven at 450 deg. for an hour. Seems nice and coated when it comes out of the oven - but only till I use it the next time.

                1. re: calchef12

                  You CAN use soap. That's a bunch of BS. A bit of dish soap via hand-washing will not hurt a well-seasoned pan. The trick is to make your pans REALLY well-seasoned - with several very light layers of seasoning.

                  I use my cast iron for just about everything including omelettes. When it comes to over-easy eggs I do prefer non-stick and have several good nonstick crepe pans for that.

                  It sounds to me, from all your posts, that you should give your lodge a "from scratch do-over". Set your oven to 400. Then give your lodge a very good scrubbing inside with steel wool and salt. Really scrub the heck out of it. And then wash it clean, dry it IMMEDIATELY and thoroughly. Then give it a very light coat of canola oil and place it into your preheated oven, open side down (on foil if you like) for 30 min. Turn oven to off, leave oven door closed, and wait until the pan has come down to about 100 or so on it's own.

                  Take it out - set oven to 400. Then give it another LIGHT coating of canola oil. When oven is at 400, repeat again. And AGAIN. You want, in my opinion at LEAST 3-4 treatments.

                  A mere 1 layer will have microscopic holes in the seasoning. It will LOOK really nice but the layer is just not consistent enough.

                  My 10" lodge gets daily constant use. Every few months I'll sense that it is not quite doing as well anymore and give it another 1-2 seasonings. Otherwise, I completely abuse my cast iron. I soak it if I want, use dish soap, whatever. I never hand dry my cast iron - just let it drip and never bother to oil it, unless I've first heated it up and am about to cook something in it. A really good seasoning coats and protects the surface.

                  All that aside - the very best non-stick pan I ever owned was the Calphalon Commercial c1210p 10" pan. Nice low sides and ridiculously non-stick. Just make sure that you keep your temps to a reasonable amount and you'll have this for YEARS.

                  Good luck!


                  1. re: jkling17

                    Ditto for me on washing my cast iron with soap. I do it all the time. Though not every time I use it. Just when I need to. Such as, I just cooked some Salmon in my CI skillet. I washed it with soap afterwards, because I don't want the lingering fish smell. After that, I fried up some bacon in the same pan. I did not wash with soap afterwards. Just simmered some water in it for a while to loosen up the bacon bits, then washed in hot water. I did go over it a lightly with the SS wool scrub pad. Then I dried and put in my warm over to dry. Kosher salt as a scrub works great too.

                    1. re: dixiegal

                      "Ditto for me on washing my cast iron with soap. I do it all the time. Though not every time I use it. Just when I need to."

                      Same here.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Ditto, in case I wasn't specific. I only use some dish soap when i need to as well, not every time. But I also don't worry about how often I use it. My favorite daily 10" cheapo lodge skillet has probably 6+ layers of seasoning. I intentionally treat it without care and merely need to give it 1-2 touch-up sessions every few months. I only regret that I didn't learn about how awesome cast iron is for so many years.

                        Scrub with anything plastic. Those green pads are good too. Only use stainless steel and salt to scrub it before you are going to re-season.

                  2. re: calchef12

                    If you have to "re-season" after each use, it isn't really seasoned at all. The best products for seasoning a new iron pan are Crisco and lard. Once a pan is well-seasoned, it will clean up easily, and will remain seasoned, even if a little dish detergent is used now and then. Jkling17 is right about this.

                    1. re: GH1618

                      Another 2 cents. I have heard that lard is the best. But ... we just don't own any. We DO always have some canola around, which is better than olive oil for seasoning. Don't get me wrong - we use a LOT of olive oil in our house but for seasoning Canola is better - IF you don't have any lard.

                      1. re: jkling17

                        I don't have lard, either. Or Crisco, for that matter. If I has a new iron pan, I would probably buy Crisco to season it. Since my pan is seasoned, I don't worry about it, and I agree that Canola is preferable to olive oil for seasoning, although some here have raised objections to it. I use Canola in my cast iron pan, usually.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          >I don't have lard, either<

                          I keep a container of lard in the fridge just for my cast iron. I sometimes use bacon grease too. My second choice would be the crisco.

                          I did find upon accident that peanut oil puts a nice finish on the CI. I no longer use it because of my grandbaby's peanut allergies. But it worked really well.

                          I really prefer the bacon grease and lard.

                    2. re: calchef12

                      Maybe 450 isn't hot enough. I seasoned mine in my gas grill at over 500. Just once and almost nothing sticks. I just use a stiff bristled brush and hot water to clean. I would never use soap!

                      1. re: Tebrim

                        It's much more than hot enough. "The Pan Man" seasons cast iron at 225° F: