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Egg pan

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I am in the market for a new egg pan and a multi-purpose fry pan that would be good for making bacon. I'm wondering if I need to get non-stick and am looking for recommendations. I've been checking out All-Clad but am open to suggestions.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Steel. The most widely known brand is DeBuyer, but there are plenty of others. It seasons quite easily, performs well, is pretty much indestructible, and (no I am not restarting this debate intentionally, although I am making the comment with full knowledge the debate may ensue) will not present any risk of noxious fumes when taken to high heat, supposedly a Teflon concern. DeBuyer comes in several weights. Mineral B looks like a good upper middle of the road choice.

    5 Replies
    1. re: tim irvine

      If the OP is looking for a pan to cook eggs in, high heat is not a factor. I'd get non-stick.

      1. re: tim irvine

        I like carbon steel skillets as much as the next guy but for a dedicated egg pan, non stick aluminum is so easy to use that it beats steel hands down.

        I will say that a carbon steel wok, if you happen to already have one, is by far the best cooking vessel for fried eggs. The rounded bottom causes the oil to pool, floating the egg in hot fat and enabling easy flipping and basting.

        1. re: RealMenJulienne

          Cast iron wok works just as well, or better. I'm talking about a Chinese cast iron wok, that is thin, not one of these super-heavy things made by lodge or Le Creuset.

          1. re: RealMenJulienne

            <I will say that a carbon steel wok, if you happen to already have one, is by far the best cooking vessel for fried eggs.>

            But it is so difficult to get the egg out...

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Not at all! Just pick up the wok and tilt it a bit, and the egg slides right onto the spatula. You do have to have a rounded spatula instead of a square turner though.

        2. I make eggs a few times a week (usually scrambled) and the coating on the old cheapo pan I have is coming off. I've read icky things about using non-stick - but for eggs, I feel like they will get destroyed in a regular pan.

          I was looking at this model but it seems to have some mixed reviews:

          The All Clad D5 Stainless Steel Nonstick Fry Pan ($125)

          3 Replies
          1. re: lavendula

            That's too much to pay for a pan solely for frying an egg, in my opinion. A small aluminum pan with nonstick coating is best for fried and scrambled eggs, and should last forever if handled gently and used only for eggs. Use only silicone tools to avoid scratching the surface. For fried eggs, I flip them so use no tool in the pan at all. Flipping works better if the pan is shaped like a crêpe pan.

            If you don't need induction-capable, I would consider a ScanPan Classic. I don't have one yet, but am thinking about getting one.

            1. re: GH1618

              I love my ScanPan--I have a small one for making scrambled eggs and a larger one for a variety of cooking purposes.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                Ditto on the ScanPan love. I have a small one that I use almost every day and I'm planning on getting a larger one.

          2. I do bacon in a stainless steel skillet, and most eggs in a nonstick. My philosophy is to get the heaviest (thickest) nonstick aluminum (or induction compatible aluminum) that I can find without breaking the bank.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj

              Do you have a pan that you recommend?

            2. I wouldn't cook bacon in my egg pan. I cook eggs (and nothing else) in a T-Fal nonstick pan. Bacon is best cooked in a cast iron pan, in my opinion.

              1. I certainly wouldn't go to All Clad. Pricey, and the bottom line is that if you go to their non-stick version, you are paying top dollar for something that is best bought on the basis that it is disposable once the coating gets scratched. I have a 10" non stick Tramontina pan that I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $15. Use it for both eggs and bacon. Clad aluminum on the base, and, once the coating gets scratched, chuck it and buy another. I would guess that allows me to do that exchange about 6 times before I get to the cost of one All Clad Non Stick pan. But, certainly, if you are doing eggs, non stick is the way to go. Virtually all the cooking gurus will agree with that. And, since Bed, Bath and Beyond has discount coupons all over the world, you can probably beat that $15 dollar price, or match it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: trakman

                  Yes, don't pay for an AC non stick. You can buy these reasonably, and even with good care, the finish will wear out before the rest of the pan.

                2. Forgot to add another comment to my earlier post, since some of the earlier responders talked about the bacon issue. For me, unless I really want the bacon grease that comes off frying bacon, I'd much rather do bacon in the oven. On some sort of rack which allows the grease to drip off, 400 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes (Need to keep an eye on it to see when it is done to your specification). Good way to do bacon for a large service. With few exceptions, that's the way large volume restaurants make their bacon.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: trakman

                    You can still save the grease when you do it in the oven. I use a half sheet pan with a rack on it, or a broiler pan. The grease drops into the pan below the rack, and you can pour it off into a container.

                    1. re: MelMM

                      My bacon method is the same as MelMM's. Learning to cook bacon in the oven changed my cooking life.

                      I have one AC non-stick frying pan. I don't know what moved me to buy it. It is too small for anything more than one fired egg. One day I will put it in the donation box. My cheapy non-stick fry pan from Target works better and I have no guilt about chucking it at the end of its useful life.

                      1. re: MelMM

                        I don't use a rack, and it still turns out great. I find that the grease is better if I bake the bacon instead of frying. I put the cooked bacon on a paper towel, wrapped with foil while the rest of breakfast is finishing up. Yes, it doesn't stay crisp, but we like our bacon chewy.

                      2. re: trakman

                        This is an excellent way to cook bacon. I have an additional tip that helped me...start the bacon in a cold oven and then it renders beautifully.

                      3. I use a Scanpan for fried eggs, and a Lodge grill pan for turkey bacon. The Lodge is used every morning.

                        The Scanpan is probably 10 years old, and it has held up well. Not everyone agrees with this, but I like a non stick for eggs and a few other applications. With non stick, you have to stick to medium heat or below or the pan will deteriorate. Also, hand wash it.

                        I find the grill pan constantly useful.

                        I use cast iron skillets for cheese sandwiches and French toast. I think a mix of pans is best. I'd get a non stick, an iron, and a stainless saute pan. You would be covered then, and you could add other pans as you found them.

                        1. I have never seen a non-stick pan that didn't scratch and peel eventually. If you need one, just buy something cheap, because you will have to replace it after a couple of years when it scratches or peels.

                          Cast iron or carbon steel pans will develop a non-stick finish.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Antilope

                            A couple of years? I've had my two T-Fals for twenty.

                            1. re: GH1618

                              Good for you. They don't last that long for most people.

                          2. If you want a non-stick pan, Cook's Illustrated found the coating on T-fal's skillets to be the most durable, and my own experience with them is consistent with CI's results. Mr. MM had only one skillet when we met 8 years ago, a T-fal, that he had had for god-only-knows how long before that. I'd guess that skillet is about 20 years old now, perhaps more, and the coating is still perfect. My boyfriend before I met Mr. MM also had T-fal cookware, and his had also stood up well to years of bachelor use. I have not owned many non-stick skillets myself, but from the few I have had, I haven't seen any evidence that a more expensive skillet has a more durable coating.

                            Now, when I cook eggs, I use one of my skillets. Sometimes I use a DeBuyer carbon steel skillet, and sometimes an All-Clad skillet (NOT non-stick), and sometimes a cast-iron skillet. Since you specifically mentioned frying bacon, I think a cast-iron skillet might be the most versatile for you, but any of these would work. With all of them, you need to use them properly. Heat the empty skillet first, then add your oil and let it get hot, then add your eggs. If you do that you can cook eggs in pretty much any pan out there and not have a problem.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MelMM

                              Add enough butter, and any pan will become non-stick for eggs.

                              Having recently acquired an All-clad 10 in non-stick for $12 at the thrift shop, the coating is scratch free and I have drastically cut my butter consumption.

                              That last is not necessarily a good thing.

                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                Personally, I don't use non-stick, but if one really did need to reduce the amount of oil or butter they use, that is certainly a legitimate way to do it. That said, it doesn't really take that much oil to coat a non-nonstick (is that a word?) skillet. If the skillet is hot when the oil goes in, the oil gets less viscous and a small amount will coat it just fine. And even then, not all of it gets absorbed into the food.

                            2. cast iron

                              1. For a time, I tried to avoid all non-stick cookware, and I shifted to steel for delicate items like eggs, omelettes, and fish, but after a year I've gone back. I could make over-easy eggs in the Debuyer with no problem; omeletes usually worked; but I could never get scrambled eggs to come out without sticking like the dickens. As a generalization, I like copper with tin for sauteing, cast iron for most non-delicate frying, but for these very delicate items that will get destroyed if they stick, I've found no substitute for a good non-stick pan. I'm using a 10" Vollrath Wear-Ever Fry Pan with the CeramiGuard II coating, and I couldn't be happier. (Seen here: http://vollrath.com/ProductFamily/Pro... Note that the price listed is for a case of 6!) I'd hit up a restaurant supple store for one of these if I were you. And, as a plus, they are made in the US.

                                1. Don't over think this, go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond with a 20% off coupon, buy a Cuisinart non stick, avoid metal utensils, and enjoy the pan. They are not lifetime purchases.

                                  1. For many years I bought Tramontina Professional nonstick frypans in polished aluminum. They're probably one of the best non-sticks at an excellent price point. They're quite thick and cook evenly. The coating is applied well, and doesn't peel off easily. They excel at eggs, and are quite good for a quick veggie toss on med heat. If you hand wash, they'll last 4-5 years easily. Not bad for $20-30.

                                    I recently switched to a pair of carbon steel crepe pans for eggs, and find them to be every bit as good as my old non-stick, although they do need seasoning and require a little more butter or oil when cooking. The bonus with these pans is that I can use them on high heat for other things, something I couldn't do with the non-stick. Metal utensils don't harm them and they'll last forever.

                                    I'm not a fan of single-purpose pans but a great many people keep one pan exclusively for eggs. If you do that, you'll be fine with non-stick, but you will need to replace it periodically. If you want something more multi-purpose and longer-lasting, carbon steel or cast iron are better bets, and will cost only slightly more than a cheap non-stick.

                                    19 Replies
                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      Thanks so much for all of your suggestions and recommendations. I do think I am going to buy a non-stick just for eggs, and I appreciate knowing that I shouldn't invest too much in this type of pan as the lining will wear off over time.

                                      I did a little pan research after reading your comments, so here are some findings:

                                      I looked up the T-Fal pans that were mentioned and it seems some people were complaining that the pan is convex, so liquids form a moat and items drift to the edge. Has anyone had a problem with this? Is there a specific model that people like?

                                      Scanpan was also mentioned a bit so I checked out the 8 Inch Scanpan CTX ($119) which isn't that much cheaper than the All Clad. These pans are interesting because they offer a 100% PFOA free nonstick cooking surface. I'd love to hear what you all think about this.

                                      Calphalon makes a "contemporary nonstick fry pan - 8 inch" for $55 and is made of "Heavy-gauge anodized aluminum." This pan is sounding good to me for the reviews its getting and the price point.

                                      I do also need a new skillet/fry pan that I can use for bacon & other cooking needs (we do a lot of sauteed vegetables with garlic, and pasta sauces) and I'm assuming that this pan would be a worthy investment piece. I've been looking into possibly getting a french skillet style - All Clad makes a set that looks appealing: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...&

                                      A cast iron pan is also a good idea for making bacon but I'm afraid that I don't know how to properly care for one or have the room for storage. If anyone has some tips I'd love to hear them!

                                      1. re: lavendula

                                        That's an excellent price for a pair of D5 pans. If you haven't seen them in person, I highly recommend you check them out. The handles can be a pain, literally. They're a love-em or hate-em thing. The D5 line is quite heavy, too.

                                        I do think those slightly taller, curved sides are going to make for really versatile pans, and the 9" and 11" sizes are like Baby Bear's bed, "just right". Good choice.

                                        1. re: lavendula

                                          Those two All-Clad French skillets are nice, but the ones in this set are very small, 9" and 7". I have the 9", and that is the smallest size you would want, and if you are doing stir-fries or pasta in there, even that is too small. They have a similar set in the try-ply line that have a 9" and 11". Those would be more practical sizes. Neither of the sets come with lids (my AC French skillet does have a lid). A lid will give you more versatility, so you might consider getting just one skillet, at least 10", that comes with a lid. Something like this: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...&

                                          1. re: MelMM

                                            The ones in the set that I posted are 9" and 11". They are the two skillets (no lids) for $150. The one you posted looks beautiful too - its the one saute/simmer pan with lid for $180 and holds 4 quarts. It looks like they are both in the same d5 line. Definitely something to consider. This is my first time buying quality pans (something I've been waiting a long time to do) so bare with me while I try and make the right decision!

                                            1. re: lavendula

                                              OK, I stand corrected on your link. I could swear that when I followed it this morning it was 7" and 9". It is a good deal, but you still might prefer a larger pan with a lid. I have the 4 qt D5 pan with the lid, and it is very versatile.

                                          2. re: lavendula

                                            room for storage? It's not going to take anymore storage space than the non stick pan you are considering.

                                            There are multitudes of threads here on care of cast iron so I won't bother posting how to here.

                                            1. re: lavendula

                                              lavendula, this offer showed up in my mailbox today - it might be worth checking out for your egg pan. This pan is likely similar to Scanpan CTX, although I can't say for sure, but both are oven and dishwasher safe, while the Calphalon Contemporary is not. FWIW, Calphalon is running a clearance on a discontinued 2-pan set of the Contemporary NS frypans for $49.99.

                                              http://cookware.lecreuset.com/cookwar...

                                              http://store.calphalon.com/calphalon-...

                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                Wow, thanks so much for those links! The Calphalon is a great price two pans for the price of one. I am wondering if you think those pan sizes are too big for eggs? I usually am just making them for one or two people. The original one I was looking at was 8" and these are 10 and 10".

                                                I see that the La Creuset is made in China, does anyone know where the Calphalon pans are made?

                                                1. re: lavendula

                                                  Too big for eggs? That depends. When I'm cooking one egg, I grab a small pan. For two, I use my 11" carbon steel crepe pan. It's perfect. 12" might be pushing the envelope a bit for daily use, but it's the bomb for scrambled eggs for 3-4 people or more.

                                                  I'm not sure where the Calphalon is made. It's anodized, which usually signals US production in Calphalon, but it's non-stick. So who knows? They do make some pans in China.

                                                  1. re: lavendula

                                                    Hi, lavendula: "...sizes are too big for eggs?"

                                                    Well, 12" is a little big for an omelet, but not for scrambles.

                                                    I've gotten in the habit of using egg rings for my fried eggs. Mine are 4.5" in diameter, which means even a 10" skillet won't take two. A 12" will take three.

                                                    And the Calphalon's thick-bottomed aluminum construction will heat pretty evenly, even on an 8" hob.

                                                    Aloha,
                                                    Kaleo

                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      Great, so I'm thinking I will either get the 8" or the set of two 10" and 12" Calphalon pans for eggs, and the All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel Sauté/Simmer Pan, 4-Qt as suggested for pasta sauces, sauteing veggies, etc.

                                                      Now for bacon...it's sounding pretty unanimous that cast iron is the way to go. Someone suggest the Lodge Grill Pan so I'm looking into that or maybe just a regular cast iron skillet? Which would be the most versatile? Anyone have any specific pan recommendations?

                                                      1. re: lavendula

                                                        Hi, lavendula:

                                                        Gosh, you can cook bacon in almost anything. But I'd pass on the grill pan. You might want to reserve one of the Calphalon frypans just for eggs, and the other for bacon, sausage, etc. Or, if you don't already have a plain CI skillet, get one Calphalon and one CI.

                                                        The vintage Griswold and Wagner skillets tend to be lighter, smoother and more finely cast than new production Lodge. But they can be 3-10x the price, too.

                                                        Seriously, you can do everything you've mentioned in one pan. But if you're seriously into eggs (especially omelets and crepes), you'd want a dedicated egg pan.

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                        1. re: lavendula

                                                          Lavendula,

                                                          If it were me, I'd use the 4-qt AC for bacon. It's going to have a surface area very close to a 12" cast iron skillet, and will contain splatters just as well. Like any seared food in stainless steel, you'll want to leave it alone until the bacon releases on it's own. Don't forget to pre-heat the pan.Yup, I wouldn't bother buying a pan just for bacon.

                                                          1. re: lavendula

                                                            I use the Lodge successfully for 4 slices of turkey bacon every day. For more servings, I use an oven pan with a grill that lifts out.

                                                            But the Lodge sees duty in my kitchen often. I like for grilling smoked sausage, or grilled veggies, or the very occasional hot dog.

                                                            Other disagree. However, I have found this pan quite useful. Being useful ranks pretty high with me.

                                                            1. re: lavendula

                                                              umm, a baking sheet is the way to go.
                                                              Otherwise, a large CI skillet with a CI bacon press.

                                                        2. re: DuffyH

                                                          I bought that Calphalon set several years back, and the larger pan warped within weeks. It was unusable on my smooth top range. The smaller one has worked just fine, and we use it for eggs with no sticking.
                                                          I also use an anodized Villaware 8" skillet for eggs. It's thick and heavy, and though it's not nonstick, a light layer of butter does the job.
                                                          For larger batches, I've been saving aside an All Clad 12" stainless skillet, but it seems like a waste of an expensive pan. I only use it a couple of times a year. I may rethink that decision.

                                                          1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                            I did not buy the set but did get the large pan and it did warp--as everybody's has, it seems! The little 10 inch though acts as if it were nonstick, although I would never cook eggs without butter--just about the only butter we use.

                                                        3. re: lavendula

                                                          My T-fal pans are Encore2, but that seems to be a discontinued line. I have no issues with flatness.

                                                          1. re: lavendula

                                                            Maybe late to the party but I'm in the same new egg pan needed. I'm replacing my Calphalon "contemporary nonstick 10 inch" because after 7 years it's not non stick anymore. Reheats leftovers beautifully, holds tight to any and all eggs.

                                                        4. I have Calphalon I have mailed it it back once and the replaced it with a new one..

                                                          I also have a ooooollllllld cast iorn that is so smooth nothing sticks to it

                                                          1. I use an 8" Henkel nonstick pan. I got it at an outlet sale that they have at a pop up store near my house. I think they sell them at Bed Bath and Beyond and as other posters have mentioned, its best to use a silicone spatula so as not to scratch the pan.

                                                            1. My current non-stick pan for eggs is one of the ceramic (ie teflon/PTFE free) coated ones. (I have pet birds in the house, and PTFE releases vapors that are toxic to them if accidentally overheated.) These don't seem quite as stick-free as the teflon versions, but they're pretty good. I've had this one for about 3 years, and it's starting to be sticky-er, so it's probably time to get a new one. So if you try this route, same rules apply - don't spend a lot because you'll want to replace it in a few years anyway.

                                                              1. Whichever you finally choose, I am sure you will be happy with them. You have narrowed it down to quality cookware.

                                                                A dear lady friend once advised me that if I wanted somebody to join me in the journey of life, I had to have an empty closet waiting for her in the house. Wise words.

                                                                An 8 inch pan is great for a single person. Easy to clean, store, and lift. So if you are never going to entertain or cook for another, 8 inches is fine. Otherwise, get the 10 inch. For versatility alone, it is worth the added expense. And as for a lid, head to Walmart and buy one that is designed for multiple diameters.

                                                                A note of caution. Once you start cooking with high quality cookware, it becomes highly addictive. Google Mauviel and drool.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                  Thanks so much for all the advice, this thread is making me hungry ;)

                                                                  I am actually not a big breakfast person so usually only make it for my husband... thus the small pan debate! However, when we have house guests this summer I suppose it would be best to have the option so a 10" pan is sounding like the most versatile option. Maybe I'll go with the set for versatility. For making eggs in this type of pan, I usually use a heat proof silicone spatula - are there any other recommend tools?

                                                                  I'd love to hear the preferred "bacon in the oven method" as well, could also be the best way for a house full of hungry guests :)

                                                                2. For just one or two eggs, I use my small cast iron skillet. Totally nonstick. It also makes for a good fried egg sandwich, it fits the bread.

                                                                  1. Koo koo ka chew

                                                                    (that was my original thought when reading the title)

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: wyogal

                                                                      Get your Lennon on. Goo Goo Goo Joob.

                                                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                        I was to lazy to look up the spelling...

                                                                        1. re: wyogal

                                                                          You got it right. It changes per stanza..

                                                                    2. Oddly enough and as much as I hate to admit it ... a few years ago my mother bought me an "Orgreenic" ceramic coated nonstick pan. Very "as seen on TV-ish." Upon reception I thought "I will never use this." However I followed the directions and seasoned it as it asked ... and it is my favorite go-to pan for eggs. They never stick. And it cleans like a dream. I decided to put my food snobbiness away. When the BF comes over and wants to do eggs he always grabs the green one before the much more expensive stainless steel or cast iron ones.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                        <...hate to admit it...>

                                                                        I think it's pretty cool that you were gifted a pan that's turned out to give you excellent service. Can't ask more from cookware than that.

                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                          True. I would never have purchased it. Thought it was a gimmick. But it seriously works. If something happened to it I would go buy another.

                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                            That's the best thing, isn't it? Finding something that works perfectly for your needs. Same here. I always end up running out and buying multiples because I'm afraid the product will be discontinued. (This works for shoes too.)

                                                                            1. re: breadchick

                                                                              It truly is. I remember opening it and seeing the "as seen on TV" stamp and thinking... holy crap.... I also rarely if ever did sunny side up or soft eggs, always ate scrambled or omelets. Had a new person in my life who loved those runny yolk things and it was truly perfect. Never sticks. Cleans like a dream. And never needs additional fat. (although I add some butter anyway). We both reach for the creepy green pan first

                                                                      2. I am a major fan of cast iron, but for a small serving of eggs, I usually use my 10' All Clad skillet.

                                                                        But bacon is the deal breaker here.

                                                                        Cast iron skillets LOVE bacon fat! It is perfect for seasoning them while cooking with them. Save the bacon fat for cooking other things. It is also great for that light coating of oil that cast iron requires after washing.

                                                                        1. For bacon, the microwave. For eggs only, my10-inch Calphalon skillet, made in Toledo and inscribed "Commercial" on the back and C-30 under the handle. Must be 25 years old. And lots of butter. Omelets or scrambles, for one person or six, and it never sticks.

                                                                          1. I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one with a dedicated egg pan :-)
                                                                            Well actually two now that they've come up with the analon non-stick. The analon is outstanding (mine is Henkels) Previous to that I've been using the Rachael Ray fry pan as it is deep enough to do a batch. they are of good quality and relatively inexpensive. Teflon wears out after a few years so it's a lot cheaper to replace these than to buy something just to match my All Clad.
                                                                            Bacon goes in a different pan altogether or preferably, the oven (in my oven it's 400 for 25 min, standard, not convection) on a rack in a half-sheet.
                                                                            I've had good success with eggs in cast iron but I've also had disasters and cast iron disasters are a major pain to clean up!