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Need a good frying pan!

Ok I've read a ton of threads and articles for the past hour but am still lost. I got rid of my cheapo frying pan (don't remember brand) that I've had for years but its time was up.

I'm looking to get a decent/very nice frying pan that I'll have for a while. Not sure if I should go non stick, ss, or cs. I'm looking for a 12" size.

What do you guys recommend? I want it to do everything just like my old pan! Also want a good sear, that's important. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

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  1. Hey there. You won't get a good sear on a non-stick. I would go with a ss or cast iron if the weight doesn't bother you and if you won't be cooking a lot of acidic foods. Good luck!
    JeremyEG
    HomeCookLocavore.com

    1. <Not sure if I should go non stick, ss, or cs.>

      They all have their advantages. I like cast iron for higher temperature searing cooking, think blacken tuna. Carbon steel is usually made thinner, and therefore offers better temperature control and mobility (e.g. flipping an egg). Stainless steel is not nearly as nonstick as carbon steel or cast iron, but stainless steel is nonreactive and is great for making acidic or water content.

      < Also want a good sear, that's important.>

      If you are still not entirely sure, then I would go for carbon steel just because it is kind of the middle ground among these three.

      1. If you want a good sear, don't get non-stick. Basically two choices: Cast iron, which is cheap, retains heat very well, and gives a great sear. But may not be great for degazling and making sauces. Other choice is aluminum clad with stainless steel, such as All Clad, Demeyere, and a number of less expensive brands. It is best to get one that is *fully* clad, rather than having a disc bottom. This pan will heat up quickly, give a good sear, and deglaze to make sauces. If cost is no object thick 2.5mm copper lined with stainless steel is the ultimate. Personally, I like to have three pans: One cast iron, one stainless-clad aluminum, and a 8" non-stick for eggs only, a cheap one from a restaurant supply store because it *will* wear out and need replacement.

        1. I love carbon steel. The Mineral B and, harder to find, the Au Carbone lines from DeBuyer are of a decent weight. I realize most would disagree, but I don't see what is wrong with deglazing a carbon steel pan. They don't really seem to lose their seasoning that quickly. Bear in mind when selecting size that the bottoms of DeBuyers and other Lyon style pans are a good bit smaller than their rim to rim size.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tim irvine

            < I realize most would disagree, but I don't see what is wrong with deglazing a carbon steel pan. They don't really seem to lose their seasoning that quickly.>

            I don't mind, but some do. Losing seasoning is probably a secondary concern. For many, they can taste metallic favor from deglazing from cast iron or carbon steel cookware.

          2. I was working through this dilemma several months ago. I split the difference.

            A 10 inch non-stick for eggs/crepes. A 12 inch All Clad for everything else. My personal experiences with cast iron (non enameled) let me to easier to maintain options