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Apr 7, 2014 08:42 PM

Pan Envy?

Ever made a good, sound purchase and then seen something better go on sale soon after? This happened to me this week.

About 2 weeks ago, Sam's Club got some pretty decent generic clad stainless frypans, with silicone handles. Nowhere near as thick as All-Clad, might be almost as thick as Cuisinart, but at a mis-marked $16.97 for the 10", a darn good buy all the same, one I easily pounced on, given that I lacked a 10" clad frypan.

This morning, what's in my email? SLT's Easter sale on Mauviel, with the M'collection de Cuisine (SLT-only version of M'Cook) 10" skillet on sale for $79. This one is 5 ply clad, and so thick, with that wonderful Mauviel handle, so sweet. Ah, well. I'll have to live with a bad case of Pan Envy.


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  1. Best chef's pan I ever owned is a 12" KitchenAid from Target, thirty-five bucks.

    1. Just enjoy your new pan. Eventually, in the next decade or so, that silicone handle will give out, and you'll have a good excuse to buy a new one, but in the meantime you've got $60 or so to put towards something else. Spices? Wine?

      Have fun!

      1. Personally, I would not spend even $79 for a skillet but if that's a really good deal - and it sounds like you'd know better than I would - why not get it? You've only spent the cost of a couple of workday lunches on the Sam's Club pan, and it's not like it takes up a whole cabinet to store. Hang onto it or give it away.

        4 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          I have spent more than $150 (on sale...+ a 20% off coupon!) in the past, for my short-lived romance with the big and expensive Demeyere Proline frypan. Eventually I realized it really wasn't worth it's price tag and returned it to BB&B. Sure it cooked more evenly than my Calphalon Tri-Ply, but in the end, it turned out to be a PITA to clean, so I never wanted to use it.

          I don't think the Mauviell would be hard to keep clean, as it looks to be brushed in and out, and it is really pretty.... but I've got a pile of frypans already and really, really do not need another. Still, it's just soooo pretty and I have no stove jewelry anymore. I can be such a girly girl sometimes. LOL

          1. re: DuffyH

            Oh, don't ask me, girlfriend, as I will be a total enabler here. Pretty works, and I have fallen before.

            Question, though. What made the Demeyere hard to clean? I don't have that line, but am curious.

            1. re: breadchick

              <What made the Demeyere hard to clean? I don't have that line, but am curious.>

              Hey, BC! Good to see you. :-)

              Hard to say what makes it hard to clean, especially since Demeyere claims Silvinox aids in cleaning. I was comparing it to old Calphalon Tri-Ply at the time. The Calphalon normally reacted pretty well to a deglaze or soak, followed by a soapy sponge. Not so the Proline. Cleaning some fried rice I soaked it then used the sponge. There was still a lot of starch left on the pan. This didn't happen with the Calphalon.
              That was pretty typical. Most of the things I cooked in it left a residue that required an abrasive, like BKF. Salmon cakes sautéed in oil required BKF. WTF?

              I'm not sure why this happened. Maybe the patina on my 12 year old pan made it better at releasing foods. The new Demeyere seemed to release VERY well, with hardly any sticking even on the fried rice, and as expected, none at all with the salmon cakes. But still there was residue that didn't want to come up easily. it was just damned annoying, and a big part of why it went back.

              By the time I took it back to BB&B, I hadn't used it in almost 3 months because of the cleaning issues and it's heavy weight. When you just don't want to deal with a pan, it's time to find another pan. Still, most people who have them love them. It does cook superbly.

              EDIT - I should add that when I wrote "soapy sponge" I meant one with the blue scrubby pad glued to one side. The blue scrubby thing didn't remove all the residue. There. Clarity at last. :-)

        2. $16.97? Not a bad price at all for something that could be donated to family or friend or neighbor. If you can afford it, get that $79 one. If not, you still have a good piece of cookware.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Muddirtt

            I know, right? Good price, easy to grab the pan. I knew it wasn't *quite* as thick as I prefer, but at 3mm overall, it's likely still got 2mm of aluminum, a lot more than some other pans. Although a fat aluminum layer isn't everything, it was definitely worth trying. I've only used it a couple of times, but it's done fine so far.

            I really am bad, collecting way too many frypans. In addition to the Mauviel, I've also got my eye on the Zwilling Spirit uncoated frypan. Also in 10", of course, my favorite size. There's got to be some meds to help with this, yeah? LOL

            1. re: DuffyH

              You can't have too many fry pans. Check this guy out, lol...

              That's a lot of weight going down on that floor in that closet.

              Ok, maybe you can have too many fry pans, lol.

              1. re: Muddirtt

                He has WAY too many fry pans. Makes me wonder what he's cooking. But thanks for posting that video link, it gave me a new storage idea. I have very similar shelving in my pantry, and the Dude has previously suggested I move some of my pans there to reduce the amount of bending and lifting I have to do.

                Let's see.... if we move the cereal and pasta to the cabinet,,,, hmm, I'll have to work on it. He may be installing some new pull-out shelving soon. :-D

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Yeah, I thought that shelving was pretty convenient. If he can hold that many heavy cast iron, with easy acces to boot, I think that will be going in one of my cupboards also.

                2. re: Muddirtt

                  Good lord, that is crazy. I sent the link to my spouse who thinks that my 4 CI pans (+ dutch oven) is beyond the pale.

                  I wonder if he rotates through to ensure that each pan gets used once in a blue moon.

                  1. re: tcamp

                    He obviously doesn't use them all.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      <He obviously doesn't use them all.>

                      That's when I can't see the point to having them.

                      1. re: tcamp

                        <... my spouse who thinks that my 4 CI pans (+ dutch oven) is beyond the pale.>

                        I'll speak up for you, tcamp. I've got 4 carbon steels, all different. 3 sauté pans, all different. Now if you've got 4 12" skillets, all exactly the same, well.... ;-)

                        1. re: DuffyH

                          Four 12" skillets won't even fit on my range. Now, two 12" and two 10" ... That works for me. If the kids are both having sleep-over friends, it's juggling time in the morning, lol.

                          1. re: Muddirtt

                            <If the kids are both having sleep-over friends, it's juggling time in the morning, lol.>

                            When the Grands sleep over at our house, I often forget that I've got a perfectly good electric griddle. Makes excellent pancakes, but do I ever remember to get it out? Hell, no! :)

                3. I've found all-clad d5 to be pretty heavy and slow to respond to temperature changes, probably due to all that SS.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: filtered

                    Does the d5 have extra steel in the layers? Oh, I remember reading something about that here... supposed to spread the heat more evenly, yeah? Does it make it act more like carbon steel/cast iron than clad stainless?

                    Both my Vollrath Tribute saucier and Zwilling Spirit sauté have been happy surprises. Both are 3-ply, but they've got much, much more aluminum than I expected. Based on reviews, I figured they'd be kind of average 3-ply pans, about the same as Cuisinart or Calphalon, but not as thick as All-Clad. I was wrong. With about 3mm of aluminum, they're thicker than the AC 3-ply I've seen and continue to outperform my expectations.

                    Maybe the thing is to look for really thick aluminum in 3-ply pans, instead of adding extra layers. That's a whole new thread.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      ...or just look for really thick aluminum..

                      Have you seen these magnetic stick-on induction chafing heaters? Heck you don't even need a stove anymore, you can just wave the pan around...

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        I love it. Will it go Up The Country, do you think, like regular Canned Heat units?

                        How about a roll-up unit?


                        1. re: DuffyH

                          Yes, all you'll need are a squirrel, a cage and a generator.

                          Doubtful they have all the electronic safety sensors/circuits, so buyer beware.

                      2. re: DuffyH

                        I don't know if you've found the information since this post, but All-Clad D5 does have an extra layer of stainless steel. They do not heat more evenly as CenturyLife has discovered. Both Calphalon Tri-Ply and Cuisinart Multiclad Pro heat more evenly.

                          1. re: Angelus2013

                            <...All-Clad D5 does have an extra layer of stainless steel...>

                            Yes. We sussed out the problem with the design of D5 long ago.

                            I'm now wondering, though, what I was thinking with my OP. "Nowhere near as thick as All-Clad, might be almost as thick as Cuisinart,"?? Au contraire, silly woman, you should haven measured. The pan is just about exactly A-C thickness and cooks beautifully. Moreover, it's steel cladding is quite thin, barely discernible. After owning it for a year, I've elevated it to "steal" status, it's so damn good.

                            I continue to check for a 12" version at least 2x a month. Alas, no joy. Still, hope springs anew on each and every visit, thinking that this is the day I'll find it. After this long, surely I must be labelled a cockeyed optimist. Or just plain crazy.