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Apr 11, 2014 11:46 AM

Explain This Pan's Splotchy Seasoning

I took this pic on the tv. It's a local restaurant who have commercials every now and then, especially during local news at noon. I edited the name out. Their commercials consist of the owner cooking any given specific recipe.

Why is the pan splotchy?... Stainless steel?... Wrongly seasoned carbon steel?... Seasoned carbon steel but acidic ingredients used a lot?

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  1. Looks like one of those cheap commercial aluminum fry pans used in a lot of restaurants. They are abused (food burnt in them) and no one takes the time or effort to clean them back up to sparkling afterwards. Kind of like if you never took BKF to a stainless pan for years, you just ran it through a dishwasher--you won't get everything off, and the next time you sear at high temperature it bakes onto the pan.

    I remember the line cooks having stacks of those in similar condition that they would cook entrees in and then the dishwashers would periodically take the dirty ones and put down new ones.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Cynic2701

      Interesting. I would've never thought a restaurant using fragile aluminum.

      1. re: Muddirtt

        It was actually pretty thick. I still have one banging around in the cabinet under my sink. I can pull it out and take a picture for you later.

        1. re: Cynic2701

          That'd be interesting to see. Shows my ignorance of restaurant cooking. The darn cooks are always hiding behind those swivel doors, lol -- That and the fact that I've never worked in a restaurant.

          1. re: Muddirtt

            I think a lot of people would be surprised at what "good" restaurants cook with in the "back of the house." I remember working one day when the executive chef brought in some oval cast iron skillets for roasting and searing--he seemed so proud of the upgrade it was from the pans they were currently using. That month's menu included $40 plates with morel pasta dishes and elk steaks.

            In fact, I learned quite a bit while working there, and it wasn't until the past two years that I started buying "quality" pans--which is one of the reasons I still pans like this.

            1. re: Muddirtt

              Yeah. Cheap and relatively indestructible wins most of the time. This is a version of a pretty standard restaurant fry pan. They cost around $15 or so, usually. They can handle the oven, broiler and industrial dishwasher and they heat up really, really quickly. All aluminum.

      2. It looks like a typical aluminum pan that I see in so many professional kitchen. Aluminum pans can take on seasoning, but they do not hold them well like carbon steel steel. As such, the seasoning will likely look spotty.

        1. Here's two pics of the pan in question. I haven't used this in years, but it would pick up dark spots like what you showed with use. It is about 3mm thick of aluminum.