A 12-inch skillet is the workhorse of our family's kitchen. Whether we are sautéing vegetables, cooking eggs or making quesadillas, it will most likely be in a skillet. This is why it is particularly frustrating that - I hate my frying pans.
Our current round-up of skillets includes assorted non-stick, cast iron and stainless steel pans all with their own disadvantages. The "non-stick" coating on our pans seems to be flaking off and the whole family will attest to the fact that they are not, in fact, non-stick. The cast iron pan is great for some uses but it's heavy and slow to heat. The stainless steel pan is a pain to wash and requires more added fat to prevent food from sticking.
With four of us using the pans, the cleaning properties take front stage. With the residue of every meal, sticking to the surface, we are in a constant debate about how often the pans need to be washed. One side of the argument asks - "If we are just going to use it for frying tomorrow, why wash it?" I am beginning to sympathize with the futility of scrubbing pans just so we can use them for the next meal. We need and easy-to-clean skillet option.
I am sending this pan predicament out to readers of this blog - What type of frying pan do you recommend? I'll report back to you with my findings.
Check out one of my favorite uses for a 12-inch skillet with a tight-fitting lid - Garlic Sugar Snap Peas.0
Several years ago we had a Calphalon nonstick that's nonstick coating began to chip. Calphalon took it back and gave us a new one! They stand behind their product!
Karen, we need a review on the new carbon steel pan!
My 12 inch skillets are my most used pans, by a long shot! I have had a set of Calphalon Unison for several years and love them! I use the nonstick for lower heat cooking and the stainless steel for browning and high heat cooking. I have a cast iron and love it too. We have been known to use it on the grill - especially with tender fish when I don't want to stink up the kitchen. Downside to cast iron...washing it in the sink always leaves black marks on my white porcelain sink.
We have the same problem at our house. My husband claims I go through frying pans every year because I overheat them at first. Is that why things stick on a non-stick pan??? Anyway, we just moved and I decided I would get rid of the "old" pan and buy a new non-stick one that Costco was advertising. Too soon to tell how long it will last, but it sure is nice now!
Most non-stick pans cannot handle high heat. It is possible that your skillets (and mine) have been over-heated which will ruin the non-stick coating. In Harold McGee's well-researched book, On Food and Cooking, he states that temperature above 500 degrees will cause non-stick surfaces to decompose. In my view, that's an easy temperature to reach if you are stir-frying. Please let us know if you like your new Costco pan!
Carbon steel must be the answer!!