About Pans: Part III-It all Pans out.

Iron Pan Thumbnail 100x100 GelPart three in our special report on Pans brings us to this point.  Which pan is right for what job, and what pan should I buy.  These and other pressing questions will be answered.  Stay tuned as we walk you through the facts in the case and let you decide.  PS: I make no apologies for bad puns, its part of what I do here .

About Pans: Part I–Aluminum, Anodized, And Coated

About Pans: Part II–Cast Iron, Enamel Coated, And Copper

We walked you through the different types of pans, and the pros and cons of each.  But the long of the short is that every pan is useful.  Heck I have a pot that is only for Asparagus steaming, but it does it so well I keep it around.

Like a lot of the tools I own, I own all of these pans.  I do find I use some more than others, and my experiences with each can be different than some out there.  For instance, I am sure there are people who would beat me over head with their Calphalon, but mine has slowly been finding its way to the local thrift shops.

I prepared this chart to help you visualize the different pros and cons, so use it as a guide.


Like I said the Anodized Aluminum is going away slowly, I spent a lot buying it, so parting with it is a slow process.  The sauce pots I have still see service from time to time, but now that I have a small LeCreuset, it gathers a bit of dust.

The others see service from time to time, but honestly, the copper was a piece I bought on a trip to France, and it has never touched food, so my ratings are based more on the old school Revere stuff with the copper bottoms.

The Aluminum pans come out when I  am doing small dishes or when I need to make a pan-based sauce.  It works well for searing and it is a bit of a bugger to clean to my standards.  (The one pictured is about to get tossed)

The Cast Iron is an interesting piece.  I picked it up just to do this article.  It was not a pan, growing up, that my mother used so I never really had one.  I ended up using it several times for research into this article and honestly, I really like it.  No other pan can put the crust that this pan does when I sear with it.  They also make these in a grill style, and we use these in the restaurant for marking grill marks on foods and grilling small pieces of meat.  A cool pan, but make sure you have it well ventilated!

Teflon is a common tool on my stovetop.  The non-stick pan is perfect for the standards like eggs, and when sautéing other meats where we can’t risk the item sticking.  Some delicate fish fall in this category, usually finished off in the microwave afterwards.

So what is my go to pan?  Well the chart bears out my feelings exactly.  I love my Enamel covered LeCreuset.  It really just does every job I throw at it so well.  I actually find myself doing more stews and long and slow foods in these pans.  I have a set of 4 sizes, and I slowly add one more piece a year, because it is expensive.  I find it at the local outlet, and I buy seconds, and frankly I have NO idea why they are seconds, but I can save 75% when I time it right.

So what is the right pan for you?  Well find what you cook the most, and build a set.  There is no reason to buy LeCreuset if you find yourself not cooking stews and rice and braising.  But, while the quality is without compromised, there are less expensive alternatives to the LeCreuset, even the Rachel Ray  stuff is actually pretty decent.

Passionate for Pans,

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One Response to About Pans: Part III-It all Pans out.

  1. Pat says:

    I like my Bialetti ceramic pan for frying
    You still need to use non-metal utensils .. but almost nothing sticks to it .. washing it is the easiest thing ever (outside is coated with silicone)

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