Author Topic: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?  (Read 3626 times)

sunnyca

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Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« on: August 30, 2016, 11:31:30 AM »
Hi all,

I'm trying to move away from nonstick pans, and am thinking of transitioning to stainless steel.  Does anyone have any good recommendations?  I really like the Fissler pans (my mother has them), but the cost makes me blanch a bit.

FYI: I have an electric coil stovetop- not sure if that makes a difference or not.


Migs

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 11:39:33 AM »
If there's a HomeGoods in your area, I'd check there for heavily discounted AllClad pans. I also like the Cusinart Multi-Clad Pro Tri-Ply set.

A few of my friends have also had pretty good results with the Tramontina Tri-Ply set from Walmart, but some reviews aren't as good so YMMV.

Jack

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 12:47:45 PM »
I like my All-Clad (bought from Homegoods). I've also heard good things about Tramontina, as well as the Kirkland brand clad stainless pans available from Costco.

I don't think there's necessarily a big difference in quality; the difference in price comes from the fact that all-Clad is made in the USA whereas the Tramontina and Kirkland ones are made in China and Brazil respectively (IIRC).

Note that you don't need to buy a gigantic complete set: the only clad stainless pans I have are a 10" frypan and a 4-qt saute pan. Beyond that, I have an enameled cast-iron dutch oven, a bare cast-iron skillet, and some cheap thin stainless saucepans & stock pots that were hand-me-downs from my mom. The only thing I don't yet have but still want is a small All-Clad saucepan (1.5-2qt) for making things like béchamel and hollandaise.

Proud Foot

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 01:01:43 PM »
We got a set of stainless steel pans from Ikea several years ago.  Very reasonably priced and we haven't had any problems with them.

munchabunch

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 01:08:02 PM »
We got Cook's Standard and love them!  Considerably cheaper than other brands and really good quality.  A set is <$200 on Amazon.

pbkmaine

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 01:10:13 PM »
Vintage RevereWare, stainless with copper bottoms, from thrift shops. I have some of my mother's and grandmother's, some more than 60 years old, and they are like new. I understand the new ones are not as good, though.

mozar

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 01:32:28 PM »
People complain about Calphalon but I don't know why. Perfectly usable mid range steel pan. I have an electric stove too. Got de Buyer first and it doesn't work for electric.

KCalla

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 02:16:41 PM »
I agree with the suggestions above.  All Clad on deep sale is wonderful.  I've have some 25 year old "made in Brazil" (on the bottom of the pan) Tramontina that we still use almost daily.  Love, love, love a couple of Ikea pots I picked up about 3 years ago  (one was in their clearance room for beyond inexpensive).  These are my tips for any brand:  "Heavy (thicker) bottom to reduce scorching;  a triple ply bottom (copper sandwiched between stainless steel) reduces "hot spots".  When buying a used or "seconds" pan for an electric stove (what I have) - take a moment to put the pan on a smooth surface and make sure that it is truly flat on the bottom (does not rock).  My smallest pans were the first that I donated.  I can cook a small or large amount in a larger pot/pan.  Check for handles that work for you (so you can drain boiling water into a colander).  Have at least one pan with a lid...very versatile (you probably have pots with lids, perhaps one will fit).

moof

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 03:02:09 PM »
I'll put in a vote against All Clad.  While they are really well made, and ours are going strong 10 years on, I don't like them.

1)  The handle on the skillets in is style over function.  It is too skinny and hard to hold compared to the size and expected contents of the pan.  It can twist in your hand and dump things easily, so 2 hand lift is mandated even with my rock climber man-hands.

2)  The dutch oven does not distribute heat evenly enough on our electric stove.  Out Ikea pot makes popcorn wonderfully, while making the same size batch in the dutch oven is lower yield with more burnt kernels, and more un-popped ones too.

3)  A Lodge cast iron skillet is a steal at about $25 bucks new.  For searing steak, fajitas, grilled cheese, and similar it is my favorite pan.  It is not truly non-stick, but I can do just about everything in it almost as well as my non-stick pan.  Eggs require a little extra oil, and aren't as mess free if the seasoning is a bit beat up (still too lazy to season with anything but canola oil once in a while).

My overall suggestion is to look for burly handles that fit your hand, and a thick base.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 11:10:42 AM by moof »

hollyluja

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 03:56:21 PM »
I second Costco Kirkland brand!  Copper core, stainless cooking surface.  I don't think these will ever wear out, and I love that I can scrub the crap off them with copper wool (easier on the steel than steel wool).


MsPeacock

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 04:21:49 PM »
I bought All Clad when I was 19. I am 47 now and still using the same pans and lids. They are indestructible. The exterior doesn't matter. There  used to be plain aluminum exterior, which I think is no longer made. There is a anodized black exterior, the color eventually wears off in places but doesn't effect function. There are stainless exterior and copper exterior. Buy whatever you can find on sale. Often there are good sales around Black Friday and/or online.

lizzzi

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 04:52:24 PM »
Vintage RevereWare, stainless with copper bottoms, from thrift shops. I have some of my mother's and grandmother's, some more than 60 years old, and they are like new. I understand the new ones are not as good, though.

I keep reading that these are no good (too thin, not enough copper to make a difference, blah, blah). I have old ones--a couple I bought in the 60's or 70's, a couple came to me with my husband in my second marriage--his were also from the old days--and I think I have one that belonged to my mother. I've been using them like forever, and have never seen the need to buy anything newer or fancier. I would get a Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven (mine was $38 I think, after my Le Creuset bit the dust after 20 years), and a Lodge cast iron frying pan--my ten inch is my go to--been using it for 20 or 30 years. If you are looking for baking pans, I have a couple of the Nordic Ware big sheet pans with the plastic lids for transporting. I like them immensely, and they don't buckle when baking chicken or whatever. They are not non-stick. (I use some Wilton non-stick pans for cookies, and don't use them for anything else.)  By the way, as much as I like cast iron, do not get the cast iron that Emeril puts out. I got one of his cast iron Dutch ovens on sale, and there was something weird about it--it sort of absorbed the stew liquid--I couldn't get the pan clean--it seemed like a cheap and unhealthy cast iron. Frankly, I didn't even donate it. I threw it out. That's how bad it was.

Spork

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 04:56:57 PM »
I second Costco Kirkland brand!  Copper core, stainless cooking surface.  I don't think these will ever wear out, and I love that I can scrub the crap off them with copper wool (easier on the steel than steel wool).

So.... we have those.  The large stock pan delaminated.  In other words, the copper just plain separated and came off the bottom.  It was one pan out of the whole set... and the others haven't had that issue.   It's probably just a fluke.

This was several years ago and we just tossed the pan and moved on.  Had I known then how awesome Costco's return policy was, I would probably have just taken it back and swapped it.  Too late now.

lizzzi

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 06:28:05 PM »
Vintage RevereWare, stainless with copper bottoms, from thrift shops. I have some of my mother's and grandmother's, some more than 60 years old, and they are like new. I understand the new ones are not as good, though.

I keep reading that these are no good (too thin, not enough copper to make a difference, blah, blah). I have old ones--a couple I bought in the 60's or 70's, a couple came to me with my husband in my second marriage--his were also from the old days--and I think I have one that belonged to my mother. I've been using them like forever, and have never seen the need to buy anything newer or fancier. I would get a Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven (mine was $38 I think, after my Le Creuset bit the dust after 20 years), and a Lodge cast iron frying pan--my ten inch is my go to--been using it for 20 or 30 years. If you are looking for baking pans, I have a couple of the Nordic Ware big sheet pans with the plastic lids for transporting. I like them immensely, and they don't buckle when baking chicken or whatever. They are not non-stick. (I use some Wilton non-stick pans for cookies, and don't use them for anything else.)  By the way, as much as I like cast iron, do not get the cast iron that Emeril puts out. I got one of his cast iron Dutch ovens on sale, and there was something weird about it--it sort of absorbed the stew liquid--I couldn't get the pan clean--it seemed like a cheap and unhealthy cast iron. Frankly, I didn't even donate it. I threw it out. That's how bad it was.

Didn't mean to get off-topic with my post--just realized the OP was asking specifically about stainless steel. I guess I was thinking how I use some of the Paul Revere stainless, and some things in other metals, and it all is easy-peasy and makes for an efficient kitchen. Or at least I like to think so.   : D

gggggg

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2016, 06:38:53 PM »
All-Clad. I had some cheaper chinese triple-ply pans, and they warped at high heat. All-Clad won't.

sunnyca

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Re: Stainless steel pans - any recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2016, 10:00:31 PM »
Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys! 

I have some Lodge cast iron skillets, but I've never really developed the knack for using them properly. So I just use them for the occasional chicken or steak. 

I'm going to try borrowing a friend's stainless pan that he never uses, if he can hunt it down. I think it's a Jamie Oliver.

I'll keep everyone updated!