Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Ask Foodycat IV

Ms Crankypants has opened a whole can of worms with her question for Foodycat...

She says "My pancakes stuck in my non-stick pan today. Do you use non-stick cookware, does it have an average life, and do you have any favourite brands? The latest one to be sent to heaven is a Scanpan. The one before it was a cheaper Raco, but did a lovely job and I can't find a replacement".

Well, Cranky, the truth is that I loath non-stick cookware and wouldn't give it houseroom. All our cookware (except a couple of my caketins) is either enamelled cast iron (Le Creuset or cheaper Le Chasseur) or stainless steel. I used to have a flatmate who adored her Scanpan but I have just never got on with them.

One of the things about non-stick cookware is that it doesn't usually like really high heats. Which is fine for you non-meat eaters, but we like to cook our steak over blisteringly high heat. We also like to make sauces with the nice crusty bits that stick to the pan, scraped up with a fork, so non-stick just doesn't work for us.

This page of "10 ways to ruin a nonstick pan" is a pretty good resource for prolonging the life of your non-stick surfaces if you insist on using them! Peter's of Kensington have some pretty good deals on Anolon and Scanpan for your next purchase.

11 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

Personally, I adore my Scanpans. They say to avoid oil sprays and I have heard that one shouldn't use olive oil - but I do all the time.

I use a cast iron griddle pan for steaks.

(I do not own a dishwasher which may also help with the surface.)

jodimop said...

I've always cooked with non-stick pans. I've had some for 5 years withouta scratch. I always use wooden or silicon-coated spatulas and tongs. I cook with olive oil and never had any problems. And finally I buy the best quality I can (in Greece they are called TEGAL), because these one come with a thicker non-stick surface. I also have a cast iron pan for the steaks, but I never have too much meat anyway!

Dee said...

Lol! I theoretically loathe non-sticks, but have one hidden under the sink for crepe emergencies. I don't have the arm power for flipping my cast iron clunker. Thanks for the link, but I think non-sticks just don't last. And thank you also for the kind words :)

mscrankypants said...

Thank you, Foodycat, for your opinion and links.

Like dee, I have cast iron for cooking 'events' like risotto, but prefer something lighter to flip on pancake mornings.

Grace said...

cast iron rules. i've been hinting to my grandmother for years, and now that she's stopped cooking, i'm hoping she'll pass her well-seasoned cookware on to me. :)

hot garlic said...

Is there anything you don't know! Good advice. It is fun to hear some one else's opinions on these subjects

Foodycat said...

See, I love my dishwasher and really couldn't be without it! And my husband always cooks with a fork, (I'm a wooden spoon girl myself) so a non-stick coating just wouldn't last with us.

Cranky, my grandmother used to have a lovely little Le Creuset skillet that I remember as the best ever thing for cooking eggs in. Perfect for one or two or pancakes!

alexandra's kitchen said...

have you ever used a carbon steel pan? I have one that I love for searing meats. I think the brand is vollrath or something like that. i never wash it — just salt it and scrape it clean with a paper towel.

I have to admit I have a few nonstick pans that I use quite often. I wish I were more hardcore!

Sam said...

Non-stick has it's uses but I definitely agree that cast iron is best.

Darius T. Williams said...

Non stick...mines works sometimes - but yea, my cast iron skillet is really a great tool to have in the kitchen!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Foodycat said...

Never tried carbon steel - it really doesn't need washing? Wow!

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