My Favorite Non-Stick Pan
A valentine’s day tribute to a pan that really gets me.
LOTS of people who cook for a living will tell you that you’ll never need a non-stick pan. They’ll tell you if you cook things correctly, know when to flip things, and use proper technique than you’ll never need one. In theory, I like the idea of knowing how and when to cook every dish every time, but the reality for most people, is that you’re going to have to have your delicate piece of rainbow trout stick to the bottom of the pan and make you cry at least 15 times before you reach the perfect magical combination that lifts your fish with ease. I personally find that having a really good quality non-stick pan makes certain recipes so much easier that I think you’d have to pry it out of my cold dead hands before I give it up. Dishes like my pan-seared crispy white fish, not at all dry turkey meatballs, the easiest pancakes ever, and restaurant style pan seared salmon will ALL be easier in a non-stick pan. While there was a long period of time where everyone was yelling about how toxic teflon is, these days most research indicates that it’s bonded securely enough to the pan that it shouldn’t be concerning AND that it doesn’t start off-gassing fumes until it’s heated to 600 degrees. That’s REAL hot. The real issue for me with non-stick cookware is that it just doesn’t last that long. After about a year and half, on average, I feel like I need to throw mine away because they’re all scratched and they don’t function properly anymore. You can prolong the life of a pan by using tools that are delicate (like wooden spoons etc) but inevitably it’s going to get all scratched. For this reason I like a non-stick pan that isn’t too expensive, one that has a metal handle so it can move from the oven to stovetop with ease and one that’s nice and heavy, which is usually an indication of how evenly it will distribute the heat.
For these reasons my GO-TO nonstick pan is this 12 inch one from OXO. I also like to keep one in a smaller size if I’m making a frittata or making a few sunny side up eggs. It’s dishwasher safe, it conducts heat evenly and when I have to replace them I don’t feel ripped off cause they were so loved and useful.
If you’re looking to “ball so hard” then go ahead and take a look at the All Clad Copper Core Non Stick Frying pans. These guys are sturdy as anything, heat incredibly evenly and are the classiest broads on the block. If you buy these be super careful not to use metal in the pan to stir or flip anything. These are the kinds of pans you should ask for as a gift if someone really owes you one. :)
If you’re looking for something really inexpensive you can go for something like a Calphalon or hit your local restaurant supply store and see what they have. Just make sure to get something that has a metal handle so you can pop it into the oven when you need to. It’s great to have pans that are multifunctional!