I’m looking for a 12" pan with gently sloping sides to make pancakes, mostly. Want non-stick. Want a pan I can keep for years. We are still using a 30 year old teflon-coated pan for this purpose (which I finally have permission from my husband to replace – he’s the usual pancake chef).
Bonus points if:
you can use metal utensils with it
it can go in the oven
it has a lid
it works with induction
but none of those is critical. We currently cook on a gas stove, and have no plans to change that. We have a nice cast iron pan that I routinely use when I want to move something to the oven, and honestly, the steeper sides of that pan are probably more suitable to oven-type cooking than the gently sloping sides you want for pancakes and omelets.
I’m not very price sensitive, and care more about a pan that will hold up. Oh, and ideally not too heavy, since you pick up the pan a lot making and flipping pancakes.
‘Keep for years’ and nonstick do not go hand in hand. I thought differently once, and either Chefguy or Silenus tried to dissuade me. They were right, and I was wrong. Though that All-Clad nonstick is still a good pan; it’s just not a great nonstick pan anymore.
Honestly, your list of requirements makes me think seasoned cast iron. You can get less steeply sloped cast iron pieces than the traditional Southern, see your face in the mirror-like bottom, hunk of black metal from the Civil War. I guess you could try enameled cast iron, but won’t those stick with omelettes?
The omelette pan I use is a T-Fal 12 inch, and it’s fantastic for the 3-6 months the nonstick lasts. I use an egg tool, a plastic spatula-esque thingy, and it works great for making the custardy scrambled eggs she likes. Probably works great in the oven too, though I wouldn’t get silly with the heat when empty. Inexpensive too, something like 15 bucks or less at TJ Maxx.
I second the Oxo recommendation. I’ve had an Oxo pan for 4 years and the nonstick surface looks pretty much brand new. A few months ago I got two smaller pans from the same line, and I’m very happy with them all. This and the All-Clad are the only pans reviewed by Cooks Illustrated with a “Highly Recommended” rating, but the All-Clad costs more than 3 times as much as the Oxo.
Of course you need to care for nonstick pans differently than other pans. No metal utensils, no abrasive scrubbing, etc.
Frankly, any non-stick pans that needs a dishwasher or abrasives or scrubbing should be thrown away because it’s not non-stick anymore. You should able to clean it with a quick wipe of soapy water and a rinse.
If durability is important and “not heavy” is negotiable, I too vote cast iron. It also plays well with metal utensils and ovens, though it requires some maintenance. Otherwise, I agree with resigning yourself to periodically replacing your Teflon.
Go to Sam’s Club or a restaurant supply store and get a commercial pan. They are heavier pans and can take more abuse. The nonstick surface will eventually get scratched up, and it won’t be as cooperative as it used to be. I’ve found when something stubborn sticks to a pan especially if its burned, it can be coerced to vacate the premises if you fill it with hot soapy water and add a glug of bleach to it.
I have a very nice cast iron pan, a couple of nice stainless steel frying pans with copper/aluminum layers to conduct heat, and a nice anodized aluminum omelet pan (small). So I’m set for regular pans. Although all but the omelet pan have sides too steep to be good for flipping pancakes, and it’s too small.
There’s really still no non-stick pan that will keep working?
Maybe I could get something that’s not really non-stick, since my husband seems happy using 30 year old teflon.
I love the cast iron pan, but it’s not suitable for pancakes. It’s too heavy, it doesn’t heat evenly enough, it’s the wrong shape, and it needs to be used regularly - more regularly than we make pancakes.
As I said above, try an anodized aluminum pan like the OXO linked above. It’s non-stick enough for pancakes and a very tough surface, you could maybe even use metal tools gently. For eggs there’s nothing like teflon but it wears out moderately quickly and there’s no way around that.
I don’t know if this pan is special or if the other posters in this thread have been abusing their pans, but as I said, I’ve had this pan for 4 years and the surface is nearly perfect. I don’t see any damage to the surface and it still has all it’s nonstick power. I expect it to last for many more years.
Oh, thanks! That looks eminently suitable. Yeah, I’m not going to be grilling meat, or making sticky chickpea dishes that are hard to wash off in this pan. It’s going to be used for pancakes. (He doesn’t like eggs, so when I cook eggs it’s usually one serving, and the little omelet pan works fine.) The pan won’t get a lot of abuse. I really think there must be some pans that will hold up to making pancakes in them for several years and stay slippery enough for the purpose.