They aren’t non-stick. They’re coated with some stone-like substance that’s really durable but definitely isn’t teflon. Not sure why the site claims they’re non-stick.
I read this thread a few weeks ago, and now I’m ready to try a Vollrath. The question is, which line do I want to use for my fry pan?
Optio (stainless + aluminum; pretty sweet at $23 for 11 inch):
Arkadia (all aluminum, $23 for 12 inch)
Wear-ever (all aluminum, $23 for 12 inch)
Or, for the money, go to Wal-mart and for $24 get this tri-clad 12 incher:
Any help from those familiar with Vollrath, or those with opinions on inexpensive all-aluminum vs. aluminum/stainless steel, would be appreciated.
For my money (and yours) the Arkadia is your best bet. Get yourself a slip-on silicone grip for the handle and you are good to go.
Thanks, silenus. Just to give a tiny bit of background, I like “investing” in good tools, but our last two Calphalon non-stick skillets’ interior just doesn’t seem to survive the Mrs. use of them. I genuinely don’t know if she’s wearing them out in a couple of years, or if they’re being mistreated (we don’t use vegetable sprays, don’t use metal utensils, etc).
So, I thought I’d try the cheaper route and leave non-stick for eggs and similar items, and see how that works out. Our Calphalon stainless steel pots still look great.
non stick pans do not last. You stainless All Clad pan or Calphalon will last forever but nobody’s non stick pans last. Get cheap non stick pans every few years.
If I understand it correctly the pan you’ve linked has an aluminum core just in the base. You may want to consider the fully clad pan. It will distribute the heat a little better and reduce scorching.
Non-stick is non-durable. Your best bet there is to buy cheap and toss them when they get scratched up. It just isn’t worth it to buy the pricey stuff and try to save it. Use it, abuse it, toss it is the rule for non-stick.
Classic heavy duty Calphalon pot and pan sets when on sale (as a set) actually have a quite reasonable per piece price. Individually the prices are absurd.
Interestingly if you have a Goodwill nearby you can often pick up some heavy duty higher end (All Clad etc) used pots and pans for pennies on the dollar. When people downsize their lives extra pots and pans are often the first things to go.
I recommend the restaurant store ones- they’re not expensive, and they’re thick aluminum, have a fairly thick non-stick coating, and they usually have insulated rubber grips. Sam’s Club sells their “Bakers and Chefs” brand that are essentially restaurant store models, if you have a Sam’s nearby, but not a restaurant supply store.
Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about:
As for the OP, I don’t really know… I’d guess some kind of clad stainless steel cookware would be good; we have a full set of All-Clad, and several extra cruddy saucepans for boiling water, etc… (we have All-Clad ones too). We have a Regal American Kitchen stockpot that seems to be an excellent All-Clad Stainless competitor, but for much less. I think they’ve discontinued that line though.
Be careful about Calphalon or anything made of straight aluminum; they’re not supposed to be used in the dishwasher, which is a massive deal-breaker for my wife and I.
My personal opinion is that if you’re going to have good pans, you really need them in your skillets and saute pans, while your saucepans and stockpots don’t necessarily have to be so high quality.
I have these Calphalon Contemporary non-stick pans. Two pans, forty bucks. I actually bought two sets because Mrs. L.A. got the smaller one too hot and burned the coating off. I’ve been using the larger one for… six? Seven? Eight years? It’s holding up very well. The new larger pan is kept in reserve and has only been used a few times. The new smaller pan is in regular use and is also in quite good condition. I also have a heavy eight-inch KitchenAid pan that I bought when I was still in L.A. It’s close to 20 years old and is still ‘as good as new’. As long as you don’t get them too hot, and you never use metal utensils, they’ll last a long time and IMO are worth the extra cost vs. cheap pans. I very much like using heavy pans.
I did buy a cheap set of two non-stick pans (10" and 12") from BB&B specifically for omelettes. They wound up being used for other things. I seldom use them anymore because they’re light and are warping a bit, and because I use the heavier pans for omelettes.