What is your everyday cooking pan? And Why?

I used to cook in non stick Teflon pans until the coating started to peel off and until I found out about the Teflon negative impacts.
so now i'm using stainless steel pan with a heavy bottom layer (mostly) and cast iron pot (for heavy slow cooking).

stainless steel gives a nice crust but tends to stick with food - even if I follow the hot oil/pan method.
Cleaning of sticky steel pan is no more of an issue since I found an easy way around (just heat up water and some dish liquid soap and simmer does the trick for me).

just wondering what you use for everyday cooking and why u use that specific pan?
also, are there any good non stick pan out there? I'm really skeptical about long term & prolong use of these non stick material now.



petitbleu February 21, 2013
Our 6-quart All-Clad sauté pan (heavy with high sides and a lid). We use it every day, and it's incredibly versatile. It's oven safe, making it great for baking, roasting, braising, etc. And we also use it for everything from stir-fries to refried beans. It's nice and heavy, and since we have an electric range, it helps even out the heat, and once you get it hot there's no stopping it! Love that thing.
MDC February 21, 2013
Le Crusset Dutch Oven
All clad french skillets (I have several in various sizes) they're a great "general purpose" pan.
Pressure cooker for stocks, beans, steaming, canning etc
pierino February 14, 2013
I am the proud owner of perhaps 100 pots and pans. It just depends on the task. For daily use I prefer the French style carbon steel type. Thin, with skinny handles. If you've ever looked inside an "open kitchen" style restaurant kitchen, that's what they are using back there. On the television cooking shows you will see the cooks using high end, expensive tools. Why? Because they are advertisers. In the real world that stuff would be destroyed after one dinner service with maybe 100 covers.
Mervyn,Lau February 14, 2013
what is carbon steel pans btw? they are not stainless steel right? I've seen one of an old kitchen shop (I bought a nice 8cm cast iron pan there for like 10$.. love it!)

does the steel pan rust with time? any specific way to handle them? or we can use as normal stainless steel?
what are the advantages of them?
sorry so many questions!!
pierino February 14, 2013
Mervyn,the big advantage to using carbon steel pans is that they are inexpensive. You can find them at restaurant supply stores. If you give them a thorough beating up you haven't lost much. Minimal periodic seasoning helps keep thm going. Unless you have massive forearms (I don't) you won't be tossing omelets in cast iron---not that I don't like cast iron for fried chicken. Again back to basics, think about how you your ownself cooks. What is it that you make most often? Use that as your beginning point.
fionula February 14, 2013
Le creuset for everything but frying--soups stews sauces. Heavy bottom stainless for frying. Whatever for boiling watery things. Pressure cooker for grains and pulses. No more nonstick here either.
Mervyn,Lau February 14, 2013
I like creuset too.. have a nice 28mm deep casserole and a grill cast iron.
did u try staub too? I'm thinking of it next
QueenSashy February 13, 2013
I too am not a fan of non-stick and do not use it at all. I know that it's not really justified, especially with the advances in the non-stick technology, but I am of a worrying kind... All my everyday (and special occasion) cooking happens in stainless steel (Mauviel) and cast iron (Le Creuset). Altogether I have about eight pieces, and they cover all my cooking needs. 

Voted the Best Reply!

trampledbygeese February 13, 2013
I like my cast iron for most things, but I do use stainless steal as well.

Anything frying gets cast iron.

Stainless still can be just like non-stick cookware. But there are a few things you need to do from the start. First, buy good, heavy bottom stainless steal pots. Make sure that they are the right ones for your stove - there's a difference in ones made for gas and ones made for electric. Second, NEVER EVER use anything metal in them, EVER. Not to clean, not to serve, not to stir. The key to keeping them non stick is to not scratch the bottom. Even a light scratch will make it sticky. You can polish it again with stainless steel polish that is made especially for pots, or even a light backing soda and cloth dampened with vin. Third, never add salt to cold water, this will pit the pots and ruin the non-stick. Make sure the water is hot first and stir to dissolve immediately. And last of all, never let anyone not trained in how to clean these pots do the dishes.

We have a set of Langastina (not sure how to spell this), they have no coating on them or anything, but they have acted like non-stick (even for frying at high temp) for at least the last 8 years. That is until last month when someone thought they should help (against our direct instruction) and do the dishes. They used a scrub bud and deeply scratched the inside of the pans. Now it sticks like crazy. That's a $200 pan ruined with one good intention. Use a wooden scraper if you have some really tough cleaning to do, but other wise, soap, water, and a gentle cotton cloth. Or learn the tricks to get impossibly stuck food off the pans.
trampledbygeese February 13, 2013
I need to add, the polish only works with light scratches. Deep pits and scratches are almost impossible to get out. Takes about 2 hours of steady scrubbing and then, well, you'v worn away a good chunk of the pan. nasty. Prevention is best.
Mervyn,Lau February 14, 2013
thanks for these insights.
I didn't know about the cleaning part!! I've been using those 3M sponges with scrub!!

thanks again!
Greenstuff February 13, 2013
My everyday cooking pans range from my mother's ancient Revereware very thin, I only use it with water) to stainless (I love all my Demeyere) to plain and enamel-coated cast iron to ceramic (love, love, love Emile Henry ceramic flame ware). I never had much interest in non-stick until this fall, when I broke my wrist and needed both some lighter weight and easier clean-up options. It's too early to say for sure, but I've been pretty impressed with the Scanpan that I bought. It's a ceramic-titanium coating that's tough enough to use metal utensils, and while it's non-stick, things also brown quite well. And PFOA- and PFOS-free, since that's a concern of yours.
Mervyn,Lau February 14, 2013
thanks for your insights. appreciate that!
may I know how long you have the scanpan? I was thinking of it too.. but not sure whether it can take high heat cooking and whether the coating can last
Greenstuff February 14, 2013
I've had the Scanpan for less that 6 months, so I can't attest to how long it will last. But I used it every day for several months and liked it quite well. They say that it can take high heat, and it can go in the oven up to 500°F. The video on how they blast the coating into the pan is fun to watch.
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