08 August 2012

on skillets

Miso Glazed Salmon Steaks with Green Beans
{image credit: Kenchy}
I decided that cast iron is too much bother for me at the moment, so I'm going to stick with my standby: cold hard steel.

Though nonstick pans give me the heebie-jeebies, nothing beats them for omelets; this Paula Deen skillet works wonderfully for that purpose. For everything else on the stovetop, I try to use stainless steel. I recently discovered this lovely Calphalon skillet at TJ Maxx for $20 less than Amazon lists it (sticking it to Amazon! what!) and it is now my favorite piece of cookware. You gotta scrub it to get that shine, but that's what steel wool is for.

Scrambled eggs work just fine in stainless steel, by the way. Cook them in plenty of butter, keep the flame on the low side, and use a metal spatula to scrape the bottom. No problems and no Teflon flaking into your breakfast.

The rest of the collection: two small pots from Schulte-Ufer, a large stockpot from Kuhn Rikon, a huge high-sided skillet from Master Class . . . and every blessed one was found at TJ Maxx or Marshall's. :) None of it matches, but I don't mind. Each piece is all stainless steel with triple-ply bottom and sturdy construction, and with a dose of aforementioned steel wool, will gleam like new. That is what counts.

Oh. I forgot. I also have a tiny (like five inches in diameter) Revereware skillet I inherited from Jared's grandmother. It's perfect for melting butter. And with how much butter we go through, you better believe that thing gets used.

What pots and pans do you recommend?

Someday, when our elusive ship sails into port, I'll buy a full set of All-Clad. Heh.

p.s. The salmon in the picture looks fantastic. I've never tried miso . . . do you like it?


  1. Miso is delicious. I add it to homemade stock for a quick, savory broth, make salad dressing/pan sauce with it, or use it in miso soup. Plus, it keeps forever in the fridge.

    1. Oh good, I'm glad it keeps well. I am always timid about buying new ingredients if I feel that I'll have to use them up immediately.

  2. I have thought about pots A LOT this year. I was all about nonstick (because I am cleaning lazy) until I went to this special cooking demonstration to get free stuff (won 2 free nights in a hotel!) and sat through a demonstration on the no butter, grease, or water steel cooking pots. They told me all about the dangers of nonstick, cooked a meal with none of the above, and the pans cleaned easily. Then I found out that the 10 pan set was $4000. Yes, you read that number right.


    So, after getting abazillion gift cards, I went in to a kitchen goods store and spent a couple hours talking with the clerks (and had done my own research). Supposedly, a couple years ago, the fda passed new nonstick rules, and they have since revoked the warning for nonstick cookware, so long as it adheres to the new codes. RELIEF. Thus I am now in blissful love with my Calphalon nonstick set. I still have a trusty steal pot or two, and I would marry my heavy le creuset style dutch oven, but for day to day, I am all about the ease and unburnt food of the nonstick.

    Of course, in 50 years I may die of cancer from this decision. Or 9 million others that I make every day ; ).


    1. The thing that makes me leery of nonstick is the fact that the coating eventually.... disappears. Which means that it went somewhere. Which means that I ate it. Eh. I'm definitely not too concerned about the supposed offgassing chemicals, because I sure don't heat my pans to 500 degrees or whatever the danger point is :P

      All things considered, though, using nonstick pans is pretty low on my Danger List. I happen to like steel, so hurray, but in the end I care a lot more about artificial sweeteners and trans fats and junk like that.

      Also. I am so jealous that you have a Le Creuset. THAT is what I will actually buy when the ship arrives.