Just before you go shopping for a Emeril Lagasse Forever Pans Reviews 2023, whether in a niche cookware shop or a big department store, you imagine it to be an exhausting task. You know the wide variety is going to shock you, that it will not make your decision any easier, and for a moment you are quite jealous of your grandmother for having had an easy time, for having had one fry pan (until you remember how difficult it was to wash that one pan and you are, again, happy to go shopping). Well, it’s not exhausting if you are prepared, know the differences and decide what you want before you ever step out of your house:
There is a wide selection of shapes, material, coatings, and you also need to, at the same time, keep in mind what YOU like, what YOUR uses are, what makes YOU comfortable in a kitchen, and what YOU can afford to pay.
The basic pan varieties are made from: Stainless Steel, Cast (Iron or Aluminum), Aluminum (regular or Hard Anodized) and Copper. A good solution when it comes to cookware is the combination between materials- such as the three layer Stainless Steel cookers, where the outer layers are a hard, resistant Stainless Steel yet the middle layer is a heat conducting, efficient, Copper or Aluminum layer.
Since Aluminum is relatively cheap, pans made from it are usually economical, but you should take care as they can bend or dent rather easily. An option is to pay a higher price for the more costly “Hard Anodized” (an Electrolyzed Aluminum) that is much tougher. All modern Aluminum frying pans will have a non stick coat on them since cooking directly on Aluminum is no longer recommended. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat (it heats us quite quickly, saving energy, and it does cool down fast once removed from the heat source).
A word about non-stick coatings: some are sold as naturally manufactured and “Green”, but there have been voices saying they are a bit less efficient, than older versions of the non-stick coating. Generally, if the coat is unscratched, and pan is used according to manufacturer’s instructions, you can, in my opinion, use any non stick coat without compromising your health, but taking environmental factor into consideration- does sometimes mean we make an effort today to assure a brighter tomorrow, even selecting cookware is not always just about efficiency. Make sure to use non metallic spoons with all non-stick coatings, and store carefully so the coat will not scratch, and it will last longer. But remember: a coat, no matter how good, is still an external coat, and not the material itself, and it will eventually, at some point in the future, wear off.
Cast iron frying pans are very special and are, on the one hand, some of the most durable frying pans offered, and when the entire pan is cast iron, they can easily be used in ovens. But, on the other hand, they are very delicate when not in use, and should be handled with care when stored (completely dried, coated in oil and wrapped in an air-tight plastic bag before storage to prevent rust and corrosion). They are the best for a limited range of uses and cannot replace a simple, general-use pan for all your other frying needs.
Frying pans can be found in any size between 10cm (4 inch) and 36cm (14 inch), a general-use fry pan should be about 26 cm (10 inch) in diameter, big enough for a few scrambled eggs and a couple of sausages, or 4 medium size pieces of Chicken breast. Heating an over-sized pan, while it is comfortable it is also costly, since you waste energy heating a surface you will not use. Also remember that not using the entire surfaces might result in temperature differences on the pan surface.
Handle and Knob
Most pans do not have a lid, if one is important for you- consider buying a sauté pan that will have a lid but, will probably be a bit wider and deeper than a frying pan. A glass lid is comfortable for looking in on the food, but it limits the temperature resistance of the pan (in case you would like to place it in an oven), as do handle materials such as wood or Bakelite. If putting the pan in the oven is something you do often when cooking, consider a frying pan that has a lid and handle from the same materials as the body (easily found in Stainless Steel, which offers the ability to place in an oven as hat as you like for as long as you like).
A good selection of fry pans for an average kitchen would include: 3 sizes of Aluminum non-stick coated pans, a cast iron medium sized pan, a bigger Stainless Steel sauté pan and a large wok. That would fill your basic needs, and save you money without compromising your comfort.