What pans are you guys personally using?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
May 12, 2023
Messages
793
Reaction score
2,146
Location
Philadelphia
Hey all,

Checking what you guys personally use for pans at home.

I got a great set of hand me downs that lasted a long time but the overall coating on them is wearing thin and I’m having consistent sticking problems

As such, I’m considering buying several pans / a set in the spring.

I’m considering going full carbon steel but a bit hesitant on the investment of time and energy to get them fully seasoned

Let me know about your favorite pans!
 
i use a 9"(?) carbon pan most of the time. i didnt waste a moment seasoning it,.. i just cleaned the heck out of it, and started using it.

i buy some random non-sticks from my restauarant supply house. never flipped them over to see the brand. having said that, my fav pan is my 14" carbon wok. or maybe my enamel dutch oven. i dont have pans to brag about at my house. .
 
Cast Iron skillets black and enameled (black vintage and an enameled Le Creuset bought on the marketplace for $15) and some SS skillets (5 ply) in different sizes. Sometimes I pull out my carbon steel when cooking for one.
 
Most used pans are 2 and 3 liter saucepans and 8 and 12 inch frying pans. For bigger preps like curries I use a double handled 14 inch flat sided saute pan. All my pans are either All Clad, Cuisinart French Classic or De Buyer Affinity.

Currently looking for a Dutch Oven pan.
 
Complete hodgepodge:
  • 1 small and large carbon steel skillet (Lodge and Paderno)
  • 1 stainless steel sauté pan (All Clad)
  • 2 enameled Dutch ovens (Le Creuset)
  • 1 enameled cast iron skillet (Lodge)
  • 1 small non-stick skillet (my wife's cooking pan)
  • 2 stainless stock pots (medium and large enough for canning) (no idea)
  • 1 stainless saucier (Misen)
 
We have a lot of Made In stuff. Very good quality but the price has crept up. We have a couple of their non-stick pans and they are really good. My wife loves them and they've held up well.

I'm personally gravitating back to cast iron just because I prefer it. I have an electric coil stove and found that carbon steel pans just didn't jive well with it. The seasoning wouldn't hold as well or be as even. If not for that, I'd use those in place of "non-stick" pans.
 
I have Demeyere's / all clads / crusets for most of cooking (hodgepodge of good deals i was able to find over years)...

but i have a hidden non-stick of a undisclosed brand in a undisclosed location where no family member can try find to use for eggs / pancakes.
 
I have 1 carbon steel OXO pan that I pretty much only use for eggs or things that really need non-stick. I wanted something really thin and light and I found that the concerns about it warping were way overblown, I blast that thing all the time.

For everything else I like tramonina stainless frying pans or my dutch ovens. I personally do not like cast iron at all
 
All of the following get heavy daily/weekly use:

10" carbon pan (Heart & Spade)
12" cast iron skillet (Lodge)
6.75qt Dutch Oven (Le Creuset)
2 liter stainless steel saucepan (All-Clad)
8 qt stainless steel stock pot (All-Clad)
3 qt stainless steel saute pan (All-Clad)

Used less frequently:

8" stainless steel skillet (All-Clad)
10" stainless steel skillet (All-Clad)
3 liter stainless steel saucepan (All-Clad)
8" non-stick skillet (forgot)

Pans I find myself wanting occasionally:

Ginormous stock pot
a saucier
a larger carbon steel pan... just because.
 
on top of my head:

demeyere stainless skillets (several 5- and 7-ply)

de buyer carbon skillet

vintage cast irons skillets (several)

restaurant supply stainless sauteuse 3-ply (most used, greatest pan i own)

vintage cast iron dutch ovens (several)

sauce pans: whatever

stock pots: whatever

chinese pressure cooker.

restaurant supply non stick skillet

no name tamago pan

.
 
I use a mix of cast iron (field being my general favorite, and one 10-inch butterpat, but have tried most makers at this point), carbon steel (Blanc Creatives and Mineral B), and all-clad D5 for anything that is too acidic or corrosive for cast iron or carbon steel. Don’t worry about the seasoning too much. Just cook with them, wash, heat dry with a little oil and rock on.

For sauce pans and the like, I use a mix of all clad and Falk copper. Falk cooks like a dream, but is heavy and not as well balanced as all clad.
 
Ginormous stock pot
hahha..my Father in law was a postal man. some random home gave him this GIANT stockpot. some no-name brand. i bet it holds five gallons. i use it for crab boils since i hate that moment the crab goes "full wide" and wont fit into my regular stockpot. good for non pressure canning.

i just used the tub to make about 2 gallons of chicken and pork stock. it was almost inimidating filling it up even 1/3 full. hahha.. it has a very thick welded on base for heat distribution and the sides are just thin stainless. i dont over think the stockpot anymore. any vessel will do. i store other kitchen gear inside of it most times. hahah..
 
Carbon is great and it doesn't take as much as you'd expect to get a good seasoning. One initial seasoning (as little oil as possible) and a couple cooking sessions and you'll have a good base that's relatively non stick with the right temp and fat.

For pans, my workhorses are a carbon DeBuyer mineral b pro 12.5" two handle, a stainless Made In 3.5 qt saute pan, and a cast iron Lodge 9" skillet. I could get by with pretty much everything I need with those three. Do have a hodge podge of other stainless and one non stick fry pan.
 
I tend to have multiple sizes of everything because I cook often for groups up to 24

5 sizes stainless sauté pans from 2.5 l up to about 12 l from fissler and sitram

2 sizes stainless skillets from demeyere

3 sizes carbon steel pans from matfer bouregart

A wok

2 le creuset Dutch ovens, both oval shaped

Copper 6 qt Dutch oven Mauviel (used to have lots more, gave them to a nephew)

A few metal pots from 1-12 quarts

A dozen or so clay pots/cazuelas/tagines

Zero coated nonstick pans

My favorites are the clay ones, but day to day the sauté pans are the workhorses of my kitchen
 
Last edited:
Mafter Bourgeat 12" most of the time. I really like Made In for stainless but only have one little pan.

Lodge 7q enamel Dutch oven is great
Lodge 4q cast iron Dutch oven is perfect for bread. Why do they not make these anymore?
 
I've got a mix but am heavily leaning cast iron/enameled these days. I had a glass top electric range before, and just got an induction range and it further cemented my preference for the cast iron because it doesn't make that obnoxious buzzing that my All-Clads do on the induction.

My most used pan by far is a Staub All-Day Pan that is just does it all. Easy to clean, can go in oven, lid fits tight. I use a Staub 7 qt Dutch oven for all my etouffees, gumbos, stews etc. It's just so good at its job and lid fits tighter than my mom's equivalent Le Creuset.

Been digging my Smithey #12 recently a lot too. I think it's marginally easier to clean than a Lodge but it's hard to say because I got it same time as induction range and the cooking temp is so precise you just burn stuff less often at large. Definitely not worth the price over a well seasoned Lodge if you're on a budget but damn is it good to look at.

Lodge 12", 10", and 8". Love em. Once you get a good seasoning they're far more nonstick than stainless.

All-Clad D3 3 qt sauce pan (pot), 3.5 qt saute pan, and 6 qt stockpot. They're all fine, I have a Brandless 8" skillet and 4 qt saute pan (5 ply) that cook about the same but the lids on the All-Clad stuff definitely fits better. Otherwise the stainless just doesn't do anything for me. They're not "bad" but I feel like they're more sticky (I cook with plenty of fat) and I don't get as good a brown in them. The sauce pot is a banger though, especially on induction.


Long story short: enameled or reg cast iron for saute pans/skillets/dutch ovens and stainless for sauce pots.
 
My most used pans, in order these days: 11" DeBuyer Mineral B Pro, 12" Stargazer Cast Iron, 12.6" Demeyere Proline
 
I've got a mix but am heavily leaning cast iron/enameled these days. I had a glass top electric range before, and just got an induction range and it further cemented my preference for the cast iron because it doesn't make that obnoxious buzzing that my All-Clads do on the induction.

My most used pan by far is a Staub All-Day Pan that is just does it all. Easy to clean, can go in oven, lid fits tight. I use a Staub 7 qt Dutch oven for all my etouffees, gumbos, stews etc. It's just so good at its job and lid fits tighter than my mom's equivalent Le Creuset.

Been digging my Smithey #12 recently a lot too. I think it's marginally easier to clean than a Lodge but it's hard to say because I got it same time as induction range and the cooking temp is so precise you just burn stuff less often at large. Definitely not worth the price over a well seasoned Lodge if you're on a budget but damn is it good to look at.

Lodge 12", 10", and 8". Love em. Once you get a good seasoning they're far more nonstick than stainless.

All-Clad D3 3 qt sauce pan (pot), 3.5 qt saute pan, and 6 qt stockpot. They're all fine, I have a Brandless 8" skillet and 4 qt saute pan (5 ply) that cook about the same but the lids on the All-Clad stuff definitely fits better. Otherwise the stainless just doesn't do anything for me. They're not "bad" but I feel like they're more sticky (I cook with plenty of fat) and I don't get as good a brown in them. The sauce pot is a banger though, especially on induction.


Long story short: enameled or reg cast iron for saute pans/skillets/dutch ovens and stainless for sauce pots.
I actually just purchased the Staub All-Day pan from Zwilling YE sale. Hasn't shipped yet, but am very excited for it.
 
hahha..my Father in law was a postal man. some random home gave him this GIANT stockpot. some no-name brand. i bet it holds five gallons. i use it for crab boils since i hate that moment the crab goes "full wide" and wont fit into my regular stockpot. good for non pressure canning.

i just used the tub to make about 2 gallons of chicken and pork stock. it was almost inimidating filling it up even 1/3 full. hahha.. it has a very thick welded on base for heat distribution and the sides are just thin stainless. i dont over think the stockpot anymore. any vessel will do. i store other kitchen gear inside of it most times. hahah..
This is my preferred beast of burden for large batch cooking:https://www.webstaurantstore.com/vo...stainless-steel-sauce-stock-pot/92277523.html

Has a thick aluminum layer, so distributes heat well and not too heavy when empty. Fully loaded its 50 pounds plus, but can’t be beat for large batches on a residential stove. Anything bigger and you’ll need a large outdoor burner.
 
I chose the low maintenance route having gone through the cast iron + carbon phase. My workhorses are a Demeyere 5ply 11", Demeyere Alupro 12" perfect pan, and Staub 6qt Cocotte. Gifted my Field + Stargazer to relatives and still have 2 mineral Bs + a matfer somewhere.
 
@dabes you might think I’m joking but I think I saw on Reddit that a guy made all of his carbon steel pans super super non-stick by taking them to a fast food Chinese place with $50 cash and they happily obliged.

I mean I’d pay $50 to get a few pans in great shape!
I actually think it's a great idea, you just gotta be careful not to burn the oil. If you brought them a wok they'd probably do it for free.
The situation brought me smiles tho
 
My lineup basically has 3 (or 4 if you're nitpicking) sets of pans / materials. I have 0 non-stick / for ever chemical crap pans.

-Carbon steel frying pans and what's basically a triple height frying pan (for deep frying), pretty much all the 3mm stuff from DeBuyer, in different sizes (24/28/32 cm). Mostly still used for non-stick purposes; main reason I have a lot is they were cheap and I got most of them before getting my stainless stuff. Technically there's a Darto in there too (the 35 cm paella) but that's mostly for oven purposes.
Carbon steel's main advantage IMO is that it's cheap and for the handful of times you actually do want something that's somewhat non-stick (most stuff stainless does just fine). Other than that they're really nothing special, I think they're a bit overhyped at this point. Paying top money for 'high end carbon steel' never made sense to me; that's like buying high-end plastic plates.

-Enamelled cast iron; a 26 and 28 cm dutch oven and a 28 cm braisier, all from staub... The main use for these is stews and soups, especially since I tend to leave those in the pan for multiple days - something stainless doesn't necessarily take too kindly to. I think that's also their main raison d'être; from a cooking perspective I sincerely doubt you'd notice a difference in blind taste tests when comparing to stews and soups prepped in normal stainless stuff. I guess bread baking is a bit of a niche exception, but just about any cheap cast iron pot will do for that.

-Stainless stuff. And if you wanted to split hairs there's basically 2 groups here. I have all the 'cheap stuff'; the big pots (2x5l, 1x10l) for stuff like soups, boiling potatos, etc, and a bunch of 2l saucepans (mostly used for reheating, boiling small portions, that sort of thing).

Then I have the proper clad stuff, for where the performance really matters. Demeyere proline 24+28 (for meat work), Demeyere multiline 24+28+32 (for just about anything else), and recently I got a Demeyere ecoline 28 (curiosity got the better of me recently during a great sale, but also for convenience since the 28 is my most used size).
On top of that my sauciers; 2x Ikea Sensuell 24 cm. Sadly they don't make these anymore since they're some of the most versatile pans around - and there's no real cheap alternative. Eventually I'll likely end up replacing these with conical sauciers from the Demeyere Atlantis line, and I'll be adding 2x 20 cm models.

And then.... I'm ready to not buy pans anymore for the next 50 years. :D

I'd say probably close to 90% of my cooking is done in the Demeyere frying pans and the stainless sauciers. They just have the best performance and they're the most convenient no-fuss, 0 maintenance option.
Carbon steels is nice because it's cheap (and it's a good way to build some volume into your arsenal) but I wouldn't want to have a set with only carbon steel.
 
If you're not sure about the 'commitment' of a carbon steel pan (seasoning wise) the solution is to just get one, and see how it works for you. Although I don't really see a good alternative. Carbon steel and bare cast iron are pretty similar in use, and all the coated crap is stuff we should really stop using.
Just keep in mind that the majority of your cooking does just fine in an unseasoned stainless pan. You don't really need a set of 6 perfectly seasoned carbon steel pans.
 
Just curious for those with Carbon steel, has anyone taken their pans to a fast food Chinese place with some cash and asked them to season them like the woks / dragons breath?

What type of cook top do you have? It's really not that big of a deal to get the initial seasoning.

Also, if you have a charcoal grill, you can get them pretty hot that way. But again, it isn't as terrible as we so often see. It's a lot like all the noise about carbon steel blades that can make them intimidating until you try them and realize it isn't nearly the big issue some make it out to be.

I was always able to get a pretty good initial seasoning, it was not having to come off that I encountered issues with. Coil stoves don't spread the heat out like other types so I would spots that were cold and spots that were very hot.
 
If you're not sure about the 'commitment' of a carbon steel pan (seasoning wise) the solution is to just get one, and see how it works for you. Although I don't really see a good alternative. Carbon steel and bare cast iron are pretty similar in use, and all the coated crap is stuff we should really stop using.
Just keep in mind that the majority of your cooking does just fine in an unseasoned stainless pan. You don't really need a set of 6 perfectly seasoned carbon steel pans.

Hmm, I think I have the opposite opinion.

The ability of carbon steel pans to hold seasoning appears to vary a bit. DeBuyer was so much better than the previous ones I had (Matfer, MadeIn) that I had basically given up on the material until a sale happened. Big step up though hardly an "expensive" pan.

Also re coating, I actually want to try out one of the Hestan Nanobond pans. Apparently they are a step change from prior efforts to make coated pans. 300 is a lot for a pan though I will grant.
 
Back
Top