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Replacing non-stick fry pans with light (not cast iron) alternatives


Stumpy in cold weather
Howdy all.

I want to get my parents some new cookware, specifically some new fry pans to replace the non-stick ones they have now (and which are getting that disturbing "non-stick stuff degrading and falling apart" look.)

My folks are getting a bit on the old side, and while my Dad does some of the cooking, for my Mum especially the weight of cast iron is an absolute non-starter.


That said ...

Please recommend to me a good, inexpensive, non-non-stick, non-cast-iron fry pan(s)/wok/pots &c. Ideally, something that Amazon can just deliver right to their door ... now, there's a nice surprise for ya!!


I’m stumped
I would lean towards carbon steel pans. They are similar to a cast iron pan as they need to be seasoned but are lighter.
They have different thickness to steels so some are heavier than others.
I have de buyer mineral b and like them a lot. There are other brands and I think De Buyer also have lighter for their carbon steel as well.


"A Boy Named Sue"
Hey Ian, don't be afraid to go back to the non-stick if you have to. I just bought an Allclad (gift certificate) and the quality is top notch and improved from just a few years ago.

First choice (IMHO) is what Chris recommended.
im interested in this as well. My non-stick pans are shot and I need some new ones. I'm not a fan of replacing non-stick pans every couple years, so I may go a different route.
Personally, I would try to narrow it down to the absolute MINIMUM number of teflon cooking utensils. Really, other than eggs, is teflon necessary? So a single low cost teflon pan for eggs that can be replaced periodically (I got a decade out of my Berndes one) is probably all that is necessary, the rest can be stainless steel/aluminum. The wife just dropped $125 for a real nice caphalon signiature teflon pan (square griddle) from Pampered chef which is ludicrous to me, though it cooks real nice.

The thing with teflon is that it allows them to make the rest of the pan out of aluminum (which, by itself, isn't a good cooking surface I don't think) so all the lightweight stuff usually goes this route. High quality pans are layers of steel/aluminum/copper for the superior thermal properties/induction capability but they are heavier.

You can go hard anodized aluminum, but I'm not sure if it matches teflon for non-stickiness, same with the ceramic stuff. Light weight = poor heat retention as a general rule of thumb, which is an undesired quality for most cookware. But for a fry pan or two, hard anodized aluminum would be the lightest in weight and at least non-sticky enough for most purposes beyond eggs.
Lodge seasoned steel is a nice, lighter weight alternative to cast iron.

I have some of these. They're excellent. While they aren't exactly light, they're far lighter than cast iron.

The de Byer mineral B pans look awesome, but I can't say first hand.

The Lodge steel pans I got in a rather large hardware store. Not sure Amazon has them.


Wanting for wisdom
I've never tried these but they seem to be along the lines you are looking for. Swiss Diamond. Cast aluminum, oven safe to 500 degrees. Currently my favourite pans are carbon steel DeBuyer. Nobody would mistake these for being light.
Another way to go would be with just a regular All Clad or Mauviel in stainless. Not as heavy as cast iron and the performance is pretty good, although I find clean up a bit harder with these.
You will either want stainless or anodized aluminum for them. Stainless is the lowest maintenance. Anodized aluminum is nice, but I wouldn't buy a whole set. I just have a small pan for frying eggs.

As far as stainless goes, you can pick up a whole set of the Cuisinart brand for a good price. Allclad is awesome, but I doubt you want to drop that cash on pans for the folks. Our Cuisinart pans were a gift for our wedding, and are still going strong 5 years later. I fully expect another 5 or more out of them.


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
I have 2 LeCreuset non-stick pans. I bought them in 2013 (both) from the Bay on special (they were 50% off or something, if you can wait, wait for the special as The Bay will have them on discount 2-3 times per year).

Since I bought both, no chipping and the sticking is really not there. I have a crêpière to make crêpes and pan cakes. I use it mainly to cook my tortillas as I can make 3 at the time (it's a large pan). The tortilla will stick for a minute in it and the it will unstick by itself. I rarely grease the pan but do it maybe once every 2 weeks where I use it a few times a week. I mainly use butter to grease it.

Both pans never saw any metallic utensil, only plastic, rubber or wood. I use a soft sponge to clean them (no soap).

Overall, I believe that if they would die on me, I would buy the same again.

This is what I have
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