Very few kitchen equipment manufacturers ever bother to ask a chef to help them with the design of kitchen equipment, large or small, which is very disappointing. So when I take the time to review a product I ask myself, would I have this in my own kitchen? Then review the product honestly.
As a chef who blogs I often get offered products for review but most of them I turn down, because when I take a closer look at the item it quickly becomes clear that the design or the quality are not good enough.
I want a frying pan I can use on the stove top but also transfer to the oven if the recipe calls for it. In a restaurant many dishes are started in a hot pan on the stove to seal or sear the outside before being transferred into the oven to finish the cooking off. Many home cooks might seal their chicken breasts in a frying pan and then move the chicken to a ovenproof dish or tray to finish the cooking, leaving you with an extra tray to wash up instead of just the frying pan. Plus the fact that moving your chicken breasts from a hot frying pan onto a cold baking tray is going to slow up the cooking process.
I also look for a balance of price versus performance, so let me explain a little more about the component parts of a nonstick frying pan.
I have never been a fan of non metal handles, if a pan gets hot you fold up a thick oven cloth to protect yourself when picking up the pan, simple. Yet more and more frying pans are appearing with stay-cool ‘Bakelite’ handles, or other types of plastic coated handles to prevent them from getting hot. The down side of this type of handle is the temperature limitation of “plastic handles”, at around 170 C and how long you can have the pan in the oven. I want a good solid metal easy to grip handle that is riveted to the side of the pan that can be transferred into a hot oven of up to 210 C (which is gas mark 6 or 410 F) if the recipe calls for it.
The body of the pan
Generally speaking they are made from aluminium or stainless steel or a combination of the two. The downside of all aluminum frying pans is eventually they will warp and you will end up with a raised “crown” in the centre of the pan making it impossible for all of the pan to touch the heat source. This warping can happen on gas and electric stoves, but is more common on solid plate electric hobs. Another type of frying pan is made from anodised aluminum, which is created by passing an electrical current through the metal which makes the aluminium less soft and therefore more hardwearing. Anodised frying pans tend to warp a lot less than frying pans made from regular aluminium but still more than stainless steel. Here’s a useful link if you’d like to read more about why pans warp.
Contrary to many manufacturing claims, I have never seen a nonstick coat be 100% nonstick after more than 3-4 years; so whilst the body of the pan may still be in excellent condition, once it is no longer nonstick most people throw them out and buy a new pan.
These days you see frying pans coated in ceramic material that claims to healthier than a more traditional non-stick teflon type coating. Well, I’m not a scientist so I can not speak to the claims made about which coating is the healthiest to use, but I can tell you as a chef that at the moment in 2020 that the non-stick properties of ceramic frying pans is not as good as the more traditional types.
Stellar 7000 nonstick 30cm frying pan
I was sent this frying pan to review and as I said a the top of this article, I try products out for some time before I am prepared to give my views to my readers.
A 30cm pan is a good size to have because you can usually fit 4 portions of most food items into it at one time. I also like that the depth of this pan is slightly deeper at 7cm. It is important before you buy that at least one of your hob “burners” is large enough to cover the base of the pan. It is also important to make sure your oven is large enough to accomodate the frying pan and its handle, so the oven door can close. I do also have 28cm frying pans to use when cooking for less than 4 people.
- Product details
Made from 18/10 stainless steel,this frying pan has thick ‘hot forged’ base giving it a very even heat distribution.
- It can be used in ovens up to 210 C to give maximum flexibility in how you use it.
- Its triple coated Teflon Pro Platinum non-stick coating is (PFOA Free) and very easy to clean
- Suitable to be used on all types of hobs (stoves) Gas, Halogen, Ceramic, & Solid Plate
- Induction Suitable
- Lifetime guarantee
- 10 year guarantee on the nonstick surface as long as you follow the care and safety advice.
- Weight: 771g
- Height: 7.0cm
- Width: 21.5cm
- Length: 37.0cm
Quality versus Price
I was suitably impressed with the build quality, and at the current price of £47 (on the makers site) I think it is a good buy. I’m not sure any nonstick surface will last 10 years but if it lasts 4-5 years, in my opinion that makes this pan a bargain. Obviously you need to use soft nylon or wooden kitchen utensils to protect the nonstick surface.
To protect your frying pans
You need to avoid thermal shock where possible. This means it is better to heat the pan up to medium rather than high when the pan is empty. Thermal shock can also be caused by pouring cold water into a very hot pan when leaving it to leave it to soak. You should instead allow the pan to cool, then use hot soapy water and let the pan soak before washing gently.
Storing your pans
How you store your frying will also play a part in keeping your nonstick pans nonstick for as long as possible and this is how I do it: First off, most people have quite a few pots and pans so they can very easily end up stacked on one another. I store my frying pans upside down inside a little invention of my own called Pan Saver the terry towel material protects the nonstick surface (see photo).
My apologies to my American readers because when it comes to kitchen equipment what is sold in the Europe is not exactly the same in the USA. Whilst models and brands do vary, I still hope there are many useful tips about nonstick frying pans you can take from this article. If a brand is sold in both the UK and US it is more expensive in the UK. So if it costs $63 dollars in the US it will cost £63 in the UK ($73 at current rates). If you go looking on the internet you can spend up to £294 for a 30cm Le Creuset 2300 Stainless steel non-stick frying pan, but unless the non-stick surface is going to last 25 years why would you?