I do not cook often, nor do I cook particularly well. However, when I do cook I like to have the right tools to enjoy the experience. In the past this has led to indulgences such as fine cutlery and everyday items such as Pyrex dishes. My current search is for a replacement for the 8 inch frying pans that have deteriorated in my kitchen.
My wife and I both brought frying pans to our marriage. Of the three, two survived the initial sorting. Both of those have now seen the end of their useful lives. The discoloration of the bottom of the pans is a mere nuisance and not worthy of retirement. The interior surface is another story. Both pans have non-stick Teflon coatings. Food sticks to both pans. While this is not the end of the world, it is something I would like to resolve.
The most obvious question is whether to proceed with another non-stick pan or to “graduate” to a stainless steel pan. I am a big fan of stainless steel for sauces and have only one non-stick sauce pan. However, I have never worked with a stainless steel fry pan. It should not be too daunting as I typically cook with butter or light oil and do not appreciate the health aspects of non-stick cookware. For now, I will keep the training wheels on and stay with non-stick pans.
As far as name recognition, I immediately jumped to Calphalon and surveyed their line in store and on line. My biggest gripe was that most of the line was not dishwasher safe. The $65-$85 price tag for an 8 inch fry pan was a close second on the gripe meter.
Further exploration on line led to a review that included Calphalon, WearEver, Cuisinart and Wolfgang Puck. This review ranked Cuisinart the best with WearEver and Calphalon battling it out for second. The 8 inch WearEver is offered for $14.99 at Kitchen Collection and if a lid is that important to me, I can get one for $6.99 at the same store. The Cuisinart is a little more expensive at $24.99 but my decision will probably come down to feel as there is an outlet within 10 miles of the house.