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Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Posted by northcarolina (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 14, 12 at 15:19

Not sure which forum to post this on... I use my cast iron pans for nearly everything, but my eggs stick a bit. I got rid of all my Teflon-coated pans (they were scratched) and don't want another one like that. (I realize there are conflicting reports on their safety -- it's that, plus I don't want to worry about somebody using a metal spatula.) What works for you all for eggs, besides Teflon? I'd also like the pan to be compatible with induction in case I take that plunge. Would enameled cast iron work? Something else?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I use a cast iron pan for my eggs. I picked up a vintage-but-unused Wagner 8" one recently at a thrift store. After seasoning, its interior is smooth and glossy. I do omelets in it and use a silicon spatula as my utensil of choice. I do need to use some fat (butter), but not much.

The rest of the family likes fried eggs, and if doing their own, use a teflon coated pan. I have a couple of cheapies that ONLY get used for eggs on low heat. One is induction compatible, but many are not. I don't worry about teflon's so-called "health" issues. It's just that teflon coated pans just don't last very long. Even if you baby them (no high heat, no metal utensils, hand wash only), they lose their non-stickiness regardless of how much you pay for them. But I expect to bequeath the Wagner to someone special when I pass on....


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I suggest trying carbon steel. Has most of the advantages of cast iron (which, like you, I adore). You can use a metal spatula, of course, and it is lighter than cast iron. I have had one for only a few weeks, but so far I like it a lot. Clearly, I am still building up a seasoning, but, coincidentally, I just made fried eggs and had no sticking.

I am tempted to try the original ScanPan, too, but have no experience.

The non-stick-type pan that I liked the best was a Green Pan. This is a bit tougher than most non-sticks; still has most of their disadvantages, unfortunately.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Well-seasoned vintage (as opposed to the coarse, heavily-coated, modern Lodge junk) is virtually non-stick for me. If you've been using Lodge pans, try to get an old Wagner or Griswold, get it seasoned well and you should see a difference.

If you're planning to use the pans on an induction top be sure they are completely smooth, flat and unwarped on the bottom, without any ring which, even though it is tiny, interferes with good close contact.

Enameled cast iron is less-non-stick than plain cast iron, in my many years of experience with them. (I've used high- end French pans like Le Creuset, Dutch and Scandinavian and cheaper MS and WalMart enamled CI.)

A little butter never hurts, either.

L.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I agree, vintage cast iron is the way to go, but if you don't mind putting in a few minutes of your time, you can sand down the inside of your pan to a very smooth finish and then season them. I use a brass wire wheel on any that I buy that don't have a smooth finish. They feel like glass when I'm done. I know others use sandpaper. Honestly, you would really have to try hard to damage the pan in anyway, but just remember to season after doing this if you decide it's worth your time.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

As long as we're here, could you please describe "seasoning" as you understand it?


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I also agree with cooksnews, lirio, and mrs.MM that smooth cast iron is a delight. People always say to buy vintage Griswold or Wagner, which is a fine idea. However, a company called American Culinary bought all the rights and molds for BOTH of those companies, and is in business making NEW smooth cast-iron cookware. I do not have direct experience, but I wouldn't mind giving them a try. They are cheap enough; an 8" polished Wagner skillet is only $17.50.

Of course, the carbon steel pans I wrote about earlier are very, very smooth inside.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Wagner/Griswold maker


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

When I season cast iron, I just spread a light coat of oil on the inside and outside, put them in an 450 degree oven upside down for about an hour and then let them cool in there. I repeat a few times on new or newly acquired cast iron. I use mine almost every day, so I don't wash them, just scrape and wipe with a paper towel. Using more oil than necessary will gum up your pans, so I just put a few drops of oil in the pans and spread it around with a paper towel. If food starts sticking, I recoat with oil while the pan is still hot, let it cool, and wipe out excess oil.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I got great nonstick pans for my induction cooktop. I got the 8" one just for eggs, actually. Two are called "TVS" and they're made in Italy. I found them at TJ Maxx. Unfortunately, when I went back to get a larger one, they were gone, so I got an Oneida nonstick skillet from BB&B that is induction friendly. I've used them all for 10 months, and they show no sign of wear. If they're teflon, it must be new improved teflon.

I see different European nonstick pans at Marshalls and TJ Maxx regularly. European pans seem to be more likely to be induction capable.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I got great nonstick pans for my induction cooktop. I got the 8" one just for eggs, actually. Two are called "TVS" and they're made in Italy. I found them at TJ Maxx. Unfortunately, when I went back to get a larger one, they were gone, so I got an Oneida nonstick skillet from BB&B that is induction friendly. I've used them all for 10 months, and they show no sign of wear. If they're teflon, it must be new improved teflon.

I see different European nonstick pans at Marshalls and TJ Maxx regularly. European pans seem to be more likely to be induction capable.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Sorry for the duplicate post. I got that "internal server error" message, and it looked like it hadn't gone through. Seems to happen a lot lately.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

My DH eats scrambled eggs every morning. We've had the Cuisinart GreenGourmet pan for about two years. It's the best we've found. Use it only for eggs, and if it starts to stick after several months, scrub it with baking soda. It will be as good as new.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I won't make scrambled eggs in my Griswold cast iron skillets because they leave a mess to clean on the skillet, but I always fry my egg in my small one. I use PAM spray on the hot skillet, and to clean I wipe the skillet out with a paper towel after it cools. Never had a problem with it.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Always let the pan heat up before you put anything in it. Cast iron is very nice and bulletproof but not foolproof. I use 50/50 bacon fat/EVOO for eggs and it works fine.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I agree about the cuisinart green gourmet. The nonstick is a ceramic, not a Teflon. So more durable, and chemically inert. Around $30 for the egg pan, so not a terrible high price.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Thank you all for the ideas! Maybe I'll try hitting the skillet I've been using for scrambled eggs with some sandpaper. It's an older one (not THAT old since it has "Made in Taiwan" stamped on it) and the bottom surface is smooth, but for some reason there are little concentric grooves around the sides. It's great to know that somebody is making the smooth cast iron ones again. I like my Lodge pan fine but it sometimes leaves a gray residue on light-colored food (this may be also because I cook tomato sauce and all that stuff you're not supposed to cook in cast iron in it). If I can't get my old pans to work with some smoothing out and extra seasoning, I'll look into some of the other options you all have given me. Thanks!


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

May_flowers and Julie, are the Green Gourmet pans compatible with induction? I don't see it mentioned on the site.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Before I converted to induction, I found the Green pans a better alternative to Teflon.

Tonight I seared skinless chicken breasts with a scant amount of oil on my well seasoned carbon steel, my first try with something so lean. It was like cooking with Teflon. Definitely worth the time seasoning it and cast iron.

Thanks for the recommendations for vintage / smooth cast iron as I still need a piece or 2.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

From what I read, there's a SS model that is. I don't have induction.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Angie, thanks for the post about new Griswold, Wagner pans. It's good to know.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Angie_DIY, the carbon steel looks like a great alternative too -- I'll look into it some more. (But I do have the site for the slick cast iron bookmarked!)


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I use enameled cast iron with a bit of butter and have never had a sticking problem. The other thing I see is that people use too high of heat with their eggs no matter which pan. Makes 'em stick and makes 'em tough.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I cook eggs in a small cast iron pan. I use a good coating of olive oil instead of butter and usually don't have problems with sticking.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I'm a cast iron guy too. I do have a green pan but use it rarely, my wife uses it more ( I got it to heat up potstickers as they would stick in EVERYTHING). I have an old Gris. round skillet that's mirror smooth and a 10" chicken fryer that just say's 'made in USA', pretty old and also has a mirror like finish. I have purchased some newer Lodge cast stuff (within the last 5-10 years) and while the mirror finish of the older pans is nice I don't notice a lot of problems with the newer stuff. The oldest Lodge I purchased has already gotten completely smooth (w/out sanding), the largest is used less frequently and is only beginning to smooth out. I got a reversible Lodge griddle/grill a couple month ago and the 1st thing I cooked on it was pancakes and eggs. My wife likes 'em sunny and runny, w/butter (why wouldn't you use it) I had no issue making non stick eggs 1st time on that rough surface. Temp is very important, I don't add oil until the pan is almost up to temp. One reason I use cast is due to flavor, a pancake made on a non-stick (other than cast) surface will never taste like one made on cast. When I was a kid I always wondered why camp pancakes tasted better than the ones I made on the electric griddle we always had. The 1st time I made them @ home on cast I knew. I have a whole set of hi-end clad steel pans that I hardly ever use. I won't say I make everything in cast but at least 80%.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Just made a 4-egg omelet in my carbon-steel pan, and I was able to flip the omelet no problem!


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Yum! This thread is making me hungry, as I'm jotting down all the great advice! :-)


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Flipping omelets (or anything else), now that is something I haven't yet learned how to do. I use spatulas for everything. My go-to pan has straight sides; hmm, an excuse to get a new one, so I can have sloped sides for flipping. ha! Point well taken about the temperature of the pan.

I let it get too hot last night while I was cooking okra -- I took it all the way off the heat for a few minutes and was thinking how nice it would be to have induction so I could lower the temp instantly -- then chuckled to myself because of course it was a cast iron pan, it wasn't going to cool off fast no matter what kind of heat source I was using. :)


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

To be fair, I used a spatula to "help it along." Yes, sloped sides are necessary if you are not going to use a spatula! And, as Julia Childs pointed out, so is a lot of conviction.

My go-to cast iron pan is deep with straight walls -- about 4" walls or so. I do omelets in there, and flip them, but a spatula is vital.

Too funny about the induction/cast iron realization!


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Northcarolina, you mentioned using sandpaper on your pans. I'm curious whether your scrub them when you clean them? For a good seasoned surface on cast iron, you must never scrub them with anything stiffer than a soft vegetable brush. Even a green scrubbie is too abrasive.

I've been cooking on Griswold's for over 40 years and it took me 20 years to fully learn how to care for them. I never use soap anymore and never scrub them. I currently use a soft Oxo round brush under hot running water for about 1 minute to clean them. The bottoms of the pans have a dull powdery sheen to them when dry. Nothing sticks. An omelet will easily slide around in the pan. When cooking, once the pan is hot, I use a dab of butter about the size of a fingernail or a few drops of oil. After cooking or between items, I lightly scrape the hot pan with a spatula. The pan can then be cleaned whenever it's convenient.

I also have a newer cast iron circular griddle that has the circular machining marks on the cooking surface. I can say that with regular use it takes about five years for the machining marks to fill in with carbon and become smooth. This pan now works just as well as my Griswolds.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Sometimes if I have something kinda 'sticky' in my cast iron, I'll deglaze it with water while it's still on the fire. Makes it real easy to scrape most of it clean with a metal spatula and then finish up whatever is left at the sink.

I read a good article about cast iron and to always use a metal spatula as that helps 'smooth' the surface down, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: cast iron pan care


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I just use stainless steel for scrambled or fried eggs because the cast iron is too heavy for me. The key to having the eggs not stick (at all) with stainless is to get the pan hot before you put the fat in. Hot pan, cold fat (butter or oil) over the whole surface, and the eggs shouldn't stick. It doesn't take much--just enough to coat. Mine come out with the pan looking clean except for the slight amount of oil on the pan's surface.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Deedles, great link. I agree with just about everything she says except I do not grease the pans between use. They are stacked largest to smallest in the cupboard with cloth between each one. Never had any rust. One thing I did not mention is that I do dry them on a medium burner after rinsing. I turn the burner on when I start rinsing the pan and turn it off as soon as I put the pan on the stove. I don't know how I will do it when I move to induction.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Oh, that's a great link, I am dying to try popcorn in cast iron now (from the link at the bottom of that page).

I do scrub my pans, and with a metal scrubby thing because I had read once that you should use a metal brush. Well it does make sense that that would be taking off the seasoning layer, now that I've read more about that. Thank you VERY much for weighing in, everyone; I think I will try working more with my existing pans before I buy new (non-cast) ones. It also sounds as though I need to quit cooking tomato sauce in them after all. WCL, thanks for the heads up about cooking with stainless -- I do have a big stainless skillet but I don't use it much; maybe this will help.


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Preheating a pan to prevent sticking relies on the Leidenfrost effect. Here is a cool video showing you how it works and how to test for the right temperature.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leidenfrost effect


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I've been cooking for decades, and I never knew about that mercury ball test. No wonder my chicken breasts stick. Thanks, Angie! I love GW!


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

Yes, that's very helpful, thanks!


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RE: Nonstick egg pan for a cast iron user?

I picked up a non-stick pan from Henkel (the guys who make the Wustof knives). It is stainless and induction compatible. I don't know what the coating is, but it is Carolina Blue and the slickest stuff I've ever used. I burned barbeque sauce in it and it didn't stick!

Here is a link that might be useful: fry pan


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