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Topic # 151057 12-Aug-2014 16:33
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There've been various discussions on frying pans, brands, and such. I fry a lot of food, generally with a bit of oil, often my own version of fried scrambled eggs with cheese which I do very hot. Actually anything I cook in them I do very hot and very fast, veges and eggs mostly.

I have Circulon pans with those concentric circles, which I find tend to trap food and oil particles and always looks a bit dirty. You can clean them, but it's pretty tough. When new nothing sticks to them, but they rapidly lose that ability. I've also read that non-stick coatings get soft at high temperatures and get damaged more easily. I'm going to try the recommended white vinegar to clean them.

Does anyone use plain steel or other types of pans for their high temperature cooking, keeping the good pans for lower temperature stuff? How do you find them?

As an aside I've realised extra virgin oil olive oil is about the worst oil for frying. I've been buying it for years because it's meant to be the best, but it has the lowest smoke point of just about any oil. Virgin or light olive oil is meant to be better, but I went for peanut oil which has a high smoke point again. The pan definitely seems easier to clean with peanut oil than extra virgin olive oil.




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  Reply # 1107155 12-Aug-2014 16:37
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We have been dissappointed by a series of plans including the 'stone coated' models.

Is it practical for you to use a gas ring and a wok?  I've never cooked on this arrangement but hot and fast is what I see at the local Chinese takeaways.




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  Reply # 1107158 12-Aug-2014 16:44
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I have a wok, cost $30 from the warehouse on special, down from $50. It works very well for the noodle type stuff I've tried (pad thai), but I don't want to use it day in day out as I figure it'd wear out quickly.

I doubt my wife would be receptive to the clutter of external gas in the kitchen. We have an electric stove.




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  Reply # 1107168 12-Aug-2014 17:03
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We use a cast iron wok over gas. Does okay but I'm going to try and pick up a good hand made steel wok next time we're near a chinese trader.




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  Reply # 1107176 12-Aug-2014 17:25
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I bought a $12 wok from Tai Ping (after asking our local takeaway where they got theirs). It was just plain (slightly rusty) thin steel. After seasoning it's great. Very non-stick and the best thing is if you ruin the coating you can just re-season it. Worse case, you're out $12.

Because it's thin, it heats very quickly (but doesn't hold the heat) and it's really light which is great. But I don't know if it would work very well on an electric stove (we have gas).

I love it, but I've got this obsession with trying to find cheap things that are really good. I can't imagine a better wok than the one I have, and it was so cheap! My next mission is finding really good cheap knives, but I suspect that might not be possible. I may have to buy just a decent cheap knife and get good at sharpening it regularly. I wouldn't trust myself to sharpen my own knives if they were really expensive, and how to get practised at it?

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  Reply # 1107177 12-Aug-2014 17:25
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We use cast iron pans (a big and a small) on electric hob.  Pretty non-stick and great for high temperature cooking with a bit of sunflower oil.

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  Reply # 1107179 12-Aug-2014 17:29
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bazzer: I bought a $12 wok from Tai Ping (after asking our local takeaway where they got theirs). It was just plain (slightly rusty) thin steel. After seasoning it's great. Very non-stick and the best thing is if you ruin the coating you can just re-season it. Worse case, you're out $12.

Because it's thin, it heats very quickly (but doesn't hold the heat) and it's really light which is great. But I don't know if it would work very well on an electric stove (we have gas).

I love it, but I've got this obsession with trying to find cheap things that are really good. I can't imagine a better wok than the one I have, and it was so cheap! My next mission is finding really good cheap knives, but I suspect that might not be possible. I may have to buy just a decent cheap knife and get good at sharpening it regularly. I wouldn't trust myself to sharpen my own knives if they were really expensive, and how to get practised at it?


We've bought from Tai Ping before, and it's the trader we'll probably get a wok from. Just haven't been near one when I think of it!




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  Reply # 1107181 12-Aug-2014 17:33
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What's the difference between cast iron and steel, in this context?

My wok is hampton and mason, or something like that, it has some kind of non-stick coating. Because it's new it works great, but I use frying pans more than woks.




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  Reply # 1107182 12-Aug-2014 17:38
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I had a look and they are only in Auckland I think, but I assume there are similar places around much of the rest of the country?

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  Reply # 1107185 12-Aug-2014 17:39
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timmmay: What's the difference between cast iron and steel, in this context?

My wok is hampton and mason, or something like that, it has some kind of non-stick coating. Because it's new it works great, but I use frying pans more than woks.

Cast iron is super heavy, great for heat distribution and yours probably came pre-seasoned (i.e. blackened). Unlike regular non-stick surfaces, it's only going to get better with use (if treated right).
Steel has carbon in it. ;)



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  Reply # 1107187 12-Aug-2014 17:42
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I meant in terms of use. My wok has a fancy non stick coating, it's not a plain metal wok.




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  Reply # 1107190 12-Aug-2014 17:51
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I use a cheap $30 Countdown cast iron pan almost exclusively now, for things like eggs, omelettes and pancakes, etc - anything where I want crispy edges or brown crunchy bits. The coating is the most non-stick thing I have ever tried now that it is properly seasoned which I did myself with olive oil in a searing hot oven. But this is about all I use oilve oil for, besides salad dressing; It's just not great for frying. For frying I use rice bran oil if I want to deep fry and coconut oil or ghee for everything else.

Just don't cook anything with loads of liquid in your cast iron pan, otherwise the seasoning tends to boil off. Also, no tomato - the acid is a big nono with cast iron.






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  Reply # 1107194 12-Aug-2014 18:01
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Thanks Demeter. Can anyone tell me in practice the difference between cast iron and steel? In terms of both the cooking result, non-stickyness, seasoning, etc.




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  Reply # 1107203 12-Aug-2014 18:16
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The tefal ones from Briscoes when it's half price. Nothing sticks to it. Nothing.

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  Reply # 1107219 12-Aug-2014 18:26
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I cook a fair amount, also over high heat. I have found two pans to be amazing, my $250 stainless steel WMF 18/10 Steel with a thick bottom. The other is cast iron, but 90% of the time I use my WMF.

In my whole life I have found 1 truly non stick surface, which is a wok I got in Sinapore. We use metal on it, I have cooked everything you can imagine at crazy heats, it hasn't got a mark on it. I've never found anything like it since. 

Non stick like circulon are rubbish, I know, I have about 4 sets of them.



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  Reply # 1107220 12-Aug-2014 18:32
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joker97: The tefal ones from Briscoes when it's half price. Nothing sticks to it. Nothing.


That's what I used to use. I found they were non-stick for about a month or two, then semi-non-stick up until around a year old, then I'd have to replace them around then because they were scorched and burned and lots of things stuck. I cook pretty hot - if there's no smoke it's not hot enough yet.

networkn: I cook a fair amount, also over high heat. I have found two pans to be amazing, my $250 stainless steel WMF 18/10 Steel with a thick bottom. The other is cast iron, but 90% of the time I use my WMF.

In my whole life I have found 1 truly non stick surface, which is a wok I got in Sinapore. We use metal on it, I have cooked everything you can imagine at crazy heats, it hasn't got a mark on it. I've never found anything like it since. 

Non stick like circulon are rubbish, I know, I have about 4 sets of them.


Is there anything special about that pan other than being heavy weight? No special coatings? Because that sounds pretty good, but also a bit expensive as an experiment.




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