Stainless Steel pan with potato and fish

Choosing a frying pan

Stainless Steel pan with potato and fish

My De Buyer Stainless Steel pan was used to cook and test almost all the recipes in Healthy Helpings.

Over the years I’ve used and destroyed many different frying pans. I’ve tried all sorts of variations of ‘non-stick’ only to heat them too high or use the wrong tools and destroy the coating. The first six month or year of the pan was like an ill-fated romance. We’d get up in the morning and make eggs and everything would be perfect. Then the pan would show it’s true side, leaving a crusty mess, being moody and not living up to all it’s promises. It’s handle would become wobbly and we would start seeing each other less and less. Then one Monday evening I’d have enough and send it to the curb to be picked up with the morning’s rubbish collection. One day, this all changed. As part of my chef training I was introduced to stainless steel ‘De Buyer’ pans.

We fell in love, and it’s easy to see why:

  • They’re the ones I learned to cook on in restaurants, which means they can take a real beating.
  • They have a nice heavy, solid base for even heat distribution.
  • When properly seasoned they are ‘non-stick’ without the nasty non-stick coating. Is that stuff healthy once it starts peeling? I think not!. The US EPA agrees with me, sighting scary cancer causing chemicals in Teflon.
  • No non-stick coating means you can use very high heat.
  • Best of all, they’re cheap, the most expensive one is $49.
  • Should your eggs stick, you can attack them with a scourer without fear. Simply re-season the pan and you’re good as new. They also allow you to use metal spatula’s and spoons.
  • The only downside; when you go to use another pan. You will become so used to being able to treat your steel pan mean that you’re likely to ruin a friend’s pans.

I have road tested other brands of stainless steel pans and found that the pan surface is comparable, however the way the handle is attached can lead to it becoming wobbly, super quick.

These pans can be a bit harder to find in shops. I bought mine online at

If you are looking to buy more chefy gear:
check out my blog on choosing knives.