My New Favorite Kitchen Companion: Giant Scanpan
Long a fan of the non-stick pan concept, yet burned out on the ever-revolving door of lower-priced models that lose their nonstick oomph long before I am ready, I finally decided it was high time to invest in some quality cook wear of the nonstick kind.
One of the benefits of being a bit indecisive is that I can say that my research has been thorough. I literally checked around for months, reading reviews, asking chefs I admired what they used, and checking out the websites of top-notch vegan cooks to find out what they suggest, or have in their online shopping areas, when it comes to nonstick cooking.
It came down to a final round between Scanpan, Berendes, and Swiss Diamond.
But I couldn’t keep my eyes of that nice big fourteen inch Scanpan.
Plus it was (and still is as of today) marked down a good fifty bucks on Amazon.
Visually, it appealed to my wide-open-spaces preferences when it comes to cookware. And the reviews were stellar.
I took the plunge and now my giant Scanpan has a respected home of her own in my kitchen cupboard below the cook top. That is when she isn’t on the cooktop doing duty on dinner. Such as this gorgeous stir fry with onions, mushrooms, and bok choy, or in my snapshot at the top of this page with broccoli and carrots, with mushrooms about to take the plunge into the pan:
Any hesitations I might have had about going with a pan so sizey diameter were dashed with my maiden voyage. The large surface are delivered in multiple ways:
- no one has to fight to get near the heat: everything – that means each dice of onion, slice of mushroom, leaf of bok choy, broccoli flowerette or whatever else I happen to be cooking at the time – is easily in contact with the hot cooking surface.
- everyone gets a chance to carmelize: closely related to number one above.
- my cooktop is staying cleaner than ever: keeping the black glass surface on my gas range clean has become oodles easier as the splash and splatter from smaller pans has become a thing of the past. Less time in cleanup, more time for eating!
- one pan meal: which is not the same as one dish. I can take the veggies through the cooking process, then push to the side to stay warm, opening up space to brown the tofu cubes. Or, I can heat the tortillas in one edge of the pan, the black beans in another area, and the rice in yet another – before assembling all as taco rollups.
She Loves The Oven Too
Apparently Scanpan is safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, I’ve tested this out and here is my Easy One-Pan Enchiladas to prove it. I simply layered in enchilada sauce, yummy locally made tortilla shells, black beans, corn, and brown rice.
Slipped the entire pan into the oven and let her cook for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees, and served right from the pan.
Cleanup Is Easy
I’ve gotten in the practice of cleaning Scanpan right away, while she’s still hot.
Once I’ve dished the food onto our plates, I pour in a little bit of water, run the scrub brush lightly around to loosen particles or sticky sauce that may have been used, pour the hot water off and lightly dry the surface with a towel. The heat from the pan evaporates any remaining moisture off.
As soon as she cools, I place a soft towel on Scanpan’s cook surface and slip her into her day bed right beneath the cook top. The cloth I put in place just in case an errant pan lid pot strays into her air space, threatening the pristine nature of her cooking surface.
Shallow is good but: As much as I love the shallow nature of this pan, which increases versatility with everything from pancakes (I can cook six at a time!) to stir frys, she can be a heavy load for lifting and tilting with one hand when trying to empty out the last veggies onto the plate.
Also, when dishing up from the pan with my spoon or spatula, the usual method of pushing food up against the side of the pan to secure it into the spoon can result in a spill over the edge. I’m still trying to find the best method for getting out those last bits without spillage.
In spite of her price tag, Scanpan didn’t come with a lid – that’s a separate purchase. I’ve had it in mind to dive into a thrift shop with tape measure in hand to see if I can find a size match, but that hasn’t happened and I’ll probably just cave and buy a lid. The reason I am thinking lid is not because it is needed to facilitate the cooking process – everything cooks brilliantly. But a lid would help keep things warm before serving, especially in this cold winter weather.
Another positive result from investing in Scanpan is that I have divested my pots and pans collection of several moderately functional or duplicate pans. I have fewer pans now, yet the extra space and increased function with what I do have has been a nice switch.
I use Scanpan most often, followed by and a two quart stainless steel pan used primarily for heating soup. I also have a stainless steel pan in pint size for making sauces and gravies. I will probably replace this with a scanpan in a similar size – I could use the extra non-stick factor there, too.
Let’s see, what else? Oh:
- medium heat is all you need: as a matter of fact, the instructions that came with Scanpan say not to heat higher than medium heat for the best treatment of the nonstick surface.
- teflon free: no weird smoking surface or worry about vapors sneaking their way through the house to find and plague Mr. Stubbs, our darling dove. Scanpan’s nonstick surface is ceramic-titanium particles that permanently anchor themselves in the pan, which is then infused with a nonstick compound that I could not find any incriminating commentary in terms of safety. The instructions say it’s OK to use metal utensils, but I’m being extra cautious and sticking with non-metal.
There you have it! I hope this has been of help to you in the event that you, too, have been on a non-stick pan quest.
I’m off to the kitchen. There’s a beautiful box of baby bok choy in the kitchen that is begging for a roll in the pan.
I think I’ll start by carmelizing some onions, toss in the bok choy leaves full size, and when almost ready toss in the steamed sugar peas in pods leftover from yesterday’s Plant-Based Journey Buddha Bowls.
Any questions? Happy to share what I can – just ask in comments below.
Enjoy what you eat!