Over the years, I have acquired seven skillets (round shaped, rounded
sides and shallow) and three sauté pans (round shaped, near-vertical
sides, deeper and with covers). Skillets include one porcelain-covered
iron, one non-stick heavyweight aluminum, two black iron, and three medium-weight
non-stick aluminum pans. The sauté pans include one heavyweight
tin-lined copper and two non-stick heavyweight aluminum. I use them
The oldest of these pans are the iron skillets and the copper sauté
pan. The most newly acquired are the medium-weight non-stick aluminum
skillets. This type skillet is in every commercial kitchen, but they
are not well known to home cooks, though some of the popular kitchen equipment
stores are now carrying them.
If you wish to replace a skillet, get another one or buy one for the
kids, I suggest passing by the big-buck heavily advertised skillets and
buying a restaurant-type non-stick medium-weight aluminum skillet.
They offer the best value and versatility for the dollar ($35 to $75).
There are a number of manufacturers making these skillets. I have
looked at quite a few but have tried only one. I have 8, 10 and 12-inch
skillets made by Lincoln Ware-ever with DuPont’s CeramiGuard II non-stick
surface (shown below). They are well balanced, have neat silicone
grips and a bombproof non-stick surface—far superior to the surfaces on
the big-buck pans I have. Go "Lincoln Ware-ever" on Google to find
While we’re on this subject: If you have a heavyweight aluminum
skillet or sauté pan that has not been abused but has lost its non-stick
ability, or has become warped, and you paid top-dollar for it ($60 to $200),
take it back to an authorized dealer. I’ve done this twice and have
come home with a new pan—few questions asked.