I used to be a bagel girl all the way. Just about every morning (when I worked in the corporate world), I would pick up a bagel to eat on my long commute to work. This was when my metabolism (and about 3 hours in the gym every evening) would keep up with such a carb and calorie-heavy breakfast. Dieting for me back in those days always involved some lighter bagel-like offering, like Special K waffles with spray butter or whole wheat English muffins.
After I had Calvin, I was the heaviest I had ever been. There were no more three-hour-long workouts at the gym and my post-30 metabolism was catching up with me. I needed to try something different. So, I did the Core Plan by Weight Watchers, which limited bready, carby things that made up the bulk of my diet. Despite my resistance to the idea, I made eggs my regular breakfast. I stuck with it, worked hard, and lost 35 lbs. And eggs became my favorite breakfast. Well, healthy breakfast. I still love bagels, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, and grits, but eggs are a great way for me to start the day off right without going overboard on bread.
Dieting or not, eggs have become my go-to.
And, one of the keys to making a good egg is having a good non-stick pan.
I’ve learned over my egg-cooking years that the non-stick pan I use almost every morning will last about a year before it needs to be replaced. Despite using wooden utensils, the coating starts to deteriorate and then flake. So, I just pick up inexpensive pans and replace them when it looks like it’s time.
My most recent “egg pan” purchase was an 8″ All-Clad Anodized Pan I picked up at HomeGoods. All-Clad is generally pretty pricey cookware, but the Anodized line is about on par with other non-stick cookware lines. This one still took a beating, but it lasted about two years before I needed to replace it (just this month), which is twice as long as other non-stick pans I’ve bought.
I use my 10″ skillet almost as often, so I bought the 8″ and 10″ set from Amazon for $60. Here’s how the new one looks next to the used…
And the bottoms…
I have to admit that I am great about cleaning my stainless steel and copper cookware, but I am not as good about taking care of my non-sticks. Maybe it’s because they aren’t potrack-worthy or maybe it’s because I know they’ll only last a certain period of time. I’ll clean the bottoms with a baking soda paste every few months, though.
It makes such a difference having a nice, new pan, though! Now I can make over-easy eggs without the yolks breaking and omelets that keep their shape.
I learned to love an over-easy egg when I was in Paris. I typically ask for scrambled eggs at restaurants, but I didn’t want to sound like a picky American, so I just took the eggs however they were cooked. Eating food the way it’s prepared is a part of the experience of travel. I discovered that I have been missing out on rich, runny yolks for decades! I also learned that I loved a good poached egg, so I’ve been reading up on how to replicate that at home.
This has been my breakfast lately…
Greens really are so good for breakfast! I know it sounds strange, but it’s fresh, filling, and gets some veggies in first thing.
Anyway, since these pans have proven to last longer than their predecessors, I want to do a better job taking care of them. Here are a few tips on extending the life of non-stick cookware…
- Cook on low-medium heat instead of high. I think this is my biggest issue! I crank up the heat because I’m in a rush in the morning, but that can deteriorate the pan quicker.
- Use wooden, rubber, or plastic spatulas & spoons. Metal can scratch the coating, so use utensils that are gentle on the surface of the pan.
- Use oil/butter when preheating the pan. It’s good to have something in the pan where there is heat under it, but a little bit of oil also lubricates the pan and keeps food from sticking.
- Hand wash gently. Use mild dish soap and a soft sponge/brush when washing the pan, so you don’t scratch the finish with abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.
- Marian, keep the bottom clean! This note is for me. Clean the bottom of the pan after every few uses with Bar Keeper’s Friend, so it doesn’t get out of hand. Clean the bottom with a baking powder paste every month or so, if needed.
Anyone else have a non-stick pan they love for cooking eggs?
Any castiron users out there? (I’ve tried, but I always go back to modern non-stick pans.)
Also, on Instagram, I’ve started sharing Miss Mustard Seed’s Book of the Week #mmsbookoftheweek, so I can compile a list of the books I’m enjoying in a more organized fashion. I’ll be sharing my favorite books in decorating, design, art, home, gardening, creative business, crafts, and inspiration. They’ll primarily be books I use as resources, so I keep them in my home library.
Intsead of sharing a post each week here on the blog, I’ll share the books of the week each month, so be on the lookout for that!