My favorite “egg pan” & book of the week

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Favorite Things, Food & Fitness66 Comments

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!

My favorite “egg pan” & book of the week

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66 Comments on “My favorite “egg pan” & book of the week”

  1. Next time you need to replace your pan, you may want to consider cast iron. It’s non stick when it’s been seasoned, which takes an hour or so, will never wear out if cared for properly and is healthier than non stick pans that begin to flake off their coating. Also, never needs a polishing!

    I bought one a few years ago and after a couple of months, bought a second, larger one. I love that you can also use them in the oven too.

    1. I’m laughing because I’ve always assumed seasoning took a year of use or so! How wrong I was. Can you explain how you do it in an hour? This sounds like a great alternative to non-stick. Thank you.

      1. How To Season Your Cast-Iron Skillet:

        Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water.
        Dry thoroughly.
        Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
        Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
        Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven

        You may need to re-season every now and then.
        When I use mine, I wash it with just water, to get anything off and then put it on the stove to heat it dry. You’ll never have rust if you heat it to dry and sometimes I’ll add a little oil after its dry and leave it on low heat for a few minutes and it’s ready for the next time you use it.

        1. I do the same thing as far as cleaning, but after it’s dry I mist with a non-stick spray or oil rub the surface and let it sit for the next use.

          I use my iron skillets several times a week. They are over 35 years old, the set was a wedding gift.

        2. I basically do the same thing…but this time when I seasoned I used flax seed oil. It worked beautifully. I think it was the LHJ Test Kitchen that tested the different methods of seasoning and the flax seed oil lasted longer. So far, it has been great!

          Nancy

      2. The instructions are spot on! I have 5 of different sizes and my favorite is more non-stick than any coated pan I have ever used. It is also almost 65 years old! I think my Mom got it when she first married.

      3. I learned 2 very effective quick tips directly from chefs on seasoning cast iron cookware: Cut up a whole onion and cook on low heat. The chemical reaction of cooking onion in cast iron cookware naturally seasons it every time. Or cook an entire package of bacon, I do this version whenever I need to re-season my cast iron skillets. Better yet, just buy a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet, worth their weight in gold – the bonus of no chemical peeling and cancer scares with cast iron.

  2. I am with Lisa. Nothing like a good seasoned cast iron. I just can’t stomach the idea of all that flaking, leaching, non-stick coating going into my food and thus, my body. I too, loved the ease of non-stick, but once I got the hang of cleaning cast iron, I went back to my farm-girl roots and am cast iron all the way…3 frying pans, my grandmother’s dutch oven, a sauce pan and griddle.

    1. I’m with Mary and Lisa! Cast iron for the win! The key for me is making sure the pan is hot before adding anything to it. Clean up is straight forward…soak the pan in hot water, scrub with a little Dutch brush, dry it and you’re done. I used to oil mine between uses but it’s well seasoned and requires very little maintenance now. Give it a try!

  3. I second the idea of learning how to season and re-season a cast iron skillet that will last beyond your life time. Not to mention reducing waste, but also chemicals from non stick coatings do leach out into our food no matter what manufacturers claim. We have a non stick set of pans that’s beginning to fail and Im realizing I don’t even want to buy replacements. One of our cast iron pans is from when I was a child and still going strong I’ve taught my boys how to clean them using a paste of salt and oil. The salt scrubs, the oil remains to season the pan, and it’s ready to go. The other tip is to use hot water to rinse it, and do the scrubbing while the pan is still warm from cooking. It takes 30 secs, but way easier than trying to scrub it clean when it’s cold. Love your egg breakfasts. Trying to get more greens in my life. This is a great tip!

  4. And re:cast iron, one of the startup (Kickstarter?) has a company selling machines cast iron (like they used to make at the turn of last century) which should prove even more non-stick!

  5. I’m on the cast iron bandwagon too! We use a pan often that was my husband’s grandmother’s pan that she probably used every day or two (& we are in our late 60’s so imagine how old that skillet is!). I also love Martha Stewart’s coated cast iron Dutch ovens; one of the several we own sits on our stove at all times (changed out seasonally in an appropriate color) & gets used at least 3-5 times a week. You can google directions for seasoning a skillet, Southern Living would be a great place to look.

  6. Most of my pans are All Clad. It’s taken me years to get the few pieces I have since I’m on a budget. Last year a friend gave me a inexpensive copper looking pan that she said worked great for omelets, especially over easy eggs. She was right. I use minimal butter to coat the pan, keep the flame low and a rubber spatula. If making scrambled I turn the flame off before the eggs are totally cooked. I put a lid over the pan and the steam finishes the eggs, They turn out light and fluffy. Perfect eggs every time. I used to laugh at the commercials on television but not anymore.

  7. Lol, my vote is cast iron as well! I could never fry an egg properly till I bought a lodge cast iron skillet. (Those with handmedown cast iron will whine and fuss over how inferior the new stuff is, but I don’t have the luxury of some passed down cast iron. So $19.99 and I had what I needed!). Ohmyheavens, I rarely bust a yolk now! I use cast iron skillets for most of my cooking now!

  8. Here’s my 2 cents: buy a ceramic-coated green pan. No non-stick chemical worries and my green pan is much more slippery than non-stick. I’ve had mine for a year, and it looks as good as new. Before I had this marvel, I used a regular metal pan. I found the way to get it to be similar to non-stick was to heat the pan before I added oil, then I would heat slightly again, then add my egg. I, too, was Ms Carb first thing in the morning and have converted to eggs. Took a while, but now I crave them.

  9. I have been using Calphalon pans for many years successfully . I bought them at Homegoods each at sale prices because I too am on a budget . They are nonstick but hard enough surface to resist scratching .

  10. Microwave a baking potato. Put your over easy eggs on top of half a potato. This is also a Whole 30 compliant breakfast! Very filling. Eggs are also delicious with roasted sweet potato.

  11. Another vote for cast iron! I received a square one as a wedding gift 57 years ago and it still is my favorite! I also have a larger round skillet and a 6 inch one that were used when I got them almost 60 years ago. I can’t stand flaking pans or having to be careful with them!

  12. I have 3 ScanPan skillets I bought at a Williams-Sonoma outlet store 6+ years ago that I absolutely love! I baby them (handwash and only use non metal utensils) but it has paid off, they still look new.

    1. Try mayonnaise lightly spread on the outside of the bread. Never sticks and adds flavor. I wasn’t a believer until I tried this method. We never went back to butter.

  13. I love my cast iron pan for everything except grilled sandwiches… I don’t know why they never work out. I use buttered bread (sometimes light butter and light bread) but they just stick and fall apart and it’s terrible. not sure maybe heat is too high… open to suggestions from any of you that are long time cast iron “professional” users. LOL

    1. I also used to butter the bread for grilled cheese sandwiches. I now skip that step and just melt butter in the pan then throw in the bread. They turn out a little crispier (not as greasy) and my family loves them.

  14. I had an egg for breakfast today also but no greens. I’ll have to do better. I also have that same Calphalon pan and have replaced as have you but I recently found William Sonoma’s non stick ceramic pan…not the blue the other. and I just love it. No coating to worry about

  15. The Lagostina cast iron pan we purchased recently came pre-seasoned. 😊 I live in Canada, but they’re probably available in the US, as welll

  16. As a child , I learned to loved poached eggs. My grandmother heated milk and butter, salt and pepper in a pan but not to boili Poured it over buttered toast. I can still taste it. Maybe you’ll think it’s worth a try.ng. She then cracked the eggs in it and cooked to desired doneness. And the best!!!!

  17. Proper cleaning of cast iron is key to prolonging the seasoning of the surface. After it cools, sprinkle the skillet with about a tablespoon of Kosher salt & rub the salt into the pan with a dry paper towel until the surface is clean. Dump the salt & wipe clean . Soap & water are enemies of cast iron as the pan will rust & lose its seasoning.
    My favorite nonstick pans for eggs et. al. are Zwilling J. A. Henkel made in Italy & available at Williams Sonoma. They are very easy to clean & cook eggs to perfection every time. They also have a nice weight to them, too.
    Also, fiber keeps you full. Check out the F-Factor Diet by Tanya Zuckerbrot. Her motto: Protein & fiber at every meal makes losing weight no big deal!

  18. Salad for breakfast? You are a saint! A couple of thoughts re cooking eggs: I grew up in a home with nothing but cast iron pots and pans. As a cook myself for the last 50+years, I find that I do not like eggs cooked in cast-iron because it seems to alter the taste. Eggs are about the only thing I do use non-stick pans for. However, I have discarded all Teflon lined pans and gone to ceramic coated. That “before” pan you show is scaring me! High heat is a NO NO for any kind of non-stick pan. I keep reading that this is dangerous and toxic. I use all kinds of cookware for different things. I do love my cast-iron for searing meat, and anything which calls for high heat. It also makes fantastic deep-dish pizza. I like my heavy stainless copped bottomed or copper-cored pots for cooking vegetables and anything with tomatoes or other acidic ingredients. I use my tin-lined French copper for everything else, especially dishes that call for long, slow cooking (without the afore-mentioned acidic ingredients). Just some food for thought.

  19. Once I learned this tip from one of my favorite cookbooks, I discarded my worn out non-stick skillets and didn’t replace them. I use only stainless steel (that used to belong to my husband’s Grandma!) and antique cast iron skillets. Here is the tip: “The tip to making scrambled eggs that don’t stick to the pan is to make sure the pan has preheated for at least 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Then add the butter or coconut [or olive] oil and let it heat up for about 30 seconds before adding the eggs.” from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. Link to book is here: https://amzn.to/2QQty4Y

  20. Absolute best inexpensive non-stick pans I have owned are Granitium by Henckels (yes, the knife company). They are made in Italy. Got a 3 piece set at Costco for $79.99 and they are the absolute best for eggs! As for the cast iron, I have followed numerous different methods for seasoning, including the long process recommended by Cooks Illustrated using flax seed oil and a 500 degree oven over a period of days. Nothing seems to work. They looked wonderful right after the seasoning – a very hard finish and I was hopeful. But first use, the food stuck. I do not use soap on them so I am wondering how everyone else has such good luck.

  21. I have bmy Moms cast iron pans and use for most anything over 50 years now the best easy to clean and season you will never fo back and dont contribute to cancer like all those new pans

  22. I bought a Dash griddle about a year ago (from Bed, Bath, and Beyond) for $8. It is the size of a fried egg. I use it regularly and love it. I gave one to my sister for Christmas, and she raved about it so much that our other sister bought one. Now she is singing its praise. Once you plug it in, the light will go out when the temperature is right. An egg cooks in 3 minutes (fully cooked). I use a paper towel to wipe the surface with a tiny bit of oil prior to cooking.

  23. Using a wide cast iron or Le Creuset omelette pan work for me. The sides appear lower than your pan which makes getting in with the spatula so much easier. Haven’t eaten off a pan that loses its coating in 36 years!

  24. We love our eggs for breakfast as well, and a good pan makes all the difference. I picked up a small pan from TJMaxx and it is a gem. I like iron skillets but they can be heavy. I just don’t have the arm strength I use to. So far it’s the best skillet I have had. I have preached to my boys (including husband) no high heat and no metal utensils. Even if it say no oils needed, they do help. I’ve only had to give a couple reminders. 🙂

  25. I have tried, several times, to season and clean and use cast iron according to directions, too. And no luck…stuff still sticks!
    My husband worries about the non-stick ones flaking.
    Our compromise? We get a new set of 3 sizes for Christmas every year, whether they look flakey or not. And we have perfect eggs every time. 🙂

  26. sometime when you’re at an antiques store shopping for dressers and what not, see if they have any old cast iron pans. i inherited a 10″ skillet from my late grandma that’s at least 75 years old. the inside of the pan looks like a mirror, and i have reseasoned it once in the 15 years i’ve had it. grandma told me to never use soap on it and to use salt and whatever veg oil (not olive though) i had on hand to clean it. rinse out the salt and oil and put the skillet on the stove, over a low flame, to dry. that advice has never failed me or the pan.

  27. I toss back 4 raw eggs mixed with orange juice every morning! Heat changes the protein structure when you fry an egg. Save a pan – eat ’em raw!! (organic of course) ~:-D

  28. Funny how the world goes round! I just pinned, ‘how to clean and season’ my estate sale 10″ cast iron pan…And here you are.

    Your post has made me very hungry and it’s time for a break~ so thank you…again 🙂

    Cynthia

  29. Best advice I ever got on using a non stick frying pan is to never, never, never use an aerosol spray oil (AKA Pam). A spritzer with olive oil or whatever oil you prefer is fine. Or just adding oil or butter to the pan is fine too. It’s just the propellant in the aerosol sprays leaves a residue in the pan that ruins the non stick finish. Of course no metal implements and only hand washing too!

  30. I use All Clad stainless and for non stick I have cast iron! Not only is it best for eggs and other non stick cooking, but steaks, stove to oven dishes, frittatas, etc, are wonderful in cast iron and it makes a pretty table presentation!! 😊

  31. I am happy to see all of these folks encouraging the use of a cast iron pan, which should last a lifetime. Please, let’s just stop perpetuating using something for a year or two and throwing it out. All of our purchases should be made with the care and respect of the planet in mind. To that end, just say “no” to environmentally unhealthy and dangerous non-stick cookware.

    1. I forgot to add… now that you have a gas range, cast iron is now an excellent option and something I’m sure you’ll love given your penchant for classics. Cast iron is not an option for smooth top ranges. That may be why you haven’t “caught the bug.” 😂

  32. Things cook on heat other than high????? Oh my goodness! LOL. Cast iron is too heavy for me but my son loves his. I like my salads. Usually for lunch or pre-dinner but not for breakfast. I do like eggs though I don’t make them every day.

  33. I’m using my great-grandma’s 6″ cast iron skillet that was her “egg pan,” and like someone else said on here, the finish is like a mirror and totally nonstick. That pan is more than 100 years old now. I also have my own cast iron pan I bought 30 years ago, and my mother-in-law’s pan from 65 years ago, and a couple of other antique ones that I bought along the way. I actually use soap and water on mine all the time and they are still wonderful! Seasoning cast iron pans can be done periodically and it is easy to do. If you are going to use nonstick pans, make sure they are ceramic, which is a much safer coating.

  34. I use titanium pans (from Salad Master), they are pricey but very worth the price if you count your health. Nothing flakes off and even tho they aren’t nonstick as such, they wash up with no scrubbing.

  35. I would love to know what method you use to clean your copper pots, I think I’m missing the mark.

    Many thanks.

  36. I must be the oldest person here. I use my (and my Mother’s) Revere Ware pans with the total copper bottoms. I only like sunny – side up eggs and only use butter. I also use my stainless flatware with it. It’s amazing the things that are passed down – whether intentional or not.
    Love following you!

  37. Teflon is very questionable as far as health goes, please do some research on DuPont, the company that makes it. Cast iron, stainless steel, are better for us. With cast iron, you even get some extra iron in foods that you prepare in the pan!
    Your eggs look delicious, and you inspire me to eat healthier foods! Thank you Marian!

  38. I am a cast iron skillet girl all the way. I have six of them from very small to very large. My favorite hardly ever makes it back to the cupboard because I use it so much. It is 48 years old. I’d say it has held it’s value.

    We, too, eat eggs often. My husband likes his over easy. I prefer to scramble them and disguise the flavor with minced garlic, minced onion, parsley, shredded cheese and fresh mushrooms. Sometimes we have an egg burrito which calls for salsa.

  39. I go in and out of non stick and cast iron. My current non stick favs are T-fal titanium . I have not seen any wear after 6 months and I put them in dishwasher.
    I do use the plastic tools.
    My cast iron is a Wagner which was actually my Dads. Mother usually used stainless. That always seemed it needed soaking after eggs were scrambled in it.
    I have really enjoyed all the encouragement to try working with the old cast iron for eggs and pancakes, my usual dishes made in the non stick.

  40. WOW- cast iron for the win for sure! I am a big fan too- I got a non stick for a wedding gift and after three years it was awful so I randomly picked cast iron and now 16 years later I am in deep- with mostly free vintage pieces I love hearing how everyone has “ancient” cast iron and I hope mine will be passed down someday too!

  41. …. cooking on low heat is essential … I use all clad nonstick. It’s a high quality grade of coating. But the store guy said still to replace it in 3 years, which of course depends on how often you use it. Nonstick is suppose to be quite unhealthy, but I am really careful not to scratch it.

    I’ve heard ceramic is the beat … non stick and non toxic … someday maybe.

  42. Lisa is exactly right about how to season and keep a cast iron pan in great condition. We’ve been using cast iron for years in our house and although it might be tempting to scrub the cast iron with hot soapy water, please don’t do this! If your pan is seasoned correctly every 3-4 months or so, you should only have to clean it gently with some water and allow to dry over a low burner on this stove. We love our cast iron for cooking eggs/pancakes/crepes, and haven’t had a problem with them. I agree with Lisa, they are definitely a wiser option than non-stick teflon, which is bad for your health. You should try cast iron again, Marian!

  43. I second using titanium salad master cookware. Very easy cleanup, no worries about cancer ridden anything, no seasoning anything, very convenient and a life time investment. I even have some of my husband’s grandfather’s pans that are still in great condition.

  44. Definitely cast iron. Once seasoned properly and cared for properly, it’s the original non-stick. I have pans that my grandmother used still in perfect shape. The main thing is to get them absolutely dry after using them. I always dry them on the stove. Now that I’m getting older, the big ones are pretty hefty, especially when full, but I’m not cooking for a large family any more.

  45. Wow, so many cast iron pans supporters, I am one of them, they can be treated badly and in spite of it they last for life. Bravo for your type of breakfast and the good photo of it. Since I moved to the US, in NYC, I could never get used to bagels, no matter what toppings, I hate the dense Styrofoam consistency.
    I never cook breakfast but eat a mix of bran cereals, muesli with a soup spoon of flax seed meal, dry raisins, dates or cranberries and over it almond milk, or kefir with probiotics, no sugar at all. My lunch looks more like your breakfast.
    To your good health in 2020!

  46. I love my iron skillets. I have two large and two smaller…they all belonged to my grandmother and I inherited them. I have no idea how old they are but I am 73 so my guess is they are at least 100 yrs. old and are still in excellent shape. They will be handed down to my daughter when I no longer need them.

  47. Cast iron for everything! I have a brand new induction cooktop and who’d a thunk that my beat up old cast irons would be just right. But they are! I recently bought a new 10″ “Lodge” with taller sides and it was pre-seasoned. Piece a cake! However, I do not let my husband ever use it as he uses the wrong heat settings and washes it with soap and just wrecks the finish. Every time. I never use non-stick for anything. Call me old-fashioned but I just do not trust those finishes.

  48. Another cast iron fan! I have six of varying size and depth. As long as they are seasoned well, they are great to cook almost anything in. Another advantage is when acid foods like tomatoes are cooked in them the iron leaches into the food and you get your iron fix without taking supplements.

  49. What’s left to say? Cast iron is the healthiest, best way to go. Sorry you spent that $60. on those toxic Teflon pans, Marian.

  50. Marian! What in the heck did you do to that pan??? LOL!!!!!!! I have the same one and have had it for years!!! Mine looks as good as the day I bought it. I wonder if you’re doing something wrong! I still use a drop of oil or ghee for cooking in it, so maybe that has saved mine. I don’t know!
    ,

    1. Ha! I use it every day and I actually used cooking spray on it, which I’ve just learned is a no-no. I’m going to try to take better care of the new one! 🙂

  51. And don’t forget to use our wooden spatula with those non-stick pans when flipping those eggs! Wilson Falls … handmade treenware
    @wilsonfallsart

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