I like to do a bit of cooking when I get the chance. I find it a form of therapy. Plus, I like to know what my family are eating instead of feeding them those dreaded 'ready meals' that are found in the 'lonely fatboy' isle at the local supermarkets.
What I find when it comes to cooking is that if you have the right equipment then the job in hand is a whole lot easier to do. But if you try and cook something using the wrong pots and pans then things can so easily go wrong.
And it's pans that I am talking about here. But not any old pan, it's a pan that not only makes cooking a lot easier it also help out in the washing up department, which makes the wife happy as she doesn't have to spend too long in front of the sink.
This pan that I am waffling about. One that I have been using for quite some time and one that has lasted longer than some more expensive pans, and a lot lot longer than those cheap and nasty ones that you get in the pound shop, is a well known branded pan with a little red spot that identifies it in a unique way.
And now I've mentioned the red spot you've probably guessed the brand of the pan that I am talking about. No, it's not Jamie Oliver's new range nor is it some other cook who craves for the publicity and loves putting their names to anything they can find.
It is in fact, yes, you at the back, the one wearing the glasses, you've guessed it, it is in fact the good old Tefal range of non-stick pans that have the Tefal trademark that is the little red heat spot that sits in the centre of their full range of pans.
This particular pan that I am going on about is actually one of the Tefal range of frying pans, ranging from an egg pan to an industrial sized wok, with this pan being more towards the smaller end than the industrial end.
It is in fact the 20cm frying pan which is built to help you cook away in your kitchen without having the hassles of trying to scrape your food out of the bottom of the pan after the liquid has stuck to the bottom.
So what does this pan look like then..?
It basically a standard pan shaped design, hence the name 'pan', which is a round dish shape, with a handle on one end, although end is not quite the word as a dish has no ends really.
But let's delve into it a little more shall we.
The 'dish' part of the pan, which is were the frying action takes place, is a lightweight metal material and is covered by a sort of dull black coloured substance, which, on the inside and even on the outside, is the Tefal special substance that makes the pan non-stick. Yes, both inside and OUT side. The dish section is quite deep too, being about 35mm in fact, making sure that there's room to swill the food stuff that you put into the pan so that it doesn't over flow, spilling out onto your cooker, burning into a black smelly crumbling mess on your hob, which is a nightmare to clean off, (or so the wife tells me???).
Then there's the handle which is attached to the dish section via what looks like two round headed bolts, and even these bolts are covered in the non-stick substance so that nothing can get a grip on them.
In fact, the handle is what they like to call Herbert... no, I mean 'Bakelite', which means that it is a solid plastic material which feels firm, yet remarkably comfortable in your grip. The handle itself doesn't get hot when the pan is cooking whatever you've got in there. Although the metal 'strap' that connects the handle to the pan can get quite hot and it will burn your fingers if you touch it after it has just come off the heat. Other than that, the handle stays as cool as the old proverbial cucumber.
On the underside of the pan is the reason why it manages to spread the heat right round the entire surface, with what looks like a few silver rings that are welded there.
These 'rings' are slightly raised and it is these that make contact with most of the heat and the way they are spread out helps spread the heat all around the inner surface of the pan instead of just being in one spot, just above the heat source, burning you omelette in one place whilst leaving raw egg in another. There's none of that with this pan.
What makes this pan so special then..?
Mainly, because it's mine and anything that's mine is special to me, even my kids, at a stretch.
But seriously, the reason Tefal can boast about being one of the best pan makers on the market, (forget those that have the name of a camera craving bushy bearded, ginger top fat bloke on them, they're just pound shop pans that someone has etched a name onto...in my opinion). But what makes these Tefal ones so special is that they have a remarkable way of making sure that your food never sticks to any part of the pan, inside or out.
The outside of the pan is also designed to be non stick so that it is easier to clean. It is covered, or more coated, in something called PTFE non stick solution, which makes the pans so easy to clean, especially if, or more when, you spill things over the side of the pan as you cook away.
Plus, which is the main reason how you can recognise the Tefal range, you'll notice that inside the pan, right in the centre, there is a red 'spot' with the Tefal name etched around the edges in an arc form. This is known as the Thermospot indicator, (or Hot spot as I call it), which isn't the name of the local nightclub, it is a spot in the pan that tells you when the pans surface has reached the right temperature. The red spot begins to change as the heat reaches into and around the pan, with the Tefal name beginning to disappear and the spot fading. You then know the pan is hot and your food is ready to be tossed into it.
Is it easy to clean..?
Easy? If there is a more appropriate word for how easy this is to clean then I have yet to hear it???
As nothing seems to stick to the frying surface there's usually very little to clean off, so it's normally a matter of a quick soak in a bowl of soapy water and a rub round with a sponge, or even a plastic brush.
DO NOT use metal cleaning objects such as scouring pans as they will damage the non-stick surface and will void the life time warranty.
You can use metal scouring pads on the bottom of the pan where the heat actually touches as the metal rings do tend to discolour over time. But unless you have OCD or just like to have your pans on show looking sparklingly clean then this slight discolouration should not matter. My pans all look like they have been through the wars but I find it adds to the 'well used' kitchen look.
Also, I nearly forgot to mention, this pan is dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning ever easier.
So what do I think about this pan..?
As I said I like to do a bit of cooking and spend what time I can in the kitchen and when it comes to a quick simple dish, maybe an omelette or an egg dish, then this is the pan that I reach for without hesitation.
I have used several pans over my cooking life, some cheap, some costly and some costing me more than the price of the pan with the constant burning of food and the bits falling off the bottom. But I have found that when it comes to picking a pan, one that I know will last longer than most others and be as good all through its cooking life, then I always try and go for the Tefal range, and I'm always glad I do, especially with this one.
It is so lightweight, when empty of course, as once you put any food into it the weight does change. But as a pan it weighs next to nothing, being about 400grams, so it's easily held in one hand as you flip your pancake high into the air.
This smaller pan is really for smaller cooking. I use it mainly for a single omelette or a couple of eggs as I find it the ideal size so that the liquid doesn't spread about to far, making the omelette as thin as posh spice and as tasty as her as well, rubbery, stringy and bland.
It manages to cook quickly and evenly, using all the pans base as a cooking surface, rather than some pans that only heat up where the heat source makes contact, so there's no fear of some of the food cooking whilst the bits around the edges remain as raw as a friction burn on your knees. This then results in you cooking the food for longer which leads to burnt food in the middle and 'just cooked' food on the outer edge.
Now that's not good, but there's none of that with this pan as it has a great even surface cooking method which means no more undercooked or over cooked sections of your omelette.
What more can I say about what it technically a pan?
Well, if you want to have a pan that is as easy to handle and a breeze to clean then this is for you. But if you like to play Russian Roulette with your stomach and don't mind scraping burn bits off the bottom then go get another pan.
Plus, I mentioned the warranty, which is more a guarantee from Tefal, who are so sure about the non-stick that they state that if you pan loses it's non stick then you can get this replaced by the Tefal company. This guarantee is actually a lifetime guarantee and should tell you how good these pans really are.
As for the price of this non stick frying pan from the boffins at Tefal.
Well, this is on the market for a mere £10.00, or less.
Then there's the larger size pans which are made the same and are as non stick as this one, which sell for a few pounds more. But they all sell at a low price that warrants buying as they are easy to use, cook evenly all over and the non-stick is without doubt the best non-stick I have come across.
Now the question is how do they get the non-stick substance to stick to the pan in the first place..? Why doesn't it fall off..? This is will have to look into... let's see what's on the good old fashioned google, that usually has a few answers, not all are the right ones but some funny ones though.
The reason I sometime refer to this 20cm pan as 'these' instead of 'this' is that there are a few different sized pans of this type which are all made in the same manner.
Some of those pans include the 24cm, (9 inch) and a 28cm, (11 inch), and others too, including a wok for those who like to, well, to wok around the kitchen.
So instead of me writing about the many Tefal pans I own in separate reviews, even though it would add to my review portfolio, (is that the right word?), I'd simply be repeating myself in every review, and even I have to admit that when I'm repeating myself I find myself boring.
This is my second Tefal frying pan, and oh my goodness how fab they are! I already had a bigger one, but thought this would be perfect for smaller meals, side dishes etc. I have never stopped using it since, and it is still going strong after a few years of family use (unlike several other non-Tefal frying pans which have had to be binned).
The pan is very solid yet lightweight. As well as having excellent quality non-stick coating, it has great ability to spread the heat evenly and a tough base that allows heat to penetrate well without being too harsh. The handle is bakelite, which is comfy to use and doesn't get hot when you are cooking with it. It features a "hotspot" in the middle, a red motif which disappears when the pan has heated up enough to cook with. I personally don't use this as I cook instinctively, but my husband finds it very useful and it is a nice feature.
The size of this pan is very useful. I mainly bought it so I could fry a couple of eggs without them spreading out too much, or a small omelette. It is great for this purpose, but also for doing side-bits e.g. frying an onion or bits of veg to add to a meal, cooking a single steak or piece of meat, kids portions etc. You would generally want this pan in addition to a larger frying pan though, as it is deliberately smaller than "standard" frying pans.
Food cooks nicely in the pan, and it is very easy to clean - because of the quality of the non-stick coating everything comes off with one wash, and its size makes it excellent for squeezing into a full dishwasher or onto a packed draining board. There is hardly any wear and tear showing on mine after years of use and dishwashering, the only thing is that I once cut food apart in it with a blunt knife, and this has made a line across the non-stick. However, this was clearly a result of my "blonde moment" and not a reflection on the quality of the pan :-) In fact, it doesn't hamper the performance of the non-stick like I would have expected, it is purely cosmetic. The non-stick is effective as the day it was bought.
To sum up, I highly recommend this pan for its quality and the versatility of the size. It is built to last and will be a useful addition to anyone's pan collection! Hmmm, I've made myself hungry with this review.... eggs, anyone?
Fry food to perfection in this 20cm frying pan from Tefal. Featuring a Thermospot it will show you when it is perfectly pre-heated in order to seal in the flavour of your food. Made from aluminium in a traditional black design it has an anti-abrasion copper speckled base making it incredibly tough and hard-wearing. Being non-stick you will be able to stir and toss your food easily and it has a stay cool Bakelite handle. It is freezer and dishwasher safe. Suitable for all hob types except induction. Life