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No kitchen is fully stocked without a good frying pan. Although health advice tends to trend against frying food these days, there are so many different ways that you can use a frying pan that you could use yours every day of the year without ever cooking bacon and eggs. And in any case, the occasional fry-up isn't going to do too much harm. For certain jobs, a good frying pan is just the right tool, and that's without taking into account its potential in humorous slap-stick burglar deterrence.
Me, I like the occasional fry-up, but I also like lasagne, risotto, curries, omelettes and stews. And in cooking these dishes, I would be lost without my Tefal Specifics frying pan. It's a highly versatile bit of equipment that allows me to get things right every time. The key to its effectiveness comes in the interior coating which is, of course, non-stick. If you look at the inner base of the pan, there is a network of grooves similar to a circuit board, which allows heat to be conducted around the pan rather than grouping at one spot.
Probably all of us, the first time we fried an egg, turned the hob on, placed the frying pan on it and then cracked the egg into the pan, before watching dismally as all of the egg white ran into whatever area of the pan its "slope" was angled towards. We then waited as the albumen took an eternity to start turning a sickly, milky white, jumping in too quickly to try and flip the egg over and ended up with a lump of impacted, tepid egg mess in our pan. Admittedly, it doesn't take space-age technology to right this problem, but the way Tefal have faced it down is quite nifty.
A wide red spot in the base of the pan, brighter at the inside, changes colour as the pan heats until it is all the one bright red, which means the pan has reached the appropriate temperature. At this point, dropping your egg into the pan will be met with a satisfying sizzle and an instant change in colour and texture, and it makes perfect eggs every time.
Many frying pans are non-stick until they aren't. The coating is liable to start peeling after a while, and any attempt to fry something from a semi-solid state into a solid one will result in half of it sticking to the pan and the other half coming away with some non-stick base still attached. I've had this pan for more than two years and it has yet to even weaken in terms of the coating. During that time it has been super-heated on the hob, fried hundreds of eggs, made perfect omelettes, been placed in the oven to finish off a risotto, handled complicated stir fries and more other tasks than I can list. And it has never let me down.
At 26cm in diameter it is roomy enough to do a couple of eggs and rashers of bacon along with two tomato halves, a good-sized omelette and several helpings of curry or risotto. It fries off meat to a T as prep for a casserole or stew. I can't remember a day in the last few years when I haven't used it for something, and never once has it taken more than a few wipes with a wet cloth to get it clean. It has fried, fricasseed, sauteed, seared and poached, and come back for more every time.
26cm exterior base
Expert interior coating
Sturdy, durable Bakelite handle
Lifetime-guaranteed non-stick coating
The Price? £14, although I got it for £10, and it's going strong after nearly 30 months. Well worth it for the money it's saved me.
So much more than just a frying pan this Tefal Specifics model is feature-packed to keep you happy. It has a hard wearing enamel exterior for extra durability and easy cleaning. Anti-abrasion copper speckles on the pan base offer excellent heat distribution with no hot-spots. Stay cool Bakelite handles mean you can use the pan without oven gloves while Tefal's Thermospot lets you know exactly when your pan is ready to use. Suitable for all hobs except induction. Comes with a manufacturer's lifetime gu