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I have throughout my life had several dubious experiences with frying pans, the most recent being a couple of years ago when I used an ordinary frying pan for cooking pancakes and ended up with a messy dough stuck to the bottom which wouldn't 'flip' over despite a liberal coating of oil. It was with this experience ringing in my ears that my new husband and I decided to buy a decent non stick frying pan for our regular cooking needs. With a handful of our wedding gift vouchers we headed for our local Debenhams to check out the frying pan competition.
Now I must admit to have heard a lot of good claims from Tefal over the years, what with people saying that they are the one of the best when it comes to non stick technology which lasts for years and so we opted for the Tefal Basics Frying Pan.
===Looks and Packaging===
Now this Tefal pan looks in my opinion no different to any other frying pan on the market the only differentiation being the large red Tefal circle in the centre of the pan. The pan is largely black in colour with a black body being matched with a long black plastic handle. The only design details are the silver trim to the rim of the pan and to the end of the handle connecting the handle to the body of the pan.
You would expect that this pan would be packaged in some sort of box however when we bought ours we found that the pan was just stacked amongst all the other pans for sale on the kitchenware shelf. This was handy in so far as the pan did not come with any of that cardboard and polystyrene that so often accompanies most goods but would be difficult if this pan was to be bought as a gift as you could hardly say 'can you guess what it is?'. Additionally it meant that the pan did not come with any accompanying text explaining the technology and use of the pan and so I have had to rely on the information online to gain this insight.
The pan measurements are as follows:
Length - 46cm
Width - 28cm
Depth - 11cm
The circular body of the pan measures in at 28cm diameter which means that it can heat and cook a reasonable amount of food and will easily cater for between four to six people. The frying pan is quite long and this means that it does have an 18cm handle, great when cooking but not so great if left hanging over the side of the hob as it could cause safety issues with people walking past.
This pan is roughly the same size as a standard frying pan and is the perfect size for the most standard of oven hobs. It sits very well on our gas hob especially since we have a wok burner for this purpose and also nestles neatly in our kitchen cupboard when not being used underneath the stack of all our other frying pans.
Now as with all Tefal products this one comes with its fair share of helpful technology which makes it highly fit for purpose. This includes the red 'thermospot' in the centre of the pan which when cool is a light red colour and as you cook gradually darkens to a deep red to show that the pan has reached optimum cooking temperature. 'Durabase' technology means that the pan has even heat distribution and this is have found means that every spot of the pan is practically the same temperature and so cooks food evenly. It also has a coating to the inside of the pan known as 'Resist Plus' which means that the food will not stick during cooking and a PTFE non-stick exterior for easy cleaning. These qualities all aid in cooking and in my case I have found the non-stick base and exterior coating to be particularly useful.
A quick look at the Tefal website indicates that this frying pan can be used for the following hobs and cookers-
- Gas and electric cookers
- Ceramic and halogen hobs
This means that it will suit the vast majority of kitchens and is therefore incredibly adaptable. In addition to this, the pan is given a lifetime guarantee on the non stick coating which means that this pan could effectively be used for a number of years before replacing (I am never sure on the lifetime part). The body of the pan is made out of aluminium and the pan is also fully dishwasher safe. Despite not having a dishwasher myself I am sure that this feature will take the time out of cleaning a heavily used pan.
===Price and Availability===
We bought our Tefal Basics Frying Pan last year and paid in the region of £24 for ours from our local Debenhams. However it can currently be bought from Debenhams online for only £18 in the sale down from £36 originally. Considering that this pan is given a non stick lifetime guarantee from Tefal and has a certain degree of useful cooking technology this makes this pan a bargain in my opinion, certainly when you work out the cost in pence per use.
Now in my household our frying pan gets used daily at least once and this is usually in the form of scrambled eggs as part of my husband's healthy lunch. We also use it regularly for pan frying meat, cooking omelettes and making stir fry and pasta sauces. To put it this way it is very depended on particularly last night with the yearly onslaught of pancake night.
This pan works perfectly as a cooking aid for all of these needs and I have been impressed with both the speed in which it heats up and the efficiency of cooking. We have a gas hob and usually find that the pan has reached optimum temperature within a minute of being placed on the flame which is perfect for those times when you are in a rush to get food done. This heat efficiency is a great feature apart from those times when you leave food for a few minutes and therefore return to find it on the brink of burning. I have therefore tended to keep my frying pan on a low flame to prevent it from getting too enthusiastic with its cooking. The non stick technology is also a very useful feature and has a very resilient finish. Bearing in mind that our pan gets a daily use for scrambling eggs which I must admit is usually done with the help of a sharp fork it has suffered no dents or scratches to the non stick finish and remains as good as when we first bought it. The non stick finish also works incredibly well, and in all the year period that I have been using mine I have found no incidents with food sticking to the base; however I have always used a drop of oil before cooking. This was tested to the limit during pancake cooking last night and over and over again provided the perfect flip.
The frying pan is made from aluminium which means that it is quite a lightweight pan and only starts to become heavy when it is filled to the rim with sauce or in my case stir fry. This means that if the handle is left hanging over the edge of the hob it will be knocked off quite easily when being used to just heat oil. The actual quality of the pan is good and was as expected for the price that we paid, however my only slight criticism is the joint where the plastic handle joins the base of the pan as it has become slightly loose over time.
As one of the features of this frying pan is its non stick exterior finish it was important to me to review this feature. Our pan does suffer with the usual dribbling of eggs down the side which when hot do tend to cook to a brown crust round the edges. Whilst many of my other pans without the non stick technology do tend to get gradually battered with cooked on food, this pan does clean very easily and it is usually adequate to use only a small amount of elbow grease and a dash of fairy liquid to eliminate the problem. However, it may be worth mentioning that this frying pan does get incredibly hot very quickly which means that it sizzles when placed into washing up water and I would not advise it is cleaned by anyone other that an adult after use.
My review will show that I am a big fan of this frying pan as it has served our house daily for the last year and has catered to all our cooking needs. Although I cannot vouch for it from anything other than a standard gas hob point of view, it has been a perfect cooking accessory for our small household of just two people however I can see it working just as well in households of between four and six people. The lifetime non stick guarantee means that you are guaranteed a certain degree of quality when you buy this pan and it should therefore be seen as more of an investment than a quick buy.
The Tefal Basics Frying Pan is in my opinion everything but basic in its performance and I would therefore highly recommend it. As a result of the above I am scoring this frying pan four stars out of five.
Thanks for reading! x
There are a few essentials that every kitchen needs and one of those is a good frying pan. No matter how healthy you might be trying to be there is always going to be something that needs to be cooked in the frying pan. However there are ways of minimising the amount of oil that you need to use and one of those ways is with using a non stick pan.
I bought my Tefal frying pan from my local kitchen shop and it was originally priced at £19.99 but when I bought it they were having a sale and I managed to get it for £11.99. I already had some Tefal pans and was really happy with them so I jumped at the chance to add the frying pan to my collection.
I wanted a large enough pan to be able to cook more than one portion of food at a time and the pan I got was the ideal size measuring 26cm.
The pan has a non stick longlide coating which means that it has four different layers which are a bonding layer, an anti-abrasion layer, a top coat layer with an anti-scratch barrier and a non-stick finishing layer which ensures easy cleaning.
The base is what Tefal call a durabase which is supposed to give an even distribution of heat and is suitable for both gas and radiant rings.
The handle of the frying pan is bakalite plastic which is designed to stay cool and can withstand direct heat to 180 degrees celcius.
Well the first thing that I noticed when getting the frying pan home was just how light it was. To be honest it actually felt a little flimsy and cheap in comparison to the heavier base frying pans I was originally looking at. This flimsiness was confirmed when I took it from my cupboard after only about a week and noticed that it had already been dented quite significantly by a neighbouring pan.
The somewhat poor construction continued to the handle which after about a month had started to become loose and when I lifted the pan I could feel it coming away. I have had the pan for over a year now and to give it credit although the handle is a little loose it has never come away from the base.
The claims that Tefal make about the coating being scratch resistant aren't exactly true as my pan has plenty of scratches on it. To be fair though I do use metal utensils and the actual non stick coating hasn't actually come off anywhere.
The pan has a red thermal spot in the middle that changes to a darker red when the pan is supposed to be at it's optimul temperature for cooking. I have an electric cooker and I notice that it takes absolutely ages for this to change colour and even when it does the pan just does not get hot enough no matter how long I leave it on the hob.
The temperature the pan reaches is pretty much useless for certain foods and I would be there all day if I was making a stir fry for example and even browning meat for a stew is a chore and takes forever. I have another frying pan and I can cook food at least twice as quick in that one as opposed to this one.
The good things about the pan are the size of it which is perfect for fitting in lots of food at once. For example I can fit about 5 eggs comfortably in the pan even if they do take ages to cook at least I can make sure they are all ready at the same time.
The bakalite handle is also good and true to Tefals promise it really does stay cool all the time which is great especially in comparison with my other pan which has a metal handle that needs a towel wrapped round it before I can even lift it as it ges so hot within seconds of being put on the hob. Because the handle is heat resistant you can also put the whole frying pan in the oven upto 180 degrees which is great for those times you need to keep food warm before serving whilst your waiting for something else to cook.
However the best thing about the frying pan is the non-stick coating. This is fanastic and the reason that I
still use the frying pan even though I don't think a lot of it. Absolutely nothing will stick to this pan. There is no hassle with having to slide a spatula under food that has stuck and burnt to the base and when it comes to cleaning the pan it literally is a case of just wiping it over and food just slides off. I was feeling lazy one day and made scrambled eggs in my heavy metal pan because it is quicker and afterwards I spent about 20 minutes having to scrub the remaining egg off the bottom. With this one it just slides off. It's dishwasher safe but as it is so easy to clean I don't bother with putting it in.
Because the non stick coaing is so effective it also means that I need much less oil than I do in my other pan and in fact I have started to dry cook a lot of food as I find that there is just no need for it.
Whilst I wouldn't recommend the frying pan I personally have I would recommend Tefal itself but instead of going for a cheaper one I would invest a little bit more money and go for a heavier better quality one.
The non sick lining of the frying pans will make your life so much easier when it comes to cleaning and the fact that you can also cook your foods in a healthier way is a nice added bonus.
Although mine feels a little bit cheaply made and flimsy the underlying materials used have actually stood the test of time and other than a dent and a loose handle the frying pan is still going strong. I just wish I hadn't been so desperate to get a perceived bargain and went for a higher quality Tefal as my mum has one that has all the benefits of mine but without any of the flaws.