Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel Frypan Review
Posted by July 20, 2011 in Cookware, Featured Articles, Reviewson
Well, it happened. The time came to replace my badly ageing large frying pan, and after much deliberation I chose to replace it with a 30cm Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel with Copper Frypan. In this article I explain how I (eventually) arrived at my decision, and what I think of the pan now I’ve had some time with it.
As the copywriter here at Le Domaine, I spend a lot of time researching and writing about cookware. That means the decision to actually buy cookware is either a long, drawn out affair or a complete impulse buy. Everything we sell we’d be perfectly happy using ourselves at home, so how does one end up chosing?
Briefly, you can classify most high end cookware by some primary features, and it’s up to you if those features are important or relevant to you. Obviously, induction compatible cookware is a must if you have or intend on having an induction cooktop. If you’re inexperienced with stainless steel interiors and they scare you running, go with non-stick. If you are allergic to the dishes, your cookware should be dishwasher safe. And if you really can’t stand nylon utensils, then you need to either stick with stainless steel or go for a very durable ‘metal utensil safe’ non-stick. Then there are other features that aren’t so crucial, but make up the final whole of your cookware – heavy or lightweight, glass or solid lid, copper or no copper, and the general appearance.
Giving it thought, I found I was needier than I expected, which ended up making the decision quite easy. Induction? Check. Non-stick? Check. Metal utensils? Check. Dishwasher? Check. I wanted a nice big frying pan, which usually means a heavy and slow to heat up frying pan, so something with copper was on the list. Once I’d narrowed this down, there was really only one left: the Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel with Copper Frypan.
I have had Jamie Oliver cookware before, but never stainless steel. In general I haven’t had issues with the non-stick, except for that time I tried making a béchamel sauce in an older model Jamie Oliver cast aluminium saucepan with a whisk and manual beater. Completely messed up the interior, but it was my fault for getting excited. It was my first time.
Last night I decided to make a mushroom and asparagus risotto – a Jamie Oliver recipe, actually (I swear I’m not obsessed). I wouldn’t make risotto in the Jamie Oliver frypan, you need something with more volume for that, but you do need to fry the asparagus, mushrooms and bacon (facon in my case) properly in oil and butter to add to the risotto in its final stages.
We’ve just started renovating, so I’m managing with a single portable induction hotplate, a hotplate three sizes too small for the 30cm frypan. I have to say, the whole process wasn’t as difficult as I thought. I fried my assembly of mushrooms and salty processed soy first, it can be reheated later just before adding to the cooked risotto. My old saucepan (yes, the one with the torn up base, it still works fine) held kettle boiled water with vegetable stock nearby, while I stirred like crazy in my trusty stainless steel casserole on the induction hotplate. Even though the portable hotplate was too small for the large frypan, it heated up nice and quickly and cooked the overfilled contents all the way to the sides. A lesser frying pan (especially one of that weight) would have taken all day to heat up on a small hotplate like mine, but Jamie Oliver stainless steel with copper handled it gracefully.
We don’t have the dishwasher installed yet, so I had some time with the Jamie Oliver frypan washing up. It is a big, heavy thing, but just how the copper base mitigates the weight and size of it while cooking, the handle compensates in lifting and manoeuvring. The double-pronged handle means that while the handle is hand sized in your palm, it connects to the frying pan at quite a large surface area, so you can turn it over, manipulate and move the pan without too much straining. Plus, the big soft silicone underside takes the edge off the handle digging into your hand.
Coming from hard anodised aluminium cookware, stainless steel does takes a bit of adjustment. The combination of extra heft and more easily dinted body gives me some anxiety, with every fall and bump feeling like the titanic crashing into an iceberg. For a pan this size I would have liked a helper handle – large frypans from Anolon, Chef Inox and Raco tend to have these to give a little extra support. If you’re slight of stature and don’t feel like wrestling a 400 pound gorilla each night, I’d probably recommend the lighter Jamie Oliver Hard Anodised Induction model.
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