Anolon stainless steel stir fry pan
In May, my daughter Lauren and I went to our first food blogging conference, Blogher Food in Miami. What an experience to be in the same room with 500 food bloggers for 48 hours! We learned a ton, met a lot of wonderful people, ate some really great food and when I came home Anolon sent me a note saying I had won this wonderful stainless steel stir fry pan. Thank you Anolon!
Stir frying has been on my list
The one thing everyone is looking for is fast, healthy weeknight meals. Stir fry is the answer whether you are looking to whip up some crispy vegetables, or crank out a one-dish meal of protein and veggies.
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What I like about this pan
It is beautiful - Truly this pan is elegantly designed. The shape and shiny surface are gorgeous. The handles are sturdy and the lid provides extra options for steaming.
It doesn't need to be seasoned - Carbon steel woks are the traditional pans used for stir fry, but like cast iron pans and traditional paella pans, carbon steel woks need to be seasoned.
It doesn't rust and is easy to take care of - Carbon steel rusts and must be meticulously dried on the stove each time you use it. Once a carbon steel pan rusts you have to clean it out with salt and oil, and depending on how much rust you have, the pan may need to be re-seasoned. My carbon steel wok is currently a little rusty and needs some work. My Anolon pan is good to go and that says a lot when you are in a hurry and ready to cook. The product literature says this wok is dishwasher safe, but I am a purist and rarely wash pans in the dishwasher so I have not tested this.
It deep fries beautifully - I used this pan to fry chicken and discovered two big benefits: 1) It uses less oil than a traditional frying pan, and 2) It is a lot cleaner. The wide high sides prevent a lot of splattering.
It can sustain high temperatures - The whole point of stir fry is to cook your food quickly on high heat. The copper bottom and stainless steel distributes heat well and can withstand heat up to 500 degrees.
It can go from stove to oven - I would not be comfortable putting a traditional wooden handled wok in the oven, but you can with this stainless steel pan.
Limitations of this pan
It is a little smaller than a traditional wok -- 12" vs 14." This means you have a little less capacity. A 14" traditional wok can handle about 1 pound of chicken, 3/4 pounds of beef or about 4 cups of dense vegetables. The capacity of this pan is just a little less. You never want to overcrowd your wok.