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Would it last forever being stainless steel?
Also, how does it compare to cast iron in terms of heat retention?
Hey OrCohen, not an expert but here's what I know:
Won't last forever, but can last many lifetimes if cared for. Simple care is making sure it is washed in warm soapy water, then dried , by hand and not in the dishwasher. Don't shock in cold water after use, but let it cool slowly. The 5 ply is a good guard against warping due to the extra thickness/durability of extra layers.
I also believe that Cast iron will have better heat retention than this pan, although I haven't directly compared the two. There are, however, different benefits to each pan though so those are worth looking into and making sure that you are covering your own specific needs.
From what I've seen, Viking as a brand has a solid reputation of good pots and pans [Their ovens and ranges on the other hand are another story].
Like I said, not an expert, so anyone can feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.
We think you covered it very well! Thank you. The tip about not shocking the pan is super important. A fast temperature change can warp the pan. Always let your Stainless pans cool naturally.
Quality stainless steel pans like this one have very long lifespans and take pretty harsh treatment to actually be 'destroyed'. I have Demeyere Proline *5 skillets that I expect to use until I see a grave and they get passed down to my heirs who will use them until they see a grave too.
Lodge cast iron will have more total heat retention. Quality stainless like this is worlds ahead of aluminum and average big box store stainless. Unless you are using a really weak stove, there will be enough heat retention to sear a steak really well along with most other similar cooking techniques.
Disagree! Where searing a steak is concerned, retention isn't the issue, conductivity is.
How quickly a pan takes to reach searing temp is conductivity, how long it stays at that temp depends on how long it stays in contact with the heat source. On the other hand, once heated and then removed from a heat source, a cast iron pan will retain heat longer. While that's not important when searing a steak, heat retention does have a function in other recipes.
Thermal capacity is important if you are using a weak 'apartment stove'. Sure, a nice 30K BTU cooktop in a nice home can sear in almost any pan. Thermal capacity with a long heat up time let me sear a steak where I would have otherwise essentially braised (or steamed) it to whatever 'done-ness' I wanted.
Don't beleive me, take a cast iron skillet and put it on a cheap $10 electric burner from overseas.
Will this same cheap electric coil cook reasonably in 5 minutes in an aluminum everyday skillet from overseas? Now, let that heavy cast iron sit on the same pathetic heat source for an hour or two. Do water drops dance and does it let your steak get a sear?
I didn't like steamed steaks in that old apartment so, in the oven with the cast iron, out onto the electric coil at 'max' and in the steak went. Instead of a generic grey piece of meat, I could get a descent sear with enough crust to make me happy.
I could go on about hamburgers too however, I don't want to offend people who think a steamed burger is wonderful. I'm not one of them so, again, getting some crust on a burger patty made the meal infinitely more enjoyable to "me".
And yes, heat transfer (conductivity) is what you want in your cookware if you have a good heat source. Low thermal capacity (heat retention) lets you take the heat away if you are too hot (close to burning something).
Thick aluminum with omlettes for example is a really nice experience for me. Stainless steel works well (along with iron pans) for searing and cooking in general with a good heat source, in my experience. French and Belgian copper cookware is really nice if you can live with the requirements it has (not melting the tin, polishing, etc.).
Cookware options, heat sources and, the meals in question should all be considered in your choice of cookware for any given meal.
La Cornue and similar French stoves sure are nice! England has a few nice ones in cast iron and, the Italians have their fair share of great choices too. The EU in general has a lot of great options which is where I learned to love Induction cooktops.
Some day I hope I get to cook on a classic French Top stove.
Invite us for dinner when you do!