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Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Fry Pan? on 01/23/2010 11:15:22 MST Print View

I've trimmed my cooking system down to the point where I'm just boiling water. But, I'm thinking I oughta be able to fry up some trout, or eggs, or stir-fry some veggies ... Make me a grilled cheese samwich ...

I've looked at several posts here and have learned some generalities - Ti doesn't spread heat too well, resulting in hot spots - Unless one's careful about heat and keep things moving ... Al is heavier, but cooks better. Some of the coatings peel. Foods stick to those without coatings, making cleanup hard.

What's a boy to do?

So, I've looked at a few pans out there:

Primus Litech Frying Pan, Al, 6.5" base, 8.7" top, 9.4oz $22 - Heaviest, has sloping sides, a fairly narrow base. Probably great for flipping food around, & cooking eggs, but too small for a brookie.

MSR Flex Skillet Al w/Duralite DX, 9", 7oz $25 - Wide with straight sides. Harder to sling stuff around, but a small fillet, or several scones will fit well.

REI Ti Ware Nonstick Ti, 7.5", 4.9 ozs $49.5 - Light, Expensive, Has sloping sides, but folks claim it doesn't spread heat well (I understand that this is same as Evernew?)

MSR BlackLite Frying Pan, Al w/ blacklight coating, 7.25", 5.4 oz, on sale at REI-Outlet for under $10 - Reviewers claim this coating scratches and peels easily (Maybe why the changed?)

So, I'm torn between three possibilities - The REI Ti, The MSR Flex, or something I haven't considered...

What do ya'll think?

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Evernew on 01/23/2010 11:28:37 MST Print View

http://www.traildesigns.com/evernew.html#pots-other has a bunch of Ti options from Evernew.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Second for evernew sets on 01/23/2010 12:58:41 MST Print View

If I were to go for a backpacking fry pan, I would definitely go for one of the Evernew sets:

http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=ECA403&cat=99

or

http://www.antigravitygear.com/proddetail.php?prod=ECA417

or even bigger, depending on your size needs.

No backpacking pan is thick enough to spread heat effectively, whatever material it is made out of. Titanium is less heat conductive than aluminum, so all things being equal it will perform worse. But let's be honest, even the cheapest non-stick pan meant for kitchen use will outperform any of these pans.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Fry Pan? on 01/23/2010 13:03:06 MST Print View

I use a hard anondized fry pan made by GSI. I tried non-stick Ti a couple of times and found it too hard to make things like pancakes. The aluminum is way better and worth the slight weight increase if you want to cook real food.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
It's not the lightest . . . on 01/23/2010 14:09:53 MST Print View

but the most efficient backcountry frying pan is from Jetboil, which has heat exchanger fins. Mates with PCS (and new Flash) and GCS but not Helios. Too heavy if you trim your map corners or don't have a Jetboil set to use it with. The Primus Litech mentioned above is pretty good too.

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Re: Second for evernew sets on 01/23/2010 14:34:51 MST Print View

"If I were to go for a backpacking fry pan, I would definitely go for one of the Evernew sets"

Perhaps, but I already have TI pots sufficient for solo and couple camping. I'm looking to supplement that with a decent pan ... And, of course, I want it all - good cooking, light and inexpensive!

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Re: Re: Fry Pan? on 01/23/2010 14:38:56 MST Print View

"I use a hard anondized fry pan made by GSI."

I looked at their site. Their Pinnacle 8" Al pan looks like a nice cooker, but is 13 oz. They make a hard anodized pan sold as part of a kit that looks like it might be interesting. Wonder if they'll sell it separately ...

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Fry Pan? on 01/23/2010 14:48:57 MST Print View

The light fry pans I've used have been pretty horrid, all things considered. Thin little things don't weigh much, but also don't cook well. The MSR Flex skillet might be good. I've never weighed a cheapo little "box store" nonstick fry pan, but I bet if you took the handle off it'd be pretty light. Gotsta have a thicker bottom. If you like backcountry cooking and baking, you might consider the Banks frybake; NOLS gets a lot of use out of them, I gather. No personal experience w/them, but if an institutional program gets good use out of them...

http://frybake.com/store/

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: Re: Fry Pan? on 01/23/2010 14:53:13 MST Print View

I have the nForm Gourmet 8" fry pan. It came as part of a set with a 2L pot, lid, gripper handle, and cash/wash basin. The pan is 5.2 oz and the gripper is 2.2 oz.

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Re: Re: Fry Pan? on 01/23/2010 15:04:27 MST Print View

"If you like backcountry cooking and baking, you might consider the Banks frybake."

Alpine Fry-Bake Pan with lid, 8", Pan w/ lid = 10oz. $61 or $56 for a cosmetic second. Use like a dutch oven ... Thanks! Me likey ...

David White
(davidw) - F

Locale: Midwest
T-Fal One Egg Wonder Skillet on 01/23/2010 15:36:42 MST Print View

Kinda small at 4-3/4", but I've seen a couple of really positive reviews of a T-Fal "One Egg Wonder" fry pan. Weight is approx 6 ounces and available at Wal-Mart. Tinny at MBD has a pretty good video review at http://minibulldesign.com/myadventure/index.php?blogid=1&archive=2010-01 Go down to January 13th's videos.

I'll probably pick one up.

Chris Gray
(ChrisFol) - F

Locale: Denver, Coloado
Re: T-Fal One Egg Wonder Skillet on 01/23/2010 15:50:22 MST Print View

Not much use when you are catching fish 8" and above.

As a fly fisherman who loves fresh trout for lunch everyday in the backcountry, I found that many of these lightweight pans are just too thin for any serious cooking. I tried the MSR flex and found that after a couple of uses it began to bow in the middle due to the heat of my stove, that got promptly return.

I then went for a Ti fry-pan but that was even worse for reasons already mentioned and at $40+ the price is outrageous for something that is just useless.

Probably the best lightweight fry-pan that I have used was REI's 8" Chefware (11.4oz). My father-in-law prefers the extra weight of a "real" fry-pan that he picked up at King Soopers.

My advice however is to take your stove to a retailer and test out the different pans to make sure that they fit and are stable. Nothing worse than needing to constantly hold the handle to stop it from tipping over due to the size of your stove and heavy handle.

Edited by ChrisFol on 01/23/2010 15:51:07 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
"Fry Pan?" on 01/23/2010 15:56:48 MST Print View

REI has (or had, a couple years ago) a 6" corrugated aluminum heat disperser which exactly fits the Evernew coated fry pan. Pan=4.8 oz, disperser=2.6 oz. The disperser eliminates scorching your scrambled eggs, as it efficiently distributes the heat over the entire bottom of the fry pan. Keep in mind that the heat disperser seems to lessen the stove's fuel efficiency (heat is lost somehow).

If you plan on doing a fair amount of simmering, frying, or making pancakes, you might want to get a stove with a wide flame head, such as Coleman's F-1 (5.7 oz). These tend to spread the flame over a greater area (a wider hot spot?). With an Evernew fry pan or pot, disperser, and F-1, I find I can cook most anything I want to without scorching it. There's an obvious weight penalty with this setup, but on most overnighters it won't be too much of a problem. Sometimes, the 7.5 oz. added weight is worth it, when one can have real food for a change. It's not an SUL or UL approach, but I think it can still occasionally be part of a lightweight kit, depending on your culinary priorities.

Joe Figura
(GrinchMT) - F

Locale: Big Sky Country
Re: One Egg Wonder on 01/23/2010 16:03:49 MST Print View

I posted videos about the one egg wonder almost 2 years ago on YouTube. Showed a bunch of different ways to use it as a baker....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROtZJ8qrFBE --

At the time Tinny poo poo'd my idea along with my stove. Now suddenly he's calling it a "must have". Whatever, the point is, it's great when you're by yourself but it's size is hard to deal with for things like pancakes. You have to keep cooking and eating one at a time and so forth. But at 4 ounces, its ok.

Edited by GrinchMT on 01/23/2010 16:16:08 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: "Fry Pan?" on 01/23/2010 16:06:14 MST Print View

I use the lid to a GSI Backpackers set (the same nForm mentioned up above). It is light, thin and more so: works well.

You want a super slick surface for best results. As well, for canister stoves a heat diffuser can work wonders on even heat. You can make diffusers out of pie plates even......

The one egg wonder does work but it is a small pan. It has thickness which does prevent burning though.

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Re: "Fry Pan?" on 01/23/2010 16:36:21 MST Print View

"REI has (or had, a couple years ago) a 6" corrugated aluminum heat disperser ..."

Seems I've seen such an animal, but I can't find it now... I'll have to keep looking ...

Joe Figura
(GrinchMT) - F

Locale: Big Sky Country
Re: Heat Diffuser on 01/23/2010 16:41:26 MST Print View

a 10 dollar GSI "Toaster" works just as well and can be dual use.

http://www.gsioutdoors.com/detail.aspx?c=4&sc2=38&p=65610&lu=%2flist.aspx%3fc%3d4%26sc2%3d38&

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
Gelled alcohol on 01/23/2010 18:36:44 MST Print View

If you already have a pan that tends to burn you might try bringing along a can of sterno or equivalent. The flame pattern is weak and wobbly across a wide area. I think this makes up for whatever limitations a thin pan may have. I've cooked spam on uncoated AL pans with success because of the weak flame. The extra fuel does weigh a few ounces but it might be worth a shot.

Edited by theronr on 01/23/2010 18:40:02 MST.

Bill (L.Dog) Garlinghouse
(WJGhouse) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
Re: Re: "Fry Pan?" on 01/23/2010 18:45:24 MST Print View

""REI has (or had, a couple years ago) a 6" corrugated aluminum heat disperser ..."

Seems I've seen such an animal, but I can't find it now... I'll have to keep looking"

Here's one:
http://www.packitgourmet.com/Heat-Diffuser-p369.html

Width – 8.25” diameter
Weight – 6.4 oz (with handle)
5.1 oz (without handle)

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Fry Pan on 01/23/2010 20:57:40 MST Print View

Nah, William--all those things are too heavy. I'll try to hit my Boulder REI tomorrow and see if those 2.6 oz. guys are still on the rack. If so, I'll post here and see if you want me to send you 1 or 2 of them. Thick aluminum foil/plate, as Sarah mentioned, should work OK, but these are the way to go.