A good stainless skillet, one with either a copper or aluminum core, can last a lifetime. Stainless steel is non-reactive, meaning that you can cook anything in it, and it keeps its shine forever. I was sent the Misen 10″ skillet to try; Misen skillets are made of 5-ply stainless with an aluminum core for better heat conductivity and retention.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Misen skillet is that it is hefty; weighing in at about 3 pounds, the skillet feels substantial and not cheap. The handle is riveted twice to the skillet’s body, and it feels solid and secure.
Misen says that the ergonomic handle offers a “more secure, comfortable grip and remain cool during stove-top cooking.” The handle is substantial and easier to grasp than thinner, flatter handles when you are rattling pans in the kitchen, but I wouldn’t advise grabbing it bare handed. Just like any other handle, if it’s near an open flame, it is going to get hot.
Misen skillets are made from a 3.0mm thick composite which features 5 layers (5-ply) of stainless steel and aluminum; the aluminum core is what makes the pan conduct and retain heat so well, as solid stainless isn’t as efficient at doing that on its own. Unlike cooking with cast iron or aluminum, you don’t have to worry about ruining your pan’s finish when cooking acidic things like tomatoes or lemon-based recipes; stainless doesn’t rust, and it won’t change color, but it’s also a good idea to not store super acidic things in it (or any pan, for that matter), because it can eventually cause pitting.
Stainless steel is fantastic in the kitchen because it is easy to clean and it will last forever with proper care. When shopping for stainless steel pans, it’s important to find ones that are as thick on the bottom as they are on the sides — this helps keep your dinner from scorching like it would with a thinner grade pan. Misen skillets are definitely this thicker, better grade.
One thing you do have to take care to prevent is sticking when cooking with stainless. Unlike Teflon-coated pans, which allow the food you’re searing to brown without sticking, stainless steel cookware doesn’t have that chemical layer — it’s just your food and a bit of butter, margarine, or oil. If you’re used to cooking with Teflon-coated pans, it will be a bit of an adjustment, but it’s worth it to never have to worry about degrading Teflon coating ending up in your recipes. (Yuck)
Stainless steel is safe to use in or on top of the oven; it’s simple to brown things and creates a great crust in this skillet — the secret is getting the pan hot on medium heat before you add the oil or butter and then adding your food; this makes the pan behave like a non-stick skillet. Stainless cookware works well on gas, electric, and conductive stove tops. I don’t ever use metal utinsils with stainless (or anything but cast iron, to be honest); I still with wooden and plastic.
Caring for stainless is very easy to do; although it might technically be dishwasher safe, I’ve always found that a good soak in water with a bit of dish soap will coax off anything stuck to the bottom of the pan, and a soft sponge or dish brush will take care of the rest. It’s kind of therapeutic just to wash your pans, ya know? I don’t ever use steel wool or scouring pads on my stainless pans, as it can scratch the finish — and no one wants that.
Misen says that their skillets are “designed to offer optimal heat conduction and retention, with comfortable ergonomic handles and durable construction that will last a lifetime of searing, sautéing, and any other task you throw at them.” This skillet is built so well and it is so heavy, that I have no doubt it will be around longer than I am.
The Misen 10″ Stainless Steel Skillet retails for $65 and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Solid construction; Ergonomic handle; 5-ply stainless with an aluminum core for better heat conduction and retention; Easy to care for; Beautiful design
What Needs Improvement: Nothing