Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: Stellar Easy Lift Cast Iron Saute/Server Pan

This fabulous 24cm glossy black cast iron saute pan from Stellar Cookware is both lightweight and sturdy. The range uses a unique manufacturing technique to produce a 'thrown' cast iron pan which produces a thinner but lighter weight body. It retains the outstanding thermal properties of cast iron without the usual heaviness that's associated with cast iron pans. Stellar 'Easy lift pans' are lined with durable enamel which will never wear out.

There are two generous sized riveted stainless steel handles, a glass lid with a steam vent (unfortunately I took the photograph with the lid the wrong way up - please refer to the photograph at the end of this posting to see the steam vent), is suitable for all hob types, oven safe up to 220°C and comes with a Stellar Lifetime Guarantee. Whilst the pan is dishwasher safe, I would hand wash to keep the pan looking at it's best. The pan will look good in any kitchen and is a modern, timeless classic.

I cooked a meal on the hob to test for hotspots and the pan cooked evenly. I cut a medium chicken into portions and the pan was sufficiently large enough to feed a family of four. I cooked chicken, shallots, smoked bacon, garlic and herbs in white wine for last Sundays lunch and the pan was a complete joy to use.

Glass lids are always useful and I like to take a peek to see how the meal is progressing rather than keep lifting the lid. I was able to take the pan to the dining room and serve the meal at the table which saves using more pots and means less washing up - which is always a good thing.

Cast iron pans always look good in the kitchen but as we all know they can be heavy to lift, especially when they are loaded with food. I found the pan to be sturdy, the handles secure and the food stayed hot.

24cm Saute pan/server £40.00 and is also available in other sizes. Please find your nearest Stellar stockist here.

The capacity of the pan/server is approximately 1.5L

Thank you to Stellar Cookware for my saute server.


jguitarrobinson said...

Hi Maggie - how does this compare to le creuset cast Iron? It seems like a great pan, is it alot lighter than le Creuset?

jguitarrobinson said...

This looks like a great pan, how does it compare to Le Creuset, is it that much lighter?

Maggie said...

Hi - thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
Yes, this pan is definitely lightweight even when loaded with food. I store this pan in the saucepan draw. My le Creuset has to be stored in a cupboard, it's far too heavy to store in a draw.
A few comparisons:
Both are investment pieces and well made.
Both are timeless classics providing you choose your colour carefully.
Cleaning: The Stellar is easier to clean.

Anonymous said...

i saw these in a shop recently and was tempted to get one as they were noticeable lighter that other cast iron pans and the enamel means no-nonstick plastic coatings in contact with your food.
what puts me off however is that once that enamel gets a crack in it, it will be the beginning of the end, moisture will get in the crack and lift the enamel. theres also the chance of chipping that brittle enamel.

Maggie said...

Hi Anonymous - thank you for your comment. Your query regarding enamel cracking - this used to happen on pans many years ago. I can only speak as I find and having used this pan on many, many occasions - I have had no issues with the enamel either cracking or chipping. I would never put a pan in the dishwasher I believe the tablets are too harsh. Tip: To give a non-stick surface all you have to do is grease the pan with oil or use a vegetable oil spray and it cleans easily. I hope this helps.

Radu Chiritoiu said...

Hi, I have purchased a cast iron saucepan from TKMaxx - good value for the money. I have thought is is also a good brand. Well I have succeeded to burn some food and the burnt food has sticked on the base. I was unable to clean it back even with some very good cleaning product I have used before. Compared with this my 6 years old saucepan from John Lewis (same factory as Le Creuzet but cheaper) which has been discontinued because there were too good has proved to last for many food burns I have occasionally had. Is it the warranty covering this kind of problem? Many Thanks! Radu

Maggie said...

Hi - is it the Stellar Cast Iron Pan you have purchased? I've never burnt a pan but if you soak the pan in Fairy Platinum the food should come off easily.

Sia said...

Hi, Really Loved your review...

I have started replacing my nonstick cookware with St Steel ones. I wanted to replace my nonstick mini wok - 20cm (which i use for deep-frying like making potato finger chips) to this stellar piece coz i wasn't finding any st steel equivalent.

I am just worried about the depth of the pan, if it would be usable for deep-frying..

Kindy suggest...

Cheers :)

Maggie said...

Hi Sia - thank you for leaving a comment. The pan I have reviewed has a depth of approximately 7cm. Maybe you can measure this against your mini-wok and make a judgement. Hoping this helps.

pansypuss said...

Hi Maggie. Could you let me know the capacity of this pan please? I have looked on all the sellers' websites I can find, and nobody mentions this, not even the Stellar site. It would give me an idea how it compares to the old pan I want to replace with one of these. Thank you.

Maggie said...

Hi pansypuss
I have asked Stellar and they say the capacity is approximately 1.5L. Hope this helps. Best wishes, Maggie