The diagrammatical instructions from the 'Super Skillet' boxA couple of weeks ago I blogged about ordering a non-non-stick frying pan and wok. The wok was delayed by being out of stock, but the frying pan arrived some time ago, and has been used several times.
At first I tried using it as the instructions on the box suggested (see diagram inset to the right), but the food kept falling out, and the temperature of my abdomen wasn't really enough to cook by. Perhaps my forearms just weren't hefty enough, I thought.
But then I realised that the diagram on the box wasn't about cooking - it's how you wield the pan in preparation for Extreme Iron Chef Pan vs Pan combat. The stance is relaxed and non-tiring, yet ready for a variety of motions at a moment's notice. The non-handle hand can be used to speed the mass of the pan into position for an overhand smash, or rapidly flip the pan upwards for a defensive block with the base. A simple side-swipe requires only that the off-hand be moved aside. And before it even comes to combat, the stance is obviously appropriate for the rhythmic drumming panfighters use for pre-combat negotiations and intimidation. Panfighters practice with a banjo for hours at a time to get this stance right.
At least the box doesn't have any insanely obvious features of the pan listed as if they're special. The new kettle we got has a "hinged lid for easy filling". So if the pan had decided to market the same way, it could have a "rigid handle for non-spill lifting", "raised sides to prevent food loss" and "unperforated base for maximum liquid retention". But it doesn't claim to have any of these things.
Despite these glaring omissions, it is a great pan. Food sticks less to it than it ever did to its 'non-stick' predecessor, heat is distributed more evenly, and the food doesn't go into my eyes. Not that food went into my eyes before, but you never know what features you might need to mention. The only weakness I've found so far in the Super Skillet is that it's not very good for cooking kryptonite. You'd be surprised how rarely that comes up.