ManPan Stir Fry Wok Review – The Eco Friendly Cookware

ManPan Stirfry PanI never tire of receiving cookware samples to review, so when a box arrived and was sitting on my desk I couldn’t wait to open it. Inside I was happy to find a Manpan stir fry wok.

If you’ve never heard of ManPans before then you’re not the only one. We have been running this website for a few years now and it was only when a representative of the company contacted us that we found out about them.

So who are they? Well, ManPans is a brand of Lloyd Industries and Lloyd Industries supply commercial cookware to restaurants and commercial kitchens. However, their Manpan line of cookware has been developed with the specific purpose of supplying chef quality pans to consumers.

First Impressions…

As I lifted the pan out of the box I was surprised at how light it was. I am so used to cookware like All Clad and Cuisinart Multiclad where the clad bases make the pans feel solid and weighty.

My other initial reaction was that the pan looked a bit rough around the edges. Almost as if it hadn’t been packaged properly and had scuffed during transport.

Okay not a good start, but stay with me here as although these were my initial thoughts, there are explanations for each of them…and things only got better from there.

What’s in the Box

We received a 10in stir fry pan with a steamer and lid. Both the lid and steamer can be purchased separately.

Where is it made?

It’s not very often that you find a pan that is manufactured in the US but this is one of them. This pan is made in Spokane, WA USA.

What is it made of?

Many will be pleased to know that this pan is 100% PTFE and Teflon-free!!

The pan is constructed from hard anodized aluminum so it conducts heat well and means you don’t need to use high temperatures to cook.

Amazing Non-Scratch Surface!!!

The surface of the pan is coated with what the company calls Gem-X2 which they describe as a two layer sapphire/quartz-like natural mineral finish. Apparently it is resistant to scratching, chipping and flaking. They are so sure of the high standard of the finish that they claim that you can rub a coin across the coating and it will not scratch the surface and in fact, it will wear down the coin instead. I found this a bit too good to be true but decided to take up the challenge and give it a go.

This was harder than I thought…I hate to see cookware with scratches but for the sake of this review, I knew I had to do it. So out came the coin and away I went scratching at the surface. I tried it first on the bottom surface of the steamer as I didn’t want to ruin the pan itself.

It was pretty amazing actually. After a lot of effort with the coin, the surface did have what looked scratches although they were quite faint. BUT as soon as I rubbed the scratches with a damp cloth they disappeared. I did it again and again and scratched even harder but each time the scratches just rubbed off. In fact they just came off by rubbing the area with my thumb.

I then tried it on the pan itself and had the same result.

I checked the pan a day later to see if the scratches ‘suddenly reappeared’ but no they were gone for good and in fact I couldn’t even find the spot where the scratches were to begin with.

And for those that need to see the results take a look at the pics below:

Manpan - Scratch Marks Made with a Coin

 
Manpan - Scratch Marks Disappeared

The Shape

The pan has deep curved sides and is not as open as the tradtional style wok that we are used to …but we need to remember that we are looking at an American style wok here not a traditional wok… so we won’t get into comparisons between the two.

However, for those that aren’t aware, a traditional wok has a wide opening and a small handle on each side. The bottom is curved and requires a stand for it to sit secure on the stove top. An American style wok, on the other hand, is known as a stir fry pan. It has a flat base and one long handle and sometimes a handle helper. So although they are basically designed to do the same job they are quite different in their construction.

I find that this is a great pan to move food around in as the sides are deep and curved.  It is surprising just how much food you can fit into this 10in pan. And the flat bottom ensures that the pan stays secure on the stove top.

Does it generate enough heat?

The goal for any stir fry pan or wok is to generate a lot of heat. This is so foods cook quickly and evenly – a low heat tends to cause the foods to stew in their own juices which means that the meat can become tough and vegetables soggy and unpalatable. For this reason we really wanted to focus on this aspect of the pan to ensure it made the grade. If it didn’t there really was no point reviewing any further.

So what did we find?

We’re happy to say that the pan did exceptionally well in the heat department. I actually used my own stovetop for testing. And we used it on a hot plate that is renowned for not generating a lot of heat so we were surprised that the pan did so well. The pan got hot quickly and maintained good solid heat the entire time.

I would tend to think that because this pan doesn’t have a thick base is what makes the difference here. It means the pan heats up quickly and maintains the heat during the cooking process.

Can it be used on a ceramic stove top?

Yes definitely – the pan is safe to use on ceramic stove tops.

Can I use the Manpan in the oven?

Yes, these pans are oven safe to an amazing 700F…not that there are many home ovens that get anywhere near to that temperature but at least the option is there if you need it. Just be aware however that the lid is only oven safe to 400F.

What is the handle like?

The handles stay cool on the stovetop but ensure that you use oven gloves if using in the oven as they will get hot. It also feels quite comfortable to hold.

Beauty Marks…

Manpan - Eg of Scuff MarksAs I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this pan arrived with what looked like scuff marks. You can see an example of what I mean in the image. These were examples of marks found on the steamer but there were also minor marks on the pan itself.

I attributed it to poor packaging, however on checking the manpan website I found the following:

“We believe the Gem-X2 finish quality of our pans gives you the most beautiful cooking results imaginable. Our exclusive manufacturing process leaves an occasional harmless streak, smudge or rack mark on the cookware and we don’t overfinish them with unnecessary pretty coatings. We call these our “beauty marks”.”

I guess when your priority is to supply cookware for industrial applications where the performance of the cookware is the top priority then a few ‘beauty marks’ on the final look of the cookware isn’t an issue.

This may work with those in the industry but I just wonder about home cooks. I must admit that I was initially disappointed at seeing the scuff marks but on the other hand I quickly got over it after using the pan and assessing its performance.

Eco-Friendly?…definitely!

Being eco-friendly is definitely something this company is good at. Here’s what they had to say about their cookware:

“Since we manufacture, anodize and finish all our pans in one US location, we save carbon by reducing transportation. Our anodizing process is very clean both in sewage and air quality and receives high marks from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Our finishing technology contains no petroleum products, no PFE or PFOA, is water based and completely non-reactive. From manufacturing to our finished product, we are truly embracing the most eco-friendly cookware available.”

You can read more about it here…Man Pan Eco Green Manufacturing

Does it come with a warranty?

Yes, the pan comes with a lifetime warranty for any defects in material and workmanship. Plus if you aren’t happy with the pan for any reason you can return it in 30 days for a refund.

Our Final Analysis

If you’re looking for perfection then you may be disappointed if the pan happens to turn up with minor scuff marks or discolortions. People tend to expect everything to be just right when they purchase something new so I can only think that this may be an issue for some. Just be aware that this in no way detracts from the ability of this pan to do the job intended.

Overall if you are looking for a green eco friendly pan that stir frys exceptionally well then we definitely recommend this pan. It’s strong but light, it looks good, feels good and does a beautiful job at generating the required amount of heat for cooking stir frys.

Recommended Links

>Watch a Video to see the pan in action – ManPan Videos

>Read more about Manpan Eco Green Manufacturing

>The Manpan Homepage

>Read more about the ManPan Stirfry Pan.

>Check out prices here.

Rachael Ray Orange 10 Piece Stainless Steel Set Review

Rachael Ray 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware SetThis set contains a 1½ quart saucepan with lid, a 3 quart saucepan with lid, an 8 quart stockpot with lid, an 8 inch skillet, a 10 inch skillet and a 10 inch (3 quart) sauté pan with lid.

This is a very ‘Rachael’ set with her trademark favorite  color orange.  If you like orange you will love this set – and it is also quite a good safety feature as it makes you more aware of where the handles are positioned on the stove top and so you automatically turn them in for safety. 

The stay-cool handles are also attached to the pans with double rivets making them extra strong.  They are easy-grip silicon and angled high so it doesn’t hurt your wrist to lift a full pan.

Stainless steel is not known for its’ ability to heat up quickly and evenly.  However the Rachael Ray 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set has a thick, flat aluminum base which makes up for this deficiency and it is great when you’re cooking as you don’t get hot spots that cause the food to stick and burn. 

It also has a nice satin finish rather than a shiny one  which is aesthetically pleasing – it looks really good. The slight rounding of the interiors from the base to the side makes them work like professional chef’s pans and gives great results.

The edges of the pans are slightly flared which makes it possible to pour from them without annoying drips. Dishwashing is not recommended but to be honest, because the bases are so thick, you don’t need a high heat so not much sticks to these – so hand washing isn’t a chore. 

If anything does stick, just give the pan a good soak in hot, soapy water and use a non-scratch dish scrubber.  Bar Keepers Friendwill get rid of even the most stubborn stuck or burnt on food.

The glass lids are great for seeing what’s happening to the food but the drawback with these is that there is no vent in the lid.  This means that as steam builds up, it clouds the glass so that you can’t see the contents and you do end up having to lift the lid off anyway.

A helpful bonus with this set is that the lids for the sauté pan and the Dutch oven also fit the 10 inch skillet so you don’t waste time hunting for lids. The set is compatible with all stove tops, even induction and is safe in an oven up to 400 degrees. All in all, a great ‘starter’ set for a reasonable price, which you can add to as there are many other matching items available.

Where Can I Buy the Rachael Ray 10 Piece Stainless Cookware Set?  Amazon

Unusual and Not So Unusual Recipes of the Week

We’ve decided to start adding a regular blog post per week highlighting some of the best cooking recipes we’ve found during the week. Since we both love to cook, we regularly surf the net looking for recipes and it seemed like a waste to not post the ones we thought deserved a mention.

So here are the results for this week:

  • Recipe for Cool Cherry Soup – This one is unusual but looks very refreshing and so easy to make. I love the sound of the ingredients with the additon of ginger, mustard and honey. Unfortunately cherries aren’t in season here in Australia but I know that most of our readers are from the US and you shouldn’t have a problem finding cherries at the moment.
  • Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream – There’s nothing like making your own homemade ice cream and I love the sound of this recipe. Combining balsamic vinegar with strawberries may sound a little strange but they actually work really well together. This is a great looking blog and well worth a visit.
  • Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Dessert – This one looks soooo good and is another really quick and easy one to make.
  • Marinated Flank Steak (London Broil) – My mouth watered when I saw the photo of this succulent steak.


Vacation Homes Southern Californian Gourmet Getaway With Chef Bonnie

Like Holidays? Like Cooking?

Then You are in for a treat.

Talking about vacations is generally kept for our www.traveltripz.com travel website. But this is a special treat that combines two loves of mine, travel and cooking.

Who wouldn’t enjoy a holiday in Southern California with the special treat of having dinner cooked for you, and up to three friends, by Chef Bonnie from ‘The Food Network’ &  ‘Hell’s Kitchen’.  You will remember Chef Bonnie as the 26 year old nanny and chef from LA who was a finalist (and almost won) in the popular TV show ‘Hells Kitchen’.

Well if you pop over to VacationRentals.com you will see that they are running a competition in which you can win a holiday in one of the  Vacation  Homes in Southern California and have Chef Bonnie come to your vacation rental  home to cook dinner.

I don’t know about you but a winning a  Chef Bonnie Weekend Getaway sounds pretty good to me. There are also two other packages on offer but the gourmet weekend away appeals to me.

And the great thing about this competition is you don’t have to make any purchase to enter, simply provide your name and email address.  You will be entered into the competition and you will also receive notification of great deals from Vacation Rentals.

There are, of course, a few guidelines that you need to be aware of such as the fact that you do need to be a US resident who lives in one of the 50 US states,  D.C. and Canada. Oh yes there is one other stipulation – you must be 21 years of age or more to take part in this great prize of a  Celebrity Chef Vacation.

Its a great opportunity so I certainly urge you to enter competition and for a second entry into the competition send the details to three of your  friends that you think would like to join you.  The prize is pretty amazing as apart from having Chef Bonnie cook for you,  the prize also includes the money towards your airfare and vacation home rental.

I really think everyone should really take advantage of the opportunity to win this $5,000 prize for a great holiday and gourmet dining  experience.

You know, it isn’t always necessary to stay in a hotel when you go on holiday.  Staying in a vacation home is just like being at home with all the conveniences and comforts that you are used to, and at a very reasonable rate.

Its such a great idea really, you can rent your home out through vacation rentals or you can rent a home for your vacation.



Review: Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Deli Knife

wusthof-classic-8-inch-deli-knife Have you ever been in the deli and been amazed at how they can make quick work of nearly anything put on the cutting board with their special deli knife?

Well now they aren’t the only ones who can have that deli knife. With the Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Deli Knife you can get the same results in your home kitchen.

The Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Deli Knife is designed differently than many of the knives you have in your kitchen. First, it has been forced from a single piece of high-carbon stain-resistant steel. This means it is a sturdy piece and can handle more work and pressure in the kitchen than many other knives and will continue to look great through it all.

Additionally, the blade design itself is a bit different. It is slightly offset and has a wavy edge that will make it just as easy to neatly cut bread as well as you can meats and other items.  It also has an offset handle that makes it easier to cut the items you are working on without hitting your fingers on the cutting surface.

What We Like

  • While this knife is a little pricier than other knives out there, in this case you are paying for quality. This is a precision knife that will do the job and last.
  • It is a very sharp knife that can carefully cut bread without ripping it, while still being able to make quick work of harder cheeses and meats.
  • It continues to look good use after use.
  • It is a sturdy and hefty piece that feels like it will last a long time.
  • The offset handle will save many knuckles, as you will be much less likely to smack them on the counter as you cut through meats, cheeses and sandwiches.
  • The  knife has a high-carbon stainless steel blade, hardened to maintain a sharp edge.
  • The full tang provides perfect balance.
  • The urable, impact-resistant polypropylene handle has been buffed and polished by hand and it  is moisture- and food acid-resistant.
  • The  knife has a seamless fit between the handle, bolster and the full-tang making if  extremely hygienic.

Where Can I Buy the Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Deli Knife?
Amazon.com
Cooking.com