Help my mom find a replacement electric frying pan
May 23, 2016 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Hello all. My mom called me today, lamenting the loss of her beloved Farberware electric frying pan (model 300-A). She wants me to help her find a replacement, but she has a list of requirements. It has to be stainless steel (no non-stick stuff) in the 10"-12" size range, round, with a shallow cover. In other words, she wants the same pan 50 years later! Checking eBay, I found almost exactly the one she had: FARBERWARE Electric Skillet Chicken Fry Pan 10" #300-B . My concern is the lifespan issue of replacing her worn out pan with one that could conceivably die in a week. So, before hitting 'buy', I'm asking the home chefs out there if you have any suggestions for a more modern replacement that fulfills her requirements. My mom and I would be grateful!
posted by Don_K to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The non-nonstick (which I totally agree with) is what makes this hard in this day and age. Is an electric wok close enough?

If not, what is is about the pan that she liked most, versus normal pan on normal stove? Would a regular pan on an induction burner fit her needs better? The "burner" stays cool but heats the cookware up super efficiently.
posted by supercres at 3:59 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

This one is spendy but looks promising.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:06 PM on May 23, 2016

I sympathize with your mom. My own mom had a similar unit that was the only way to properly make chicken-fried steak with pan gravy, and we all mourned its loss.

The technology and design has not changed much, other than the prevalence of non-stick surfaces over stainless steel. That might be a good thing, as the old removable "probe" controller design seemed fairly robust.

I was going to recommend one sold by CHEFS Catalog, but it looks like they recently went out of business. Here's one that looks like your mom's, but I don't know much about the brand.
posted by bgrebs at 4:08 PM on May 23, 2016

Hah, my mom has one of those Farberware pans, and it's still going strong. Possibly because it doesn't see a lot of use; she mainly uses it as a sort of extra burner for when she's cooking big holiday meals and the stovetop is full up. That may be the case for the one on eBay as well—possibly it's only been used a handful of times, or never.

I'd honestly just buy the $30 eBay jobbie, and tell your mom "If this one ever breaks, I'll get you another." There's not a lot to go wrong in one of those things, and they're built right. A brand new pan might break in a week too for all you know; the build quality on a contemporary model would be a complete unknown.

At least with the Farberware you know it's well made and that it satisfies your mother's requirements to a T. Nor would she have to get used to a different pan, which doubtless would cook differently from her old one in subtle but important ways. Get her something she's used to, that you know she likes, and that she can cook confidently with from Day One.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:59 PM on May 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

And actually, now that I bother to look, there are at least three Farberware 300-As for sale on eBay right now. They cost a little more, but I'd go for it just so that I could get my mom exactly the same pan that she's used and loved for so many years. The difference seems to be that the 300-A is 10 1/2" wide vs. 10" for the 300-B. The size difference may also affect the way they heat and cook a little bit, so I'd definitely get the same model as she used to have.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:07 PM on May 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

If I had been cooking in a beloved pan for fifty years there's not a replacement on earth that would live up to it. Pots and pans are very particular. It's great having a special relationship with an old one, where you can set it to exactly X, throw in Y, and know without a doubt that it will turn out flawlessly.

Given that the original worked for five decades I don't know why you'd worry about a replacement dying ASAP. I buy and sell a lot of vintage kitchen what-not; old stuff was built to last. Loads of people get things like this as gifts, put them aside, use them once a year, don't get rid of them because they need the big skillet for Boxing Day brunch or whatever, and then they show up at estate sales, fifty years old but with what amounts to a few weeks' wear and tear.

Then I would write a heartwarming tearjerker of a letter to Farberware telling them the whole saga, hoping they would give my mother a huge wad of cash to appear in a Farberware ad.
posted by kmennie at 9:47 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

If you buy the same model you'll have either a spare cord or a spare pan (essentially only the thermostat and element can fail on these pans) and maybe if your mother has a failure in the future it'll be fixable with your spare.
posted by Mitheral at 9:49 PM on May 23, 2016

Thanks so much for your great suggestions! I went ahead and purchased a pan like hers from eBay and had it sent directly to their house. I hope it works well!
posted by Don_K at 6:14 AM on May 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dont know if this can help you but we bought one not to long ago I found the link on my email hopefully this can help you it works pretty good for us my wife make amazing chicken on it dont know whats with this electric skillets but gets the job done good...
posted by aventuratx at 10:30 AM on May 30, 2016

« Older More like this!   |   Where to find some brainstormers to evaluate my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.