It was the beginning of lockdown and I was all stocked up with larder essentials and had curated a long list of recipes to try out since I was stuck at home.
Quite a lot of them required kitchen equipment that I didn’t have. Then I was offered this cast aluminium pan to review. Why not? I had so much time and so many recipes to try it on.
Having a good all-purpose pan is essential for an efficient kitchen. When I find one that is great to use, has good heat distribution, versatile and easy to wash, that is a winner.
The Jean Patrique Cast Aluminium Whatever Pan with lid. It is sold as the ultimate pan that you can cook everything in.
You can get more details about this pan and see if it’s back in stock on Amazon, as it frequently sells out.
Made of high quality die-cast aluminium with a steel base and it doesn’t, it is not as heavy as a cast iron pan. There are ridges to create those gorgeous sear marks on food. There is a heatproof glass lid too which extends the ways you can cook with this pan.
It measures about 27cm wide and about 3.5 cm deep. I love that it has a non-stick surface which means that food does not burn or stick to the bottom and makes it so easy to clean. (Also dishwater proof).
On the instructions, it says it can withstand temperatures up to 250 °C. I tested this out with a sausage casserole dish that was started on the hob and then transferred to the oven to finish. The handles that are cast in the same material in the pan makes it oven proof but make sure you use good oven gloves to handle it as it gets very hot.
I love that you don’t have to transfer to another pan to finish cooking, less washing up. My other griddle pan has a wooden handle so it was not oven-proof.
How to prepare the Whatever Pan for cooking
You don’t need to season the Whatever Pan before using, unlike with a cast iron pan. You just need to wash and dry it before use. When you are done cooking, you don’t need to season it with oil either.
I found that cooking with this pan I didn’t need to use a lot of oil and when cooking meat and it has great heat retention. The food cooks evenly with just a spray of olive oil.
Recipe ideas to cook with your Whatever Pan
Here are some of the dishes I have cooked with this Whatever pan:
- One-pan sausage casserole
- Grilled chicken
- Grilled sausages
- Grill asparagus
- Grill steak (with beautiful char marks)
- Char onions to use as a side dish or in salads
- Grill burgers (to minimise fat as it drips into the ridges as you cook.)
- Cornbread (use it as you would a cast iron skillet)
Use on barbecues – you can even use your Whatever Pan on barbecues. Use your BBQ as an outdoor stove and you can grill prawns or meat on there with this pan.
To check that your meat is cooked, please refer to this cooking temperature chart. I use a Thermopen meat thermometer to double-check that the meat is cooked all the way through and is safe to eat.
This pan has ridges so it is not ideal for cooking things that need to be flat like eggs, pancakes, flat breads or chapati.
Versatility of the Whatever Pan
It can be used on any hob, gas, electric, creamic, camping gas stove and even induction. You can also use it on a barbecue.
It is not very heavy like some cast iron pans so it is easy to take with you on camping trips to cook outdoors.
With this pan, you can use metal appliances and it won’t scratch the non-stick surface.
I have used this to cook casseroles in the oven as the Whatever Pan is oven friendly up to 250°C / 482°F. The glass lid is heat proof in temperatures up to 180°C / 350°F,
You can find out more about this pan here. There is a 25 year warranty and 100 day money back guarantee for all their products.
Benefits of cast aluminium pans
- They don’t react to acidic food like a cast iron pan
- You can wash it in a dishwasher or with soap which you cant do with cast iron pans
- If you wash it by hand, leave it to cool before washing. A short soak will help if you have burnt in food. Don’t use a scourer.
- Enamel pans crack at high temperature
Should you replace your old cast iron pans with a modern cast aluminium pan?
If you want an easy to use and easy to wash everyday pan, then yes. Especially if you want to avoid the hassle of maintaining a cast iron pan.
Here are some answers to some common questions about the Whatever Cast Aluminium cookware:
Q: Will this pan work on an induction hob?
Yes, this pan works with induction, gas and electric hobs. It will work well on an Aga too as it has a heat conducting flat bottom.
Q: Is this pan Teflon free?
Q: Is cast aluminium safe to cook with?
Yes, aluminium cookware is safe to use. Most of the cookware on the market is made from aluminium with a non-stick coating.
Q: How do I clean cast aluminium cookware?
With most of them, you just need to wash them with normal dishwashing liquid. If they are non stick like this Jean Patrique pan, then it just needs a quick swish with a sponge and it will be clean. Even the charred bits of food washes off very easily.
Some of the pans are dishwasher proof too. You don’t have to oil the pan after washing like with cast iron pans.
If you have more questions about this pan, please leave a comment below. You might also find answers to your questions here.
This company was started by a French Chef in the UK about 20 years ago when he started making professional cookware for friends. They all loved it so much that he started making them available to the public.
They now offer a range of high-quality cookware products made with sustainable materials, at reasonable prices as they don’t have middlemen.
The Whatever Pan was gifted by Jean Patrique for this review.