Published on August 18th, 2010 | by Greg0
Hamilton Beach Silhouette: Versatile Value
Hamilton Beach is known for their wide range of kitchen supplies, aimed at consumers on all ends of the value spectrum.
The latest from Hamilton comes in the form of the Silhouette Collection. We used the ‘Silhouettes Stainless Steel 11” Jumbo Fryer’ and the
‘Silhouettes Non-stick Pewter 12” Jumbo Fryer in Stainless Steel’. Their site is a bit wonky, so we can’t link you directly to the items, but you can see the complete collections- with several sizes of skillet, saucepans, and even a dutch oven.
Stainless steel has some pretty strong advantages. Besides being nonreactive, it doesn’t corrode. It also doesn’t scratch or dent easily. Stainless steel is also easy to clean which is a major turn-on in the kitchen. The biggest downside is that it doesn’t conduct heat as well as many other materials.
The Stainless Steel 11” Jumbo Fryer had an encapsulated aluminum disc bottom that was meant to evenly cook our food. After making french fried potatoes on one occasion and beef stir-fry on another, we can say that our food evenly cooked and we even got our fries crisp enough to our liking.
Moving on to the nonstick surface, the best part relating to nonstick pans is the potential health benefits, which may sound counter-intuitive. A non-stick surface, though, requires no oil or butter which means less calories. Because food doesn’t stick, they are easy to wash as long as you avoid using steel wool or scouring pads. Those can cause abrasions that damage the surface, but newer non- stick surfaces have been developed in the past few years that are very scratch resistant.
Regarding the ongoing debate on whether the chemical properties of the traditional non-stick pan, a direct link to non-stick pans has never been established. Many newer non-stick surfaces developed the last few years based on ceramic and diamond coatings have removed or replaced chemicals. And the disadvantages of non-stick pans are that they may become easily damaged by the type of cooking utensils you use so be aware. They also are known to lose their coating after a few years, depending on use and the style of coating.
The Nonstick Pewter 12” Jumbo Fryer had an impressive 3 nonstick coatings which meant it underwent significant testing at Hamilton-Beach’s lab. The silicone polyester exterior looked sharp, and felt durable. Our food easily navigated the pan without needing oil and we were impressed with the results. It was thoroughly cooked and easy to clean.
Both fryers shared some similarities; High-temperature oven safe stainless steel handles and tempered glass lids that allowed us to see how our food was doing without wasting heat. Both also shared some disadvantages- the handles were a little hard to grip (no texture), and the hanging holes in each one felt rough and even sharp. These pans both offer pretty great value, and the look will appeal to different consumers. Available online at around $40 each, they are definitely worth considering.