Everybody needs a really good frying pan, whether you are a broke student living on your own or someone cooking for a large family, chances are you will be using a frying pan on a regular basis when cooking. There are many cheap pans out there…but what you do not want is a pan that will warp or scratch easily! So what should you know when looking for a top frying pan?
Frying pans (also known as a skillet, a grill pan or a sauté pan) are usually included in cookware sets, but if you want a really good pan it is best to buy it separately.
What materials are the best frying pans made of?
The materials and construction method used in frying pans vary greatly and it is a big factor to consider when choosing the right frying pan for your needs. The top frying pans are made of metals that conduct heat efficiently and evenly.
Aluminum/Anodized aluminum – Anodized aluminum has a surface that is hard and non-reactive. These pans are ideal to bake pancakes with.
Cast iron– Cast iron cookware is the ultimate in durability. When properly seasoned your pans will last a lifetime. Frying pans made from bare cast iron or carbon steel can also gain non-stick properties through seasoning and use.
Copper – A copper pan lined with tin or stainless steel is the first choice for delicate items that need precise timing. Copper is the most responsive metal and it picks up heat immediately, but it will also lose heat as soon as the pan is removed from the heat source.
Stainless steel – These pans need low and well regulated heat.
Clad stainless steel with an aluminum or copper core – For everyday cooking, whether sautéed mushrooms, hamburgers or chicken cutlets, pans made from stainless steel-wrapped aluminum and anodized aluminum are excellent choices.
Non-stick surface – Most manufacturers recommend using moderate heat to avoid damaging non-stick coatings, which may limit your ability to brown foods well. Pans with an aluminum sandwich core are excellent options. A few non-stick pans are manufactured with the non-stick material integrated into the pan itself, rather than applied as a coating. Their ability to release food may be somewhat inferior to other non-stick pans, but they often heat better. Be careful not to use too high heat with nonstick pans, as this could release the nonstick coating.
All these material are not compatible with induction stoves and not necessarily safe to use in the oven.
What kind of frying pans are there?
Besides the typical frying pan, there are several pan options that are designed for specific functions/uses in mind.
A frying pan or skillet has a flat bottom with low sides that flare outwards and have no lid. The handle of a frying pan is usually long and some of the frying pans have a small handle opposite the main handle for better grip.
A grill pan has very low sides and parallel ridges in the bottom of the pan. This pan is designed to cook food on a radiant heat. These were traditionally made of cast iron and are still popular today especially for outdoor cooking.
A sauté pan has vertical sides and often has a lid. It can be used as a frying pan but is designed for cooking on lower heat.
An electric frying pan or electric skillet incorporates an electric heating element into the frying pan itself and functions independently. Most of them are square and rectangular, the sides are strait and include a lid. A detachable power cord incorporates a thermostat for controlling and maintaining the desired temperature. These pans cleans easy with hot soapy water, but are typically not dishwasher safe due.
An omelette pan needs to have a ultra smooth non-stick surface that will help to release the food. Sloped sides are essential for easy tossing and rolling and to help the omelette to slide out easy. The best sizes for an omelette pan are 8 or 10 inches.
Non-stick surfaces are the best for making omelettes. Any non-stick cookware should be hand washed with hot soapy water.
A special pan for omelettes has two sides, so you put filling on one side – flip the other one over – and dish up! These are very handy for those omelette loving families. This pan is non-stick and not dishwasher safe. If you want a multipurpose pan though, this is probably not the best option.
What size pan should you get?
The most useful size for a omelette pan is 8- or 10- inch. For the other options a 12 inch pan is the most useful.
What characteristics does the best frying pan have?
For a top frying pan, we recommend a pan made from nonstick materials with an aluminum core. For the most versatile size, we recommend 12 inches in size. A handle that is heat resistant is always a good idea! Some pans have handles that will heat up along with the rest of the frying pan, which can result in serious injuries.
If you get a frying pan with a lid, we would go for a glass lid so it is easy to keep an eye on the food without letting any of the heat escape.
The last word
We hope the article above helps you to find the right frying pan according to your needs. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact us directly!