In our hunt for the best frying pans one thing became clear to us. No kitchen is complete without a frying pan or two. In fact, we just counted in our kitchen and we have five frying pans at the moment.
They are among the most flexible cooking tools and shallow fried food tastes amazing too.
You also can’t fry food in most other pots, apart from a deep fat fryer, without damaging them. So, it’s an investment in great food when you buy your frying pan.
So, we went out and found the best options available on the market today for you to consider before you go shopping.
Top 3 Frying Pans
Best All Round | The All-Clad 4114 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Fry Pan
It won’t win any prizes for the name, but this stainless steel fry pan is top quality. You’re looking at a product that will last a lifetime. All clad stainless steel is the way to go if you want the best.
This is the kind of frying pan we’d expect to see in a family kitchen which is in use at least twice a day. The sloped sides make it easier for beginner cooks to slide out omelettes and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The All-Clad 4114 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan is reliable, dependable and everything we cooked in it, came out perfectly.
Best Cast Iron | Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
While we generally recommend non-stick frying pans, there are solid use cases for having at least one cast iron frying pan in your kitchen. These skillets perform great at high heat and are oven safe.
The Lodge is our top choice for this. It’s reasonably priced (much cheaper than the All-Clad) and it does a great job of cooking meals.
We particularly like that the Lodge 12 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is easy to clean and maintain.
Best Nonstick | Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover
You’re not going to go broke buying this brilliant frying pan from Cuisinart.
It is attractively made, easy to clean and it works perfectly.
We also found the non-stick surface to be very scratch resistant which is very important when buying a nonstick skillet. It’s a high quality steel frying pan.
The Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover is a great investment for your kitchen.
Do You Want A Non-Stick Frying Pan?
One of the biggest decisions that you have to make when buying a frying pan is whether or not to opt for nonstick pans
Some chefs will swear by traditional cast iron these days but we’ve got to acknowledge the big advantages that stick-free coatings deliver for the home cook:
- Use less oil. This doesn’t mean less oil in the final product, but it does mean less oil added to the dish during frying which ought to result in less oil on the final product assuming nothing is burning while cooking. Oil is what gives most fried food flavor but it’s not a good idea to eat any more than you need.
- Scratch-resistance. There was a time when coatings scratched when you just glanced at them but today this simply isn’t true. What is true, is that you have to use the right utensils and cleaning equipment to preserve the coating but if you do that your coating should last a long time.
- It looks better. This is completely subjective but a quick vote in the Kitchen Authority kitchens had us in agreement – non-stick pans look classy and like an investment in our cooking.
- Heat distribution. Coatings offer a more even level of heat-distribution than traditional cast iron too.
What Else To Consider When Buying A Frying Pan?
We have a few things that you ought to consider before you purchase a new frying pan:
- The material. The best choice for a pan that will see a lot of time in the dishwasher will be stainless-aluminum blend. However, aluminum clad in stainless or carbon steel are both perfectly acceptable choices for good cooking.
- The thickness of the frying pan. If there’s a measurement in mm, the bigger the better. If there’s a gauge rating, the lower the number the better. Thickness is, generally, an indication of quality in frying pans.
- The handle. Rivets last longer than non-riveted handles. However, you do need to spend more time cleaning rivets.
- Induction stoves. You must have a frying pan designed for use on an induction stove – if you place an ordinary pan on top, you will crack the top of the stove. This is expensive and dangerous.
Buying a frying pan doesn’t need to be a hugely complicated task.
If you decide on a few details early in the process, you’ve got a much better chance of buying the best pan for your family.
Final Thoughts on Frying Pans
It’s actually very easy to choose a frying pan and it doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
Though our top pick, the All-Clad frying pan is not cheap, there are other great value alternatives that come in well under $50.
Another great pan brand to check out is Scanpan. Don’t miss our Best Scanpan Reviews.