Seven Things to Keep in Mind When Searching for the Best Frying Pan for Your Kitchen
No kitchen is complete without a frying pan. It’s true that nearly any old frying pan will do, but not every frying pan will provide you with an easy cooking experience or delicious food. When you take the time to find a quality pan that’s right for your kitchen, you’ll enjoy cooking more and your food will be more delicious.
Product Diggers tests and reviews pans on a regular basis. They recommend looking for, “Popular features, such as a nonstick surface, easy cleanup, a reasonable price point, durability, and more.”
Here’s everything you need to keep in mind when searching for the best frying pan for your kitchen.
Is It Nonstick?
The most popular pans often have a nonstick coating and for good reason. These types of pans can cook a wide variety of foods without any burning and without any crusty, caked-on food being left behind. Nonstick pans can cook tricky foods like:
- Delicate fish
- Grilled Cheese
Nonstick pans are also popular because they tend to be easier to clean. They release food quickly and easily, so in some cases, all that is needed is a quick wipe with a paper towel and the pan can be put back into storage until you’re ready to cook with it again.
The Material It’s Made Out of
Just because a pan is nonstick doesn’t mean it’s made out of the same materials. What your pan is made out of can affect its weight, its price, and its cooking ability.
For example, stainless steel is popular with many chefs because you can cook any kind of food without worrying about your food tasting funny. Many love copper, as long as it’s lined with stainless steel, because it has great thermal conductivity, as does aluminum.
Cast iron is also an option. It’s a favorite among home cooks because it is extremely durable, distributes food evenly, retains heat well, and adds iron to the foods you cook inside the pan. It can even provide nonstick cooking, as long as it is seasoned properly.
How Much Maintenance It Requires
You might find a great pan that cooks evenly and is nonstick, but that doesn’t mean it will make your job easier in the kitchen. Unfortunately, some pans may make cooking a breeze, but you’ll spend more time than you would like in the kitchen cleaning up.
There are a lot of things you should never put in the dishwasher, and nonstick cookware is one of those things. Nonstick coatings don’t do well in the heat and swishing water, so pans often lose their nonstick abilities.
That doesn’t mean all pans have to stay out of the dishwasher! Stainless steel pans are often able to be placed in the dishwasher.
If you want to avoid spending too much time on maintenance in the kitchen, don’t buy copper cookware, as it requires polishing. If you want a cast iron skillet, choose one that is enameled so it doesn’t need to be seasoned on a regular basis.
Is It Oven-Safe?
Most pans stay on the stove. Their long handles and large cooking surface make it easy to whip up delicious meals quickly, but sometimes, it can be helpful to put your pan in the oven. That is the case when you’re doing things like searing a steak that needs to be placed in the oven to finish cooking.
Just don’t automatically assume that the pan you’re using can go into the oven. Not all are rated for cooking temperatures that can handle the heat.
It can be difficult to tell if your pot is oven-safe after buying it and throwing away the packaging, so make sure you buy one that you know is oven-safe from the very beginning.
Does It Come With a Set?
Although not required, you might want to consider whether the frying pan you’re interested in comes as part of a set. In most cases, you can buy pans individually, but you may want to make sure it complements other cookware so you have a matching look in the kitchen.
Keep in mind that the quality of the pan you’re buying is more important than whether it comes with a set. It’s much better to spend a little bit more on a single pan than it is to buy a bargain set of pans.
Cost is one of the first things you will probably notice when you’re shopping for a new frying pan. Pots and pans can vary by price, but in most cases, price is indicative of quality.
More expensive pans often have more durable nonstick surfaces, they’re easier to clean, they cook food more evenly, and they are built to last. That doesn’t mean you have to find the most expensive pan out there. Look for sales on highly rated pans or choose an affordable pan from a dependable name brand to get a good pan at a reasonable price.
Ease of Use
Don’t forget to take the time to think about how easy the pan is going to be to use! For example, you may find an oven-safe pan, but that doesn’t mean the handle can take it. You may need to find a cover that can keep the temperature of the handle down.
The weight of the pan is worth considering as well. An aluminum pan is extremely lightweight, but you’ll likely find yourself using both hands when lifting a cast iron skillet that’s full of food.
The size of the pan matters too. Smaller pans may be easier to handle, making them perfect for families of just one or two, but a larger pan ensures you can cook meals for a crowd.
Don’t just pick up the first frying pan you see at the store that claims it’s nonstick. Follow the tips on this list to make sure you find a quality pan that has all the features you want and need in your kitchen.