Below is a list of the best frying pans or skillets that are made of different materials and also with price as a consideration. While these look similar to saute pans, they do have their differences. The latter have higher, vertical sides and a bigger cooking surface compared to frying pans of a similar size. The bigger cooking area comes about because a frying pan has sides that curved outward. So, while the diameter of the top edge could be the same for both, the cooking area of a skillet is actually smaller because of the curve.
On top of that, a saute pan is also generally heavier. So, if you have the habit of picking up your pan while frying, you might want a lighter piece to do your cooking with. Personally, I only use a saute pan when shallow frying. The higher sides just make this safer compared to a skillet because of the amount of oil needed.
Best Nonstick Frying Pan
The T-fal Professional Nonstick Fry Pan has generated over a thousand customer reviews on Amazon. This shows just how popular this skillet is in its category. Many people do like the nonstick option in a skillet because it is so easy to clean. When you fry an egg, you certainly don’t want it to be sticking to the cooking surface. And now with people being so health conscious, you also don’t want to be cooking with too much oil.
So, a nonstick skillet is a popular one. With the T-fal Professional, you can choose from 3 sizes with the largest pan being 12.5 inches. It is pretty lightweight and you will also find a heat indicator on the pan to tell you when it is ready.
The other good thing about it? It is oven and dishwasher safe. So, although it is already easy to clean, the dish washing option takes it a step further for those who like to dump everything into the dishwasher! The bottom line is it doesn’t cost much and for a lot of us who have come to expect a nonstick pan not to last, this one is a good buy for the price based on the high amount of customer reviews alone.
Best Stainless Steel Frying Pan
This one has to be the All-Clad Stainless Steel Frying Pan. This piece has a 3-ply construction with an aluminum core sandwiched between stainless steel layers. The aluminum is for heat conduction and retention. Heat will move from the center right up the the side walls for more evenly cooked food. High heat may not even be necessary when you cook with an All-Clad skillet because of the excellent heat conduction.
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The interior is stick-resistant which makes cleaning a little easier. The magnetic exterior means it is also suitable for induction stoves. There is a polished finish to make the piece gleaming with a long, stay-cool handle to complete the look.
To pay $100 or more for a frying pan may be a high investment but it is a quality cookware that will last you a lifetime. If you are wondering what is the difference between All-Clad vs Calphalon stainless steel cookware, you can watch this video below to find out. That may give you the answer whether you will want to pay the extra for the better quality.
Best Green Frying Pan
If you want to go green, you will have to buy PTFE and PFOA free cookware. This means when you cook at high temperature, the utensil does not release harmful chemicals into the environment, which many nonstick pieces will tend to do. For an eco-friendly cookware, take a look at the Ozeri Green Earth Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan.
This piece uses a safe ceramic coating developed in Germany, which is free of any harmful substances. It is also resistant to scratches and has the same nonstick feature that you will find with the usual Teflon coated pans. So, you don’t need a lot of oil to cook with ceramic cookware.
If you are environmental and health conscious, then Green Earth is a cookware brand that deserves consideration. Bear in mind that it is a nonstick piece though, so don’t expect it to last like a stainless steel cookware. Think of it as an alternative to traditional nonstick pans but minus the harmful elements.
Best Cast Iron Skillet
A cast iron skillet takes a longer time to heat up but once you get it going, it retains the heat very well. So, many people still like cooking with it and it can also be very affordable. The Lodge skillet, for example, is highly popular among buyers for its affordability and its back to basics feel. It is durable and it won’t peel compared to those nonstick cookware.
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The Loge Logic skillet comes pre-seasoned and it is heavy. So, there is a long handle on one side and a healer handle on the other. It comes in various sizes. The smallest is 3.5 inches while the largest is 15 inches in diameter.
Bear in mind that cast iron cookware requires a little bit more maintenance to prevent it from rusting and food from sticking to the cooking area. So, you might also need to re-season the piece from time to time. It is also a good practice to wipe it dry and apply a layer of oil after washing. It is a little bit more work, unless you want to invest in a more expensive option like the Le Creuset skillet which comes coated with an additional layer of black enamel. Otherwise, it is a cheap frying pan that will last you a lifetime.