The 8 Best Skillets & Pans for Frying

Published on 12/12/2023 · 7 min readUnlock your culinary potential with the 8 Best Skillets & Pans for Frying. Elevate your cooking game and achieve crispy perfection in every dish.
Shelby Owens, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Shelby Owens

Photo by Pixel Shot

The perfect fry is possible! You just need the right pan. Poor quality pans don’t distribute heat well — that’s why you experience undercooked or burnt dishes. So, let’s put a stop to it!

I’m Shelby Owens, a commercial baker and chef for my local coffee shop. I’ve gone through all the bad pans and got to the good ones so you don’t have to! So, let’s dive in to what to look for, how to decide on your purchase, and let’s review a few of my top picks.

Frying Pan Fundamentals: Choosing the Right Material

When choosing the right pan, it’s all about material. This can impact performance, durability, and consistency. Let's break down the key players:

1. Stainless Steel: The All-Purpose Warrior

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Stainless steel frying pans are the reliable all-purpose warriors of the kitchen. They are durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, and often dishwasher-safe. Look for pans with an aluminum or copper core for enhanced heat distribution.

2. Cast Iron: The Sturdy Classic

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The cast-iron skillet is a timeless classic known for its exceptional heat retention and even heating. These pans are perfect for achieving a crispy sear on steaks and providing a steady, sustained heat source.

3. Nonstick Wonder: Effortless Flips and Easy Cleanups

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Nonstick pans are the superheroes of easy flips and even easier cleanups. They are perfect for delicate foods like eggs and pancakes. Look for durable nonstick coatings, and remember to use utensils that won't scratch the surface.

4. Carbon Steel: The Lightweight Contender

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Carbon steel pans combine the best of both worlds—lightweight like stainless steel and durable like cast iron. They are excellent for high-heat cooking and ideal for achieving the perfect sear.

5. Clad Cookware: The Master of Heat Distribution

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Clad cookware, with layers of different metals like stainless steel and aluminum, provides excellent heat distribution. These pans are versatile and can move seamlessly from the stovetop to the oven.

The Sizzle Showdown: Reviews of Top Frying Pans

1. Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick Frying Pan, 12.75-Inch

This one is the nonstick hero! Not only is the inside nonstick, but so is the outside for those pesky sauces. The hard-anodized construction means you get great durability, and the size is perfect for family-sized meals. The handle stays cool on the stovetop and has a secure, comfortable hold. Have a dish that needs to start on the burners and end in the oven? The Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick Frying Pan is perfect for the job as it is oven-safe up to 400 degrees.

2. KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Frying Pan, 10-Inch

Oh she sleek (as all KitchenAid products typically are). KitchenAid’s 10-inch stainless steel frying pan is a versatile addition to your kitchen arsenal. The 5-ply clad construction ensures quick and even heating, helping you fry to perfection. The pan's induction-ready build expands your stovetop possibilities, and the contoured handle provides a comfortable grip. The sleek design and durable stainless steel construction make this frying pan a stylish and functional choice. From sautéing vegetables to searing meats, KitchenAid's pan is up for any culinary challenge you throw its way.

3. Staub Fry Pan, 10-inch

Check the color options and check them now (they’re to die for). This pan is not only fry-worthy, but the color styles are also unheard of when it comes to cast iron products. Staub's 10-inch fry pan is not just a kitchen tool; it's a work of art. The enameled cast iron construction provides exceptional heat retention and adds a touch of elegance to your kitchen. The textured black matte interior enhances the cooking experience and promotes even browning, giving your dishes that perfect sear.

This pan is a premium choice for those who appreciate the marriage of aesthetics and functionality. From stove to oven, Staub's fry pan is a versatile companion for your culinary adventures.

4. Scanpan HAPTIQ Fry Pan

Have you heard of Stranatium+ technology? Let me introduce you to ScanPan (it’s literally tough as nails). Scanpan’s HAPTIQ fry pan takes nonstick cooking to a whole new level. The even heat distribution ensures that your dishes are cooked to perfection every time. It’s PFOA and PFOS-free for all those looking for healthier cooking.

The cool-to-the-touch handle and oven-safe design add to the pan's versatility. Whether you're flipping pancakes or searing a steak, Scanpan's HAPTIQ fry pan is your reliable kitchen companion.

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5. Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet

Le Creuset doesn’t quit when it comes to style. Le Creuset's Signature Iron Handle Skillet is more than a piece of cookware; it's a statement in your kitchen. The cast-iron construction ensures even heating and heat retention, making it perfect for frying and searing. The colorful enamel exterior not only adds a pop of personality, but also protects the skillet from rusting.

This skillet is an investment in culinary excellence, designed to withstand the test of time. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a home cook, Le Creuset's skillet is a symbol of quality and craftsmanship.

6. All-Clad D3 Stainless 3-ply Bonded Cookware, Fry Pan with Lid, 12 inch

If you want to feel like a professional (like Gordan Ramsey level), then you need this pan. All-Clad’s D3 stainless steel fry pan is a powerhouse in the kitchen. The three layers of stainless steel and aluminum ensure rapid and even heating, giving you precise control over your cooking. The large 12-inch size is perfect for family-sized meals and one-pan recipes.

The stainless-steel handle remains cool on the stovetop, providing a comfortable grip. The inclusion of a lid adds versatility, allowing you to explore various cooking techniques. All-Clad's commitment to quality shines through in this fry pan, making it a top choice for serious home cooks.

7. Hestan NanoBond Titanium Open Skillet, 12.5 inch

Hestan makes me feel fancy. It’ll make you feel fancy too. Hestan’s NanoBond Titanium skillet is not just a piece of cookware; it's a culinary masterpiece. The titanium cooking surface sets it apart, offering unparalleled durability and resistance to scratching. This skillet is designed for those who want the best in their kitchen.

The comfortable grip of the handle and oven-safe design add to the skillet's versatility. While the price tag reflects the quality, Hestan's NanoBond Titanium skillet is an investment for those who seek uncompromising quality in their cooking tools.

8. Zwilling Clad CFX Stainless Steel, Ceramic, Non-Stick, Fry Pan, 12-inch

Zwilling has been in the nonstick game for years and has never been satisfied with where they’re at (a really good thing). Their Ceraforce XTREME ceramic nonstick coating is 50% longer lasting and 3x more durable than their previous nonstick coatings.

Zwilling’s Clad CFX fry pan brings a fusion of materials to your kitchen. The combination of stainless steel, ceramic, and nonstick surfaces are the perfect ingredients for durability and easy cooking. The 12-inch size provides ample space for various cooking techniques, from sautéing to frying.

The ergonomic handle ensures a comfortable grip, and the nonstick coating simplifies both cooking and cleaning. While not as flashy as some competitors, Zwilling's fry pan is a reliable and budget-friendly choice for everyday cooking.

What to Look for in Your Frying Pan: A Quick Guide

Choosing the perfect frying pan involves considering your cooking style, preferences, and the type of stove you have. Here's a quick guide to help you navigate the sizzle:

1. Material Matters:

  • Stainless Steel: Ideal for all-purpose cooking and durability.
  • Cast Iron: Perfect for even heating and heat retention.
  • Nonstick: Effortless food release and easy cleaning.
  • Carbon Steel: Lightweight with excellent heat conductivity.
  • Clad Cookware: Superior heat distribution with layers of different metals.

2. Size and Shape:

  • Consider the size that suits your cooking needs.
  • A sloped or straight edge depends on your preference for flipping and tossing.

3. Handle Comfort:

  • Ergonomic handles are essential for a comfortable grip.
  • Ensure handles stay cool on the stovetop.

4. Oven-Safe and Versatile:

  • Check if the pan is oven-safe for versatile cooking options.
  • Ensure it's compatible with your stovetop, especially for induction cookers.

5. Budget-Friendly:

  • Quality doesn't always come with a hefty price tag. Many budget-friendly options deliver exceptional performance.

Let’s Start Shopping

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As you embark on your culinary adventure, armed with the knowledge of the best skillets and pans for frying, don't forget to check out our Curated selection. These kitchen champions combine affordability with top-notch quality, ensuring that your cooking experience is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you're a passionate home cook or just starting your culinary journey, our Curated collection awaits, ready to elevate your kitchen to new sizzling heights!

If you need information or advice selecting a skillet or pan, reach out to any of our Curated Kitchen Experts.

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Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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