The terms “skillet” and frying pan are often used interchangeably because they’re basically the same thing: a flat-bottomed pan with a long handle and wide, sloped sides that flare out at an angle. If we want to get picky with the terminology, a skillet is slightly deeper than a frying pan, and it generally refers to a pan made from cast iron.
(In case you were wondering, a frying pan is also different from a sauté pan, which has tall, straight sides and always comes with a lid.) These pans are usually made with aluminum and contain a PTFE or Teflon coating that keeps the food from sticking to their surface.
They’re designed to cook items like eggs, pancakes, crêpes or fish. You can use them to cook other items, but they aren’t meant for use with high heat, so they’ll never create a hard sear.
Scratches when used with metal utensils Can’t be used with high heat Stove top use only These “green” nonstick pans are coated with a silica-based gel made from sand.
Scratches when used with metal utensils Can’t be used with high heat Stove top use only These pans are manufactured with a process than makes them stronger than regular aluminum.
Heavy Must be maintained to stay seasoned Can hold on to odors (like fish) Carbon steel is similar to cast iron, but it’s much lighter because it’s made with thinner material.
If you’re mainly cooking breakfast, we recommend buying a nonstick frying pan for everyday use. We generally recommend a 10-inch nonstick skillet for egg cookery, although you may prefer a smaller, 8-inch frying pan if you usually cook for one or two.
To achieve a golden-brown, caramelized crust on something like a steak or pork chop, you’ll need to use a pan without nonstick coating. A high-quality, triply stainless steel frying pan is definitely expensive, but it will practically last forever with proper care.
Just be sure to keep it out of the dishwasher and wait until the pan completely cools before washing it to keep it from warping. But, in general, it’s time to replace your frying pan if it’s warped, has a surface that’s badly scratched or the handles are falling off.
Nonstick frying pans are great for eggs, crêpes and pancakes, and our culinary staff has specially developed a 2-piece non-stick aluminum skillet that’ll suit all your culinary needs. Learn how to make the most of your skillet with our complete guide to cast iron cooking.
Finally, this carbon-steel pan from BK Cookware is a Test Kitchen favorite. Its black carbon steel construction is extremely durable and is designed to develop a nonstick seasoning over time.
Once it has a beautifully crisp exterior and golden brown color, transfer it to the oven if it needs to finish cooking. You can also use it exclusively on the stove top to cook quicker-cooking meats like chicken cutlets or meatballs.
If it makes a loud hissing noise and splits into individual droplets, the pan is ready to go! Before you use your skillet, read these tips to extend the life of your favorite frying pan.
In general, we recommend avoiding the dishwasher when it comes to pots, pans and cooking knives. The high-heat rinse cycle and harsh chemicals used in a dishwasher can damage the finish on your cookware, and it can also loosen the fittings that affix the handles to the pan.
Really stubborn messes can be cleaned by simmering 1/4 cup of baking soda in a few inches of water for about 10 minutes. When the baking soda-water mixture cools, wash your pan like normal with soap and warm water.
Last update on 2020-12-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t need a professional deep fryer to achieve the crispy fried goodness at home.
However, a pan for deep frying always needs to be wide and have a thick bottom to prevent the food from burning. Clifton Nonstick 12 Inches Jumbo Deep Fry Pan Deep frying pan with nonstick interior for easy release and cleanup Comfortable silicone handles stay cool on the stove top Medium gauge, hard anodized aluminum for even heating Oven safe to 400 degrees.
Last update on 2020-12-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Besides the fact that you will use less energy to keep a cast iron pan hot, this also means that it will allow you to maintain a stable temperature while deep frying various foods.
The sloping side, the wide opening and the flat bottom allow for consistent results when deep frying. This wok is made of carbon steel, a material that is becoming quite popular for frying pans and skillets.
The wok has a flat bottom, sloping sides, and a wide diameter at the top of 14 inches. If you don’t like heavy pans, the Simply Clifton Nonstick Jumbo Deep Fry Pan and the Joyce Chen 22-0060, Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok Uncoated Carbon Steel are the lighter options.
On the other hand, the Lodge L10CF3 Cast Iron Covered Deep Skillet is quite heavy but it also retains heat really well which allows for consistent results. The Le Crest Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round Dutch Oven is somewhere in the middle, it is not too heavy, but it is still made of cast iron.
Whichever you choose, you won’t make a mistake, these are all great pans for deep frying ! Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
The glass cover is useful for steaming foods while the drip-free rim makes it easy to pour liquids from the pan without creating a mess. The pan can be used on any cook top, including induction, as well as in the oven, on a grill, or over a campfire.
It has an aluminum core on the bottom and up the sides of the pan which is totally covered with durable stainless steel for fast, even heating and easy cleaning by hand or in the dishwasher. While cast iron cookware is some of the most popular and durable out there, they do require regular maintenance in order to protect the surface from rust.
If you want something that has the same durability but is easier to care for, consider this enameled cast iron pan by renowned French manufacturer Le Crest. This heavyweight fry pan has a black enameled interior that requires no additional seasoning and can sear, sauté, and fry with very little oil.
The large loop helper handle provides easy maneuvering, from the stove to the oven (it's oven/broiler safe to 500 degrees). Copper cookware is known for its excellent responsiveness to changes in heat, durability, and wonderfully rustic aesthetic.
Since 1830, Marvel's copper pans have been the go-to for many professional French kitchens, and are now becoming very popular for avid home cooks. The M250S skillet is made with a 2.5 mm thick copper exterior to provide excellent heat conductivity and control, and lined with non-reactive stainless steel to help preserve the taste and nutrients of the food.
You can use this pan on every cooking surface, including induction burners and straight on a campfire or BBQ grill. Maintenance is fairly easy for carbon steel, and just like with cast iron, it is durable enough to last a lifetime with proper care.
These pans are made from aluminum for even heating and have a porcelain enamel exterior that can withstand heavy use. The exterior of this pan is an attractive bronze color and the comfortable grip on the riveted handle is color-coordinated.
The nonstick interior will not damage from the use of metal utensils, so you don’t need to worry about choosing the right spatula. The glass lid holds in steam and heat and lets you check the food while it cooks.
They’re great for pancakes or eggs, and as a griddle pan for cooking any foods that won’t release a lot of moisture that could escape the low sides. It's both beautifully designed and durable, with a sleek enamel exterior and a high-quality nonstick interior.
This nonstick surface doesn't need breaking in like raw cast iron; this not only ensures that crêpes and other foods won’t stick, but it also makes the pan easy to clean either with the dishwasher or by handwashing with soap and water. While crepe-making takes practice, our tester appreciates the tools this pan comes with to make it easier: a pastry spreader and a crêpe turner with beveled edges and a pointed tip.
She has one caveat, however: you may need to make your crêpes a bit smaller than usual so that the edges cook properly. Final Verdict The author of this piece, Donna Carrie, is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats.