A Home Cook’s Guide to the Different Types of Frying Pans

Every home cook knows that the key to success is getting the best out of your equipment. If you’ve stepped up to the stove to make another delicious feast and found that something is not quite right, it could be that you need a new frying pan. 

There are so many types of frying pans out there that it can make your head spin knowing what to buy. 

This guide is intended as a healthy starting point. You’ll get to grips with frying pan materials, the pros and cons of each type, and how to choose a frying pan.

Types of Frying Pans

The pans in this list will all do the same job to similar degrees of quality. Their differences are subtle yet distinct enough to make an impact on your food. 

Choosing the right one is about weighing up what you need the pan for and how confident you are using it. Another thing to consider is that some pans are much easier to clean than others – a clean kitchen is a happy kitchen.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pans are great because you can purchase them on a wide range of budgets. 

They’re light and yet surprisingly tough. They’re also non-corrosive, so it doesn’t matter what you throw in there. It won’t wear away the metal. Most stainless steel pans are induction-ready.

The biggest con of stainless steel is that it doesn’t conduct heat very well at all. Manufacturers get around this by adding a layer of aluminum to the pan. 

Cast Iron

Humanity has been using cast iron for thousands of years, and it’s easy to see why. 

These pans are virtually indestructible, so if you buy one on the more expensive side now, it will be the only cast iron pan you ever need. They’re great at getting hot and staying hot.

You’ll need to make sure to season your cast iron pan to make it non-stick. This is a simple procedure of applying an even amount of oil to the pan and sticking it in the oven for half an hour or so. 

Whenever you wash a cast-iron pan, you should put it on the hob to make sure it dries thoroughly. Never leave water in the pan, as it will cause the iron to rust.

Non-Stick

Frying pan brands have made the non-stick pan the go-to for home cooks. They’re usually coated on the inside with a material called PTFE. This is what Teflon is.

They’re great for trickier foods like pancakes or eggs that often tend to stick to pans easily. They’re also an excellent choice for people trying to cook healthier meals as they require a lot fewer fats to cook food in.

They’re lightweight and super easy to clean, but they’re not the most durable. They can’t withstand high heat very well, and metal utensils will scratch away and damage the coating.

Hard-Anodized 

If you want more durable non-stick hands that can perform well at high heat, then you want a hard-anodized pan. 

These pans are made of aluminum that has been treated to make it extra tough. They’re on the heavier side and won’t get scratched no matter what utensils you’re using. 

They’re more expensive than standard non-stick pans, but this is understandable given their durability.

Copper

Copper is the most conductive material on this list. They get hot quickly, but they’ll lose that heat in the same amount of time. 

That might sound like a drawback, but by gaining and losing heat this quickly, copper pans stop food from overcooking and burning. They’re great for total control. 

They’re not so resistant to high temperatures, though. You should steer well clear of anything above 450 degrees. They’re great for delicate foods like fish that require full control over the heat and cook times. 

Put That Pan to Good Use

So now you know more about some of the types of frying pans available, and you’re raring to go out and buy one. 

Once you’ve purchased your new pan, you better put it to work and cook something unique. Check out some of our recipes today and get the most out of that shiny new pan.

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