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No kitchen is complete without a frying pan. Frying pans are highly versatile and can be used to make any meal of the day, from breakfast eggs to stir-fry for dinner — and even dessert. Many cooks like to have more than one; different sizes of frying pans make it easy to complete various cooking tasks. Plus, some recipes call for having more than one pan heating up at one time.
If you haven’t bought a frying pan in a long time, using brand-new one can be a satisfying addition to your cooking. You might be surprised by how beautifully a new non-stick pan cooks a variety of foods that were a constant challenge with pans from an older set.
When you’re selecting a frying pan, one of the most important things to consider is the material it is made out of. Aluminum frying pans with a non-stick coating are a great choice, especially for delicate foods like fish. Ceramic-coated frying pans, which also have non-stick properties, are also a good option. Keep in mind that non-stick pans cannot be used for very high heat cooking.
Some people prefer stainless steel, which is a durable choice. However, you will need to use enough fat or oil that the food doesn’t stick to the pan. Some cooks swear by cast iron frying pans, which are excellent at distributing heat evenly but can seem intimidating for beginners.
Not sure which type of frying pan you should choose? Our sister site Don’t Waste Your Money has a team of experts that focuses on analyzing, testing and researching products to help consumers like you make better buying decisions. Here are their top picks for frying pans.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick 12-Inch Frying Pan
This hard-anodized frying pan is made from a dense, non-porous material that is extra durable and wear-resistant. You can use this product every day for every meal. It has a non-stick interior so food releases easily and you can cook without any added fat. The pan is oven-safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ozeri 8-Inch Earth Non-Stick Frying Pan
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, Ozeri’s frying pan is a good choice. It has a non-stick coating derived from stone that is free from chemicals, along with a scratch-resistant surface. The pan has a heat-resistant handle coated in silicon, making it comfortable to hold. You’ll also love its durability — this one’s ideal for daily use.
Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick 14-Inch Frying Pan
Made from durable, hard-anodized aluminum, this frying pan heats up quickly and offers even heat distribution. It features a double-riveted handle to make it easy to move the full pan from the stove to the table, so you can use up fewer dishes. This item has a long-lasting nonstick interior and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
T-fal 10-Inch Dishwasher Safe Frying Pan & Lid
If you often wonder when the pan is heated up and ready to use, then this frying pan is for you. It features a spot heat indicator, which allows you to see when the temperature is just right for adding your ingredients. The pan has a scratch-resistant interior for extra durability. It also comes with a clear lid so you can always see what’s cooking.
Tramontina Professional Nonstick Fry Pan, 12-Inch
This professional-quality frying pan offers high performance that is perfect for daily use in busy households. It is made from commercial-grade aluminum and has a reinforced non-stick coating, so food won’t get stuck to the pan. The pan is oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and is also safe to put in your dishwasher.
Thinking about what to make next in your new frying pan? If you want a breakfast treat, try the ultimate breakfast tortilla. Just remember, though, having a good frying pan doesn’t mean you have to make something complicated in it. Frying pans are perfectly fine for simple things like fried eggs or reheating a slice of cold pizza.
When you’re done, be sure to clean your frying pan according to instructions so you don’t damage the finish on it. If you do happen to burn food in the pan, don’t worry, all isn’t lost. You can bring a burnt pan back to life with the right process, which varies based on material.
No matter what you want to make, it’s likely a frying pan will be useful. Be sure to get a couple in different sizes so you’re ready to tackle any recipe.
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