How to Choose the Right Frying Pan
Author: Maggie Moulatsiotis
How it Conducts Heat
Consider your cook top surface when starting out on your search. Do you have an electric, gas or induction range? This coincides with how well the frying pan will conduct heat.
For Electric Ranges
Frying pans with a thick and heavy bottom work best on electric ranges – and remember the smaller the number of the metal’s gauge, the heavier the pan. The main frustration point of frying on an electric range is that food burns easily. Be patient with the temperature dial and allow the pan to heat up slowly – resist the temptation to start cooking with the dial on high, unless you are boiling water.
We recommend: The Volrath v7008 Non-Stick 8” ArkadiaFry Pan
For Gas Ranges
Gas ranges produce a lot of heat quickly. Because of this, a pan that can direct the heat evenly is essential. Frying pans constructed with cast iron, copper or aluminum perform well on gas ranges as these materials are all highly conductive and heat evenly. The main complaint of using frying pans on a gas top range is that the handle heats up to scorching levels, inhibiting use without a towel or handle cover. Look for a frying pan that has cool touch handle construction.
We recommend: The Brown Halco 57 24054 14” Induction Ready Stainless Steel Fry Pan with Handle Helper
For Induction Ranges
When selecting a frying pan for use on an induction cook top, be sure to pay attention to the type of metal the pan is made of. The metal must be magnetic in order to work with an induction cook top. Because of this, aluminum, glass and ceramic cookware should not be considered. In our fry pan selection of stainless steel and cast iron fry pans, we’ve included a search option for “induction ready” to make your search even easier.
We recommend: The Tomlinson 1016256 12” Supercast Fry Pan
Choosing Between Non-Stick and Natural Finishes
When looking for the right finish for your next frying pan purchase, consider the types of food you will fry the most. You may find that having a frying pan with each finish to be beneficial.
Advantages of Non-Stick Fry Pans
A non-stick finish is ideal for health-conscious chefs looking to use less butter or oil. The non-stick coating also works well with recipes that call for flipping food, such as pancakes or cooking delicate liquids into solids, such as eggs.
Advantages of Natural Finish Fry Pans
Natural finish frying pans are perfect for browning meats and cooking with a lot of oil or grease. Cast iron and high carbon steel can also be seasoned to create a homemade non-stick surface that is free of chemicals. Pans with a natural finish can seem like they might become obsolete, but that is not the case.
How it Cleans Up
How much time and effort can you realistically put in for cookware maintenance? This is the question to ask when shopping for a new frying pan.
Not MuchAs an essential piece of cookware to just about every commercial and home kitchen, the multi-tasking frying pan can be used for an entire cookbook of recipes. Select the right frying pan or pans for your kitchen and get back to making delicious dishes for your customers, friends and family.
If the answer is “not much”, then go with non-stick cookware as it is easy to clean and does not require seasoning. However, to protect the non-stick coating it is best to hand wash these pans with just a little dish soap and a soft cloth. It is not advised to use anything abrasive to clean a non-stick pan as it can scrub off the coating.
I’ve Got Time
If you are willing to put in a little effort, you can keep a well-used frying pan in tip-top condition for years to come. The varieties of choices are more open to those who are willing to put time into hand washing and occasionally seasoning their natural finish cookware. With the exception of cast-iron frying pans, natural finish frying pans can go through the dishwasher every now and then, but it is advised to hand wash as often as possible.
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